Day 1 & 2 – Exodus Prague to Budapest cycling trip

Posted: July 21st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: deardiary | Tags: , , | 1 Comment »

Learning from my past experience travel blogging I think I need something more specific than simply “general travel blogging” in order to keep things up to date, so I’m going to try and keep a diary of this organized tour I’m on.

In brief, before I get to my trip diary – Cologne was nice (stayed in what might have been the best dorm room I will stay in during my trip), Berlin was cool and fun, and Prague was a strange blend of eastern and western Europe, but strange in a definitely good way.

OK – that done, back to the bike trip.

The prep

The trip starts with a no-biking day in Prague, most of the group are flying in. As Exodus is a UK company, the majority of the group were flying in from the UK. We’ve also got another Canadian, a few Australians, a Kiwi, and… I think that’s it. As I suspected it might be, I am the youngest of the group, there’s something about long distance multi-day cycling trips that calls to older people. I guess I’m getting old too. We have at least a couple retired people, and the rest are just on holiday.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s actually refreshing to be the youngest in the group, especially after feeling like the oldest person in the hostel for the last 3 weeks, it’s a refreshing change to talk to people who can actually have an idea what it is I do for a living when they ask. My roommate is an Australian who is going to the Olympics in London after this trip, I think he’s crazy to attempt to visit London under Olympic conditions, but he’s pretty excited about it so I guess the queue’s won’t feel as bad when you’re excited.

After meeting up, everyone had a chance to site see in Prague, as I had already been there for 5 days I instead took the time to do laundry and take a nap in the luxury of a hotel room rather than a dorm room.

The next morning, after a hotel breakfast we were picked up by a mini-bus and driven to the starting point in Ceske Budejovice, the home of the original Budweiser beer… not the shitty american beer but the original Czech one they stole the name from. We picked up our bicycles, had a quick stop off at a local bicycle shop to buy supplies (one of the UK couples missed their flight, then their luggage was lost… talk about bad luck, so we were stopping to buy a helmet for her), and were off.

The Ride

Here’s the GPS map of our route:
map of the ride

And here’s a chart of our elevation and speed:
chart showing elevation and speed of ride

As you can see we had a few climbs to contend with… Czech republic is hilly in these parts! I think it wouldn’t have been so bad if I hadn’t taken the very first hill at way too aggressive a pace. After a pretty easy first 7 or 8 km we hit our first hill, it looked to be about 80 meters before it leveled out so I took it hard, it turned out to be the beginning of a twisty hill that pretty much let to more hills for the next several kilometers. Live and learn, tomorrow we’ve been warned that we start out with a 4km climb and have all been given the option of taking the minibus to the top of the hill. I, of course, am too stubborn for that so I’m going to just do my best to make it up that hill and hope for the best.

Oh, and we also did ok on the weather… overcast and a steady temperature with the rain holding off until we got to our destination, there were a few points with a bit of a headwind but nothing truly onerous. It’s raining now though, but I’m still hoping we stay dry tomorrow.

More (hopefully) tomorrow.