Bored of Borders

To avoid cycling after sunset we started early this morning – at 6 o’clock the camp was up and preparing for the ride. However, despite the early wake up call, we hit the road only after 8 o’clock, because somehow taking showers, making oatmeal breakfasts and preparing energy drinks took two whole hours. It’s a good thing that once on their bikes the guys are much faster than in the mornings, otherwise we would reach Sochi only in the spring. After the main course of the breakfast, Kaspars opened a can of chicken meat and while digging his way to the bottom of the can announced the lesson of this morning – “Meat gives you power. Meat gives you milage.” And this morning our pedalers needed the power, because, let’s face it, 21 degrees below zero is not the most comfortable temperature for a relaxing bike ride. Today the cyclists stayed off the side lane of the road even when it was clear of snow, because yesterday Kaspars pulled a truck tire cord out of his bike’s rear tire. There’s no need to repeat that particular experience. After about 70 kilometers we left the Lublin highway and found ourselves on a smaller road leading to Wlodawa. Thanks to the road gods this part of our route had much lighter traffic which made the journey a lot easier both for the pedalers and the supporting van. But of course you always have to pay for your good fortune and this time we payed our dues by dealing with holes and patches on the surface of the road. As they say – when you get some, you lose some. Today’s route took us through a lot of small villages where locals greeted the four tankers with wide smiles and encouraging gestures. It’s nice when people are being nice. In the context of spreading niceness Roberts has taken a habit of greeting the complaining truckers – he straightens his back and spreads his arms each time a truck passes by with a horn blowing. He’s the most friendly member of our gang and with reason – his surname Draugs means “friend” in Latvian. During lunch guys were joking that today’s ride is kind of chill – god knows if this was a reference to the relaxed feeling in their but-cheeks or to the chilly sidewind. At the last pitstop before Wlodawa and hot shower the pedalers realized, that our supply of Coca-Cola is running low and demanded a shopping trip, because, putting it in the words of Kaspars, “If Cola is out, we are out.” We can’t allow that, so this evening we are hitting the shops. In spite of the early start we failed to outrun the darkness again – the four bikes and their riders finished today’s 190 kilometers about an hour after the sunset. Does this mean that tomorrow we will wake up at 5 o’clock? I sincerely hope not.

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