Diaries of an addict #6 - Wasn't fun

in photocircle •  last month  (edited)



The only source of shadow was a road sign

It's been a long time since the last "Diaries of an addict" series. Not that I didn't use the bike in the past year, but it was mostly the regular stuff.

The Idea

This one is about something I had on my mind for few years. Though it was not a big deal, but it was much more than what I do normally. Cycling from my home to the village we go regularly.


The distance is about 130KM, which is not the real problem but there are two major problems:
1- You're not alone on the road, cars and trucks will be driving alongside you but much faster than usual (compared to cycling in the city)
2- about 70 KM of the route is a straight forward highway in the middle of desert, boring as hell, no shadows, no trees.


(My bad, it's about 55km)

and a minor one:

  • In the summer, where I live temperature reaches 40 Celsius and in the road you'll be under direct sunlight the whole way.

If you live in Europe, the first problem might not sound like a problem at all but reviewing some statistics might help understand the risk:

  • Iran is in the top ten countries with the highest road traffic death rate
  • Half of the people killed in road accidents are pedestrians, cyclists, or operators of two-wheeled vehicles.

How did it happen?

My parents wanted to go to the village. I usually go with them, but this time there was no space in the car for me. (they were taking my grandparents and my aunt). My mother told me some other relatives might leave for the village (Kejan) tonight and you can call them the check if they have an empty seat but I told them I'm not coming to the village this weekend. After a little bit of peaceful arguments, they accepted that "I'm not coming with you" and left the house.

Though before they leave, I had the idea of going with bike, but it was not the sole reason of not going with relatives. After they left the house, the idea got stronger. Finally (the same day) I decided to do it. Somehow it was the best time, not that it was (and still is) summer, but because I could've done it without my mother knowing and trying to convince me not to do it.


Empty road, soft sunlight, cool air.... ahhh... it's not gonna last

So at night, I prepared some stuff, but not all (checking memories, charging batteries) so I could leave early morning. Though I knew I should sleep early but I didn't. I slept around 00:30 and woke up around 5:15. The rest of the preparation took longer than I thought. Saying my prayers, preparing the bike, eating breakfast, taking the [main] camera, attaching the [small] camera to handle bar took me about 80 minutes. Then I left the house at 6:40. A little bit later than what I had in mind.


Don't look for the bike lanes, because there aren't any

The first 60 KM was easy and also deceiving, because the rest was opposite of easy. I reached Sejzi (which you can see in the map photo) in about 2-2.5 hours. My average speed was about 25 KM/h, sun was not bothering yet, temperature was still below 30 and the road had no slope. So when I reached Sejzi at about 9, I was happy, with so much energy.


Few of my rivals, they can't beat me, no one can!

Though the first two hours had a problem. It was my first time cycling out of a city, in a highway, I wasn't used to all the noises from cars and trucks overtaking me so fast. I was nervous for about 10 km of the path, but it gradually faded away as my faith got stronger. Yeah, my faith. I realized I can't look back every time I hear a car tooting horn or closing in. Because them I should bike looking backward, and where does that take me? After that, when ever I hear a horn, I just raised my hand to show my respect for noticing me and it felt much better. But what if the car was about to hit you and tooted the horn to notify you? I don't know, fortunately it didn't happen. But I guess it would be an instant death while I'm still in my prime which I appreciate.


Appreciating the free cool water

OK, back to Sejzi, where I still had much energy, but not much water. So I refilled my bottle and continued the journey. I had about 30 KM to reach thenext city, Kuhpayeh. Based on what I had accomplished by then, I thought it won't take me more than 1.5h to reach there. So I didn't rest in Sejzi and planed to rest at Kuhpayeh. But I was wrong. The road from Sejzi to Kuhpayeh had a little uphill slope that reduced my average speed by 10km/h (about 40%).

That was when the battle started in my head:

  • OK I need to rest now
  • Wait a little, there's not much left to Kuhpayeh
  • I'm gonna die
  • Everyone will
  • I need to find a shadow, I can't rest under the hot sun
    +Then wait until we reach Kuhpayeh

Then my body ignored all the voices in my head and acted as soon as I saw a relatively big sign with a shadow big enough to cover me and my bike. So I stopped. After resting for about 20 minutes and drinking water and eating dates, I took few photos and pedalled up toward the next city.


