This article originally appeared on VICE RomaniaI keep thinking about how differently we view bicycles, depending on where we are born. In Western European cities for example, bicycles have become a sort of urban symbol. There are bike lanes, cycling events, even shops that sell you all kinds of beautifully designed rides that come with ten types of suspensions and wheels as thick or as thin as you'd like.
Well, I grew up in a simpler time. When I was five years old and lived in a Romanian village, the lucky few who owned bikes didn't have to walk for miles, they could just pedal around the dirt roads between one village and another. Back then, people only used bikes for transportation and for carrying stuff. It wasn't about the environment, it was just practical.In the Romanian countryside, bikes are still everywhere – on hills, mountains and freeways. Some of the younger kids have cooler bikes but most people ride a generic black bike, with a huge seat and a heavy frame – the same kind I grew up with. People still use them to carry sacks of legumes, car tires, wood or simply other people. Here are some photos of cyclists that I took while touring the Romanian countryside this summer.