The City of Ferrara - Italy's leading bicycle city with 30% modal share for bicycles - is rather extraordinary in many ways. One of the sure signs of a healthy bicycle culture is the so-called "gender split" featuring an equal number of female and male cyclists. In cities like Amsterdam and Copenhagen there are more women on bicycles than men and in Ferrara, the statistics match those two cities - 55% women and 45% men.
While Ferrara has over 20,000 students at the university and the nightlife is suitably lively, it was amazing to see so many "older" bicycle users in the city. Men and women alike. In fact, I've never been anywhere in the world where I've seen so many elderly bicycle users in one spot. Dutch and Danish cities would be hard pressed to match Ferrara on this point.
This has been the case for many, many years but having influential female politicians certainly helps maintain it.
We met with the vice-mayor of the city - at left - and the president of the Province of Ferrara - at right - while in the city. The vice-mayor joked that they don't have a female quota in their politics - but rather a male quota.
Here are some photos of Ferrara's healthy and fabulous bicycle users over "a certain age". Brava!
Impeccable style in traffic.
Red rush with splendid hat.
Still going strong.
Heels and wheels.
Rolling to the market.
Flowers on the basket.