I was supposed to have been bikepacking last weekend. Or was it the weekend before that? It was at certainly not the weekend three weeks ago, because that weekend I had planned another trip. Which didn’t materialise either. With work piling up, the last few weeks are all a hazy mess. I need this ride. But what I can remember, though, is that whichever weekend it was, I ended up de-packing and putting all the gear in a small pile in the hall. On hold. My better half is the kind of person who doesn’t like piles in the hall. Well, to be honest, I don’t really like piles in the hall myself, but this was my pile, and that’s of course a rather different story.
So here I am, zooming in and out of cupboards and chests of drawers. My detective work eventually bear fruit, and finally, I roll into the fading daylight with a bike packed for a little trip in my local forest. I have anticipated this for a long time: Going on an overnight trip with a bicycle in winter. Fair enough, it is more or less spring, but that won’t overshadow the fact that there is an ever so small microadventure about to unfold.
Reaching the parking lot at the start of the ski track, I release a little air from the tires and coast optimistic onto the track. Not even todays warm weather has managed to destroy the effect of the last few nights of frost and the snow is more or less cooperative.
My level of ambition diminishes in line with the sinking sun. It gets dark. It gets cold. The ski trail stops at the old, tiny farm. In front of me, there is now only virgin, dirty spring snow without, or at least almost without, visible traces of human use. Either way, it is a long time since anyone has been here (in truth it was my family who were here last, skiing in the winter holiday half an eternity ago). Riding on now is almost like moving into uncharted territory, into the white spots on the map. It is more than satisfying to stop on the other side of the bog, find a small island of reindeer lichen amid the dwindling sea of snow. Roll out sleeping mats and sleeping bags, crawl into the cocoon. Greet the moon, almost spherical tonight. Unpack the little alcohol stove, put water in the pan, retrieve the bag with the dinner. Dinner? Dinner!?
I decide to not let the fact that I forgot the dinner at home put a damper on the mood, thinking that my spare lunch consisting of couscous and a tiny bit of reindeer sausage will do.
I do think I take it quite nicely. No profanity or yelling of infamous words spreads between the scattered pines or beyond the marsh when I discover that even the spoon is at home. Instead I smile a little at myself, inventive Mikkel, smart Mikkel: Hey, I’ll just improvise, I think to myself, and soon after discover the plastic lid from the tiny box I store the homemade beer can alcohol stove in. Bingo! I dig out a huge scoop of couscous with the lid.
Shortly after, I feel the nauseating taste of concentrated, denatured alcohol spreading in my mouth.