The Danube: Budapest to Gyo̎r

Monday, the 8th of May, a heavy overcast made sunglasses unnecessary as I hauled my bicycle from the basement and my five bags from the room. By shuffling things around on Sunday evening, I managed to get more weight moved aft on the bike. OsmAnd software led me easily up the left bank of the Danube and over the great river into Buda. The sky cleared as I crossed the bridge.  Continue reading

Budapest: the BP-17 Translation Conference

The BP-17 Translation Conference main program opened on Friday morning, 5 May, at the belle époque Urania Theatre. A series of 18-minute TED-X style talks filled the day from 09:40 to 21:00 that night. Talks, coffee breaks, lunch and supper all took place at the theatre. By the way, BP stands for “business + practice,” although we had fun making up all sorts of other expansions of those two letters (http://bpconf.com/story-bp-translation-conferences/). Continue reading

Balatonfüred to Budapest

Wednesday the 3rd of May, I awoke to an overcast morning with the threat of more rain. The air smelled fresh as it does in a clean place with the air recently rinsed. I had planned to take the 13:59 train to Budapest, so I rose late and fixed myself a leisurely breakfast. I rode to the station (only 600 m away) with almost an hour to spare, just to be sure that I had not read any signs wrong. The station had walk-on access to the platform from the street. Continue reading

Lake Balaton: Keszthely to Balatonfüred

Monday was May Day, also Labor Day and a major holiday in much of the world – especially the former Warsaw Pact countries. I knew that everything would be closed, so I had bought some yoghurt and brioches at the 05-22 market last night for breakfast. My neighbors (two Germans, one Austrian, one Swiss) all drove off to find breakfast, I know not where. Continue reading

Into Eastern Europe: Kazlje to Keszthely

As I passed from Italy into Slovenia on Wednesday, the 26th of April, the rain began to fall lightly. The border was only 12 km from the town of Kazlje, where I would be staying with Couchsurfing hosts Marco and Arletta. Sežana disappeared suddenly. I found myself on a well-paved highway rolling gently through a thick wood. Continue reading

The Lake District: Valbrona to Franciacorta

Holy Saturday brought clouds and afternoon thundershowers. Marieke’s sons, Emauele and Olmo, went out during the day, but basically, we all worked indoors. I read and wrote; my hostess did chores and read. It felt good to rest, and to turn in early. Continue reading

The Adda River: Piacenza to Valbrona

On Tuesday morning, I set out for Pavia, but when I crossed the Po leaving Piacenza, I changed my mind and decided to head for the Adda River and get on with my trip. The knee still hurt, but I studied my leg movement, and determined that the fit on my new pedals was wrong. I stopped just over the river, and adjusted the cleat so that my right foot could point outward more naturally. That seemed to make a big difference, so that I was able to ride back along the left bank of the Po (opposite the side I rode from Cremona) to the confluence of the Adda River. Continue reading

The Po River: Cremona and Piacenza

Palm Sunday morning, the sun bathed my shoulders as I walked to the high spots of downtown Cremona. The town was smaller than I expected from the night before; before long, I was several blocks past the Violin Museum run by the Stradivari Foundation, and doubling back. The air felt fresh, and traffic was almost non-existent. Continue reading

Updating the great experiment (2013-2020)

Leaving Georgetown, TexasSEVEN YEARS AGO, I set out on my bicycle to see if I could support myself exclusively from my work (translation) while living on the road. For the last quarter of 2013, I rode the Southern Swing 2013, which you can read about by choosing that category in this blog. A lot has changed since then, and today I want to discuss those changes. Continue reading

Important lessons (re)learned (2020)

When this blog was six weeks old, I summarized what I had learned from the three rides to date. Seven years and many thousands of kilometers later, those lessons have stood the test of time, but I have learned a couple of new ones. I had not met Cheryl back then, and my mentor has taught me much more than I could have learned alone.  Continue reading