Not a regular road sign. It's Arabic, but remember that Iran's language is Farsi, though we use Arabic for religious text, because they're originally Arabic, and that text on the sign is a religious one, meaning something like "hurry to say your prayer"

You might ask why there's such a sign on the road in the middle of desert? Well, I din't know and although it's kind of normal here, but it doesn't make much sense, but anyway, it helped me (with its shadow), so I appreciate it. It would've made sense if it was close to a mosque. Maybe it was close to a mosque, but when you're cycling in a highway, nothing is close, except fast moving cars and trucks.

After about an hour, finally I reached Kuhpayeh at around 11:00. It was close to my estimates. We drive this route regularly, so I had a good Idea about how it would be if I cycle it, which made the travel a bit more boring, because nearly everything that happened was expected.


When driving a car, this sign means you have reached the city, but when riding a bicycle, there's so much left.

It was a sad moment, when I realized this sign no longer means I'm there. There's still about 10-15 minutes left to reach the park where I can rest, but when we passed the city by car, it was just a minute.


A good place to rest

When I was resting, my uncle called and asked where I am. I told them where I am and what is my ride. Oh! and my parents were with my uncle at the village, So they found out about what I have done, what they (or just my mom?) were afraid I'll do. They told me that if you got tired you could call and they'll come to get me.


After resting for about half an hour, I bought a cold drink to refresh my self (Is a non-alcoholic beer a paradox?) , then I went to a mosque and refilled my bottle again.


Another place to get free cool water, how cool is that?

I spend about an hour in Kuhpayeh (all the resting and looking for a store and drinking). Then I started the last part which is about 30KM.

The last section

What was the problem with the last section? why it's getting a separate part in the story?
Because it has it's own problems:
1- It was a narrow two-way road (+50% higher chance of death compared to cycling in the highway, maybe?)
2- sun was in the middle of the sky and temperature was close to the highest point (It was just getting close to my inner temperature)
3- I had ridden the bike for almost 100KM in the same day. (Not much, huh?)
4- most of this route had a steep uphill slope. Not really steep, but steep enough to reduce my average speed to 10KM/h (I'm still moving)
5- My mom already knew that I was riding this route with bike, so I had the option to call my dad and just wait about 20-30 minutes for the rescue. (The illusion of choice)

I started pedalling at about 12:00. It was already hot, but not as hot as it gets. The uphill road made the cycling a struggle. Road was narrow and two-way, so when a car was coming from other side and another from behind, there was a high chance of being hit from behind. So when I saw a car is coming toward me, I checked if there's any car coming from behind. If there was, I would stopped in the out side of the road in the dirt so they pass with out hitting me and then start cycling again.


I don't belong here!

From now on, everything was far, far away. That hill over there, it's an hour away. That mountain, probably five hours. It begged the question: "Am I even moving?" yeah, a little bit.

That was the time I give up, basically because I had the choice. I called my dad and told him to come and get me. After an hour I had accomplished only 10KM, the sun was literary cooking me, but more importantly, I had the choice, I had the choice to give up, to call my dad and tell him to come, without the need of explaining why I'm there with my bike.


It doesn't always end as you expected!

I continued pedaling for maybe 20 minutes more, until my dad arrived. He stopped, made a U turn and parked the car, with two wheels on the road, two wheels out of the road. I put the bike in the trunk and reached the village with the car, not the bike.


I ask my self, will I do it again? Do I want to do it again? Is it worth the effort?
Surely I didn't regret it, but I don't think I'll do it again. It's not fun, It's not healthy. Why should I do it then?

What do you think about this trip? How dangerous is cycling in your country? Is it easy to find free and cool water where you live?

All photos are taken by me, except noted.

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I don't know where to begin! I am still shaking from only reading this travel story! You speak so casually about slopes and scorching sun and 50% chance of death! That call to prayer looked like it was waiting for cyclists like you taking too much hay on their fork (pray now: you will need it!).

I thoroughly enjoyed your writing and the very illustrative pictures. It must have taken almost as much effort to relive the whole adventure so clearly again as the actual cycling!

