Sunday, May 17, 2009

Does this look like my HAPPY face?

I will cut Nathan a little slack - he did tell me we lived on a "hill". Right - if the Swiss Alps are a hill! I mean - I guess I've seen the scenery - I should have known what I was getting myself into.
So here's the story:

We woke up from having a fabulous night out at our new friend's (Joy, Shannon and their little girl Elsa's) house. They were such great hosts! The food was unbelievable and we had so much fun talking about the trials and tribulations of being an expat in Zurich. It was nice to talk to someone who has been right where I am right now. They have been living over here for around 2 years - since Joy was transferred with her company - a little place called Coca Cola:). Anyway, we had a great time including lots of adult beverages, so I was a little groggy this morning. This is when it all went wrong. I'm pretty sure I wasn't thinking clearly when Nathan asked if I wanted to bike down to Zurich. Sure - why not -right? It IS such a beautiful day.....

Well - I knew I was in trouble when we basically glided very smoothly down hill for the 8 miles from Oerlikon to Zurich. Most people might have thought this was great! But all I could think was - crap we have to go back UP THOSE STEEP HILLS!

Did I mention that I haven't riden a bike since.....hell I don't even remember! And, I've definitely never riden this particular bike given to us by the infamous Zach Kinsaul (thanks Zach - make sure I thank you next time I see you:)). We shipped both the bikes over b/c I thought it would be fun to ride with Nathan - who rode all the time in Raleigh. Raleigh - which is basically -flat compared to Zurich. Why didn't I "train" in Raleigh? At least I could have ridden the stationary bike at the gym - but nooooooo - I'm just like sure let's ride to the bottom of the valley with a slight hangover.

Did I also mention that Nathan isn't much of a rule follower? I almost got run over twice - lots of honking - me going through a ride light. Good Times! I really need to learn what the signs here mean b/c I know Nathan doesn't care!:) There are buses, trams, cars, other bikes and even pedestrians coming at you from all directions! Every intersection is like 5 points in Raleigh - it's never just a regular 4 way stop. Also, there are all the tram grooves in the roads that your bike tires can get caught in - trust me -you don't want that to happen! Very nerve racking!

Either way, we made it to the park without getting killed. I know I was shocked too:) We rode all the way down to Zurichhorn Park. What a beautiful place - you get a Lake breeze and a view of the snow-covered mountains on the horizon. Hundreds of people were out enjoying the day (some were even crazy enough to swim - we were told the water was about 58 degrees F)! Great people watching and a nice place to relax after biking through the busy city. Here are some pics (to prove we really rode our bikes - that is Nathan in the orange shirt in the bottom left hand corner with our bikes):
I, of course, didn't want to leave. I KNEW what was about to happen next! The ride back UP the hills we just coasted down! NOOOOOO - please no - can we puh-leeeeze take a tram back? What do you mean we don't have any money? Can we take our chances on getting caught? Then, I think there was something like "strap a set on" said and we were off - on our bikes - back UP to Oerlikon. Yeaaaaah!:)

Did I also mention that I didn't really know how to work the gears? But believe me - after the first straight up little jaunt - I figured them out REAL quick! All 27 of them! (I also was almost thrown into traffic - but whatever:)).

We finally made it. But here is my question. Does this look like my HAPPY face?

So does anyone want to buy a bike?:)
~Mandy

4 comments:

Ciray said...

OMG - I nearly busted out laughing. I don't think it was you, or the hangover - totally the bikes fault - that's a mountain bike - you needed a road bike. Then I'm sure you would have had your happy face on...um right

Lisa said...

Talk about one wild ride!!! Way to rally... you're a better one than I am!

Mistress Penality said...

I'm living vicariously through you...but you can keep the biking uphill part!

Mandy said...

Oh - ride bike - I didn't know there was a difference:) That's how much I know about biking:) That and that I never want to do it again:)

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