Finally we were off to this trip I anticipated for so long. Anticipated it while trying not to get charged with expectations!
I had layed out a route on komoot but I wanted to keep an element of drifting to this trip. So I avoided setting any fixed dates and I did not plan on doing any fixed stages, leaving as much room as possible for the trip to be shaped by chance.
Thankfully my homie Jeromie was on the same page about this travel mode.
And we put the concept into action on the first day already when we met 2 other bike travellers who made us deviate from our planned route.
We set up camp for the first night outside between some trees close to a small forrest. Right before going to sleep I spotted a pack of wild boars running away. Subsequently I found it hard to fall asleep, lots of comotion in the dark.
Deer or boar?
I woke up from terrifyingly sounding animal calls from the woods. I suspected boars but later learned that young deer sound like that. I would describe it as a dog-human-hybrid-like noise.
Seen a huge owl land on a branch above me while scanning the dark with my flashlight. We looked at each other for a moment, then it took off in complete silence. Amazing!
Later I woke up again because something seemingly rather big was nibbling on the foot-end of my tent.
After shouting to piss off I heard something with hooves running away, probably a deer. I finally found proper sleep when it was almost dawning.
We repacked our things in a more sensible way, so it took ja about 2h before we took oft.
Tech problems appeared on Jeromes bike. He realized that he lost chain ring bolt and that his rear brake is leaking.
We decided to call it a day earlier than planned and camp close to Dresden in order to find a capable bike shop the following day.
On the last 10km to the campsite my knee started to act up. At first it just felt somehow unconfortable but it gradually built up to hurt upon pedaling harder. I had had some knee problems about 2 years prior, slightly worried I went to sleep.
Jerome called a few shops to investigate if they are savy about hydraulic disc brakes.
On the way to the chosen shop my knee went from seemingly ok to bad within the 6km to the bike shop.
I asked a dude outside the shop about a doc. He recommended a physio therapist nearby.
After Jerome left his bike at the shop with an estimated waiting time of 1h we went to see the physio. I was super lucky to get an appointment right away.
The therapist suspected that I did something to my Meniscus while (over-)stretching. She massaged my knee a bit, put some support-tape around it and recommended 1-2 days of rest, and then continuing easily while taking some Ibuprofen. In my place she said she would not cancel the trip.
Slightly relieved we went back to the shop to pick up Jeromes bike.
The bike was not ready yet, which was good because while waiting I decided to install a cassette with a wider gear-range in order to be able to ride with less pressure on my knee.
The folks at the bike shop were so nice to let me do the cassette swap myself using their tools.
I sent my old cassette home by mail and we decided to try to get to a camp site in Bad Schandau and let my knee rest there.
The 40km along the Elbe river seemed managable, going slow with enough breaks.
In the end I barely made it, pedaling with only one leg for the last couple of km. Clickies ftw!