Race 1000 Miles Adventure, day #9 – How I made it to the halfSource: Jan Vlasák
The ninth day was the last and one of the toughest. I nearly froze in Jeseníky mountains and flew over my handlebars. My landing was for zero points.
On the last day I got up in a distant village on a bus stop that didn’t get any investment from the Europen Union. There was a man waiting for a bus, but he was too afraid of me, so he stayed out in the rain. But I don’t bite and I don’t even eat brains. I hoped I would have a nice ride to the CP2, but the race wanted something slightly different. I threw everything away, I didn’t need any of it. I removed even the bottle holder that I broke on the first day. I felt prepared for everything. And I was terribly wrong…
I was a little worried about food. I ate all my proviant yesterday and I hoped to find something really soon… I was so hungry. After 30 kilometres I reached Václavova village, where there was something between a mini-market and a pub. A met other racers there. I even acknowledged that a biker girl is ahead of me – only about one hour.
The improvised fashion
I had a fast snack, something to drink and I went to Jeseníky. It started raining. Luckily only a little and my light jacket was perfect for it. Soon I entered the coniferous forest and everything changed. As I was getting higher and higher, it was getting colder and mist was everywhere. The rain got heavier. When I was biking an uphill it was OK, but on downhills it was horrible. I wore every single piece of clothing I had, but I still felt like an icicle. I tried to hide in a wood cabin and figure out what to do.
The first problem was that in that cabin it was colder than outside so I had to act quickly. I made only one, but powerful upgrade. I chose the driest socks I had and put them on my hands. It was an instant relief. I was still feeling cold, but my hands were in warmth, so I was able to brake. It was a key feature in downhills. When I had to push the bike to the hill again, it provided the needed warm. I headed to Dlouhé stráně.
Beleaguered by mist
The beautiful view was nowhere. Only an ugly grey mist. But what could I do? Anyway, I was freezing and I wouldn’t have the time to admire the view anyway. It was nice that in the power plant Dlouhé stráně, there was a fast food. I got some hot dog and hot tea to warm myself. It didn’t help. I was freezing during the drinking. I finished rather quickly and continued on a long downhill.
It wasn’t so bad after all. It stopped raining and even the sky got clear. I was getting more courage and stopped using brakes so much. I didn’t have much choice. I already lost the rear brake and I didn’t want to destroy the front one too.
And then it happened – an ugly downhill with heavy and wet logs. Several times I almost fell from the bike. And then I actually fell. It was for the first time in the race. Several kilometres before CP2. I broke the bike horns and made one beautiful, purple, massive bruise. I was so pissed. Just to be sure, I pushed my bike down. Then I biked through a small town, but I didn’t really care. I just wanted to be in CP2.
The main thing is to not kill myself
The last hill was ahead of me. I used my pedals and … crunch. My rear derailleur tangled with the wickerwork of the wheel and that was the end. I tried to fix it, but the best I could get from the bike was a rotation of wheels and two light speeds. I couldn’t use them on a plain. Luckily after one uphill, there was only one final downhill. Full of logs so I was pushing it down. I arrived at CP2 exhausted and disappointed. At last, there was a warm cottage and cheerful crew.
And that was the end of it. 500 miles was enough and at last, I got a special T-shirt. In that night I had two dinners and I was really happy. And full. And I could sleep between four walls. At least, I thought. Turned out that other bikers snored louder than a chainsaw. I couldn’t stand that. I grabbed my sleeping bag and went out. It was raining there but it was better than inside.
To the home
Most of the bikers continued on their journey – to the coldness, to the rain, to the wilderness… I was glad I didn’t have to. I said my farewell to CP2 crew and started my short way to a railway station. It was weird. All time I had to check my GPS if I was on the right track and after a few seconds I realised that I’m not in the race anymore. It stuck with me for several days. I was even waking up in the night thinking I’m in some dark Slovak forest.
With Adrian, the British biker, we travelled together to Prague. I was seeing him for the several past days and he was as exhausted as I was. I wasn’t jealous of his long journey to Yorkshire. I was glad that my home was in Prague, only a few stops on the metro from the main station.
Just a note – the train to Prague was delayed.
It was a lifetime adventure, which only a few can experience. Now I need to pause and let the dust cover my bike. One thing is for sure – one day I will return to this race and I will finish the full path of 1000 Miles Adventure.
Race 1000 Miles Adventure 2015
- Race 1000 Miles Adventure, day #1 – How it all started
- Race 1000 Miles Adventure, day #2 – How I was afraid to go through the tunnel
- Race 1000 Miles Adventure, day #3 – How I was going to use pepper spray for the first time
- Race 1000 Miles Adventure, day #4 – How I biked through the territory of cows and shits
- Race 1000 Miles Adventure, day #5 – How I was constantly challenging myself
- Race 1000 Miles Adventure, day #6 – How I threw my bike to a scarp
- Race 1000 Miles Adventure, day #7 – How I escaped from Slovakia
- Race 1000 Miles Adventure, day #8 – How I coudn’t trust my GPS
- Race 1000 Miles Adventure, day #9 – How I made it to the half