Marco Cattani

Marco Cattani has been riding a bike since he was four years old. You might say he has a love of bikes, as he has three bikes here in Holland and another one in his home country of Italy.

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The bike you see in the picture entered Cattani’s life by way of coincidence in the summer of 2012. “I got it as a present from a friend of mine,” said Cattani. “He was an Erasmus student and broke the bike just a week before leaving. He didn’t have the time to fix it and sell it so he gave it to me as a present.” Fortunately, Cattani knows a thing or two about bikes. “Before being able to ride my bike I spent two weeks finding all the spare parts and fixing the bike in my small studio apartment. Luckily, I live in a student house and no one complained about the noise I made at random hours in the night.”

Cattani says that the bike is unusual because it has rod-actuated brakes. This means that they use a series of rods and pivots (instead of Bowden cables) to move the brake pads into action.

Although it’s a bit rusty, the lights are not working and only 2 out of 3 gears work, he says it is still a fast bike. “I use it every day, especially in winter, when I cannot use my race bike, which does not have any mudguard,” states Cattani. Sadly, it is too expensive to fix as the rear wheel alone costs €280 euro. But he likes it so much that Cattani is planning to buy a new one of the same model.

“Previously I was living in Trento, a city surrounded by the Italian Alps. There not having a car is unimaginable,” says Cattani. “The Netherlands is a great place to bike, especially on sunny days. You realize that living without a car is possible.”

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