Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

19 July 2017


Its romantic style with dips and crests take (sic) us back in time onto the bumpy, narrow passages of Italy.

Does anyone describe anything Italian in the English language without using words like "romantic", "love" or

This year, a beautiful pair of Sudini boots I wore for years finally gave out.  What I'll remember as much as the boots themselves is the box in which they came.  It was unremarkable, at least as Italian boxes go, except for the slogan underneath the Sudini name:  "Make love to your feet."

I am guessing it was, shall we say, an idiosyncratic translation of something.  To my knowledge, there are no more foot fetishists, per capita, among Italians in Italy or the diaspora, than among any other people in the world.

So what has the "romantic style" with "dips and crests" that are meant to remind us of "the bumpy narrow passages" (Sounds like a relationship or two in which I've been involved!) of my ancestors' (some, anyway) country?

It's something called "Velorapida".  That, of course, means "fast bike" in Italian.  There's nothing wrong with a name like that:  After all, "Motobecane" means "motor bike" in French.

But the "Velorapida" is something I don't normally associate with romance:  an e-bike.  Most of the ones I've seen here are ugly and are, most of the time, ridden by delivery workers or people who want to believe they're riding bicycles but don't want to put forth the effort.

I must say, though, that the Velorapida does challenge my belief, at least a little, even if it won't turn me to an e-biker:

To me, it looks like a newer, updated version of bikes you see all over Europe.   It even has the requisite charm and character.

The handcrafted leather bag, however, is not there to merely to add charm or even to carry formaggio or frutta from the local market.  Instead, it encases a "secret" battery pack.  

Oh, no!  I'll never look at leather bike bags the same way again!

I must say, though, that if someone is riding an electric bike instead of driving a car--or because he or she, for whatever reason, can't ride a regular bike--I am happy.  And I can't begrudge someone who's trying to make a living on an ebike:  If it's more expedient for them in any way than any other delivery vehicle, I can understand why they'd ride it.

I don't know what the Velorapidas cost.  If I were President (tee hee), I would decree that employers could provide them (or regular bicycles) for their workers and deduct them from their tax bill!


  1. I like the looks of that disguised Italian e-bike! That's brilliant. Ebikes are popping up around here also. A lady passed me yesterday morning on what I thought was a regular bike, and - I'm rather slow anyway - but she seemed to accelerate on a slight incline without pedaling - that's when I noticed her bicycle had a motor.

  2. Very interesting. Where is the motor located on the Velorapida? Is it possibly in the seat post? Do we have an example of mechanical doping technology now coming out in consumer products? About time, I say. Something useful finally resulting from all the cheating in pro cycling.


  3. Leo--"Something useful finally resulting from all the cheating in pro cycling." It's about time, I say! ;-)

  4. Annie--Could this be an instance of an e-bike "going stealth"? I, too, like the looks of it--especially the one in the first photo.