Bike Sharing in Rome

22 Apr

Hi folks. I didn’t know I was so missed, thank you for that! I can’t make any promises about the frequency of my posts now but I will do my best. To those of you who have tried to get me on email…I promise that in the next week or two I will be doing some catching up and will try to get back to all of you.

Anyhoo, as I write to you I have the TV on channel 4, ah, blessed Rete 4, where all the weather girls have long blond hair and skimpy clothing. Wait, isn’t that every Italian tele channel? Gotta love Emilio Fede and his hiring practices. Without that clipboard, where would his weather girls be? Oh man, I know you want to see what I’m talking about here. If you don’t live in Italy, you just can’t know!

Ah, that was a nice little interval, wasn’t it? Now, onto today’s topic: bike sharing in Rome.

Bike sharing in Rome.

I’m sorry. Did I hear myself correctly? What the heck?

I have no idea where this idea comes from, who thinks it’s going to work, or what. Oh, I’m so cynical, I know. But people, come on. Riding a bike in this city is more dangerous than even riding a scooter which we all know is, well, pretty dangerous.

So I’m walking in Largo Argentina the other day and see this big old sign “Roma ‘N Bike” bike sharing. I don’t have a photo for you because I’m not 100% back up to blogging speed yet, but I’m getting there. So anyways, I’m thinking: how is this going to work? No idea. The website just says “coming soon.” It also says, “For further information, email us.” I’m too lazy to go that far; I just want to make fun of it instead. Are they taking out insurance for people if they get run over? Or if they choke on bus exhaust? Hello, bike lanes?? The concept of lanes in general doesn’t even exist here. I can’t wait to see how this one turns out. That is, if it ever turns out. Car sharing, anyone?


20 Responses to “Bike Sharing in Rome”

  1. Francesca April 22, 2008 at 8:55 pm #

    Your blog has been missed!! I enjoy that break in my work day and I have really missed all the Roma observations! I am stuck living in reality here!

    Anyway – they do car-sharing in chicago for the earth conscious, who don’t drive much its wuite successful. Maybe it is similar, but I would pay money to see an unsuspecting tourist try to bike in Rome – not smart!

  2. Janavi April 22, 2008 at 10:29 pm #

    The only weather people I ever saw on Italian TV were men in uniforms who looked like they were from a Gilbert & Sullivan opera.
    They have bike sharing in Paris- can’t imagine it in Rome- it’s scary just trying to cross the street.

  3. steffan April 23, 2008 at 12:00 am #

    I kinda wish she would point at the map so that I could see where she’s talking about, but who am I kidding, no one will look at the map!

  4. nyc/caribbean ragazza April 23, 2008 at 5:21 am #

    I think the whole thing started in Paris and now NYC is doing it but I agree with you. Tourists borrowing bikes in the center = a big mess! Keep it to the parks people.

  5. jessica April 23, 2008 at 12:10 pm #

    I am also skeptical about the bike sharing. It seems scary, aside from Villa Borghese riding a bike in the city is a death wish. I have seen the car sharing around here though. There is a spot (and sometimes the car) out in front of my school in Piazza Bologna. What was even more amazing is that people didn’t park in the spot, for some reason in all the parking craziness in that piazza, the “reserved” sign was respected?!?

  6. Janavi April 23, 2008 at 1:31 pm #

    I live in nyc & have never heard anything about bike sharing here-they tried to tax cars coming into midtown, but it fell through. They were trying to copy London.

  7. figcharlie April 23, 2008 at 5:10 pm #

    Sharing? In what way? You sit on the handlebars and we’ll cycle round the colusseum and see who else we can pick up? Yep, that sounds like an Italian idea to me!xxx

  8. Robert April 24, 2008 at 7:19 pm #


    I’m a semi retired ad guy living in santa Barbara. My wife and I will be living in Trastevere for the month of June can you suggest a great trattoria? Thanks.

  9. cheeky April 27, 2008 at 1:20 am #

    Have they no shame, or teleprompters for that matter? She didn’t need the clipboard for the smiley ending.
    Go on! You know you want to get your bicycle out and join the masses.

