First (wonky) leg with the crew back together

After slogging it out at work and school for 2 months whilst Steffen was realising his bike tour fantasies (150km days, starting riding at 3am, riding in rain up steep mountains) we joined up with him in Germany with the hope that two months of hard riding would have gotten the hardcore riding needs out of his soul for at least a few weeks.

Our plan has worked thus far. We had a lovely week in Appenheim with family, drinking and eating everything in sight. It was great to be warm again and enjoy long end-of-summer days. We took a train to Dresden for the start of our adventure. We were a little bit taken by the city so we decided to stay an extra day. Whilst Steffen and I continued to eat and drink everything in sight, Max took his leave of us and skated for the day (Yes, he is riding with a skateboard strapped to his bike!).

We have had to come to an agreement with Max. We are no longer posting pictures of Max or giving too much mention of him in this blog. He is now of an age where his privacy is important.

We really enjoyed the "New town" suburb of Dresden, a bit hipster with some cool artwork built into the neighbourhood. There was even a Lebowski Bar – in which we desperately wanted to drink a White Russian – but it was closed during our stay.

Finally we set off down the Elbe River and straight over the border to the Czech Republic. After a couple of longer days we visited Terezin. Terezin is an astonishing town, and old fort that was used as a  WWII transport/ghetto/concentration camp. It was very haunting – there was a whole room of pictures drawn by children who were later transported to their deaths – very sad to see what they were yearning for – flowers, friends and sunshine. I think the most shocking thing for me was the steadfast attempt by the Jewish community to retain some semblance of their culture – over the 5-6 years there were theatres cobbled together (with costumes, posters and sets), schools and most

striking for me – was a ticket for a café that gave the bearer 90 minutes with a cup of ersatz (“substitute”) coffee. In such desperate times, I was struck by such strength and the ability to carve out special moments in such a tough place.

We continued along the Elbe with the idea to miss the crowds of Prague in summer and travel from Melnik to Hradec Kralove ….however a mechanical disaster with Max’s bike forced our hand. Max’s crank thread for his pedal has become completely reamed out. What started off as a minor squeak in the pedal became worse and a new set just exacerbated this issue. With no larger bicycle stores (and no local folk willing to smash something together) we’ve had to come into Prague. We tried some MacGyver options – glues, hammering in pedal with various plastics found on the side of the road, even a well carved stick…. Nothing worked. Max was a total legend, riding 50km into Prague with only one pedal – part of it on a single trail mountain bike track!

When in Prague…….. Drink lots of beer and eat bread dumplings. So we don’t fight it, stay in a fancy hotel and I get to rest my very unfit legs. I knew we’d make the right choice when our hotel gave me a complementary half a litre of beer upon arrival. We do all of our fixing and domestic chores and see some of the out-of-the- way sights. I wish I was about 20 years younger and would head out to a cool industrial nightclub, but we make do with coffees in cool bars and look at the industrial areas in the daytime (when all self-respecting younger folk are still in bed). A very pleasant couple of days so far.

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Comments: 2
  • #1

    Barbara (Sunday, 17 September 2023 15:36)

    Das klingt ja alles nicht schlecht, da ihr wohl auch schon das Rad repariert habt und so ist Ellie doch noch nach Prag gekommen. Das Wetter spielt ja auch mit! Bei uns ist es richtig einsam geworden! War sehr schön mit Euch allen! Liebe Grüße

  • #2

    Moth (Sunday, 17 September 2023 17:16)

    Thanks for the pics and the update. Seems like after only a few days in you have seen lots and had some misadventures. Max is definitely a hero with his 50km one pedal ride. Enjoy your early rest day/days in Prague.