Is this the real life,
Is this just fantasy,
Caught in a fantasy,
No escape from reality,
Open your eyes,
Look up to the skies and see….
Being in the Bohemian section of the Czech Republic today was the day to pull out the famous Queen song as I knew it was going to be EPIC ride, just like the song.
My longest ride ever on a bike outside is 161 km ( 100 imperial miles). Today the plan was much further. We were to head towards the Czech border with Germany and Poland…in fact, to within 20 km of both.
Tomas, Katka, Milos joined Mirek and myself for breakfast ( with Mirek heading out early to buy rolls etc). We were soon joined by (another) Mirek as we were about to leave.
I had no idea where I was as we turned left, right, left….totally disoriented but I knew we were heading for Jested, and occasionally I could see glimpses in the hazy distance.
The Czech language is also a tad tricky, so village names are difficult to get your tongue around, let alone remember.
The weather was gorgeous, a perfect spring day. No wind, and a forecast temperature in the high twenties.
It seemed that we went through villages each 4-5 km, stopping at one around the 50 km point for the first morning coffee. It was a regular stop for this group.
Little Bohemian pastries costing around 10kr ( 75 cents aud) were just a little tempting.
There was a second stop some 30km on for liquid refreshment. This town was very popular with walkers and cyclists heading to the local castle some 10km or so down the road.
The castle was impressive set in a beautiful forest setting. It came complete with its own catapult.
We then headed into the forests, following beautiful streams, amazing geology and just really relaxing, cool and beautiful. I think one of the riders told me the name for the area, in English, is Czech Paradise, and that it was.
Some climbing in paradise…
First and only puncture of the day…
I got caught eating whilst waiting ( and resting).
I particularly liked this little detour.
It started to get hillier as we headed to the high point of the day Jested, which is at 1012m.
We were all running low on water so another stop was necessary. It was over 30 degrees by now and fluid consumption was heavy but necessary.
Loved this vehicle on the side of the road. Tomas told me it was an old Russian police car, from when Russia was controlling the country.
The climb to the top was a steep pinch as can be seen from the climbing graph.
There is the destination…getting closer now.
The climbing gets tougher through the forest. This guy on a scooter seemed to make it look easy though.
Near the top there is a saddle, lots of people, amd a traffic light that was showing red ( steep road ahead). Turns out the light is always red and I had to ride the last 600 metres weaving around people walking up and down the hill.
I was very pleased to get to the top!
From the top we are a short distance away from a three country border with Germany and Poland. The above photos are looking towards both.
It was 5 pm when we left the top, having eaten and filled up,with fluid, and recovered enough for what was to be over 90 km to ‘get home’ still. When I started descending I had completed around 150 km.
A great descent, with the guys inevitably flying at incredible speeds…the girls were a little more judicious!
We stopped briefly to stretch at the 200 km point, and then it was moving again, all being conscious of the deteriorating daylight hours left. Our aim was to be back in Celakovice by 9 pm ( dark then).
This final stop is another regular one for this group. The ice cream shop…always time for ice cream regardless of light. The queue was impressive as it was literally a small shop front with a serving window, but really nice Czech soft serve mixes. I had chocolate and banana.
Another 30 km or so and we were back in Celakovice safe and sound, with a few beers (cider for me) to celebrate what was an awesome ride, over brilliant countryside, with a fantastic bunch of fellow cyclists.
This is one of the things I so love about my cycling….meeting like minded people who have the same passion, spirit and love of the many beautiful sights and challenges, being able to celebrate at the end, together.
Somfor me, this Ride was HUGE…I have never ridden that long and far on the road.
i am pretty sure tomorrow will be a rest day….I think I have earned it!