Order No Rainbows

Life as an expat, Photography, Crafts, Vegan Food, Music, Art, Animals…..

I’ve gone native (finally)

on May 4, 2014

After holding out for months, and despite the fact that I’m a very nervous cyclist, I finally gave in this week and bought a bike. And here it is:

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At only 25 Euros it was a bargain, although it’s definitely in need of some tlc – I replaced the handlebar grips this morning and next on the list is a new set of pedals! But it’s exactly the right size for me, the saddle is pretty comfortable and there are no gears etc to get confused by. Basic is probably the best word to describe it. Basic, but functional.

So why did I buy a cheap old bike rather than a flashy new one? Well, in Piešt’any the question is not so much whether someone has a bike as much as how many bikes they have. A lot of people seem to have 4 or even 5 bicycles, but basically everyone has a crappy old bike that they can ride around town and be reasonably sure that it won’t be stolen or that won’t be expensive to replace if it is. And then they have the “good” bike, which they use for serious cycling, up and down mountains and that sort of thing. Basically for any activity where the bike won’t be out of sight for very long. Because “recycling” unattended bicycles it, it seems, a bit of a hobby in this town. Out on a Saturday night and don’t fancy the long walk home? No problem. Just look for an unattended, carelessly secured bike and you’re on your way. One of my students told me recently about how he repossessed his stolen bike when he found it outside a pub one night.

So now I have a bike, and this morning I took it out for a ride. I decided to go along the bank of the river which is pretty much the best place to practice cycling. After a bit of a wobbly start, I got on pretty well and had a nice ride to the nearby village of Horna Streda. The only problem was that I was riding into a pretty strong wind, which meant that it took me over an hour to cover the 7.8km to Horna Streda (including a couple of rest stops and breaks to take photos) – it took less than half an hour to get back to Piešt’any again.

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As I came back towards home through the park I had to swerve to avoid one of the local tramps, who suddenly loomed up out of nowhere and I very nearly collided with a lamp post. But thankfully I managed to stop in time and no damage was done to either me, the lamp post or the tramp, who muttered something that I think loosely translates as “idiot”…

Here are some photos I took during my bike ride
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3 responses to “I’ve gone native (finally)

  1. alifemoment says:

    A really nice bike ride, you took great photos, nice views and lovely goats 🙂

    Like

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