Finding a Bicycle for Travel in Eastern Europe
After dropping a $20 bill on a three and a half hour train ride, I realized that I had to do something: for I can not (or want to) afford paying for expensive European transport. So, as I usually do in similar situations when my face grows into a grimace when a large amount of my money is replaced by a worthless train ticket, I bought a bicycle. Yes, I will continue this journey to nowhere in the saddle of a two wheeled steed.
I like to travel by bicycle. I like the freedom that it allows. I like being able to go, come, and stop as I please. Bicycle travel allows the rider to make their OWN path, and not have to rely on the iron routes of public transport. I feel strongly that the bicycle is the perfect vehicle for travel, as they are energy efficient (the world’s most efficient form of transport), they go quick enough to get you places, and slow enough to allow you to really feel the Path.
I like the bicycle, though I am a far cry from being a “bike person.” I do not wear spandex shorts, I do not have fancy factory made panniers, and my bicycles are usually just old junk bikes that I dig up in second hand shops or rip from out of the gutter. I am a bicycle vagabond.
I picked up an old five speed bike yesterday in a junk shop for 50 bucks. It was the cheapest darn bike in town, and as I walked into the shop I immediately fell in love with it. The first bike that caught my attention was the one that I will be riding out of town on. The shop proprietor was not in love with me though, and she scowled and sometimes yelled at me as I manipulated all of features of the bicycle in due order. Sometimes Czech shopkeepers hate their customers. I have a feeling that this lady hated me.
The bike is beater red and has bright orange handle bars and a clunky shifting system, but I feel in love with her and her ugliness immediately. But, as I tend to be a little hesitant to purchase anything, I check all of the other bike shops in Olomouc to make sure that was the bike that I wanted. I did this, and found nothing but crappy, new, and very much over priced bikes. So I walked back into the junk shop, motioned to the grumpy proprietress that I had money (she then smiled and did not hate me anymore) and hopped on my new steed and rode off into the distance.
As I took my new steed out for a warm up spin through the bike trails that surround Olomouc, I realized that this bike, although old and rickety, flew. Yes, she flew like I have never known a bike to fly before. We speed through meadow, corn field, and along river banks; we rode through farm, town, and city. We were flying.
I had chosen a bike wisely.
But now I needed to name her. I figured that since the bike grew up and comes from Olomouc in the Czech Republic that she needed to have an Olomouc, Czech Republic name. I know one person that grew up in Olomouc, and therefore I only know one genuinely Olomouc name. And that name is Kamila Krutilova .
So from this day forth I proclaim that I have named this bicycle Kamila Krutilova.
So, friends, fellow travelers, and readers, I would like to introduce you to Kamila Krutilova:
Good Hostel in Olomouc, Czech Republic
Finding a Bicycle for Travel
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