60-Year-Old Rider

Around Milan Laura delivers all kinds of things, and always on her bike, getting herself in shape for her trip around the world

Laura is 60 years old and she’s a rider. In the last year – summer and winter, day and night, including Sundays – she has travelled 15,000 kilometres with a rucksack on her back, always, and without fail, on her bicycle. Initially for Glovo, Mama Burger, then for Foorban, and now for Winelivery.

“Yes, I’m a rider, just one rung above the homeless on the social scale – she begins, laughing – and in recent months, as a result of Covid, lots of forty/fifty-year-olds have joined this category: all those people who lost their jobs, or who don’t earn enough.” For Laura, spending every day “on Milan’s damned cobbles” means working to live, but that’s not all: for her it also means – in no particular order – working out en plein air, encountering strange looks ranging from the judgemental to the compassionate, and exploring the true heart of the city on two wheels. “During these months, pedalling around the empty city, I’ve had close shaves with ambulances and argued with the police; from my isothermal cube I’ve pulled out cigarette packets, clothes, popcorn, bunches of flowers and bottles of spirit.”

Laura isn’t just the oldest rider in Milan. She teaches at Unisob (Suor Orsola Benincasa University) in Naples, in the education, psychological and communication sciences department, but she’s also a cat sitter, volunteer and an artist. “I ask myself: where’s the beauty in the social phenomenon of the riders? I often take photos, videos, and collect material for my project called “gLOVERs.” And in the meantime she’s in training to realise her dream: to jump on her bike and set off for a trip around the world.

( 2020 )