Sunday, 30 December 2012

Italian Cars

Why oh why do we want/need/have such large vehicles in North America? Life functions just fine without large hunks of depreciating steel.

I've seen bikes in so many little cars here, that I wonder why I buy big ones too. And I even try not to buy the biggest (and have stuck to my rule to never own a car with a V8... Or perhaps more accurately, one that needs a V8 to get it moving, which leaves a small future loophole for an overpowered little sports car, but I digress).

Assortment of small car photos. Lots of Fiats. Surprising number of electric cars. Traffic is chaotic and fast, but entirely respectful and polite. Toot toots to let you know they're there. Not a single pass by a car has felt menacing - they just execute and move on. It's amazing. I've oft heard that narrow roads and roads without bike lanes are the reason for cyclist and car "accidents", but this disproves that to a degree. I qualify that with speeds are slower here with the small streets, and cars are smaller. But it's really just attitude and approach to things.

There's tons and tons of Smart cars here, plus there's innumerous scooters. There's also handfuls of cars that make Smart cars look big. Mini's look like estate wagons!

Speaking of small and awesome, I heard an enthusiastic engine revving behind me while riding, but had no time to pull out the camera. A guy went zipping by, in loud but not obnixious fashion (little engines revving here seems so normal) in an origina Fiat Abarth 750 painted in... the colors of the Italian flag of course. He cooked around a mountain road corner, and it just looked right instead of reckless. There was room for me, him, and probably half a peloton worth of bikes on the road it was so small!

The bus pictured is shorter than a Ford F350, is electric, and could take dozens of people when packed full.

Cindy and were also impressed that full sized coach stile tour busses could also fit down these streets, and the driver didn't even seem fazed when a Renault Megane hatchback was pulled over with two wheels on curb, yet two still on street, and the bus just inched by with a tiny space to spare on both sides.

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