Carol Bontekoe

This blog has been keeping track of my adventures since 2004. The stories and the adventures have come from my college dorm room to Uganda, Peace Corps Kyrgyzstan, learning Dutch in the Netherlands to living in the wilds of Homer, Alaska. I went back to school in Amsterdam to study Theaterwetenschap (Theatre Science) at University of Amsterdam. And now my adventures as a Fruit Fly, a Sexy Unicorn, and creating a movement with Team Sparkle in Chicago.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

flattening out

Since I have been in The Netherlands I have ridden my bike around 200 kilometers. Tomorrow I get a pedometer(is that what they are called?) so I can know for sure how far I am biking each day. There are plenty of bike paths all around here, which I throughly enjoy. Every once in a while, though, you end up having to ride on the narrow roads with cars. I was wondering why I hate riding on the road so much when all of a sudden it came to me.

It came in the form of my front tire being flat and as I leaned over to look at it a car went whizzing by. This promoted me to try and move a little more to the right which sent me off the road. When I tried to pull myself back onto th road the inner tubing of the front tire popped out. I went flying onto the road. I rolled over, and like something in a Will Smith movie, I had a low angle view of four motorcycles zooming my way. I grabbed the bike and rolled out of the way just in time. I imediately got the bike back up and start riding it. The bike was wobbling and I couldn't shift gears. Normally not being able to shift wouldn't be a big deal, but the only time you find inclines around here is to go on a bridge over a canal. I fell right before the bridge. I biked up it huffing and puffing, try to act totally natural.

As I got to the climax of the bridge I noticed that all the bikers that almost ran me over were parked and waiting for me. I looked straight forward. Refusing to make eye contact. They one by one asked if I was okay. While my elbow was dripping blood, my forehead was dripping sweat, my bike was wobbling, and my pride was shredded to an unrecognizable thread; I simply kept answering: YA,YA, YA!!!!!!! (yes, yes, YES!!!!!!) I biked as quickly to the falling action as I could.

I managed to make it 10 kms on the bike that way before it literally quit. The tire wouldn't budge. I ended up caring the bike for another 6 kilometers, yay for retard strength, before getting fed up with the looks and random shouts in Dutch. One farmer hollered, "YOU HAVE A FLAT TIRE!!!!," in English no question marks about it. I finally just chained the bike up to a small tree in someone's woods. I'm going back for it after I write this. Hopefully it is still there. I want to carry it the rest of the way in the dark.
Yeah, cuz that'll save my pride at this point.


  1. becky said...

    you are the 2nd friend of mine to wipe-out on a bike this weekend, but your story was much more exciting than his.

  2. Rachael said...

    i have seen some extreme wipe outs at state as well as people getting hit by cars on their bikes but i dont think i have ever heard of anyone as determined as you to ride a bike with a flat tire even after you were almost killed by motorcycles....and im glad to hear that the one guy tried to help you by pointing out the obvious that you had a flat tire, as if you hadn't figured it out, lol. anyway i miss you and i hope you are enjoying the Netherlands!

  3. Anonymous said...

    Hey Carol..... I love the pics from the homeland....looking good too! Life here is ok, nothing special. I did however spend the entire 3 day weekend on the beach going tubing and seadooing so that was a blast. How many hours a day do you have to nanny? Is it a 24 hour deal or what? Just wondering how life is going and wondering what you are up to around the great country that is the Netherlands.

  4. Anonymous said...

    PS that last one was from me.