26 September 2006

Ruskie bike

I knew before I left Canada that I would want access to a bike to continue my active riding for exercise, for getting about and seeing the town of Senta and the surrounding countryside.

After my arrival, I was told that there were two Russian-made bikes in the garage that JA's parents (and likely grandparents) used around town. I went looking in the adjacent storage shed full of old furniture, scrap wood, car parts, toys, etc. Found them!

Old-looking bikes, they look like the frame is hinged and bolted together. They're hand-painted over the old grey-green original colour; one mostly red; one mostly bright green. One bike smaller than the other. Both have small wheels. I had to buy an adjustable wrench in the open market to loosen and raise the seat for my long legs, to change its tilt to horizontal, and to tighten the pads on the pedals. They have no gears. I guess one could say they are one-speed bikes but, really, they're just bicycles. Ones with only a simple front wheel hand-lever brake that is very soft, whines, and is slow to bring the bike to a stop.

Thankfully, there's not much in the way of downslopes and hills in, or around Senta. None really, just the slopes of the built riverbank walls in town, access to both ends of the bridge, and riverside dykes.

Today, I biked upriver out of Senta. Above the 129 km post on the dyke was a red tractor and high wagon with a crew of four men loading bales of hay cut on the sides of the dyke. It was a very warm afternoon and very, very quiet out there. Amazingly quiet, except for occasional commands from the men with pitchforks spearing bales, and the unseen frogs. Presume that the 129 means 129 kilometres from the river mouth, where the reka Tisa joins the reka Dunav (Danube).

Unexpected found two dead snakes flattened and dehydrated on the sun-baked tires tracks atop the dyke. I wonder just how far upriver, out-of-sight from Senta, around the bend and further, is the next bridge? Could I make cycling trip loops?

T-shirt: Alaska humpbacks
Loc: Senta
Temp: 25 C
Sound: "Secret Agent Man" & "Rawhide" on 98.6 ITM Radio (Choka)

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