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Czech Republic

Czech Trip 2022 - Day 5

To Brno and beyond!

Sunday we were breakfasted and away. Then we found that the hotel didn't take cards. After two years of COVID lockdown cash has become an anathema to us in the West. Not so in the depths of Northern Moravia. In the end Roman the current president of the centre paid and I agreed to send him the 1000kč we owed.

There were no holdups as we left. No waterproofs either. The destination to was eventually end up in Lenzing in Austria and meet up again with Giles.

We arrived at my friend and former school colleague Lilka's house in Popůvky around 11am. Actually the first time we had arrived on schedule anywhere let alone early. Our old Suzuki Owners Club friend and the guy that started the Czech Centre back in 1984, Ivan, arrived on the bus. At 74 he has had to cut back on riding his bikes and missed the rally as well.

We were joined for the BBQ by Jarek and Tomáš, Lilka's husband and son, and Jiří our other biking friend. Jiří had brought some cakes he had baked and also for me some homemade spirits, slivovice and some flavoured gins.

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With bellies full we left and Phil gave Ivan a lift back to his flat in Bohunice. And then we were off south to Mikulov and into Austria. Then of course it rained. At the Shell station in Mikulov I put on my waterproofs and managed to get the new overboots on! They have a long zip but getting my foot in was hard work. They stayed on for the next 300 kilometres!

When we arrived in scenic Lenzing Giles was there to greet us! We checked in and stripped off all the waterproof gear. A nice shower and change into civvies just in time for dinner. I had the soup with liver dumplings and a Caesar salad.

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A beer to wash it all down and I was ready for bed. The day had been about 650 kilometres.

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Posted by InvictaMoto 18:53 Archived in Czech Republic Tagged czech_trip_2022 Comments (0)

Czech Trip 2022 - Days 3 & 4

Into Czech.... and the rain!

Day 3

We were up and ready to leave the Plzen hotel by around 0930. We had a reasonably shor day today to get around Prague and on the D11 to Hradec Kralove. Simples with a detour to the Church of Bones in Kutna Hora.

Of course TomTom had other ideas. Instead of the D11 it decided that a few detours through hosing estates on the eastern edge of Prague were needed before we settle down to the S12 instead. Slower? Yes.

Eventually we arrived at Sedlec and the ossuary. I last wen tin 2011 and then it was basically pay on the door and then photos were allowed (no flash). Today. Information centre down the road and no photos at all. That's progress for you.

It is still pretty macabre with the bones of hundreds of not thousands on people arranged in "displays"! it doesn't take long to get around and I was glad of the senior discount!

We decided to forego a coffee and head off for Hradec to meet my ex-student Rosta.

Then it started to rain.

Phil was wearing his Rukka gear. I was in the ill advised (as it turned out) summer gear with light waterproof over jacket and trousers. My boots are also waterproof. I togged up. Phil changed gloves.

Rosta texted to say meet at a café near his house. Of course, that came in when we were on the road. We stopped near his house and I picked it up. I tried to WhatsApp call him and he couldn't hear. After a few tours of the city in the wrong direction, we eventually went the right way and stopped about 200 yards from where we had tried to talk on WhatsApp! Lunch was Czech goulash and knedliky.

After chatting and eating we togged up again. This time we had decided to go direct to the rally in as time was getting on. Again TomTom decided that the route I had programmed wasn't the one it was going to take us on. We missed the end of the D11 and ended up heading towards more closed roads on the way to Sumperk. Had we gone the ay I had planned we had the chance to "bag" Poland for a few hundred yards and avoid the roads closed.

At one point we arrived to find the temporary closure due to a cycle race. We were let through and I led. There was no sign of Phil so I decided to park and wait. Then I needed a wee. I was about the go behind a tree when the peloton arrived and shot past along with outriders and support vehicles. I tried again. More cyclists. A lad and a girl. I waited until they had gone..... Relieved I set off and caught up with Phil. It was still hissing down. By now my feet were wet.

Why wet feet if you have waterproof boots? The rain ran up the boot. The waterproofs, despite the waist as high a Simon Cowell's trousers and when standing, the leg cuffs over my feet, sitting on the bike they rode up and my socks got soaked.

We finally arrived about two hours later than planned. The welcome was great. We had our own rooms with shared facilities. Not too bad as it was only me and Phil in our part of the floor.

Dinner, beer, more beer, shots of coffee flavoured rum and some deadly slivovice meant we slept well.

Day 4

Up relatively early considering the late night and alcohol. It's hard to say no.....

The plan was for a run to some classic bike racing but it was still raining. I had a walk around to look at the bikes and then I to the village. Camera at the ready. Actually. Phone camera.

