Friday, December 30, 2011

Da Bus

It is a cliche that the Hawaiian tourism is a somehow elitish. In fact, given the location in the middle of the ocean (the islands are quite distant from anywhere one arrives), the feeling is something exotic. From California it takes five hours by plane, so, it is not exactly cheap just to get there. Not to mention the cost in terms of time and money, if you come from Italy!
Therefore, if you land to Honolulu, what you find is a type of tourism a little snob, walking into shopping streets, tanning at Waikiki beach. In the traffic many limousines can be seen.

Instead, the Kaua'i island is a bit apart from the typical touristic Hawaiian destinations. And the most common public transport is The Kaua'i Bus, familiarly Da Bus (slang for "the Bus").
Unfortunately, if these buses are used by residents, we can not say the same for tourists. I suggest to all those who go on vacation to Kaua'i to ride them, because they are comfortable, cheap, efficient and you can experience better the local customs.

The service, atleast for the trips I have experienced, is very good. Always on time and with frequent departures.
Of course cars are more comfortable, since the bus has to respect the schedule and it takes time for the intermediate stops. But it does not force you to pay attention to driving and you can concentrate on the landscape outside the windows.
The fixed cost of a ride (no matter how long it is) is two dollars (not exactly cheap, if it is a short distance, but very convenient if you consider that you can run around the island). You don't need to buy a ticket before, you just put the money in a box next to the driver. Much more convenient, as we did, is to buy a pass that entitles you unlimited use of all the lines for a month for $25.
In the town of Lihue there are a few lines that make urban service, including there is one funnily named "Lunch Shuttle", scheduledin the hours around noon. It stops at the most common restaurants/fast-food (I imagine that it is used by workers in their lunch break).
Out of Lihue the lines make both urban and suburban service. They go on the highway and make frequent detours in the residential areas, reaching hospitals, schools, shopping centers and places of public utility.

The nice thing of Da Bus is the friendliness of the service. Often the driver use to chat with passengers. Once I heard him singing along with the radio on "It's aloha friday, no work till monday", a very common Hawaiian pop song, and then, addressing the passengers screaming "This is my song, friends!" Happy at the thought of the weekend starting soon. Another typical driver was the one that took us a couple of times in Poipu: a "grandma" with a hat adorned with cute little flowers, driving so slow despite the nearly empty streets. At each stop she announced its name, even if we were the only two passengers, and she knew our destination (they ask, sometimes, for statistical purposes).

Even the passengers are generally relaxed and friendly (what a big difference with Milan underground!), And never fail to greet when they enter, and thank the driver when they exit. There is ervery kind of people: the boy and the girl flirting, the guy dressed like Michael Jackson trying to attract attention, the businessman who does leave the cellphone alone, the grandpa who smiles to everybody who meet his gaze. In any case, most times you end up chatting with someone you meet on Da Bus or at the bus stop before boarding, as if there was some kind of brotherhood among all those who use Da Bus.

It would be nice if the service worked even at night, so one could use it for the nights out. Also, i think the lines should be enhanced to some destinations, for example, there is no bus that goes up to the mountain (that could be because the towns are almost all connected by the highway that runs on the perimeter of the island).
In general the service is very good for the destinations of the locals, but not enough for the tourists. The beautiful Poipu beach, for example, which is on a detour from the highway, has its own line, but the trips are not frequent enough, which forces you to spend a lot of time waiting for the bus.
One thing I find objectionable is the custom to keep the air conditioning at high level. It's advisable to bring something extra to erar, in consideration that, outside, you are always in shorts and T-shirt.
In the front of the bus it is arranged a rack that can hold up to two bicycles. This service (i think for free) is frequently used: the cyclist secures the bike and then rises on the bus. I wonder if you have to reserve this service in advance by calling Da Bus people (if not, what could happen if there are more than two cyclists on the same trip?). Of course the buses are equipped with a lift for handicaps and spaces to accommodate wheelchairs.
The service is perfectly sized (I think this is the reason for the statistics I mentioned above): The seats are often all occupied, but it rarely happens that someone has to stand. Only once it happened to me, during students rush hour, a trip was crowded (but nothingcomparable to public services in our cities).

In short, if you appreciate the atmosphere of calm and comfortable relaxation you can breathe in Kaua'i, Da Bus is the best way to visit the island.

