bove my right knee and just below my left, there are scars from my first bicycle accident. It was a small event, a collision with myself—the pavement anticipated it, giving me a premonition that would sting and bleed for a while, right at the bend. With my mother in the lead, we crossed the front lawn on a diagonal, rushing into the house. There was heat from the summer and nerves. Disinfected, and with Band- aids and some attention, I was fine; the next day peddling with the neighborhood kids as if nothing had happened. It was all we did until early October. Two minds—child and adult—ride a bicycle with simultaneous devotion. As it happens, it is the wildest synchronicity of emotion: the
glee of speed, of zooming and moving across the scenery surrounded
by windy trepidation and a heavy caution that works the brakes. All
these sensations atop a body of metal and wheels, it is the freedom to
find fate or mischief for that day.
In Italy, a distinct bicycle culture lives on classic virtues. From the
countryside to cityscape there belies an inextricable elegance to
this way of life, in relishing the beauty of things. Thus, only in Italy do
they embrace the pure delight of riding a Montante Cicli bicycle. The
company began in the 1930s, the vision of Sicilian cycling enthusiast
Calogero Montante, who indulged clients in all of southern Italy.
His designs were superior in quality, lightweight and meticulously
constructed one at a time. Something even the Arma dei Carabinieri
(a kind of Italian police) appreciated. Desirable as luxuries, Montante
Cicli bicycles wore none of the preciousness of an extravagance, yet
their bespoke nature made them a sanctified pleasure, the crossing of
errands and leisure with Saturanian spirit.