Bikepacking Through Czechia

Malcolm and I left Anchorage on the afternoon of the 20th and arrived the evening of the 21st in Prague.  We unpacked the bikes in the airport and headed into the heart of the city, following a GPX track that Nic had emailed to us.  We eventually waded our way through the crowded streets to Lubamir’s house (a friend of a friend of a friend), where Nic had arranged for us to stay. Lubamir took us out for our first Czech beer before we crashed after a long day of traveling.

Explosion in the Prague airport

The next day we boarded a train headed to Leberic to meet up with Nic.  Nic was waiting with pastries in hand.  We dropped into town to grab some food and then headed into the mountains.  

All of the things you are not allowed to take into the woods.

Breakfast spread.

Cowboy coffee

Wheelies for days.

For the next 3 days, I got my ass handed to me trying to keep up with these guys. 

The bottle says milk… does it smell like milk?

Malcolm and Nic working on their cheese game.

Back on the border.

I have been pretty stagnant for the last couple months.  Biking maybe 20 miles a week and occasionally getting out on a hike, but generally a lot of time wasting with little physical activity.  Starting out of Leberic, we were in the mountains almost immediately.  Pedaling a 60 to 75 pound rig up and down the mountains was a rude awakening for my body.  Those first 2 nights on the trail I rolled into camp completely destroyed.   Since those first few days, I have felt my legs get stronger and even enjoyed a couple of the longer climbs.  

Malcolm is working on designing ultra light coffee mug. Here we see the first prototype.

Really nice place to sleep for the night.

24 inch diameter, 3 inch wide, electronic downhill bike. I think I need a Bultaco

Malcolm headed back to Alaska several days ago to go back to work and keep time open for future adventures. He was generous to take some extra gear I had brought along and did not need.  Carrying extra, unusable weight just makes life harder.  I had a bit of a hard time trying to figure out what to pack for a trip of unknown length to a place I have never been, so naturally i brought too much stuff.  The trip has so far been a bit of an apprenticeship in bikepacking. I am learning where to pack gear on the bike, how to fit more food and beer on the bike, and how to keep grinding uphill when your legs are screaming.

One of the countless bunkers we biked by.

Observed during our tour of a bunker.

Blueberry filled pastries and beer for a late breakfast.

Field repair.

Fresh plumbs picked on the roadside.

Calm morning after a thunderstorm and night before

Nice single track along the border.

Two nights night ago, we dropped out of the mountains and camped on the edge of a reservoir.  It was nice to get in a quick swim before eating some sausages on the edge of the water.  

Yesterday we pedaled mostly pavement through farm country to Opava.  We decided to take a bit of a rest here and grabbed a $40 hotel room.  

Camped on a man made resivoir

It is nice to get in a shower and wash my clothes with some hot water.  Our hotel is attached to the local soccer stadium, you can walk out of our room, across the hall, and straight into the stadium.  If only there was a game tonight.

Everyday so far has felt like two or three.  We travel through such varied trails and terrain that it is hard to remember where we have gone.  We are eating huge meals when we can and drinking plenty of beer to power our legs onward.

From Opava we will head generally east into the through Poland heading towards the corner of Poland, Ukraine, and Slovakia.  

If you want some more eye candy and insightful writing head over to Nic’s site at https://gypsybytrade.wordpress.com/

4 Comments

  1. Reply
    Barb Johnson August 31, 2017

    Glad you are getting stronger and liking the uphills. It looks like a lot of variety in terrain. Thanks for taking the time to post pictures and tell about your trip. I’m sure it does take a while to figure out how to pack everything and know what you need.

  2. Reply
    Grandma August 31, 2017

    Abe, I am so happy for you. It looks like a glorious adventure; sortta makes me itch to get back hiking on foreign soil. Your pictures are glorious. Carry on …

  3. Reply

    […] Abe’s stories from the trail on his blog AK Schmidtshow. For smaller morsels follow our ride on Instagram at @nicholascarman and […]

  4. Reply
    Cindy September 1, 2017

    Thanks for sharing. Looks like an amazing adventure. Have fun, and stay beer-drayted 🍺.
    P.S. what is a cheese game?

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