Passainte Assem

Travel Blogger & Thrill Seeker

(2) Crossed the highway while carrying my bike (17/04/2012)

Me: “Sorry guys for being late, I know I have already missed the first half of Real Madrid vs. Bayern Munchen match, but believe it or not, I have cycled on the highway, had to stop at some point & to cross it while carrying my bike.”
My friends in disbelief: “WHAT?”
Me: “I’ll tell you the story…

on the web

It was after working hours that I have decided to take my bike to experience cycling “safely” in the streets of Bern, Switzerland which is something that I am not used to do in my home country as we do not have “cycling lanes”.
Got the bike that I borrowed out of the garage, ready to experience some Swiss cycling, which made me feel fresh and awesome. Kept cycling on & on while the fresh air was blowing my hair, smelling freedom & enjoying the speed, until I found a sign in German -that I don’t speak- Aus something with a picture of a bike, so I said to myself this should mean “safe for bikes” or a “cycling route”, and decided to continue cycling. It felt a bit weird as no one was cycling on this road except me, there is no lane for bikes just a few dashes in dark orange instead of yellow, but who cares maybe at this time people are not into cycling, and that cycling lanes do not exist on every road or can have different colors, I went on only to be stopped by a driver who approached to tell me “you cannot cycle on this road, it is too dangerous”, I asked in surprise “why?”, she said “it’s a Highway”!!!!.

In the back of my mind: “Oh my GOD, What should I do now? how to return back?” that’s the question.
There was no sidewalk, so going out of the road had to be figured out differently. I was freaked out, not knowing what to do. There wasn’t but vegetations on ramps on both sides of the road, so I had to walk on these ramps in the opposite direction of the road while pushing the bike, then at some point there wasn’t anymore vegetations on the side that I am walking on, so crossing the highway was the only option. The only thing that made me hesitate before crossing is to get caught by the police or by sane people, it was going to be scandalous to find my photo on the newspapers subtitled by “An Egyptian freak, crossing the Bernese highway while carrying her bike”. I wasn’t scared of getting hit by a car, because when you live in Egypt for too long you learn to cross any road any time without any concerns.
In order to cross it I made sure that no humans were on sight, no one would ever notice what I did, then I finally decided to carry the bike, quickly crossed the highway, walked a bit on the ramp of vegetations on the other side of the road, finally reached the safe road, continued cycling till I arrived home. Once I was safely back home I cracked up in laughter, not believing what happened on my first cycling trial.”
It’s always like that, in the middle of the situation we get anxious, freaked out, maybe cry but once it’s over we crack up in laughter & keep telling everyone “Did I tell you that I crossed the highway while carrying my bike? Did I tell you that I bumped into a tree while zip lining? Hey, don’t tell my parents that I…to be continued

Lessons Learned:
1. Never drive a car/bike/even a scooter if you cannot read the signs written in a foreign language.

2. NEVER do what I did, but if you are put in the situation act as quickly and bravely as I did. Be smart, don’t panic and everything will work just fine.

3. Never try a new activity when there is a football game that should start shortly afterwards, you never know how late you could be due to your foolish acts -I missed approximately the first half of the Champions League Semi-finals between Bayern Munchen & Real Madrid.

4. If you wanna learn how to cross the streets without having a panic attack, spend a couple of days in Cairo, Egypt.

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