Also for this post, the photos are by Rowena

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tropical hiking

Hiking in Hawaii is definitely a different experience for those like me, accustomed to Alpine mountain trails.
First of all, the climate. The humid heat makes movements more strenuous. Also, the paths tend to be covered by the quite intrusive tropical vegetation: the undergrowth ferns hides the tracks and make it a little disorienting. Also the rocks are hidden by vegetation, so the painted signs, if any, cannot be seen. Moreover there is not a valuable service such as CAI (Club Alpino Italiano) who maintains trails and markers.
Fortunately the hikers theirselves put and renew indications with colored ribbons tied to the branches every now and then.

GPS track of Honopu excursion.
View the map in a bigger size
Honopu ridge, October 16, 2011

The signaling ribbons (orange and pink) were indeed very useful during the first of our two trips into Kaua'i island. R's son and his girlfriend came with us

Reached the beginning of the path by car, we followed the directions outlined here. You enter the forest, which, in descent, becomes more and more intricate. At one point the path becomes very humid and you end up slipping.
When the forest opens you are on the edge of a steep slope especially, pretty easy to overcome if not for people like me, who have an innate dislike of the precipices. Fortunately it's only a small part, and finally you go back into the forest. At the end the view over the beautiful coastline of Na Pali is breathtaking.

View from the end point
To tell teh truth, from here, the beach (about 3500 feet below), cannot be seen. But you see the side promontory that forms, along with the one under your feet, one of the magnificent Na Pali bays. Within the valley one expects to see emerging from the vegetation the necks of the brachiosauruses, which, exactly here, have been the protagonists of Jurassic Park. Instead, you can see the birds (they are actually just tiny white dots). Every now and then, far below, a touristic helicopter passes, barely visible. Other white dots in the ocean must be boats (the beaches in the small bays below are inaccessible from the land).
You are on the crest of the hill so, looking to the other side the view opens up to another valley. In the distance it appears Ni'ihau island, the Forbidden Island.
From here the path goes down rather steep (and apparently not very safe), always on the crest. It does not seem to promise a better view of this. Satisfied and aware that the return is quite all uphill, we head back onto the same path.

GPS track of Makaleha excursion (the inaccuracies are due
to the bad satellite receptions in the forest)
View the map in a bigger size
Makaleha Falls, October 17, 2011

Also interesting, though completely different, was the other excursion.
This time, in addition to the four of us, there were also R's brother and sisters, with their husbands. The guide was D, the brother, which had already come here long ago. The path goes up folloowing a stream, and has several river-crossings and parts with slimy mud. Warned in time by D, we have adapted our equipment to these conditions. Hiking boots were not right: we then purchased the "Tabies", special rubber boots, flexible, with soles thick but soft and covered with a layer of a material similar to velcro. Without this type of footwear it is impossible not to slip. In addition, the adhesion of the rubber to the ankle, similar to the one of a diving suit, helps to lift the foot when it is stuck in the mud.

The route is varied, almost always surrounded by dense forest. At some point it passes very close to a huge monolith shaped like a cube, which looks like a dice fallen from the hands of a giant. Then suddenly you enter a surreal place: a bamboo forest. The canes, huge and high, take the place of trees, leaving, between each other, enough space to unravel. A few hundred meters, and just as suddenly, the vegetation of ferns and tall trees reasserts itself. Here the trail is lost, even if it is not difficult to guess the direction, as you continue to follow the course of the river. But your must walk on the trunks of fallen trees or branches, covered with slippery moss, clinging to other branches or rocks to keep balance. You can not see the dirt, the vegetation is too intricate, but judging from the level of the water, you are about one-two meters from the ground.
The humidity is a lot, and after a few hours of walk, it turns into rain. The weather suddenly changes in the islands, so we judge that it is much safer to retrace our steps. Too bad, because D says that in the end of the path (another couple of miles) there is a pond where you can take a shower under the waterfall.

Wonderful excursions. When you go to Hawaii for vacation, you think about beaches and ocean waves, but in my opinion, especially in Kaua'i, the Garden Isle, it is the haunting beauty of the untouched interior to leave you breathless.

There is something intimate in the experience of walking in nature, and it was nice to share it with my in-laws. It feels as if this experiences created a bond among us.

Me, in the bamboo forest.
All the photos of this post are by Rowena

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sit down, relax, eat, eat, eat...

