This is the first post in what we hope will become a regular series highlighting the many different cyclists in Aberdeen. Many thanks to Francesco for volunteering to be first!
1) What is your name, where are you from and how long have you been in Aberdeen (if not local)?
Hi, I am Francesco (Fran-ches-ko) Sani and I have been in Aberdeen since 2009;
2) How did you get into cycling?
I have been cycling since I was a child in Rome – tricycle then bicycle – but I had a gap of about fifteen years until I got back into cycling on a trip to Canada in 2006; my sister and parents did not cycle, therefore it was my own love of two/three wheels that got me into it!
3) What kind of cycling do you do?
I do not have much free time therefore for the last few years I have got increasingly more commuter-/work-oriented;
4) What type of cycle do you use?
I use a Specialized Hardrock with a few mods of my own (handlebar riser, tailored seat, mudguards, direction indicators, mirror, etc.). I have always cycled with mountain bikes as I like attacking the road and all the potholes/bumps with a solid bike… usually a hardtail, with the option of off-roading as and when;
5) Where do you cycle usually/any favourite routes? How often?
You will usually spot me around the city centres of Aberdeen and Edinburgh with my signature soft-helmet, a green RibCap;
6) What would you like to see to improve your cycling experience?
Cycling in city centres – Rome, London, Edinburgh or Aberdeen – taught me that it is generally safe and you should not worry too much. I rarely get close passes from cars but they do happen to a lot of people and city centres generally have poor cycle-friendly roads – interrupted cycle lanes or dangerous junctions – therefore I would like to see more done to encourage everyone, children included, cycling to get from A to B;
7) Any top tips for someone considering cycling in the area?
Cycle with someone else the first time, stay behind, and get to know the roads without feeling too scared.
This was taken at Christmas 2021 in Rome, next to the e-bike from Uber that I had just cycled on from my parents’ house into the city centre. Check the Valentino Rossi top 🙂