19 March 1973

Everyone on a bike today

Andrea Lambertini
Music by Guglielmo Pagnozzi

Bologna, Monday 19 March 1973, at 10 a.m. five thousand citizens paraded on two wheels between Via Indipendenza, Rizzoli, Strada Maggiore and towards the Giardini Margherita for one of the most impressive anti-traffic demonstrations of the time: "Come cycling with us and pedal for your health" was the slogan imagined for the event, organised by the world of associations, recreational clubs and after-work clubs and sponsored by the city, province and region, to raise awareness of pollution and alternative and sustainable mobility. Filmmaker Andrea Lambertini, together with a friend on an old Lambretta, organises the filming of this Super 8 film and alternates between driving and filming. The reactions will be enthusiastic: the next day's 'Resto del Carlino' will devote a double page to the event, 'against the stress and rhythms imposed by the contemporary world', to which one can respond by cycling, and even go so far as to propose 'revolutionary' cycle paths. If the prospect of bike lanes is not forthcoming, however, Lambertini recalls that 'it is interesting to reflect on the fact that within nine months the famous 'austerity' would have been triggered: in fact, on 2 December 1973, due to the oil crisis, we would all have been obliged to go, on Sundays, on foot or ... by bicycle!"