That is a welcome expression Hawaiians like to use. Even there, as in our culture, food has a social value, but the meal has a different look. The difference lies in "geometry". In Italy we eat all sitting around the table together (it is even considered rude to start eating when anybody is not yet ready). In Hawaii (and, I believe, generally in the States), the buffet style is more common. Everyone serve him/herself filling up his dish. It is not uncommon that not to have a table at all. Everybody eats the way he wants: standing, sitting on chairs or armchairs, allowing the events to make big or small groups for conversation.

Luau is a word in the native Hawaiian language which means more or less "party". The spirit is to meet somewhere to share the pleasure of being together. Traditionally, the guests bring the food which is then shared among each other.

The luau I attended during my Hawaiian holidays was organized in the Community Center, to celebrate of my wife R's family reunion.
All the close relatives of the families originated from the defunct R's grandmother were invited. We were about two hundred: a success, given that most of those relatives are distributed pretty much all over the world.

The most typical character of the party was Patty Boy, a cousin of uncertain age with long bushy white hair collected in a ponytail. Deep and loud voice. When we arrived, together

The Luau dinner
with my sister in law and her husband, Patty Boy immediately ran towards R's sister (who lives in Washington State) embracing her with a hearty "Welcome to my cos from Italy". When we notified him the mistake, he repeated the same formula for R, and hugged me warmly shouting "Thank you for taking care of my cos".
Patty Boy, as a gesture of welcome, put on my neck a ti leaves lei, and responding to my "i am honored" he didn't loose the opportunity to point out (perhaps with excessive pathos) how lucky we were to live this occasion to strengthen our family unity.
I think Patty Boy embodies at all, almost as a caricature, the totally sincere welcoming spirit of Hawai'i.

The dinner was arranged on a long table with large trays, pans and serving dishes. Our contribution couldn't be anything but some typical Italian food: we filled a considerable number of cannoli shells with sweet fresh ricotta and candied fruit. The result was not bad at all, in fact they disappeared in few minutes.

Kalua pig

The Kalua pig preparation
The most typical food of the table was the kalua pig.
This is the native Hawaiian way to cook the pig: once wrapped an entire pig in banana leaves they bury it in a hole in the ground in which some hot stones were put. The pig is then covered with hot stones and sand. After a considerable amount of time they take put the sand and stones and unwrap the pork form the banana leaves, ready-cooked.
We were fortunate to be able to assist in the preparation of kalua pig with methods a little more "evolved". The pork was wrapped in banana leaves and aluminum foil and placed in a metal cage. The cage was sittinh on hot stones in the hole, and everything was covered with wet rags and a special plastic sheet. We have come to the place of preparation during the afternoon, when the kalua pig was being "unburied", and we had the opportunity to taste it still hot.

Typically, the kalua pig is accompanied by the poi, which is like a gray-pink and sweet taste puree, made out of taro, a tropical root. The poi must be eaten picking it up from a bowl with two fingers ("two fingahs")

Another typical way of eating in Hawaii is the poke. It is a snack, rather than lunch or dinner. The poke is sold in the deli of small supermarkets, supplied directly from local fishermen, as it happens in Hishihara market.

The chef at Chicken in a Barrel
The fish is cut into "bite size" cubes and marinated in spices and sauces. It is usually eaten with chopsticks.

Chicken in a Barrel
An enjoyable experience is to have lunch at little banquets on the roadside by the sea. Chicken in a Barrel is one of them.

A single character with cowboy hat accepts orders from a window in a wooden small house, cook the chicken on a barbecue made out of a barrel and serves at tables arranged on the lawn surrounding area.

Hawai'i islands are a repository of traditions brought there by immigrants from different places at different stages of history. Great is the Japanese community, so, popular is the cooking from Japan. One of my favorite places is Kintaro japanese restaurant, where I tasted the best sushi of my (limited) experience. But anytime i go to Kaua'i i never miss to go atleast once to Hamura Saimin. The saimin, the restaurants and the operators are very similar to those described in the movie The Ramen Girl. "Saimin", in fact, is the Hawaiian name of the ramen. The menu is rather limited, but no matter. The only order that makes sense over there is, in fact, the saimin.

