Procuring Pierogies (Berlin to Szczecin)
︎Germany and Poland
After six long months of waiting, Poland is finally open. Craving the pierogies, the squad assembles early to ride north and east to the port city of Szczecin. The morning rain does little to deter them from their goal as they cruise the soggy gravel Autobahn to Eberswalde and beyond into the Unteres Odertal. They trace the Oder river on the concrete paths through the floodplains before finally crossing into Polish territory. Across that bridge, it seems someone has turned up the detail in the grainy facades; somehow the three are high without drugs. Fortunately, they are riding unwavering all-road bicycles—these reliable machines carry them over the neglected roads despite the euphoric distraction of their riders. After what feels like three days rolled into one, they spot the harbor cranes of Szczecin on the horizon. Cruising the cracked city streets, they gape at the contrasts of the old and hyper-modern. Over beer and home-made perogies, they celebrate an unlikely reunion with the second squad to ride to Szczecin from Berlin on that day. Food and friends, all finally in a foreign city—there is no greater reward for a long day of Sport.