23. 9. 2012 | kralik (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I got to know about Global Bike Trotting on nyx.cz, Czech community server and I immediately found the idea very interesting. To be correct, the "mission objectives" was not so amazing for me but the way of achieving them (sending a bamboo bike around the world) was. I have been to India and I have seen people living there. "Yes, very poor country," you can say, but we often saw that people were unable to accept anything new, even if it was better for them. We tried to help them few times, we told them how to do things better. But our effort was always wasted. They returned to the old "normal". That's just my opinion on helping people you know nothing about and who are very distant. Anyway, I think it is good to try and drinking water is essential for everybody. Let's move on.
I registered as a rider on the GBT website and waited and waited… After few days, Matthias called me and I was told I'm the one, where to pick to bike and where to go. Good news. I talked to Spencer Kennedy at Headquarters.cz bike service, he showed me Bamboo 1, fixed and fine-tuned it completely before I picked it up on Sunday September 16. Many thanks to you, Spencer. You made my ride fluent and relaxed. I didn't have to worry about the bike. It was in excellent condition.
I have already made few longer bike trips before, so riding from Prague to Brno sounded like a piece of cake to me. But you never know. I planned to make it in three days (you can make it in one day if your knees are ok; mine are not). I started on sunny Monday afternoon. Bike was fully loaded (two bags in the front, 2 in the back), it was shaking like a fish in the water when you tried how solid it is. Leaving Prague was easy. I knew the way. And the way was horrible (I have chosen the worst but straight route to get out of Prague as soon as possible). I cycled through Prague's suburbs, small villages, towns… and people hardly noticed the bike I was riding. I didn't talk to them, I was late today. After 4 hours cycling, at around 8 p.m., I finished in Sázava, it was already dark, cold and I found a place (with roof) to sleep in football ground. Good night. There are 180 km more ahead. Can I make it in one day before it starts to rain and my fingers will freeze on Wednesday?
On Tuesday I woke up at 7 a.m., it was still very cold, I put on my sandals with socks on my feet, wore almost everything I carried, put a cap on my head and started cycling again. Weather forecast was good. Czech landscape between Prague and Brno is hilly. It means anywhere you go, you go up and down again. Fields, forests, sheep, valleys and hills… I was thinking about what can I do to get some money from people and finally I realized (because I can't play any musical instrument or sing or… whatever) my plan – I will pick fruit (apples, pears, plums…) along the roads and I will sell it for voluntary donation! Anyone could buy GBT button for 50 CZK (2 €), but if it is too expensive, 10 CZK (or any amount) for a piece of fruit was an option.
In the afternoon I stopped on the square in Havlíčkův Brod to offer test rides, but nobody was interested. People were passing by, but didn't stop. I wasn't really with the situation. But what? Nothing. Keep going. After some time I decided to try to get to Brno tonight. Why? Weather forecast for Wednesday is bad – rainy and cold. Hills never stopped and I was slowly moving towards south-east. I got to Nové Město na Moravě at 8 p.m., night time was coming. The lights on Bamboo 1 made me smiling every single minute. It was a pleasant ride on a quiet tiny road with little traffic with stars on the sky above my head. Meditation through movement. When I stopped 20 km from Brno, I thought I will not make it, I was really exhausted and it was quite cold but because I couldn't find a place to sleep (I wanted something safe, with roof and no people in the morning – I wanted to sleep until rain stops) I cycled on. And finally at 1 a.m. I arrived to a house where my brother lives in Brno. I was happy I made it, my knees made it and I will be in the bed when it starts raining in the morning. Today's summary: 17 hours on the bike, 180 km. Physical condition: wasted. Psychical condition: euphoria (endorphin, yeah! ☺). My final route on Google Maps.
On Wednesday afternoon, after the rain stopped, we took a piece of cardboard for our promotion stand, Bamboo 1, the fruit I have picked on the road and GBT buttons and went to the city to offer test rides and spread the project among people. We chose a place where young people (Brno is full of students) cluster before they head to the pubs. It turned out that the place is great. People stopped by, asked what are we doing, took flyer with the website, listened carefully, supported the project by buying the button or a piece of fruit and of course – tested the bike (everyone was pleasantly surprised). We talked to people (especially young ladies) for few hours while we were drinking "burčák" (young wine; it makes you smile even more ☺). When we decided it is late, we packed our stuff and went home. We had a beer and went to bed with a feeling we succeeded and talking to people was real fun. (Don't spend the money on your vacation, Matthias!) Many thanks to my brother Jeník and his friend Honza for helping me raise the money (we collected 55 €). It would be difficult to stay there alone.
I have said enough. Don't wait, go to www.globalbiketrotting.org, register and help to get the bike around the world. It deserves the chance.
Don't forget bike puts a big fat smile on your face and has many other benefits!