Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Walls Are Closing In 18/4/09

Day 275 (Slide show)

Before you read this I want you to know that this is the week that really set me back. About this point I didn't want to do this blog anymore because I was angry at myself for not seeing this happen. So now I've decided to tell it like it happened. WTF – 8/22/09

Sunday 4/12

I worked on my taxes and did some blog work. These taxes are going to be a problem. The number is 4 times higher then I expected. I have two more days to figure it out.

There is this “Beer Garden” that is a nice place to meet up with folks so I rode over for the afternoon. There is some pictures here of the place. It's in Letna Park not far from the Metronome on the hill overlooking the city. Its a great view and the afternoon was nice. I need to get my mind off the computer anyway.

I was back in my flat by 5PM, no one showed up. It's a Sunday though.

I see in the weather that this week might be the last of good weather for a while. I need to set up a two night bike tour fast it looks like. I'm ready for something longer now that I'm used to the trails and riding over here. I'm looking for a spot with some history or a good campsite on the Lobe River.

Monday 4/13

Well I seem to be in another rut. My brain is freezing up. I have to get these taxes behind me. It's all I'm thinking about.

I rode down to the train station to see if I could find out how the bike/rail thing works. I'm ready to take a train ride to another city and ride back. Two places are on my list and those are Krakow, Poland and Dresden, Germany. Krakow is an interesting choice because I wasn't planning to go there but a nice CS lady sent me a note and invited me to go there and ride for a few days. Dresden has always been on my must do list but that won't be until next month. I have been invited to Dresden by some nice folks for a Bluegrass Festival. Back at the station I did find out that the prices a pretty cheap. Dresden is not a problem with a bike but Krakow will be difficult. The information about getting a bike through all the transfers is a bit vague.

I've got to figure out this tax issue tonight.

Tuesday 4/14

I didn't get much sleep last night. I'm feeling quite blue about this tax thing. I've decided to go ahead and pay it all, I don't want the IRS on my back a year from now. This going to put a real crimp in my adventure. The IRS and State Taxes are coming to about 70% of my available funds. With me still in Prague I'm going to have to be real careful now. I'm not going to be able to buy a car now. It feels like I've just been robbed. I'll just have to figure something out.

The weather is still good which is unbelievable but I see a storm is coming on Thursday. I am going to come up with a two night bike tour to the south and start tomorrow. It will keep my mind off the other problems and it's cheep. I seemed to have caught a small cold a few days ago but can't let that stop me.

This is a hasty plan and I don't like to do this. I worked on the map for the ride all night so that meant I am packing this morning. Not a problem though, I have everything all together and ready

My target is to be out the door by 10AM and I made it close enough. Packing seems easy now that I've made a few trips already but I have to stay off the computer.

I had trouble finding the route along the way due to poor signs. Some were missing and some were gone altogether. This route is to the south of Prague and very close to the Karlštejn Castle were I had been in November.

After about 5 hours and 57K I reached the turn off where I would go East towards the river. My target is to reach this nice campground called Živohošt along the river and the whole trip would be about 250K. As I was approaching this turn off I could see a small mountain I had to cross over. Then the trail turned to dirt. Now I'm getting discouraged. I didn't notice the mountain on the map until now. I guess I was in to much of a hurry. As the trail disintegrated to a bad trail I could see that I would have to cross the massive ridge on this trail. I wasn't feeling up to it. I turned around and started to search for a camp spot anywhere. After a couple of hours of searching I came upon a horse ranch with a grove of trees in a dry riverbed. I just pushed my bike up into the trees and set up the camp. I was pretty well hidden from the road and it was late so there wasn't much traffic. The nice hammock I have was very camouflaged up in the trees. This place is better then the private campground I saw earlier. That one was right along some railroad tracks. I don't think I would get much sleep there. I've seen a lot of these private campgrounds along the tracks. Very strange.

For the most part I'm feeling alright but I can't stop thinking about how much trouble I'm in now. The night is full of stars and I don't see a moon. It looks very nice. Also getting a bit to cold. I wasn't expecting this, glad I remembered a jacket.

“NOTE” I saw the first real golf course today. I rode right by it. I miss the golf a lot but as I think about it the cost was to high. Of course if it wasn't golf it would have been skiing, cycling or climbing. I'm to much of an Rambler. I was destine to loose it all I guess.

Thursday 4/16

Looking at the weather before leaving I expected the low to be 6C/43F. It got down to 3C/37F. I took my light bag to save some weight and I was cold all night. It seems I didn't do a good job of thinking this one out. I waited for the sun to appear for a couple of hours but it never warmed up so I packed quickly and headed out. Immediately my left knee started to hurt. It was cold and when my knee starts to hurt It doesn't heal fast. I was in for a long ride back.

There was a big hill through a village that I made a wrong turn in which sent me over the top of it. I had to walk a couple of times so on the way back I was determined to not make that mistake again. I tried to navigate around it and got lost twice. The bike route signs pointed all over the place. It was hell backtracking when my knee was so sore. I made it though the bad area and all I had to do was to follow the river to the metro, about 40k. Nice flat ground to cover but I still walked in a few places to stretch my knee. Its a lot warmer now and I was out of water. I wanted to stop at some small market but never saw one. Around 1PM I ran into two nice Czech guy's doing some carpenter work on the river and they gave me some. Real nice of them to do that.

I made it home about 3PM very sore and tired. My first trip that was a bust. I sure learned a lot on this one though. This cold gives me a headache and nose like a fire hydrant. To my surprise my flatmate hadn't eaten my food. After cleaning up I limped into the kitchen for a “Miner's Dawn”

“NOTE” At least I worked out the problems with the bike computer so here are the actual specs.

Not very impressive but at least accurate.

Weight 86lbs.

Trip Dist 112K

Trip Time 7:32hr

Avg Speed 14.87kph

Max Speed 46.52kph

Trip Climb 740M

Friday 4/17

WOW! I'm limping pretty bad. Had to get to the kitchen for coffee this morning. I think this is going to be a 2 or 3 day heal up job.

I have a lot of deciding to do now and I see I have another note from Magda in Krakow. She wants me to come over next weekend. I will make a decision on that tomorrow. Today I'm working on a budget.

Saturday 4/18

I rode to the store today and even though I'm still not 100% I'm getting better. I figure if the train ticket to Krakow isn't to much I can make it. That is the only expense really. Magda seems like a nice person and I will be couch surfing. Riding around Poland seems like a good idea.

The time is coming when I need to move on. I'm trying to re-formulate my plan to accommodate the financing. I'm going to be busy collecting information. The biggest questions I have I guess is what am I going to do when this is over. Where will I settle? I'm having a hard time answering these questions.

Polish Zlotych

1 PLN = .291949USD

1USD = 3.42525PLN