Changing Countries

I have only an hour or so before I drag my crap to the train station and hop on to a Basel bound train, switch trains to Basel bad something dorf, which lies just over the Grenze, in Deutschland.

God, I wish I could somehow put into words how simply hopping on a bike mellows me out, and the all-encompassing Novelty in my visual field so dazzles that it’s all I can do to just keep pedaling, and try not to drop into tram tracks.

the architecture
the gardens
the smells and sounds
it is like my heart is going to shatter
it feels like being in love with the world

but it probably is something more like a blend of panic, elation and relief to simply be turning the pedals and to be so good at it that I don ‘t even have to waste a second thinking ” I am gonna crash any second….” or “where am I?”.

It is a running conversation that I can never really remember (though the term Whimcycle came to me yest as I rolled across the Aare river on the way out of Bern and pointed into the morning sun)

“Note to self: google it, see if it is a cliche yet….”

Yesterday I saw a flickr photo of a woman perched on the bike, lllllooooonnnnng arms soft on the bars, competent and tres confident.

She is a native speaker (probalby learned very young). I learned late enough to have a great appreciation for the casual competence of a person who rode from infancy.

Me, I feel a bit like it is a second language, even though I äm fluent…

~ by jacquiephelan on May 15, 2008.

3 Responses to “Changing Countries”

  1. Another example of confidence….

    complete control

    Fingertip control!

  2. There IS a different feeling to life in Europe, isn’t there. I loved it when I lived in Italy and was able to travel in Europe. It is a different approach to life, (slower? more relaxed? more focused on the experience and the people you are with?) and it is reflected in all the things you listed. I miss it, and I’m green with envy that you are over there right now.

  3. The directions in which the internet leads us are so unexpected and wonderful. I found your blog through another cycling-related blog, and your photo of that tres confident female cyclist led me to another photo within the same flickr stream, which led me to 100strangers.com, which I think is the most fantastic thing I’ve found in a long time and I can’t wait to join and get started.

    So, from one stranger to another, thank you for being affected by that photo and posting it here!

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