Posted by: Mark Wollemann: On the move | December 8, 2011

Here we go: Video proof of biking in Bulgaria

Melody and I were out walking Saturday afternoon. It was a beautiful day. My darling wife bought a nice winter coat for me and a new pair of shoes (which, admittedly, I needed). Then we walked into this photo/electronics store and scoped out the GoPro “Hero 2” video camera they had on display.

Melody asked the shopkeeper a few questions. I was just standing by, innocently thinking we were doing some shopping to see what was available in town. And then she just up and bought the thing. Since my last ride — and crash — was a bit of a disaster, I guess she figured it was time to have video evidence of my occasional stupidity.

I took the camera out for a little spin today (OK, it was a couple of days ago — who knew editing video was such a time-consuming chore?!?), a 90-minute ride on pavement (no trails; just a quick spin to try out the camera). A few hills and a couple of quaint-ish towns that will at least give the folks back home a sense of this place.

Now, it’s a little uglier than it was when we first arrived, seeing as it’s early winter and all the leaves are brown. It was also kind of a cloudy day — and windy as heck. But it’s, what, Dec. 6? And I’m riding and working up a sweat. I am not complaining.



  1. wow! looks great ,
    is it with the new GoPro?

  2. That was GREAT (the ride, the video quality, and, of course, the editing!). The speed scared the crap out of me, but I’m a chicken… I found the shots of coming back into town interesting–it reminded me of the walks I took in the residential areas of Honolulu and Lastra a signi, IT. You must be getting in phenomenal shape!

    • Yeah, well, about “phenomenal shape:” I keep compromising my fitness with beer consumption. It’s a matter of finding my happy place in all that I do. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Man… You crazy! Thats all I can say about that.

    • Gary, wait till you see the next video…!

  4. That was a scary ride!! Stop worrying your mommy!

  5. oh, wow, this is so cool! love the shadow of you going down the empty road. and the uphill portion reminded me of mont royal in montreal–the scattered leaves, the people out for their constitutionals.

    did the weight of the camera affect your balance?

    • Nah, it’s pretty small/light. Looks pretty obvious, but I couldn’t see it on the top of my head. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. PS i am blogging about bucharest, if you are interested.

  7. I like the shadow in the first scene–makes it look like you’ve got a Mohawk going.

  8. Just checked out your video — great work filming and editing! What kind of speeds during that downhill cruise? How’s the elevation overall? And are you something of an oddity on your bike or can you find like-minded people doing the same? I want to see more pizzazz and energy in your stand-ups next time!

    • Let’s see if I can answer all your questions, professor:
      — I’m not entirely sure on speed, but I think we’re in the 35-40 mph zone. I need to get one of those computer things.
      — highest we’ve gone, according to my buddy Bill’s gps unit is about 1,200-1,300 meters … Closing in on 4,000 feet or so. Going up with this heavy bike is s chore. Going down is fun and occasionally scary. Bulgarian healthcare, after all, is NOT the envy of the world.
      — we have rarely seen another biker with a helmet. Most are old guys traveling slowly from place to place with something on the back of their bikes: a sack of potatoes, some tree branches for their wood-burning stoves, etc. I’m fairly certain, based on the looks we receive in some of these remote villages, that they don’t get many bikers through there. We have been invited for rakia by several and have accepted a few such invitations.
      — and yes, I’ll keep working on my presentation. I’ve already been scolded about shots I missed, various angles that I need to shoot so melody can cover do a proper edit. I’m learning.

  9. That was awesome!!!!! I love biking myself and I never knew such cool hills existed around here! There is nothing better than a bike ride down a hill…. Where is that exactly?

    PS. Please, professor, do crash again- it would make for a great video :P:P:P

    • The road above Blago, on the way to Borakovo. And your desire to see me crash proves to me you have the heart of a journalist, always on the lookout for the best story possible, no matter the bloodshed.

  10. Would it be unsporting to set up a betting pool on when you break a collar bone?

    I thought so. But hey, I need the money!

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