I want to ride a bike around the Colosseum in Rome on a hot summer's day when the tourists are rushed and slugging it across the cobblestones and through the heat and humidity and they have to hurry and I will ride my bike slowly around and around and I will stop and watch them and listen to them and they will wonder who is this person that is leaning on his bike and looking so unhurried.
I want to ride my bike around old Florence , up and down the streets without any destination and without a timetable, every so often I may choose to walk the bike. I would set the bike down by the steps of the loggia in the Piazza della Signoria and pretend I am young again and it would be easy because nothing has changed here except me and I cant see those changes. I can only feel it and I feel just as I had then and when the pretty young girls with their oversized backpacks sit close by I will smile at them and maybe one of them will say hello and we can talk a little and I can help them understand the city better.
I want to ride my bike about the gentle Tuscan hills stopping in small villages for something to eat and drink and making sure it is something I have never had and I will try to talk to an old person sitting in the village square, probably under a tree away from the heat of the afternoon to get a feel of the age of the place.
I want to ride my bike along the Arno at sunrise when there is still a slight mist on the river that comes from the cool autumn nights and then return to a breakfast of coffee and rolls on a terrace overlooking the city.
I want to ride my bike from the rented villa in the country into Siena and make my way to the Palio just moving along with the crowd, the bicycle helping me fit into the scene, just another man on a bicycle and feeling the pounding of the hoofs through the vibrations in the ground and feeling sorry that I have no horse to cheer onto victory or to cry about after the loss.
I want to ride my bike in St. Peter's Square following the columns in their long slow arch and darting in and out of their shade and shadows avoiding the quick steps of the nuns as they rush to some place holy.
I want to ride my bike to the market and fill up its basket with bread round and hard, cheese fragrant and firm, salami fresh and wine aged, meat for supper and greens for salad, moving from stall to stall and making a time of it and forgetting that this might be a chore.
I want to have the time, the slow time that a bike gives you, to ride to other places and find other wonderful things.