Day 51 Sunday 12/05/13
Leaving any large town or city is difficult, navigating out without having to follow major roads. Prague was no different despite discovering a bike route all the way to Vienna, a Czech map and apparently signage “the green way” to help us along. Sunday being the Prague marathon we negotiated the road closures, complete 10 kilometres to the old city centre and celebrated with a beer. Actually setting off at 3pm we followed the river for about 6km.
We lost the signage in the suburbs, sprawling municipal housing, and after an hour of going in circles, took out the compass, and a major road in right direction.
It was quite a difficult slog due to the wrong turns and increasing headwinds. Nearing the end of the day we noticed my bottom bracket was becoming undone. The same problem as with Li’s bike on day 1 and the result of rushing completion of the bike build with brackets installed back to front. We decided to wild camp and contemplate how to tackle problem in the morning.
The night was eventful and I enjoyed the stampeded of what I assumed were deer followed by snorting wild boar near the tent. Not Li snoring.
Packing up in the morning my cranks were jammed and it appeared I was to be pedalling nowhere. Pushing the bikes back onto road we came across some tree surgeons who offered us a lift to train station however at the end of their shift 8 hours later. We needed to be in Vienna to meet Li’s mum on 22nd of May so decided to try our luck on the road. The cranks began to turn, just, and we carefully made our way to the closest train station to return to Prague just as bike gave up the ghost. Spirits low at going backwards, difficulty finding a mechanic open, we were then blessed with Prague without the marathon and weekend tourists….and finally a working bike by lunch time the following day. (I still need my bike checked as not sure they chased the bottom bracket as requested and thus slight nagging at back of my mind.)
And riding out was hard.
Roughly the same route as previous day without all the wrong turns, we took new wrong turns.
I was bored. My legs were heavy. My heart heavy. What the hell am I doing? Am I losing condition? Am I cut out for this? I should be stronger….I had been stronger! On long stretches my mind usually carries me but this day i was on my own. We were climbing however I was oblivious to the long ascent until reaching the top and looking down. I thought the road was flat, tricks of the eye.
When times are tough I have asked myself whether there is anything I would prefer to be doing and the answer has always been “no”. This day it was a very, very, hesitant…..”no”. We camped in roughly the same spot as previous night although the animals did not return.
Headwinds plagued us the following day, however the scenery improved, my mind slightly, and were we’re rewarded with the most peaceful, picturesque wild camp to date within the least populated part of Czech Republic.
And I am thrilled to know my falls from euphoria and cycle touring are simply pre menstrual.
Day 51 Sunday 12/05/13