All the photos of this post are from R's blog:

Friday, October 28, 2011


What strikes you, As soon as you exit the plane at Lihue airport, is a strong sense of deja vu.
Actually, no. Deja vu is not the correct expression in this case, because, one could argue, it would be obvious that you feel you already saw a place ("deja vu") if you have already been there (and I have already been several times at the airport of Lihue).
It is rather some states of mind that you feel inside, in your lungs, in your stomach. You feel it, but you can't realize what it exactly is.
I believe that this feeling is evoked mainly by smell. Of cinnamon and ginger, but, above all, of very ripe fruits. A sweet smell, a little sticky (maybe even for the high rate of humidity). Not unpleasant at all, but very strong. It also hints of peat and fat undergrowth. The island smells very different from where i live. It almost seems to recognize something ancestral and primitive, which belongs to my genetics, but without any cultural tie, in this sense deja vu. Like it is for a lion roar: it would scare anyone, even those who had not ever heard its sound.

Kealia bay
You perceives something different also about hearing. Not the usual reverb of some sand between heels and fake-marble floors, typical in the airports, with artificial aseptic and metallic voices in the background. Here the speakers spread sugary Hawaiian melodies, the announcements always begin with aloha and end with mahalo. Everything comes a little muffled to the ears (maybe also for the warmth and moist of the air, after the air conditioning there was in the aircraft). This feeling is even increased when you exit the airport, and there is constant noise of the surf on the beaches or the waves crashing on the cliffs.

People are extraordinarily, almost irritatingly calm and quiet. With haoles (as i look - and i am) they are all very friendly. With the locals (like R) they start to speak strict pidgin seeking - and usually finding - common friends or relatives they share.
The cars move slowly and the traffic rage simply does not exist. The flow of events is not managed by clocks but instead by the availability of time of whoever is involved. Almost one wonders how it is possible that society respect schedulings designed on absolute time (eg public transport timetables).
This time we landed at night, but I like to arrive to Kaua'i during the day, because all of the sudden it offers, from the highway, some dramatic views of the mountains, similar in shape to the Dolomites, but colored with different shades of green (in the tropics vegetation is able to invade every available space). From a distance they look almost surreal, the colors a little blunt by humidity.

The best tasting food is the tropical fruit. I stuffed my face with papayas - who has never been to the tropics can not understand: the papayas we have in Italy taste like plastic, while over there they are sweet and buttery. Mangos, avocados, pineapples, star-fruits, bananas of every size and flavor, coconuts, typical macadamia nuts, lemons, limes, pomelos, passion fruits. At Kaua'i you can find wholesome and tasty goods at the farm markets (markets where fruit and vegetables are sold directly by the producers.)
And then there's the fresh fish, which is also sold in form of poke (raw fish salad dressed with sauces, spices and seaweeds, to eat with chopsticks).
Wine is unusual, but the beer flows is like rivers...
To food a specific post will be dedicated. After all, the reason (or the excuse) of our holiday over there was the participation to the typical luau, at the family reunion.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I'm back, after a short vacation in Hawai'i. I'm still trying to absorb the 12 hours jetleg.
I'll try to describe the beautiful holidays in the next posts, but first let's start with the bad things.

Milan Linate Airport, check-in.
Do you have the ESTA? Miss Antipathy with the British Airways symbol pinned to her jacket asks.
What the hell is an ESTA? you would ask.
What the hell is an ESTA? I ask Miss Antipathy with the British Airways pinned on her jacket.
The ESTA is a kind of entry visa for the United States, to be filled online prior to departure. I will find out later that these are the same questions that once had to be filled out on a paper form on board the aircraft, such as "are you a terrorist?", "are you carrying any explosive?", "Have you ever had to deal with episodes of delinquency? "," do you have any pending with justice? ", in short, some rhetorical questions that require a negative answers (I don't think a terrorist or a criminal has any ethical problem about the sincerity in his answers).
No, I do not have the ESTA.
So, you can not leave.
How do you make that ESTA?
You go to and stuffed the form with all these data. Total time about one minute. Then instantly you are allowed to enter the U.S.
Piece of cake.
Yes, if only you have an Internet access, of course, otherwise where can I write the address On a postcard?
Now, you say, it is a breeze to find an internet connection within an airport!
At Linate it is not. There is a coin-operated Internet Point, but it does not work. Maybe there is a free WiFi access i can reach with my PDA. There is not. I wonder if the CheckIn desks have internet connection, i scrap the idea: Miss Antipathy with the British Airways symbol be pinned on her jacket wouldn't be so much unpleasant not to help me!
Demoralized I decide to go to another lady (this time very nice!) at the British Airways ticket desk, to move my flight to the next day. The nice lady asks me if I can not connect to the Internet to fill that damn ESTA. Eh, no, unfortunately i can not from here. Not even at the tiket desk they have any internet connection. The only option looks to change the date. Six hundred euros and a day of holiday lost.