  10. Rachele April 28, 2008 at 6:16 pm #

    HAHAHAHAAHAH that is hilarious! you are absolutely right…the cars dont respect lines,so how safe can a bike rider be? I dont think i can even recall seeing a bike rider in Roma anyway. Now, here is the scary part….we all know that the ones that will try to use this bike share service will be tourists, pople who may not be familiar with the driving practices of Romans… we can see where this is going..eek!
    Seems to me that the only place i have seen that you can comfortably ride a bike in only partial fear is in EUR…..and i dont think a bike share will go over well in this area.

  11. Sherry April 28, 2008 at 8:59 pm #

    Wow. I have no words for the weather girl. No words. Can she seriously not remember “sunny”, “cloudy”, etc. I do like her shirt though. 🙂

    I can’t imagine the bike sharing thing taking off either. I agree with all the previous posts’ comments.

    Lastly, THANK GOD you are back to blogging(albeit not necessarily full time). I love this blog and I would come to your page randomly in the hopes that your “away” post would be gone. Today was one of those days and voila, you are back! Yes!!

  12. joe@italyville May 2, 2008 at 2:39 pm #

    that sounds like Zip Cars for bikes…. not sure how well that would work for bikes though. Do you have to share replacement costs when the bike gets stolen? haha!

  13. Heatheronhertravels May 4, 2008 at 3:16 pm #

    Oh ye of little faith.

    I was talking to a Parisian friend who uses the bikesharing in Paris to get to work every day. All around the city (so he told me) they have bikes parked and you just go and unlock one, using a card. For the first 30 mins its free, then the card starts to be charged. He said it was working well.

  14. Isma May 5, 2008 at 10:47 am #

    Yeah, it started in Paris, but after organizing the city for bikers (special lanes, etc). It’s quite dangerous though, especially when tourists are using it because they don’t know their directions that well for instance… As a pedestrian, I personally hate these “velib” things in Paris.
    Now in Rome, I think there are no words to qualify this idea, considering the state of the traffic and … of the roads !!
    Helmets everyone !!
    Maybe the new sindaco will cancel this project, don’t you think ?

  15. Karen Cole May 9, 2008 at 10:01 pm #

    Nice to see you back!!

    So… that a skirt she is wearing?????or a pair of shorts? My husband LOVES TV in Italy.

    I think the bikes are a better idea (ha). At least they can’t go as fast as the scooters. It’s the order of natural selection. If people choose to do it and get hurt….well then…..

  16. anna l'americana May 22, 2008 at 11:06 pm #

    I’m still laughing at the videos from your last post and now this one…TOOO FUNNY. I love how they never market to women.

    I can’t even comment intelligently on the bike thing at this point. Between the cobblestones, potholes, busses, lack of bike lanes, tourists, Italian drivers, not to mention the seven steep hills, etc. I just don’t see it working. Not to mention, the bikes will surely all disappear and be sold for parts 10 minutes after they are deployed (the raw materials alone would be worth the theft in today’s world, for Christ’s sake they’re stealing air conditioners here for the copper wire!).

  17. Elise October 2, 2008 at 7:39 pm #

    Hey! Actually, this is my second year living in Rome, and, make fun all you want, I biked in the city streets (that is, until my bike was stolen … now that is a topic to discuss). I live in Prati and biked to school in Trastevere every day. When I had a chore to run, bike (it’s faster than public transportation admittedly). When there was something to buy on Viale del Corso, I’d bike from Largo Argentina to Piazza Venezia to the Corso admidst traffic. Romans actually know how to drive and have a very good eye. They are accustomed to motorini and bikers and easily stop and swerve. Their drivers’ exams are a lot more difficult to pass than in the US and other countries. You have to drive stick shift and parallel park in one maneuver. I think I can trust them on the road. 🙂

  18. jeannine October 10, 2008 at 10:53 am #

    They have something like this in Barcelona. I tried it out a few times and it was pretty enjoyable…the traffic isn’t really that different, nor the drivers behind the wheel…

    I’ll let you know how it goes when I try it out.

  19. vincent van den Bijllaardt December 30, 2009 at 12:10 pm #

    Start biking you chickens 😉 remember that you have great overview while on a bike. And drive with confidence!!
    you’ll be quick everywhere, park in front of the door, good health, promote alternative traffic while doing it. I’m visiting Rome next month and I will use bikes.


  20. eric July 20, 2010 at 9:09 pm #

    People, it’s not that Italians are uncivil. Its just the taking the life easily. Like a English soccer referee. Not taking much responsibility. You won’t get killed (oh yeah, its a possibility) So, take your two wheels and peddle. Its all Rome to discover.

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