Not so many Italian people ride a bike. But still, on a warm summer's day you see quite a lot and today, a Sunday, we saw many groups n racebikes speeding along. It's strange to notice that in a country with such a rich cycling-history, with it's illustruous Giro d'Italia, many world champions and many Tour de France winners, so few countrymen know how to use this simple but clever machine properly. Over 90% of the ordinary cycling Italians, especially the female ones, assume a thoroughly wrong position on their bikes. Wrong here means that the position in which they are when riding the bike is ergonomically not according to the meaning of the design of the vehicle. Very often you see the saddle in the lowest possible position and the middle or back of the feet placed flat on the pedals. The result is that the knees rise up high between the arms of the rider. This position is comfortable in that sense that when standing still the feet can be placed flat on the ground while the rider remains seated in the saddle. A position taken based on a feeling of insecurity, better be sturdy on the ground when something happens.
But this is not what the designers of the vehicle had in mind. They meant a position in which the legs can be stretched to the full, thereby using the muscels and the joints of the hip, the knee, the ankle and the forefoot. A modus that is efficient and makes use of all muscles and joints in the legs. The position that one observes most of the time in this country is inefficient, more tiring and, one must agree, doesn't look good at all. On the contrary, it's a pain in the eye.
How come that in a country with such a long tradition in dominant cycling teaches its own population such bad cycling. Maybe here lies a chance for the prime minister, who has been experiencing some bad days lately. Wouldn't here be his one and last chance to make his governance a succes after all. He could use his far stretching powers to make sure that that in the future his countrymen and -women are thaught to ride their bicis properly. The rest of Europe, at least I, would appreciate it.
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