Tag: cycling

The Bike Effect: Tunisia

Downtown Tunis, Tunisia.

A little cafe on Avenue Habib Bourguiba. The waiter offers me a “personal discount” on my coffee because of something I’ve come to describe as “the bike effect”: my rig looks bad ass resting next to my table, and here the travel-worn, custom-grub adventure bike is out-of-place enough to mark me as an adventurer, a traveler, not just another tourist who comes on the ferry from France for an afternoon-in-the-medina to say “I visited Tunisia!” It’s not just literally that a bike is “open to the world” – it opens the very soul of the rider, and affects the first impressions of others in a mysterious but undeniable way.

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الجزائر : owT keeW

الجزائر, al-Jazā’ir, week two

I left Oran late, after meeting new friends and really new friends in town. One random Christian Berber student taught me the phrase “asabi3 alyad mokhtalifa” – “each finger of the hand is different.” Allah loves wondrous variety!
“You sure you want to leave today? It’s five pm already….” Yes, I have to leave – my psyche is already out there pedalling.
“Aren’t you worried that you don’t know anyone down the road?” No. That is comletely normal. Adventure!

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enO keeW : الجزائر

الجزائر, al-Jazā’ir, week one
June 7. The visa begins, but I am still in Spain, pedaling more kms than ever before, under a hotter-than-ever sun.
I reach Almeria with plenty of time to spare, and give my rig a tune-up on the rambla, amidst an angry protest against Israeli terrorism and Spanish arms manufacturing.
The ferry terminal has a little makeshift mosque. Huge groups of Arabs and a few Europeans; ninety percent take the ten o’clock for Morocco, leaving me feeling quite hard-core alone with the Algerians.

The midnight boat boards at one and leaves at one thirty.