A little cold sweat poured over me after reading the new government regulations. Don't cross the line? Or county, county, Republic? Then what, gentlemen? Disgusted by the chaos and tired of home office, I turn to my boyfriend imploringly and ask, "Where are we going, then?" And he says, with a smile on his lips, "I'd like to go to the market today." He amuses himself for a moment with my thoughtful expression as I turn this information over in my head and wonder what the poet meant to say. To the marketplace, when I don't know of one in our little town and we can't go anywhere else. Can't. Of course! Lotrando and Tooth. To the market. We have a whole set of walks!
The idea of bikepacking at home has long been in my head. It’s weird, but look around. There’s more kinky stuff here and what to do to break the relentless stereotype of working from home when we’re banned from free movement outside the registry and it’s freezing and snowing outside. Let’s go to the market! Thank God for clever trainers, blades and mad ideas.
What do we need to do that? Route plan, home sweet shop, beer, move sleeping into the living room, good connection and willingness to enjoy bikepacking in the living room.
After an afternoon hike on skialps and snowshoes, we came home slightly tired. On our last day, we’re theoretically locked in a cadastre, and we have to sport a muzzle. When else to go to the market, if not now? What we’re going to tell the kids about someday. About today’s great trip, the piles of snow and the absolutely deserted landscape? Bullshit! We’ll tell them how good and skilful we were. How we obeyed and went bikepacking at home. So hook up the trainers, reach the routes, and we’re off.
To at least keep a little on our journey, Peter suggested routes just below Prague. From Beroun along the river to Černošice, where we planned to occupy a local (said excellent) pastry shop. And from there to St. John under the Rock. Moments after we pulled out, we started getting very hot, luckily I have a dedicated friend who came to open the window. On the way, he showed me familiar places for him, and I was pleased to recognize a bit of the route I had taken in real life a few years before.
In figuring out what to watch for the ride, we’ve clearly decided that the Mad Discourfort podcast. Talking to Misha Mert was very interesting, and at times I forgot to watch the landscape passing us. When we arrived at the confectionery, we were pleased to see that they had chilled Pilsen. We’re both pretty disciplined and responsible, so our fridge was well stocked. Plus, Peter’s mom packed us a currant pie for the trip, so there was a sweet spot.
My friend finished his drink quite quickly (it was probably the heat) so I too had to hurry to arrive in daylight.
On the road again. Slightly unkindly this late in the day, I was surprised that we kept going up the hill, and when we met people in masks, I almost fell off my bike. The Podacast ran out, so we released the Peaceful Warrior. I must confess that I was almost oblivious to the journey to St John under the Rock. Audio drew me deep into my mind, and it wasn’t until a friend started commenting on my surroundings that I woke up. We’re in St. John. No way. So wash, make eggs and prepare for bed. It’s not funny this. You’d have to haul in the mattresses, rearrange the living room, and find a document to show you a bit of the countryside.
The advantage of domestic travel is a shower. I’m off. The eggs are already boiling (thanks to Petra) and the beer is chilled. Lovely evening. We’ll get there in the morning.
I must confess that, glass in hand, under the covers of the trees, I felt a little sad at the sight of the Jewels of our Landscape, where Vladyka was wandering through the Jeseníky. But when the sun woke us up in the morning the sadness was gone. There’s still a long way to go!
So a quick bite of the pie and hurrah from Radotín to Mánes. How did we get to Radotín? Excellent question. Virtually.
The trip was interesting. Peter showed me which way he went to school, where there’s a big swimming pool and I’d know the National Theatre myself. Work started calling, and we just made it, before the first meeting.
We reached the market. I mean, outside the Mánes showroom, but it doesn’t matter. At least we could go out on our bikes with our bags.
About an hour after we got there, we had coffee in our private coffee shop, and I was wondering, what was it like? Bikepacing virtually. I’ve done this race before, and I’ve helped others in the implementation, and I kind of like the idea. It’s just that 300 people suddenly destroy themselves on a treadmill in their living room. But bikepacking? It’s crazy. But when people jumped out of the way in front of us and you saw their angry expressions, I was amused. On my summer ride around Lipn, this annoyed me (scared pedestrians on the bike path, I mean). But now I was happy for the people I could see the whole face of. Weird, right?
What I missed most was the feeling of not knowing where to put your head and choosing your ideal spot, watching the sun go down slowly and still not knowing where to sleep. And all of a sudden you find it, you’re going to sleep, you’re cooking, you’re recapitulating all day, and you’re planning the next one. You just don’t get that at home. But what you might experience is that morning rush when you feel your legs haven’t turned yet and you’ve only got two kilometres to go. That feeling goes away as soon as you get at least 10. At that point, it just swallows you up and makes you wonder if it’s over. Let’s get to work. From a distance, of course.
I hope you, like me, are looking out your window and have a map of where you plan to go. That you’ve already got the plan and you’re just waiting for it to be warm so you don’t have to have a bike with chains on it, sleep in a garden and put a respirator on in every town. And that you will, indeed. Happy real bike ride.