It’s Sunday 11AM. We fill up 4 bottles with a mix of water and juice. It ‘s already 28°C and the sun is shinning bright. Once our skin is well protected we jump on our bikes.
Why these mountain bikes? The last 2 years – except from a regular walk – we have been neglecting our physical fitness and it started to show. So bikes instead of a motorcycle sounded like the healthier and cheaper choice. We purchased the same bikes, with brake pads instead of disc brakes, so repairing them on the road would be easier. All in all a smart decision we thought.
We find ourselves in the mountain regions of Romania; very beautiful, but obvious with many steep roads. Not surprisingly after an hour ride our muscles are angry and buttocks sore. Argh! But this doesn’t stop us enjoying our surroundings, especially when swooping downhill, giving us a brief moment to recover and letting the breeze chill our warm skin.
Sweet romanian doggy
When we ride through the villages, we’re accompanied by dogs barking behind fences. Most of them live their entire life on a chain, but not all of them. At one particular house I notice a black dog, together with a few of his mates, running freely on his territory. I immediately sense something is off.
While his canine mates bark wildly, eyes focussed on us, the black dog charges straight to specific spot at the fence. My heart starts to race, and not because we’re so out of shape. What I’m afraid of happens.
The dog forces himself under the fence onto the street and runs to Elmer. Fear takes a hold of me. After all those years – and having dogs of my own – I’m still afraid of being attacked once more by a strange dog. The fact that a week earlier an anxious dog nipped Elmer in the trousers, doesn’t help either of course. “F*** why didn’t I take my pepper spray with!” The dog approaches Elmer aggressively but luckily doesn’t attack.
Now it’s my turn. With all the strength that I still possess I try to stay calm and brave. Almost immediately the dog notices I’m heading his direction. I try to maintain as much distance as I possibly can between the dog and I. “Stay calm” I remind myself, but let out a load “shoo” when the dog is near my leg. Luckily nothing happens, except for my heart missing a beat perhaps. I once loved biking. No matter the temperature, 30°C or -11°C, I used to bike to work. Now that love is far to be found.
I want a motorcycle
We leave the dog behind and continue our ride. It’s early July and the pastures are filled with green grass, wild flowers and triangle-like haystacks. There are many roads inviting us to be explored. But our muscles think otherwise. They are done for the day. Too bad we’re still far away from home. The perfect time for Elmer to revisit the topic of a motorcycle. Mr. Smarty pants!
Did he plan it this way? Elmer knows I have a weakness for motorcycles. I passed my license exam 11 years ago, but never got the chance of driving one since. So I’m an easy ‘victim’ 🙂 With my tongue hanging out of my mouth from exhaustion, pushing my bike uphill, he start signing “I want a motorcycle…”. He finally found (or got) me in the right state of mind to agree that purchasing a motorcycle would be a wise thing to do.