I was the last of the 24 of us to get a bike that would work for me. I was not trying to be difficult, but I needed a bike that was right. I tried about seven different bikes before I finally settled on one, then I had the mechanic put on my saddle and pedals. This made me the last one out of the gate! Even then I had to stop twice to get the seat at the correct height. I don't know what it is with bike rental people, but the same thing happened when I was on my tour in France -- they want me too low to the ground so that I think my knees might hit my chin! No matter what I tell them, they try to convince me that they are correct and my seat needs to be low rather than high enough to get a good leg length. So I have to wait until I am out of their sight and raise the seat to my needs. I apologized to Dorothy for taking so long, and she said it was because I know what I am looking for!
We had three leaders - Ken the Road Scholar main person; Amy, Big Momma of the bike shop; Hung, the bike shop manager and mechanic. Amy has a lot of energy, knows Naples quite well since she lives here, and is very accommodating and patient. BUT! We had a safety meeting before starting our ride, and all the things we were told seem to not apply to our leaders. Neither Amy nor Hung (who gave the safety speech) wore a helmet, Amy spoke on her cell phone many times (without stopping to get off her bike), and rode in the middle of the lane even when there was a car coming from behind. When I, or one other person, would say "car back", Amy would say "they'll go around us". Not only is this unsafe behavior, it is behavior that causes motorists to be annoyed at cyclists. Not only do motorists need to share the road with us, we need to share the road with them.
Enough of that.
The city of Naples is a city of opulence. The homes are huge, often gated, and tremendously expensive. We had very little traffic on the neighborhood roads, and passed Spielberg's home in progress of being built -- on both sides of the road -- before reaching the dead end where boat houses protectively hid the yachts that may cost close to the price of some of the homes.
We enjoyed stopping at the fishing pier and walking to the end where we spotted dolphins rising as they hunted the same fish as the fisher people. The guy here is filleting pompano, and that is whole pompano on the table.
Harriet is from Michigan. She and her husband did a lot of bike touring before he died twenty years ago. This is her 44th Elderhostel trip and she is always among the five of us in the lead group. She found her way to keep going after she lost her husband and never stops. Harriet is 85 years old. There is hope for me!