Anew Relations

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Tuesday 04 July 2017: Vojkovice to Valašské Meziřící

6:20am. The roar of reinforced rubber accompanied by combustion engines propelling is thrown into sharp relief by the untold variety of birds tweeting and cawing. I think we were asleep by 10:30pm, when the noise from the nearby road subsided. Strange, you didn’t notice it until you were in the tent. The same goes for other noises, too, once you’re denied the sense us humans rely on so – or too? – heavily: sight. Once we are cocooned within the tent, other senses seem to heighten and become more attuned and sensitive to the objects that move them.

That must be the case regarding the road and the traffic. We both remarked yesterday, during what you would assume to be the peak-traffic period, that, despite being such a quality road surface, and well kept, the road was light on mechanised traffic, and therefore quiet, which made for another element in our super-nice day. Czechia, despite having its charming quirks, can’t have its rush-hour in this region between 9:30 and 10:15pm, so I hope we can look forward to another pleasant day’s riding.

Today’s destination is Valašské Meziřící, which, again, is an undulating ride in the mountains, though looking at the profile, it seems like we end up at a similar level to where we set out, so the extra 5km or so we may have to cover shouldn’t be felt too much, provided the weather doesn’t turn too nasty or Czechia drivers simultaneously decide en masse to take to all the roads.

We’re off to meet and stay with our first Warmshowers’ hosts, Michal and Zuza, who have offered dinner and a place to sleep for the night. From researching their profile it seems they are experienced tourers, so it’ll be interesting to meet them, not just as people, but to get some insight from others who have presumably ascended much of the steep learning curve we cling to now.

Gave the chains on both bikes a wipe and a lube yesterday, as both were beginning to give off mouse-like squeaks around the pulley-area of the rear derailleurs; though that can’t be it – he says, not really knowing if it can or not – as I only lubed them on Saturday. I’m hoping the bikes, just now fully laden and pulling us up hills at least 50% of the way, simply require more frequent lubing than regular bikes, and that there isn’t something annoying that will need removing from a bearing, for example, as that’s beyond my pay-grade at the moment. However, we’re experiencing similar squeaks in similar areas, so I hope it’s too much of a coincidence for it to be a symptom of anything more than regular use that requires regular maintenance. That said, I did only rub the chains down with a cloth before applying fresh lube, which I know isn’t the proper way to clean the chain, but I’m experimenting with short-cuts whilst on the road. If this doesn’t solve it, I’ll give the chains a blast of WD-40, then, once it’s dried, apply some proper, decent lube, which is supposed to be an on-the-road hack. Learning learning learning.

Glad the woman whose land we’re on offered us a sheltered place to leave our bikes for the night, as, presumably, given the fact logs are also stored there, they are in a much drier place than completely outside on this considerably dewy patch of exposed lawn.

The bikes: as an extension of us, we care about them, in ways and on levels maybe not right for material objects, but interacting with them constantly as part of our lives makes them, ahem, part of our lives, and so a relationship does develop.

I hope they’re OK.

Time to answer the call of nature and see – gonna wake that German Shepherd up when I do, though…

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12:35, and we’re sitting in Frydek Mistek, waiting for ‘brunch’ in a greasy Tex-Mex-style restaurant in the corner of the quaint, cobbled town-square. First impressions indicate a non-remarkable town, but, yes, with a well looked after centre.

Maybe, probably, there is more, but we were following our stomachs: having left our lovely overnight spot, and another gracious host, about 90 minutes later than planned.

‘Plans!?’ I’ll tell you about plans.”

“What? What will you tell me about plans?”

“Rain, surprise-rain, that’s what. How’s that do ya?”

Ah yes, the wet spanner in the works. “It’s just a bit of water: don’t panic.” And while we may not have panicked, it did cause a lot of hurried assessing and re-assessing of priorities.

But we got there, and here – and living like this is never boring or predictable 😃

The skies bode well now, but we all know what that means in this part of the world, don’t we 🙃

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With 160.28km and 12 hours 02 minutes on the clock – so 10.4k and 50 minutes done so far today – we still have 47km to go and, again, many undulations to undulate before Valašské Meziřící and hopefully meeting our potential hosts, Michal and Zuza.

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Arrive: 7:30ish.

The personal escort to the door turned out to be Zuza’s dad.

Great welcome.

Familiar chat.

Beer. Shower. Food. Beer. Wine. Bed.

An invitation to join them to Valašské Klobouky, 56km away, for some traditional harvesting in a mountain forest. Sounds like a beautiful ride through the mountains and a destination that’s right up our street 😃

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