Those who have followed the evolution of my True Athens blog may recall the excitement with which I announced the Bike Around Athens event in 2007. It turned out to be a rainy October morning, and I ended up taking my parents who were in town with some friends, on a winery tour in Nemea instead of joining the bicyclists as they sped through the car free streets. Of course, the fact that we couldn’t get rental bikes also impacted our plans.
But this year, we returned to Greece prepared – two brand new lovely folding Dahon bicycles in our suitcases, along with a Tail Wagon for Scruffy the Greek Dog. So as the temps start to fall in Athens we are gearing up (no pun intended) to hit the outlying areas and explore the really off the beaten path favored by the city’s small, but dedicated and growing, bicyclists.
Our first Athenian ride with be on Sunday September 21, 2008. It’s another downtown bike ride, and since I have always been envious of the images of the bicycle racers speeding in front of Syntagma Square during the 2004 Olympic Games, and I always assumed my chance to pedal my way through history was gone when I gave up training for the Tour de France (a training period which lasted about 45 minutes!) I am quite thrilled to have a second chance – and am determined not to miss it now that I’ve got my shiny new Dahon here with me in Athens. I’m not too clear on the route, but I am hopeful it will be similar to last years, through the historical center and down Vas. Sofias past Syntagma Square and the Parliament Building (and thus helping me fulfill my fantasy of pedaling past the Evzones!) and circling around the National Gardens past the Old Olympic Stadium. If you’re in Athens on Sunday September 21, why don’t you contract Acropolis Bikes (www.acropolisbikes.gr) and line up a bike rental?
Do it soon, last year, as I said, they ran out of rentals. The ride starts at noon at Pedio tou Areo on Leof. Alexandras near Patission Street.