Entirely unbeknownst to me, a friend of a friend snapped this fantastic image in early 2008.
To me, it represents a fascinating collision between the concerns of a wandering cycle‐traveller, consulting a street‐map to find the right road out of the city, and a grim moment in a nation’s history — the aftermath of an anti‐government demonstration gone sour.
Bicycle travellers place themselves at the whims of the world through their mode of exploration, and such coincidences are not uncommon.
Last week, Australian cycle tourist Brian Thompson found himself stuck for three days in a hotel in Tajikistan surrounded by flying bullets.
Three other cyclists, safely evacuated to the Tajik capital of Dushanbe, elected to stay and continue their journeys. Brian chose to head home.
What would you do, faced with the choice between making peace with absolute uncertainty, however horrible it may seem at times; and escaping to a place of refuge in which your future may be no less predictable, but at least feels like it is?