Friday, March 28, 2014

Bike Riding in Nepal Traffic

While Justin Levine has been away for a few weeks he let Luke borrow his bike. Luke has been having so much fun riding around and seeing new places. I however never thought I would ever get a bike or scooter or anything like that. The traffic is crazy around here and it didn't look like something I wanted to try.

But Luke has been running errands and taking Justin's bike. He'll hop on, go somewhere that would probably take me an hour to complete with walking and he'll be back in 15 minutes. This makes taking those hour long trips just to pick up a handful of things that much more tiring, knowing that I could be doing this on a bike and be done by now.

So one day last week Luke put me on Justin's bike and kind of showed me the ropes for driving around here. He jogged along side of me. I knew it would be fast, but in 3 minutes we arrived where we were going and it normally would have been a 10-15 minute walk. I loved it.

So yesterday Sheryl and I rented a bike and Luke took us around and helped us get used to the traffic. It was fun.

Even though it was fun it was also quite scary. Driving on the busier roads Luke said you could drive close to the sidewalk if you want to go slow. That sounds great in theory. But Buses, motorcycles and every vehicle in between are pulling up to the curb and pulling away from the curb without much warning. You have to be very diligent. 

I made it to the "Walmart" in just a few minutes which was awesome. I only almost died 5 times. Hahaha...I'm over exaggerating. I did have to swerve around people several times and one time I thought this minivan was parked so I went around it just as it was pulling out and I had to speed up as fast as I could to try to go around it which was trying to go around another fellow bicycler. A little nerve wrecking.

The nice thing is that even though it sounds very dangerous, people are only going 10 mph or less. It's not like America where you pull out on a highway and people are going 40-60 mph. I don't think anyone ever even gets up to 40 mph here. 25 mph is going fast in the city.

As we were leaving we had to walk our bikes across the street so that we could go the way we wanted. In America that would be like making a left turn onto a highway, not the easiest thing to do in congested traffic. So Luke and Sheryl made it across the street but I didn't go right at the right second and all of a sudden there were cars trying to turn both directions and now I felt like was I not only making a left handed turn onto a highway, but I was doing it dead center of a busy intersection that had green lights going in every direction! I was a little nervous and thankful for gracious drivers who went ahead and let me go even if they were laughing at the same time.

Finally we were driving straight and the traffic had died down when Luke turned around for a split second to say something then boom he was flat on his stomach flipped over the handle bars sprawled out like a squashed grasshopper.

Ok, so I couldn't find a good picture. But it was definitely terrifying for me to see the whole thing. I'm just glad it was over in about 2 seconds. He jumped up I think afraid a bus might run over him...or maybe he was thinking I might run over him...

Anyways, we made it home a little shaky, but still thankful we went. I am looking forward to getting a bike soon. I probably won't venture out on a busy road by myself, but definitely with Luke.


  1. I don't see a way to share from here either.

    1. Right above your comment is a little icon with the facebook icon on it. Can you see it?