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Life

Pedalling
Milan

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It’s like an equation, of the kind you solved in maths class. When you hear the name "Salone Internazionale del Mobile”, "International Furniture Show”, what comes to mind right away is avantgarde design, the installations and furnishings of the future. And the same applies to “Fuorisalone”, when Milan becomes Europe’s design capital for a week, reborn along with the Spring, hosting thousands of events in the city's streets and showrooms. And the bicycle can be the best way to make the most of everything the city has to offer at what may be the most exciting time of year. Because the Furniture Show, from April 17th (closing on the 22nd), paralyses vehicle traffic in the city centre and all around. And so the bicycle becomes the perfect way of getting from one showroom to another quickly and easily.  

PZeroVelo The figures are clear: use of Bike-Mi (the bike-sharing service run by the City) doubles during the Furniture Show and Fuorisalone, reaching a peak of almost 10 thousand subscriptions. And this year, the service will be available 24 hours a day. There are always plenty of spaces and events focusing on urban cycling, many of which are located in Milan’s historic cycling shows and shops. They include Equilibrio Urbano in Zona Isola, Olmo in Piazza Vetra and Rossignoli in Corso Garibaldi, which often becomes a true museum featuring archive photographs of great cyclists of the past with plenty of vintage bicycles. But the bicycle is perfect not only for Fuorisalone, the utmost expression of what is known as “Milano da bere”; pedals, spokes and handlebars also become an integral part of the Furniture Show. 

Pedalling Milan

As furnishing accessories, for example. More and more people are hanging their bicycles on a wall, in their home or some other space where there is enough room and firmly planted hooks strong enough to support a bicycle. Many cycling fans now consider a bicycle hung up in the house a prestigious design feature! One of the key themes of last year’s Furniture Show was co-working, and more generally the concept of “Office Nowhere”, meaning that any place can be a workplace, from the home to the coffee shop, from the library to the metro. Nissan has even presented an emblematic minivan specially set up as a workstation. An office on wheels, with a built-in folding desk, a touchscreen computer, wireless Internet access and, yes, a folding bicycle housed inside one of the rear doors. 

Also at the Furniture Show, London studio “Plp Architecture” designed a completely computerised office for Deloitte’s Amsterdam office, with the unusual feature of a garage in which an app may be used to identify the bicycles employees use to get to work, leading them into a free parking space with electric charging stations for e-Bike users. Also from the Netherlands, the “Sandwichbike” made its appearance at the Furniture Show a few years ago: a wooden bicycle that you assemble yourself, like Ikea furniture. It comes in 50 pieces delivered in a few flat packages. complete with instructions for the mechanically challenged. 

This year’s Fuorisalone will feature Art Color Bike, a travelling show presented by Radio Colore, the web radio operated by publisher Contexto, who asked Accademia di Brera come up with ways of combining bicycles with art. The result is a project in which 12 selected students use a bicycle to create 12 works of art: Palazzo Moriggia will host the first exhibition. And to make it easier to get around by bicycle, “Cycling The Week” is a project facilitating safe bicycle travel between the locations of the 1000-plus events in the city on bicycle paths and low-traffic roads, marked with temporary tempera paint which will naturally fade away at the end of the week: Lambrate, Porta Venezia, Zona Tortona and Brera will be well-marked for cyclists. 

Lastly, at the Salone del Mobile itself, Technogym presents “Skill Bike” at its stand, an instrument for anyone who wants to train professionally without giving up style and design, perfectly reproducing street cycling, complete with hills, detecting style and posture for a perfect simulation and replication of the experience of outdoor cycling in the comfort of home.

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