Cycling in SE Asia is not for old, western ladies!!


Cycling in South East Asia is not for everyone!

It’s not for people who haven’t been on a bicycle since they were 15.

It’s not for gangly western women wearing hats proclaiming they are/have been to Vietnam!

It’s not for people who have itchy noses. Those people have to suck it up until they get to the end because they can’t ride with one hand, even for 2 seconds!

It’s not for people who easily break bones, can’t ride in sand, are terrified of being skittled by buses, taxis, trucks and other cyclists!!

In short…’s not really for me!!

I like solid ground.

Despite recently travelling on boats, buses, elephants and white water rafts, I really prefer land. And walking (stop laughing workmates!!). Without mechanical assistance!!

But alas, I forgot all those things and excitedly rented bicycles for us all!! It was only $1 per bike per day!! The family were KEEN so how could we resist??

Turns out its a terrifying experience! And I didn’t even go into town on mine!!

We set off down the street with me wobbling all over the place! I had a lovely visit to the wrong side of the road while I tried to get it together! Oncoming scooters beeped their horns and looked at me funny!! “Stupid westerner” I could hear them thinking!!

All the while my family glided off ahead like they had just finished a cycle around the continent and were out for a fun, easy outing!

Even Jono, who’s never been a big bike rider urged me on and then directed me to “stay where you are!” as he sped past. The poor kid actually believed that I had more than a passing ability to choose where on the road I was riding!!

Eventually I got the hang of it. I even managed to glide through the traffic lights right as they were changing. This removed the need to stop – I didn’t relish the thought to the other side of the road as I tried to start up again!!

Sadly, there was a hill. Well, I say a hill. The others say a very slight incline!!

I had to actually peddle!! Hard even (for me!). I considered standing up to peddle but had visions of my body in the bushes when I toppled off!! Not very glamorous at all!!!

I was extremely lucky that as I got to the top of the incline and crossed the bridge there were no large vehicles – only scooters and other bicycles. Anything else would have been a disaster involving stopping, starting again, oncoming traffic and a little bit of squealing!!

When we neared the beach we found out you couldn’t take your bikes down there and they had to be left. I was so relieved disappointed!!

Later the kids and Gert rode into town. I refused to go. I know my own limitations and multiple traffic lights, driving on the right instead of left, avoiding parked cars, street vendors, scooters, taxis, trucks, other crap cyclists and my two left feet was more than I could manage!!

The next day we had to ride the damn things back! And this time it was in peak hour!! The bridge was full of trucks and cars all trying to squeeze through at the same time! I had a lovely time waiting as every last one passed by before I started.

Then there I was, veering off to the wrong side of the road as I tried to get some speed up!!!

Old habits die hard!!

Here’s the pics of our adventures. It makes me sick that Gert has time to get off his bike, unpack the camera and still wait for me to come along to get a pic! He can even take pics of himself while riding!! What a showoff!!







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