Good news – I made it to Plzen, the Czech Republic safe and sound. The travel was actually fairly easy. With a pretty much empty flight from Ottawa to Frankfurt, I had an entire row to myself and was able to get some sleep. The flight from Frankfurt to Prague was delayed but no big deal. The only trying moment of the trip was getting to the rental car pick-up spot… Needed to use an elevator that unfortunately didn’t fit luggage carts so I had to manhandle my bike bags into the elevator and out. This was followed by a rather long walk in the damp to the rental car location.
I certainly lucked out with my car. You might remember my agonizing over what “type” of car to rent… Well, I chose Volkswagen Golf Stationwagon or similar. Imagine my surprise when I was handed the keys to a bright red Peugeot Partner – in other words an SUV! Very happy with this vehicle (this is the same vehicle we had last year in Belgium).
The drive to Plzen was fairly uneventful. Though I have to admit the speed limit of 130 km/hour is a bit a shock. But I made out okay. The hotel is excellent and I have super big room (which is a complete disaster right now…). After a quick bite to eat (I brought oatmeal pre-made from home) it was time to build a bike. I must admit this is the part of the travel I dread the most – I’m just not confident with my bike building skills. Well, very happy to report that I got one bike together in less than 20 minutes and it worked out brilliantly.
I went out for an easy spin of the legs. The rain wasn’t that welcoming but I dressed for it and it really was just nice to be out riding. I found a great park near the centre of Plzen that has a combination of paved and gravel paths – perfect spot for a spin of the legs. I explored pretty much every trail and ended up having an excellent ride. Truth be told, I didn’t really want to head back to the hotel – it was so refreshing to be out riding in this massive green space in the city.
The rest of the day/evening has been pretty chilled out. Spent some time cleaning my bike and dealt with my soggy clothes. I currently have the temperature set at 30 celsius in attempts of drying out my soggy clothes… I had a good meal at the hotel here and then off to Tesco’s for some food supplies.
Well, that’s probably more information you wanted about my day… But that’s what the first day in Plzen has been like. Tomorrow I have to do a longer ride with a series of different intervals. I’m thinking of driving over to where the race course is because I remember there being a really good network of bicycle paths starting from that park.
Looking forward to connecting with everyone as they start to arrive over the next few days. Many thanks to Gregg Germer for bringing me a trainer and wheel and to Christine for the offers of anything from Belgium.
Alright, this is all I have for now. I’ll try to take some photos tomorrow and post them up.