Starting a bike trip
It’s time. We’re finally getting started on our very first bike trip. Don’t get too excited just yet, cause it’s just a practice trip to Amsterdam, but it is going to be our first experience with wild camping all night, sitting on bikes all day and having to survive all on our own in the desolate lands between the safe havens of Berlin and Amsterdam.
And so, one beautiful October morning in Berlin, I kiss my sisters goodbye, Quentin reluctantly lets go of his pillow, and off we go to the mysterious city of Amsterdam, home to legal marijuana, Rembrandt paintings, a famous red-light-district and, as we would notice later on, inhabited by bike-riding art-sceners.
As soon as we leave the familiar streets of our Berlin behind, I really wake up (it’s 6 AM after all, a time where I would usually come home, not leave) and start noticing several things: Firstly, I never had this much fun riding a bike, not just because I’m looking forward to our endeavour, but also because my bike just feels so damn good, eating miles like a living, breathing, really hungry beast.
Secondly, the weather is amazing. It’s warm enough to wear shorts and shirts, a clear morning and surprisingly warm for October.
Lastly, I’m delighted by how well Quentin and me synchronize our tempo and exhaustion – I was expecting him to be way faster and have more endurance than me, because he’s kind of fit, rides his bike around the city a lot and doesn’t indulge in life’s vices as much as me, who basically is a fat smoking drunk who broke his nose the last time he sat on a bike (true story!).
When we make our first stop in Potsdam, which is basically the outskirts of Berlin, I drink my Cappucino feeling like a bubble of joy, surprised by how easy everything’s going and convinced it’ll stay that way. That bubble will pop soon enough, but more on that later.
We finish the day in Genthin, where we set up camp on a clearing in a forest and promptly fall asleep; Bike trips are amazing!