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Photo by photo contest 2014
The beauty of cycling in India was seeing the country that most tourists and travelers were missing. I met a group of backpackers in Jaipur. They had bussed from Agra and their next stop was an overnight bus to the desert city of Jaisalmer. So much distance covered in the dark.
I knew this was going to be painful. The violin is one of the sweetest instruments on the planet ... when it is played well. In the wrong hands, it sounds more like a dying animal.
I've never been a racer, choosing instead to pedal up scenic mountain passes at whatever speed strikes my fancy. But that doesn't mean I can't admire the beauty, the power and the passion of those who fly passed me sans panniers.
But that day I learned the intensity of bicycle travel works both ways. It also relates to the raw, ugly and horrifying scenes this planet has to offer. There was no way to roll up the windows, turn on the stereo and drive quickly away.
First off. If you haven't been there, you need to put Turkey on your travel list. I've never met a globe trotting traveler (or cyclist) who didn't love Turkey—great food, amazing history, hospitality that rivals any country on earth, and lots of hills and mountain passes to climb (and descend).
Every once in a while you run into a giant. A tree that stops you in your tire tracks and warrants a couple of hours of your life.
I wheezed my way up to a small school at about 11,000 ft. I was invited to visit a classroom. The teacher spoke enough English that he could translate for me. I talked with the students and answered their questions about my bicycle journey.
In return, the students decided to sing for me. Now this was not the school's choir. This was a history class.
First, let me introduce myself. My name is Willie Weir and I've been a columnist for Adventure Cyclist magazine since 1997. My posts (Sights and Sounds) will mostly focus on international pedaling. A chance for me to dig through photos and sound recordings from a world of travel.