Cycling in the city

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Sometimes I think we live too fast, at least I usually hurry to somewhere. In a big city, like Budapest, you just want to go from one place to another. If you are a student, you often go by public transport, because you think it’s simple and fast. But every summer I feel it’s a waste of time.

 A long time ago, I was sitting on a crowded bus, it was very hot and I could not breathe. I was very upset, because the bus was too slow and I was late. When I looked out the window I saw a lot of cyclists on the road. They were faster than the bus and it seemed they felt so comfortable. I was really jealous of them.

Next week I brought my bike to Budapest. I thought it would be fun, but I was wrong. I didn’t feel safe between the cars and I was afraid of colliding with pedestrians. I always found myself in one-way streets and the drivers were angry at me. I thought it would be easier, so I realized that I had to learn travelling by bicycle. First I just walked with the bike and learned how I could get to different places. I discovered the bicycle paths, where I felt safe and I could go fast. In the beginning I always planned my routes. As time passed I became more confident. Now I feel comfortable on the roads and I can navigate in the little streets too. I try to be responsible, and I especially pay attention to the pedestrians. I know where to go slower or faster. Well, it took some time. But if you get the hang of it, you can’t stop.

Riding your bicycle is so different from using public transport. You’re not just traveling, you’re doing sports and having fun. Most of all, I like the path next to the Danube. It feels great to ride to Margaret Island, listening to your favourit music and the wind blowing your hair. You pass by couples and enthusiastic tourists who take a lot of pictures of the Parliament. You can see the arriving boats in the sunset and feel the smell of the trees.

Listening to music may be dangerous in car traffic, but it’s less risky on bicycle paths. You can look around and dream, but you should always kepp your eyes on the road!

It’s also an advantage that you don’t have to wait in busstops or run after the bus or the tram, as well as that you don’t pollute the environment.

Cycling is a good sport, if you want to be fit, but you have to be careful. The most important thing is a well-equipped bicycle. You can get your bike checked in bicycle shops and repair shops. Make sure you oil the chain time by time and you have a well-functioning brake. You needto have two lights on your bicycle and a bell too. It’s good to have a pump to inflate the wheels. If you don’t have your own bicycle, you can rent one. You can buy an annual or a semi-annual pass for the BUBI bicycles, a recently launched project in Budapest. There are several docking stations around the city  (check this link for more information: http://www.bkk.hu/bubi/mol-bubi/).

If you haven’t tried cycling in the city before, just seize the oppurtinity! Don’t be lazy, standing in the tram is more tiring, than riding a bicycle. Be healthier, don’t pollute your environment. Furthermore, there are a lot of tour routes nearby. If you want a pleasant weekend with your friends, you can visit Szentendre or Visegrád.

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