Sunday, April 12, 2009

Ostrá Campground On The Labe/Elbe River Day 269 12/4/09

Day 269 (Slide show)
(Video 1) (Video 2) (Video 3) (Video 4)
Sunday I rode into the Bohemian Bagel for my weekly sit down and the bike trail along the river was covered with security. The Hilton where President Obama was at was right where I ride. I didn't realize this, they gave me a serious look over. Today he is going to make a speech up by the Castle. I hear there will be a good crowd of Expats to watch. The Czech's are mad at him so I don't think to many of them care about his visit.
The weather is still looking good for another tour this week. I have to get planning.
There has been this little campground on the Labe River that caught my eye several weeks ago. It will be another overnight trip but to the east side of the city. The bike path map I bought shows a nice trail. The campground is called Ostrá. Not sure what that means but the place is on the river and looks good on the website.
This is Tuesday, I spent yesterday preparing and I'm ready to go. This is going to be a fun ride. Every time I go I learn a little more about the area. I left about 10:30 am for the Bohemian Bagel so I could have fresh bagel's for the road. I parked Renee in the middle of the square with the cover on. It was a good test to see what would happen. There were many lookers but no one touched her. I weighed the bike and she was 87 lbs. Renee was like an American teenager in a McDonald's. Two ton's of fun. I have to cut down the weight somehow.
Now its time, I'm ready to go. I have to catch the metro to the east and go to the end of the line. That's where the trail starts. The first several miles were alright but then the trail turned to dirt. It was very rough, especially with the weight I had. The bike is hard to manage while going so slow. After several hours the trail became a walking trail. This is where I started asking WTF. I can't believe the map shows it as a bike trail. Mountain bike trail I guess. At one point I had a chance to cross the river on this walking bridge but the map says to stay on the side I'm on so I stuck to the map.
The trail got worse and I'm looking across to the other side thinking it has to be better over there. I kept going and eventually came to a highway where I could get across the river. This only meant I had to head away from the river through a small village then back to the south where I caught the river again. I was a bit nervous that I would find myself having to double back at this point. But all is well and within an hour I made the camp.
As I rode in I was a bit surprised to see a bar. But not really this is the Czech Rep. Several nice folks were hanging out and it was 3PM. As I looked around I could see all these small trailers where people live all year. Some were empty now because it was to early in the year for the seasonal folks to show up. But most of the trailers were being occupied now. I fit right in at the bar, they didn't know what to think of me riding in like that. Several folks spoke a little English so I got to hear all about the latest news. I was ready for a beer and the owner Eva was running the bar. I got a picture of her. She as been to the Grand Canyon she said and she had the best English. The place is a funky campground with several local characters. Much like a lot of campgrounds. I had several beers bought for me and around 6PM I went out to find a couple of trees for my hammock. The only place was close to a trailer but they were not there. I was right on the water though. Lot's of fish jumping much like last week. I went back to the bar for one more, which is hard to do but fortunately Eva had to close early for some reason. I was fine with that, 4 of these Czech Beers and you are toasted. I had 5.
There was a beautiful full moon and the fish jumped all night. The temperature was a bit warm, I could have brought my lighter sleeping bag.
This was a great camp spot. The fish here are Perch, Catfish and Sturgeon. There are a lot of fisherman fishing along the river and in these lakes. I was up at 6AM and waited for Eva to open up the place. Last night she said she would make me an American breakfast. She tried I'll give her that. She was very nice to me while I was there. The ride out was tough and I switched sides of the river thinking it would be easier. Most of the time it was a hiking trail with lots of loose sand. Many times I had to walk to keep from falling down. Renee did a great job but I going to switch out the tires as soon as I get back. I brought an extra set of rubber that are just a bit wider. At one point I came to a two tier set of steps that I had to carry the bike up. The stairs were metal and I didn't want to stumble on those, you can rip a knee open on them. Very hard trip but I made it back to my flat about 3PM just before it started to rain hard. I got lucky here.
For the rest of the week I spent a lot of time working on this blog. I would like to catch up but it is very hard. On Thursday I changed out the tires on Renee. The set on her now is 700 x32 and the new ones will be 700 x 35. Its not much but it is a noticeable difference. I think it will help. On Friday I went into the city to try them out. Prague is a crazy place to ride. The bike paths have some major obstacles like steps and curbs not even mentioning the cobblestones.
Its Saturday and several things are happening all at once. My taxes are due next week and I'm worried that I have been underestimating the amount I will owe. Also I have to think about leaving here and what to do with my gear and bikes. July will be here very quick. I have to develope a plan. There are many questions that need attention now.
But the weather is great and I have to talk advantage of it. I have a lot to do.

Trip Count (est.)
Trip Distance 128.00 KM
Total Time 7:68 HR
Average Speed 12.26
Max Speed 35.12 KM
Trip Climb 646 M

Total Weight 87 LBS