Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Budapest, Hungary - Day 47: Biking

The past 2 days we rented bikes and rode around Budapest, the perfect way to cover such a sprawling city and all the beautiful bridges over the Danube. Isaac loved the wind in his face, was in peels of laughter and kept saying, "More, More, More". Budapest is especially beautiful at dusk - when the rays of the setting sun lights up Pest.

Budapest has bike lanes, but when there isn't one, you are 'permitted' to ride on the sidewalks or on the road - both are precarious and unsafe. Still, Budapest is extremely bike friendly and cars always give bikers the right of way. It isn't Amsterdam or Paris, but it's getting there. After riding along the Danube on the Buda side, we rode to Margaret Island - a green oasis splat in the middle of the river. The idea of a pedestrain only recreational island is just so refreshing - If I lived here, I would jog on this island everyday.

The bike shop - Budapest Bike had this cute 'Critical Mass' poster. Critical Mass is a movement promoting cycling as a convenient and clean means of urban transportation. Apparently Budapest has one of the largest Critical Mass Bike rides in the world - last year's attracted nearly 80000 riders. In contrast, Critical Mass in NYC is fraught with controversy, with frequent confrontations between the NYPD and the riders.

A cool video on the last Critical Mass event in Budapest.

Bringázás a Föld Napján - Biking on Earth Day - from Tapsi Hapsi on Vimeo.

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