Okay, the day after we arrive at the airport and this time at the check in there is a man: Mr. Antipathy, with the British Airways symbol pinned on his jacket. He stares our passports. He watches the printing of the flight reservation. He looks at me, but I'm not going to be caught unawares. Yes, I have the ESTA. He checks dubious on his terminal (mmmh... they don't have an internet access, but they can check online if i have that damn ESTA!). At the end he can't do other than admit. He puts a sticky tape with a barcode on our luggage and gives us the boarding passes. Have a nice flight, he smiles. We're on vacation!
Twenty-six hours later we finally reach the destination airport in Lihue. Baggage Claim. There are bags and suitcases of every shape and color, but not one black and orange sport bag. The luggage was lost somewhere in the world.
We go to the baggage office, Sorry, we'll deliver your baggage tomorrow. That makes you wonder where is all that safety program. You have to go through at least a couple of hand baggage and personal screening (remove shoes, belts, watches and pass in a magic door) for each airport. You also have to re-check baggage (ours was already lost in LosAngeles): even if the luggage is aimed at final destination, you must recognize it and take responsibility for its content. Every now and then a metallic voice recommends not to leave any baggage unattended, or it will be instantaneously destroyed.
Nevertheless at the end you are in one place and your luggage in another, thousands and thousands miles away. So much for safety!

The bag then will arrive three days after us (of course we go to WalMart to buy the bare necessities). But that won't ruin our holiday. It's a warm tropical night, the air is moist and spicy and a soft ukulele music sounds in our ears.

Monday, October 10, 2011



Sunday, August 28, 2011

My new bicycle

Gosh! - I wondered some time ago - why, to go to work, day after day, I'm forced to pollute and waste money and resources into fuel, financing oil multinationals and warlords, driving a car without even enjoying it?
I like to drive, but when there is a journey to make! The positive aspect of this activity is linked to the need to escape from everyday life. The path from home to work instead is always the same, and it's even is annoying to have to pay attention to driving. In my case, then, it would be more nice to be enraptured by the charms of the bucolic woods of chestnut trees, rather than focusing on narrow roads and hairpin bends.

Actually, there is the bus. But for me it's uncomfortable, because the schedule does not match with my working hours. I certainly can not blame them: the line is designed to serve a small town. In other words, it is an invaluable service on the emergencies, but really impractical for everyday needs. When I used to live in Turin, and even before, when I was commuting by train between the province and the city of Milan (in that case the problem was to cover the journey between home and the station), I went by bike. And I liked it! it's a silent, efficient, quick and practical medium. And I especially liked the type of phisical activity.
I'm not a sporty type. I do not like sports without any practical purpose. I think it's absurd to waste resources (money, energy, time), in comforts gaining a sedentary lifestyle, but then again wasting some more (for example in the gym) to remedy the problems caused by

altitude profile of the route between home and work, detected by GPS
that lifestyle. Rather, it's better to use our energies when we need.
The bike, from this point of view is perfect, if it is compatible with the route that has to be covered. In Turin, for example, I had planned a route about 15 km long (a little longer than the needed) that passed through a city park and the towpaths of the Po, the Dora and a service channel (I had to deal with traffic in only a few points).

Where I live now, there is big problem. The way between home and the workplace is exactly 10km long. Not much, but my house is located at an altitude of five hundred meters more than the office. On average, then, the slope is 5%. Of course that 5% is not constant, and in some places the slope touches 10%. At this link there is the altimetrical contour of the path. Within that graph, my home is at about the fifth km. The office is, then, 5 km before the beginning of the graph and in those 5 km there is a similar slope. That climb is not impossible. On the opposite, the accurate documentation in website, dedicated to "climber" cyclists shows that it is a classic in its genre. One can see bounches of them, especially in the weekends, with their super-technological bicycles, in their tight sportsuits with their shaved legs. All dripping proud sweat despite their calves with a circumference comparable to my stomach (and it's not small!), But with a very different tonicity. Those people can bear the slope for sure. But I think they also would never consider to do it every day to get home after work.
And, as I said above, I am not an athletic dude!
No, forget it! The bike would never be the solution!

