A large part of taking a strenuous trip—no matter if it’s a walk, a climb, or a bike ride—is fooling yourself into believe that said trip is a sensible thing. Cycling the 500 kilometers from Berlin to Prague? Perfectly rational.
This self-deception is a lot easier if you’re doing it together with a few others, in my case Dan and Adrian who not didn’t just cycle with me, but were deeply invested into the trip from the first minute.
During bikepacking trips it’s easy to give up: The heat, the flies between your teeth, the sunscreen in your eyes. You could just take a train at any time and go back. But there’s an amazing satisfaction in just completing something you set out to do, to believe in a somewhat irrational goal, and to pedal on, fly-dotted teeth gritted, until you reach that destination.