Bologna is by far the friendliest place to cycle in Italy. And it’s recently opened the first ring road for bicycles. It’s part of a proper traffic system connecting the city centre with the suburbs and a place where only bicycles are allowed.
The opening took place in September this year in the presence of Felice Gimondi, one of the six champions who won all the three most important races – Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta de España.
The ring road is eight kilometers long, it cost two million euros and took two years to build. But it’s going to change the habits of the city’s residents, who have no more excuses not to exercise and leave the car at home. It’s an interesting and useful addition to the 140km bike lanes already present in the northern Italian city.
The mayor Virginio Merola proudly underlines that Bologna is Italy’s most bike-friendly city, where one in ten uses the bike as their main means of transport. The aim is to reach one out of five in the coming years.
Not only does Bologna have a designated bicycle ring road, but it also has the first Velostation, called Dynamo. This is a place where you can store, rent and repair a bike and a real hub for all lovers of two wheels.
Dynamo is conveniently situated in the centre of Bologna, close to the train station, and now it boasts600 parking spaces, which are due to double in the next year. But Dynamo is not only a parking site. It has bikes for rent (useful if you are a tourist and plan to visit Bologna without using a car) where you can grab your bicycle for few hours (or several months) and pedal off into the hills around Bologna. There is a little coffee shop and a restaurant for tired cyclists, there is a little workshop where you can fix your bike and a place where you can store yours if your girlfriend is tired of tripping over your favourite one plonked permanently in the living room.
Dynamo will be the place of Bike Delivery, and they will bring home your goods and shopping. It’s also the starting point of Bike Tours around Bologna and its outskirts.
Cycling and art can go together: there will be a space dedicated to a graffiti exhibition as well.