A note from Georgia

I used to live in the former Soviet country Georgia and had the pleasure to work with a number of young people on various breast health awareness projects, including the country’s first Race for the Cure. I met Nino during this event and thanks to Facebook – we have kept in touch.  A couple days ago, I received this wonderful note from her after my blog post with a photo my niece Berta on a bike. I wanted to share it with you.

As I discover cycling in Edinburgh, it’s great to think about women in distant lands trying it out – falling – and getting right back up.

Thanks for sharing your story, Nino.

* * *

Hello Jo,

I couldn’t keep myself without sharing my biking experience after seeing this little creature sitting on a bike. At the age of 24 I learnt how to bike, yes, I know that it sounds a bit surprising, but I really did.

When I was little I remember only one boy who had a bike in the neighborhood and a long line of kids who wanted to borrow it. Biking was and still somehow is regarded to be a “boy’s thing”.  I walk a lot in Tbilisi (city where I live) and I very seldom see people who are biking in the streets. If you go to the park you might see some people cycling, but mostly men do that.

When I was little I wanted to learn two things – how to bike and rollerblade. I attended a camp in Hungary this summer and as part of the outdoor training I was given a bike and 12km. distance… At first I thought that it would be OK if I walked and thus carried my bike to the destination, but my “brilliant” idea wasn’t supported by the group members, so my only option was to sit on bike and learn how to cycle. I can’t even tell you how many times I fell off and what kind of fear I felt while cars were passing by, but I made it and I should say that biking downhill is worth every bruise and anger I got while learning it.

Now as I am back to Tbilisi, I am looking forward to my friend’s arrival who has a bike that I can borrow and practice a bit more.

Enjoy your bikes, Nino

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