Bike Rides During Lockdown

bike ride 3 Here in Hungary we’re not supposed to go anywhere unless it’s really necessary. There are a few exceptions. One of these is solitary outdoor exercise–walking, running, biking. This is fine. You can’t go on really long bike rides, though, since that would involve staying at a hotel or something like that. So today I biked to Tiszasüly and back (about 90 kilometers in all, since the bike path takes a roundabout way along the Tisza river). I had the illusion of being able to continue indefinitely, but it was definitely illusion; when I got back home, I was very stiff. It has been quite a ride. Had I been able to continue onward instead of turning back, I probably would have made it to Tiszafüred. But this time, that was not to be, and it was just as well (since today is Easter Sunday, and everything was closed). On a long bike ride I am generally comfortable as long as I don’t get too much sun, don’t get a flat tire, and drink water along the way. All of these came true. The risk of a flat was low, since there’s no glass or other sharp material on the bike path. Still, I didn’t want to push the risk.


It’s a fantastic ride, because about 20 kilometers in, the bike path starts, and you find yourself cycling under hawks and falcons and alongside wildflowers, willows, birches, farms, and trees in bloom. I saw a lizard and a grasshopper crossing the road; I saw the beautiful Racka sheep with their spiral horns, and goats with tiny kids.

bike ride 5

I passed through Nagykörű and Kőtelek–and spent a few minutes by the Tisza– before finally making it to Tiszasüly, where I decided to turn back.
bike ride 4
On the way back, I noticed new things, such as a house in Nagykörű that has an assortment of tools hanging on the outside wall. The cherry trees (for which the town is famous) are in bloom; in a few months the boughs should be sagging with fruit.

bike ride 2

I had planned to go biking in Zemplén this month, as I have done for the past three years (the first time was before I moved to Hungary). But with all the coronavirus restrictions and risks, it seemed foolish to try to stay overnight anywhere or to take a long train trip back. This closer-to-home alternative was gorgeous, though, and it gives me many ideas for the future.

bike ride 8

Leave a comment


  1. kesheck

     /  April 12, 2020

    What a beautiful ride! And 90km is an impressive achievement. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Judith Croke

     /  April 14, 2020

    Lovely photos from the bike trip , thank you for sharing. Looks like there was not a lot of need for social distancing along the way!


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  • “To know that you can do better next time, unrecognizably better, and that there is no next time, and that it is a blessing there is not, there is a thought to be going on with.”

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    Diana Senechal is the author of Republic of Noise: The Loss of Solitude in Schools and Culture and the 2011 winner of the Hiett Prize in the Humanities, awarded by the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture. Her second book, Mind over Memes: Passive Listening, Toxic Talk, and Other Modern Language Follies, was published by Rowman & Littlefield in October 2018. In February 2022, Deep Vellum will publish her translation of Gyula Jenei's 2018 poetry collection Mindig Más.

    Since November 2017, she has been teaching English, American civilization, and British civilization at the Varga Katalin Gimnázium in Szolnok, Hungary. From 2011 to 2016, she helped shape and teach the philosophy program at Columbia Secondary School for Math, Science & Engineering in New York City. In 2014, she and her students founded the philosophy journal CONTRARIWISE, which now has international participation and readership. In 2020, at the Varga Katalin Gimnázium, she and her students released the first issue of the online literary journal Folyosó.


    On April 26, 2016, Diana Senechal delivered her talk "Take Away the Takeaway (Including This One)" at TEDx Upper West Side.

    Here is a video from the Dallas Institute's 2015 Education Forum.  Also see the video "Hiett Prize Winners Discuss the Future of the Humanities." 

    On April 19–21, 2014, Diana Senechal took part in a discussion of solitude on BBC World Service's programme The Forum.  

    On February 22, 2013, Diana Senechal was interviewed by Leah Wescott, editor-in-chief of The Cronk of Higher Education. Here is the podcast.


    All blog contents are copyright © Diana Senechal. Anything on this blog may be quoted with proper attribution. Comments are welcome.

    On this blog, Take Away the Takeaway, I discuss literature, music, education, and other things. Some of the pieces are satirical and assigned (for clarity) to the satire category.

    When I revise a piece substantially after posting it, I note this at the end. Minor corrections (e.g., of punctuation and spelling) may go unannounced.

    Speaking of imperfection, my other blog, Megfogalmazások, abounds with imperfect Hungarian.

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