Cycling isn’t just one of the most convenient ways to get around town, it is actually a lifestyle. And if the city you live in just seems to getting bike-friendlier every day… Then you hit the jackpot! Slowly exploring Milan on a bicycle is one of the best ways to discover its hidden treasures, and every year, there are new things happening in town that will make veteran cyclists happy, and not just them: they are also good for newbies. So, here are 5 ideas to improve your cycling experience in Milan!
1. Bike sharing: sharing is caring!
Cycling has become so commonplace in Milan that you will see more bicycles than buses! In addition to privately own bicycles, you will now also see the OFO and MoBike bicycles, which you can access by downloading the app of these two companies onto your mobile. If you don’t know how they work yet, these apps will help you find the closest bike available, use it for as long as you need, and drop it wherever you like, without having to find dedicated parking areas (as you have to if you use BikeMi, the city council-sponsored bike sharing project.) Isn’t it awesome to make your life simple?
2. The best route is the cycling route!
So, now you got yourself a bicycle. Do you know where to go? Milan is big and packed with little lanes, too many to know by heart! So, what to do? Of course you can use your phone for navigation, like we all do… Too bad that not all apps have the option to calculate a route that is suitable for bikes, specifically, and that means you might occasionally find yourself cycling down a one-way street! To avoid surprises and potential accidents, we recommend having a look at the Bike District website: here, you can calculate the best and safest route for your bicycle, and in many cases it will also tell you what kind of road is expecting you — cobblestones or tarmac?
3. After cycling all day… I’m starving!
How many kilometres did you cycle today? Many, right? Then you will definitely need a small break that will re-energise you, and help your body refuel. Whether for breakfast, lunch or aperitif, you will be covered: Milan is packed with bike-friendly restaurants and cafes, with dedicated bike racks just for you. So, keep these little places in mind, for good food and a cool atmosphere: Le Biciclette (Via Giovanni Battista Torti, 2), built in the space of a former bicycle workshop; super central Bianchi Cafè & Cycles(Via Felice Cavallotti 8), near the cathedral, open from breakfast till dinner time, and Upcycle (Via Ampere 59): originally just a spot for cyclists, it now became the go-to place for young people in town, it organizes excellent events and hosts live music gigs, and it is perfect for lunch, dinner, but most of all, for drinks after dinner.
4. What if something breaks down while you’re on the way?
One of the most annoying things that can happen while you cycle around town is for stuff to stop working: your chain slipping out, your brakes suddenly refusing to do their job, or perhaps just a flat tyre… And no time to go to the bike shop! We have a solution for this, too: it’s called BikeRepair, it’s an app that contains over 50 manuals, and as many video tutorials that can work as “first aid” for your poor bike. Super useful, isn’t it?
5. Your bike was stolen… Stop crying, we might know where it is!
Milan is a lovely city for cycling: you can go to the park, you can roam around the small lanes in the city center, you can stop to admire sunset on the canals… So what is the downside to all this? That bikes get stolen pretty often, that’s what! If you get unlucky, don’t despair, there might be a way to find your bike again. Milan city council recently opened a Facebook page on which it posts photos of all the stolen bikes that are found within city limits and metropolitan area. So, before you give up all hope, have a look at this page, which will give you tons of useful information if your bike gets stolen in Milan or in the areas around the city.