Thursday, August 18, 2011

First Bike Ride!

So I finally got my act together and threw my leg over my bike for a real ride. My goal: get out of Dhaka and into the country. I did take some pics but they are crap quality because of the camera, an old point and shoot that I can throw in my pocket on rides. Distance: about 30 miles (supposed to be 25 but I may have ridden a few extra miles because of the lack of road signs... yes I got lost!).

Fun harbor area.

Fishing in the ruins.

Fun truck mural. This truck was just parked on the side of the road with no one in it.

Front of the truck and a good shot of one of my buddies. This guy was walking along the road and stopped about a foot from me, put his arms behind his back and gave me a thorough looking over. I still have not stayed in one place long enough to satisfy any of these "buddy's" curiosity. I think they would stare at me all day. Of course I am used to that. Especially while wearing spandex but usually its the ladies and not the guys...

Ther were so many opportunities for the randomness picture. What I mean is a picture showing something so random that I really cannot explain it. Half finished bridges that are decades old with no destination on the other side and no road going to it. Half finished, multi-storied hotels in the middle of a shanty town. Cows put out to pasture in the middle of the road... and this pic. There are stacks of new bricks that are being broken up to make a road bed. But there is nothing here. I'm all for planning ahead but it seems like they might focus on more pressing matters. Like drinking water, sewage treatment, garbage management, etc.

Well yeah, the locals that cannot even afford food need to be able to shoot too. (As a side note: there was no one actually shooting here)

The local saw mill. The operator promptly shut down and started waving and if I did not pack up and start to leave I am sure he would have walked over to check me out.

Cool shot of the local boats with the city in the background. Best part: I did not even mean, or know that I was taking a pic of that bird until after I got home.

Lots to see here. Click on this pic and zoom in. In the center of the pic there are a couple of jugs stacked on top of each other. That is a gas station and the jugs are filled with diesel. The three guys walking towards me were not "Buddies" and walked by without stopping in the most serious of manners.

Took me a while to figure out what these are. They are restaurants. You show up purchase food/beverages and head out to your own private cabin/table. The best one was two independent restaurants right next to each other. One, had all of their cabins made of Coke signs and the other was all Pepsi signs.

There was sooooo much more that I could not get pics of and so much more to the story of getting home. I ended up having to ask directions about 4 times, each with its own funny little moments. Once, it got serious and three armed guards stopped me to ask for ID. Turns out I was about to enter a military zone... oops. I played dumb and lost (I really was) and they softened up and gave me some directions.  I am surprised by the number of people that speak English here, even out in the sticks. They are also very patient and almost forceful with desire to help. I stopped twice in the city to ask about directions and was swarmed with "buddies" they all ask questions about my bike and where I am going, one guy told me his name and offered his hand. I told him mine, I'll never see him again but it felt right. One kid about 14 admired my disc brakes and started talking to his friend about them. Once while stopped at an intersection a crossing pedestrian reached out and put his hand on my bars as one would use a hand railing... Personal space is pretty much non existent here. On another occasion while stopped for directions a rickshaw riding by in the road just stopped right next to me. He had a customer on back who threw up no objection. If I took one thing away from today it is that I really love the innocent curiosity here.


  1. Looks like some sweet waterways out there. Can you get around via water or is it just as crazy as the streets? Glad you got out and got lost - always the best way to get to know a place. Tell you buddies hi for me.

  2. Boat is the way to go as long as you know someone with a boat. We went on one boat cruise (think very slow, no destination, and lots of booze) that was highly enjoyable. Way better than trying to fight your way through traffic in the streets. Maybe I should build a pedal powered boat...