No curve was too sharp for them and their bicycle. No puddle was deep enough to stop them. -- Friends by Helme Hein

21 October, 2007

Biking in Bosnia

After a long saga involving James's new bike, it finally arrived in Sarajevo yesterday via our friend, Corey, from Holland. Our inaugural ride was on the coldest day we've had so far. Bitterly cold, with snow just a few days ago, we bundled up and hauled ourselves out in hopes that the normally chaotic roads might be a bit quieter on this drizzly Sunday. This was my first ride with my clip pedals---I took one good fall, straight over on my side, and it never happened again. I can't say that riding here is blissful or, at best, enjoyable, but at least we got out and challenged the elements. We rode up the Mijlacka River to the goat bridge, then headed back into town to meet Corey for a celebratory cevapi.

I felt decently happy about my first bike adventure until the ride home. Turning up the hill to my house, I witnessed a man get hit by a car, do a back flip and lay unconscious in the middle of the road. The screams of another witness and the realization that I can't even communicate in this country enough to make an emergency phone call are haunting. I feel like being on the roads here is a constant battle and requires your utmost attention--there are few enforced driving rules and drivers are just too aggressive and fast. For me, it's one of the toughest aspects of living here.

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