We don't know our limits till we try them, but sometimes we might be wise to hazzard a sensible guess!
Cycling on the road is probably a nightmare in every country: all drivers of cars seem to be in an irritated rush and forget how vulnerable one is without a metal cage around you.

I also happened to land on your photo collection at insgain.com and the many photos of your bike reminded me of Alban Gerhardt (cellist) who takes pictures of his cellojust like you (lonely violin series on his twitter account. Couldn't read much there of course on that insgain account, but I remember many from your posts.

When's your next dare-devil tour! Waiting till Autumn might be a good idea!

Oh, I should edit that part, i meant "50% higher chance of death compared to cycling in the highway" and it's based solely on my feelings.

That call to prayer looked like it was waiting for cyclists like you taking too much hay on their fork

That's what came to my mind when I saw the sign.

It must have taken almost as much effort to relive the whole adventure so clearly again as the actual cycling!

Thanks to the camera attached to handlebar, taking those photos didn't take any time. (they're actually snapshots of videos I took, except for those photos with the bike in them)
But writing the story did take as much as the event itself. Reviewing the videos, finding a good frame to extract,editing photos, remembering the things that happened... aahhh...

but sometimes we might be wise to hazzard a sensible guess!

Things start to go haywire when we think too much about what's risky, what's not. lol

Cycling on the road is probably a nightmare in every country

I heard some countries (specially in Europe) have intercity roads for bikes.

That website shows my instagram photos. I've been more active on instagram before steemit, but now I'm more active here.

Just checked his tweeter, Though the photos have a lonely feeling, but his face does not.

I guess it happens once a year, so maybe next summer. The previous one was last summer.
I think basically I do these when I get bored, so bored.

  ·  last month (edited)

Yes it's true. In the Netherlands you can ride from City to City and rarely share the same road or path as the Cars. From where I live I can ride all the way to Zutphen, a distance of 41 Km, and only share pavement with the cars for about 12 Km of the trip. Where the speed limit is 80 Km/hour there is always a bicycle trail or an alternate route and where the speed limit is 60 km/h or less you might have to share the road with Cars, but not always.

Edit: Bicycle handle bars are not a good place for Cameras, too much vibration. If you attach the camera to a hat or helmet, your neck acts as a shock absorber, and the camera will film whatever you are looking at instead of following the front wheel. Just a thought.

Hope they do the same here, someday.

Yeah, That's right, but because of a very minor eye problem, I hold my head a little bit tilted all the time, and also I don't like the point of view when it's attached to the helmet. But I also have a chest strap, which is better than attaching to handlebar, but I just found it easier to attach it to the handlebar. ( I should be lazy at some point. lol)

For that distance and that heat, a 50cc Moped would be a good choice, but the dangers in traffic are the same as on your bicycle.

Your English is really good and I saw on the post of a mutual friend you had a hard time following what she was saying. To tell the truth, I have to really work to follow some of her work, so don't let that scare you, you're doing great!

May peace be with you.

For that distance and that heat, a 50cc Moped would be a good choice

Maybe a good choice for that distance and heat, but not for me! I want go places with my bike, I climbed a mountain with my bike (not necessarily riding it.), I drove the car with my bike in the back seat.

Thanks for letting me know, sometimes I think maybe she is the one with bad English. (even though I know she's an English teacher). You know, the same way some doctors are more prone to the same illness their good at curing it and even die because of that illness.

May peace be with you.

Thanks, you too.

Many writing styles are possible and some are really hard to follow. There is a book by James Joyce titled Portrait of the artist as a young man. In this short book he uses direct quotation of thought. This is very difficult to follow since thoughts often do not follow chronological order, but jump around to events that are related at random. This why James Joyce is tough to read, even for native English speakers. English is my 3rd language, but it is the one I have spoken the longest. As such I do not have the full command of nuance and depth in any language I speak, even my own. At least I can fail in 3 languages and sound good doing it, lol.

Yeah, that's true, but it makes it hard for me to upvote some of her blog post, or comment on them, because I don't understand many parts of the post, even though I spend 10 minutes for a post that steempeak says should take 5 min to read. (@sukhasanasister)

What do you suggest for someone who wants to learn his third language? (what language, how to learn and ...)

I can ride all the way to Zutphen

.... what on earth makes you pick that city....

