Bored of Borders

A dose of reality: -19 degrees Celsius and approx. 220km to the hotel we are planning to rest our bones at. Of course there’s the possibility to finish some miles before the hotel and drive there with our van (and, without a doubt, return back to the finish line next morning), but Roberts crashes this idea in a heartbeat by announcing that this approach is not his style. If you ride, you ride. After this, there were no more discussions about the long route and the frickin’ coldness. The four riders left Panevežys and headed in the direction of the Polish land. Even our red van was not pleased with the weather and showed it’s discontent by lighting the Low coolant light. Really, what exactly is there to cool down? The engine hadn’t even warmed up yet, and interestingly enough, when the engine finally did warm up, the light just went off. Kind of an ironic protest against the current conditions. After some time the winter left it’s marks on our riders’ facial hair not covered by the ninja-like masks, but frozen whiskers and eyebrows are not the things that will stop the “Pedal for no Medal” team. They just do some gymnastics on their steal stallions and push on. This was also the day we encountered the first technical problems with the bikes – one of the mudguards got split in half, but that’s nothing that can’t be fixed with a little bit of duct tape and some creative thinking. Today, at lunch time, for the first time we tried heating up the soup, that we made yesterday evening. Let’s just say that the overall coldness and the ancient gas oven was not the best match – the soup did not even get close to being hot, but it still got some warmth into the bones of our pedalers. We reached the Polish land already in the cover of darkness and almost immediately after crossing the border the cyclists run into the terror of all drivers – the black ice, which is almost unnoticeable and therefore quite dangerous. The day just keeps getting more interesting. Less than 20km form our hotel in Suwalki one of the pedals of Kaspar’s bike broke off, but luckily it took him only 5 minutes to repair his bike and the half-frozen gang pushed on. For some of the cyclists this was the first time they rode almost 220km in one stretch, not to mention in this temperature, but they are all still moving, full of energy and determination to see this adventure through.

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