...Unless ...

...Unless there is someone who helps to push.

That's the idea!
I search for informations about it, on the Internet and at specialized stores.
Eventually I found the shop "Punto fotovoltaico" at Galbiate (LC), licensee of the brand "Ecoveicoli" (which, as one can easily guess from the name, sells eco-friendly vehicles), and I bought it.
This is an electric bicycle with pedal assistance.

Okay "electric" - you can say - but what the hell does it mean "pedal assistance"?

There is a precise legislation that allows such a vehicle to be approved just like an ordinary bicycle (so no driving tax nor insurance nor helmet nor driving license).
(...) Shall also be considered bicycles with pedal assistance those vehicles equipped with an auxiliary electric motor having a maximum continuous rated power of 0.25 KW, which is gradually reduced and finally stopped when the vehicle reaches 25 km/h or before, if the cyclist stops pedaling.
Official law No. 31/February 7, 2003 (translation of mine)
In other words there is an electric motor that helps to propel the vehicle only when the pedals are moving. The engine stops pushing if you do not pedal, or, of course, if you brake. The push is inversely proportional to the speed until you reach 25km/h, when the power stops pushing. I have the feeling (but I'm not sure) that the speed is calculated on the rotation of the pedals, and not of the wheel, which is not the same thing, 'cause it depends on the shift (to an equal  speed the engine seems to push more with a high gear).

My bike, pictured in the photo, is a Dinghi Special 24", with the setting "Export".
I have pondered the purchase. My indecision was based on the need to confirm that this method would allow me to overcome, more or less easily, the climb that I described above. I was not convinced that the the bike could manage.
At the end of the guy of the store helped me to overcome the question, allowing me a test-ride. One Saturday morning he and I jumped on the two candidate models, and we went for a long ride (with a slope a little less and about half the distance).
The difference between the two models lies in setting "Export". Aside from some touch of look, and the suspensions on the fork (useful but not decisive) the improvement that justifies the 450 euros extra of the more equipped one is the expensive lithium-ion battery instead of the lead one.
In addition to the ecological advantage of the lithium battery, during the test I found out that the lowest total weight of the bike + the battery (already heavy for the Export model) and above all a greater immediacy in the delivery the full power could really be the determining factor in my decision, given the criticality of the track.

I have already rode four times the path from home to work and back.
The first leg, of course, is easy. It takes more or less at the same time it takes by car. I always live the engine off but I hardly do any hard work (the road has only two climbs almost flat and very short). I arrive at work rested and refreshed in the morning crisp air. The only flaw is that I can not listen to the news at Popolare Network radio station (I think i will pose a remedy to that with a small radio set).
The back hand, istead, is quite challenging. Especially in this period, rather hot at that time also over here in the mountains. The climbs are tough, despite the aid of the engine. But the fatigue is bearable. It takes about forty minutes (less than twice the much by car).

At the end, I am satisfied with my purchase. But I've still got some minor criticisms:
- The bike, when the engine is on, has a green light that turns red when the battery is low charge. Unfortunately, when this happens, i am allowed for a couple of miles uphill. So, not to risk, i charge it every time, and that is not recommended if you want to give the battery a long life (the best is to plug it in only when fully discharged). It would have been better if it had a system a little more complex, like the one i have seen in the higher model ("Frisbee"), where the state of battery charge is shown in detail by a potentiometer. In that case, perhaps I could venture to make two journeys with a single charge (*).
- Dinghi Special 24" has a rear gearbox with six-speed derailleur (from 42/13 to 42/34). In some parts of the route, the climb would require an even shorter one, as it is in the "Frisbee".
- Going down, on the slope, given the weight of the vehicle (and of the rider), i have almost always to keep the brake engaged. It's a pity to waste that energy. Wouldn't be wonderful to have a system that uses it to recharge the battery?

The bike costs 1321 euros, but I had a discount to 1200, plus 15 euros for the basket. I then "decorated" it with a device that measures the speed and the distance (23 euros at Decathlon). I also bought a helmet (16 euros), which is not mandatory, but advisable.

(*): The producer says that a charge bear 80km on level ground or 40km uphill. It is a purely hypothetical measurement, because of course it depends on many factors, including the steepness of the climb, the rider's weight and strength that he impresses to the pedals (and thus the speed of travel).

Monday, February 21, 2011