I picked that city as I know every square cm, every bump in the pavement and every tree I can crash into on that route.

Glad we are not speaking in metaphors.

No, just giving an example I know really well.

It feels ever more metaphorical from what I know. Blog week 13.

Eventhough, it is only half of a clue why that city of all the cities in all the world looks so weird on my screen in a sentence written by you, I would like to point out that you may have missed something, Mr. Eagle Eye. Ha. Makes my day. Hiding in plain sight. Still got it in me.
I give you my hand and you didn't take it.
Several posts back.
I remember thinking is this a detail I want to leave in?

Unless of course, I understimate my opponent in this game of chess-reply.
That will take a re-read. For now I call check.

  ·  last month (edited)

Blog post or comment post?
I'm not going to Bangkok, I seek something closer to home.


Technical Q. I think we're on somebody else's post and therefore your reply here is not showing up. I was just wondering sometime between tomorrow and yesterday (I think it is...Saturday), that one misses replies like that. I've had it happen before. See I need a mapmaker, forever lost around here.

No, there is a lag. It does show up. Sometimes it is a long one between what is up and what shows up under "replies". That has happened before too. Must be something like that sneaky bit of time banks use to transfer your money to keep it in mid air....
Then the Q is do these replies also just sink and not bother Sina at least?
The metaphysical implications are extensive, and Sina even mentioned them, aware of being mentioned by others, thanks to the votes I alerted him to. This creates new spaces where one can set up soda stands. If God counts every single hair on your head and hundreds of female (Renaissance and up) artists are only now being discovered (muffled away as improper at the time), none of this will go to waste. Caring and sharing: love never does. It dissolves like salt and before you know it you have a new ocean. Not a good idea for our planet, but the head is like the moon (in esoteric science), so I am always trying to find new ways to fill up that Sea of Tranquility.

My opponent

Maybe you are speaking in metaphors...

Well spotted. You have a very sharp eye. Your photographs show it, your extremely well edited texts show this. But this is next level!
But don't forget to add chess to opponent in this context!
Wonder how your chess game is.

You should try this route, no tree to crash into. lol

The trees where I ride are big enough to stop a Truck, but I have experience with the dessert also. At this stage in life I won't challenge the dessert anymore, so I hope to see more of your explorations.

Interesting that in this virtual world we (or maybe just I) think others are like us, till we find out they aren't, so you should be older than what I thought at first.

But anyway, one should like to be challenged by a dessert, specially when riding in a desert. (sometimes a simple "s" makes a big difference.)

Love the fisheye lens! Do old school Hip-hop.

Love the fisheye lens!

I'm glad

Do old school Hip-hop.

I don't get it.

Sorry... It's so old school hip hop

You dig?

I not into music as much as you (considering your blog). I searched a little, but no luck in finding the right video.

Also didn't know that dig means to approve of something very much, so I was thinking what "you dig" possibly mean. I didn't post a photo of shovel...

Then checked the dictionary and found that meaning for dig.

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Oh... Lol... Thanks for the effort.

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I would never do something like this (even in Europe) unless there is a cyclist path. I've seen people riding bikes here in very dangerous road and as a driver I thought they were crazy. I think the worst situation is in the Netherlands (at least from what I saw)

And driving in such heat in a desert. Oh boy, you are crazy :) But kuddos to you for what you did. I would probably call my family much earlier or I would simply not go. But you tried and you learned.

I admire your drive and will :)

Have a lovely weekend!

I would never do something like this (even in Europe) unless there is a cyclist path

So basically you're either a psychopath or you're riding in the cyclist path. (psychopath and cyclist path were close, so I needed to use them in one sentence. lol)

(Though I didn't do it for that reason but) I think we need those kind of cyclist to remind the people, it's possible to travel by bike, so maybe the next time they're paving a road they'll take cyclist into consideration.
I'd rather drive this route with my own van (which also has enough room for my bike), but I don't own a van...

I would probably call my family much earlier or I would simply not go.

The problem is that if I had told my parents about it, they wouldn't let me do it.

But you tried and you learned.

Yeah, and I learned that I don't really want to travel by bike. Maybe I'll do it someday in a world without motor vehicles.


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That's pretty sweet

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Thanks! @travelfeed and @for91days

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It's our pleasure!