Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Signs of Cycling

 I recently felt like I was on the yellow brick road leading to the Emerald City of cycling even though I was not riding a bicycle.  Sojourning in Budapest, Hungary, and Prague, Czech Republic, Vienna, Austria, I was elated with wide eye wonder at the integration of cycling into these castle-laden societies.  The signs of cycling stood out, perhaps, because I did not have a bike with me.   I was a tourist, a peripatetic foot-cycling tourist, paying attention to the minutiae of directions, and occasionally out of necessity asking the awkward but necessary questions of suspicious looking strangers “where am I” and “how do I get to….”   I have no doubt had I been on a bicycle, I would not have been a lost or confused scarecrow without a directional brain.   Seamlessly meshed into the social milieu, cycling is not a peripheral activity in these cities:  the signs and the streets clearly demark the importance of two wheel life. 

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