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It's always nice to "go home", which means embracing dear old habits again. Among these, of course, cycling on the "Italian" roads.
I'll make a premise: in India you don't drive "well", far from it. But the causes behind the traffic and a certain lack of discipline are different from those that populate our streets. There is a lot of lack of knowledge about safe driving rules, poor infrastructure (roads) and vehicles without proper safety systems. But there is one thing missing: RESPECT. Despite the chaos in the streets, I have never seen an arm raised to send someone to hell, or a window lowered to insult a cyclist or a pedestrian, nor maneuvers by "bullies" of the series "if you don't get up, I'll crush you like a fly ”.
As soon as I got back to Italy and took the bicycle after less than 500 meters the first scene: the van that at first passes me not caring about the safety distance when overtaking (which is why NEVER be squashed on the right edge of the road but always leave ADEQUATE centimeters to be able to get back when the motorist on duty cuts your hair), then he blocks in front of me, cuts me off and drives up onto the sidewalk with his wheels. To my question "Excuse me but what are you doing?" starts the insult "Aò I'm working!"
As if work were a pass for any rule to be broken.
Back home, then, I open STRAVA and find the eloquent title of one of today's greatest cyclists, the Belgian Wout Van Aert who says a lot about the state of driving in Italy. And mind you, he is a Belgian cyclist (for all those Italians who "cyclists behave differently abroad, that's why they are respected"... BALLET!), So he should have a driving and pedaling style that doesn't annoy the motorist medium.
Moreover, in a couple of chats with some pro-ex pro colleagues yesterday there was a tam tam of "in Italy it's always worse..." "But how do you manage to stay and live and play sports in a country where you can't move around?" and so on.
I'm not even too surprised, I'm in the phase of "observing" that this country is in the midst of an unstoppable cultural drift, and that there is no interest in improvement. Natural selection is quite evident and more and more people emigrate in the face of a marked decline in tourism (the large cities of art still resist, but it is an illusion: in all the other sectors different choices are now being made) and a livability lower and lower despite the fact that there are still those who defend an indefensible country by sword, where one "lives well" if one is part of one of the many classes that enjoy privileges faithfully handed down from generation to generation, except not giving a damn about the "young".
An old country for "old minds" who don't care about the constant plaster figures we make every time a foreigner from a more civilized country confronts us with situations like those experienced by Wout Van Aert. What a shame to host a great champion and read this kind of comment - Omar di Felice