If the choice for an early Friday morning is either to sleep in late or to wake up at the crack of dawn, get dressed in a hast and rush down the street to meet up with a bunch of early birds each pedaling through the empty streets of Cairo, I think most of us would opt for the first decision. After a long 9-5 week, the weekend offers a long awaited time for rest and recuperation.
Those select few who go for the second choice though know that nothing can clear the mind and re-energize the soul as well as a chance to experience an unspoiled Cairo, one with big empty streets, a gentle teasing breeze and a calm demeanor.
With that in mind a few of my friends and I ventured to meet up with a group of early risers promising a biking tour. With no bike and rusty knees we yawned and grumbled throughout the drive over the 6th of October bridge, once we actually met with the group and managed to secure some bikes (some in acceptable conditions others in suspicious state), the day looked bright and sunny.
The saying “you never forget how to ride a bike” came to mind when after years of walking, driving and riding, I found my self on top of an old blue bike (in surprisingly good shape). pedaling through the streets of Cairo was just an exhilarating experience. The air seemed fresher and the trees a little greener and the cheerful, laughing mob just added to the experience.
I am not sure if it was the early hour, the gracious weather or just the novelty of the scene, but very few sneered at us, mostly car drivers were surprisingly gracious to a school of bikes crossing the street, and most passerby’s were amused at the site of the colorful flock of bikes sweeping though the empty streets.
Needless to say I now state on every media possible that I am the proud owner of a brand new bike. I can’t wait for the working week to be over so I can wake up bright and early, hop on my bicycle and meet up with my new mates to experience the exhilaration of good workout while enjoying my unspoiled homeland.
So if you forgot the joy of biking, how you couldn’t wait to go round and round … we are here to remind you that nothing compares to a bike ride!!
© Sherine Meshad, 15 April 2008