11.05.2014

Night Rider

Do you guess what is this?
Wide empty roads, a weirdly mild weather - windy, rainy, inconstant - and the black of the night just for me, all and now. Sure I want it, and I really love to ride at night. 
I feel confortable with my flashy skull shaped lights, so easy to remove but effectively safe. My commuter bike is a race bike with fatter tyres and a straight handlebar, so delightfully bare: no lights, no mudguards... but I teach in a night school this year and I have to concede that lights are good.
My school is in via Chiantigiana, not far from home and on a classic cycling road. There is a lot of traffic here during the day but at night is deserted and quiet, and while I'm in a hurry on my early ride I have all the time to enjoy it when I cycle back. I can take corners at - relatively - high speed, jump up and down from bike lanes and sidewalks, cross red trafficlights and perform other naughty tricks normally inhibited by an healty fear of car's drivers. 
My commuter bike <3 td="">
It's pretty dark on the bikelane running by the river and often dirty of leaves from the park. At night it's also frequent to find cars parked on the bikelane so at one point it's safer to jump down on the road and with no traffic you can. I like to pass in front of a the CPA, a Centro Sociale I used to go - two lives ago - its red flags on the gate of an occupied old school, a festive light inside. It used to be a political place but now it's more an alternative cultural center, where you go for concerts, dinners and parties more than for assemblies. 
Things changed - I think pedaling in the night - but what we were fighting against is still there. Exploitation and class conflict didn't change, they are a fact. But their representation... how much it changed! Recently our new Prime Minister Renzi said that "Somebody want to devide the work world, create a conflict between workers and employers, speculate on the pain of the poors". 
WOT? Conflict is a plain reality, the work world IS devided, workers and bosses DO have got opposite interests, and... well... we used to think in terms of social classes not 'riches and poors', claims not charity... Yep, it changed a lot because Renzi has been voted by the 40% of the Italians in the last elections. He's better than Berlusconi, I agree. He isn't a criminal at least but simply a neoliberist, a respectable exponent of the exploiting class. That's normal, isn't it? less normal maybe that the exploited class has got no political representation at the moment. Renzi's PD was supposed to be that. Yep, we are weird in Italy. 
Florence
Anyway Florence is beautiful at night, by the river especially and when I cross the bridge the view is breathtaking: the ancient buildings of the city center, white and ocher, reflected on the lucid black water, the hill of Fiesole covered on laces of lights and the pink new facade of the hotel Ville sull'Arno trembling in its liquid alter ego. Simply wow. Simply mine. Because there is nobody watching at this time and I can even stop and breath the humid air of the night.

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