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Then it was rally games. I came fifth in the eating competition. I don't know if there are photos! Ten M&M's on a plate hidden in whipped cream... The idea to locate the sweets and drop them in a cup. Phil was hopeless.

There a few other games I avoided when taking the photos above. Then we had the quiz. A quiz to see how much we knew about Suzuki. Somehow I won....

Lunch and we had a relaxing afternoon doing nothing. After the ride across the continent and all the road closures and Satnav hiccups it was nice not to be on the bikes. We also decided on no alcohol. Mmmm.

In the late afternoon the Czech Centre had a meeting to discuss their subscriptions for the year, where to have the rally next year and finally whether to extend their profile on Facebook and Twitter.

Then we moved to the raffle. We bought 5 tickets. Three for Phil and two for me. In the end Phil won a Suzuki oil filter.... Useful on his BMW. I won over boots!

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I can't help thinking this was either divine intervention or that someone fixed it knowing I got wet feet!!!

Another slivovice was "forced" on us and then we had dinner. Some interesting chats with guys from Brno, about of all things football and the situation in Ukraine.

We heard from Giles that his bike was fixed. He had been towed to a B&B near Wurzburg and had ordered new coils on Amazon Prime to be tracked and delivered on Saturday midday. They had arrived and were fitted and he was on his way south in Bavaria to meet us Sunday afternoon in Lenzing in Salzburgerland.

Bed. Day 5 we set off for home.

Posted by InvictaMoto 18:48 Archived in Czech Republic Tagged czech_trip_2022 Comments (0)

Czech Trip 2022 - Day 2

Roads closed and coil disaster!

We were away from the hotel pretty early and the first stop was petrol. Vera was doing far more to the gallon than I had expected and so I wasn't really in need, but Giles on the 1982 Katana 1100 was.

I had planned a route that would take us back a little to the Rhine and then we would follow it to Rudesheim before hitting the faster route to Wiesbaden and then the A3 towards Wurzburg.

We accomplished the first part. The first petrol stop on TomTom was actually closed down. The pumps removed and it was a car dealers. We carried on until St Goarhausen where the station was open. We filled up there. We couldn't stop by the Loreley statue and so carried on. Then it all went to pot.

The road ahead to Rudesheim was barred and we had to strike off left away from the Rhine and into the hills. The road would be great to recreate the Isle of Man TT! Smooth tarmac and sweeping bends all through a thick forest. We didn't see any "umlietung" signs to take us back to the Rhine, and we ploughed on. Eventually stopping to reset the satnavs at a bikers café - Wisperstube.

From there the newly routed satnavs took us to where we would have been had we gone through Rudesheim.

It should have been plain sailing all the way to Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Wrong.

After Tauberbischofsheim where we stopped for fuel it all went wrong. Another road closure. This time the satnavs gave us the alternative of the motorway. We'd miss this end of the Romantic Road.

Instead fate interrupted with Giles' bike going onto two cylinders. After some checking it seemed a coil.had failed. Time for the AA.

When we were certain that the local breakdown service was coming Phil and I set off for Plzeň. We had lost about 2 hours waiting to get through to the AA. Giles wanted us to go as he knew we had about three hours to the hotel. The ADAC patrol was on its way.

We decided on the direct route and the Romantic Road could wait.

We arrived in Plzeň at the Hotel Plzeň about 9.15pm. They checked us in and we hurried over the the attached pizzeria. We had had no lunch and were hungry. The hotel is very modern. There were six German bikes already there. For €35 the room was spacious and comfortable.

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Breakfast was a buffet and good.

Posted by InvictaMoto 12:06 Archived in Czech Republic Tagged czech_trip_2022 Comments (0)

Czech Trip 2022 - Hotel Pilzeň

Stayed here last night. Right in the centre. Secure parking for €6 per car space. Easily fits up to 4 motorcycles. Really good rooms and excellent buffet breakfast. Thoroughly recommended.

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(Blog entry sent from Yahoo Mail. The photo looks okay on my phone, not sideways as it appears here.)

Posted by InvictaMoto 07:01 Archived in Czech Republic Tagged czech_trip_2022 Comments (0)

Czech Invader Rally Trip - May 2022

Day 3 - The plan anyway!

Once we have enjoyed what Plzeň has to offer the Englishman Abroad we need to get across the country from west to east and the Rally site. I had a few things planned for the way across and in the end I dropped most of them apart from the Church of Bones in Kutná Hora and a side trip of around 5 miles to "bag" Poland.

In addition, I have planned a short stop to see my former student and friend Rosta Kříž in Hradec Králové. We should make good progress as the road from Plzeň as far as Hradec Králové, the D11, is mostly motorway. It's after that where we will be on ordinary roads.

To "bag" Poland on the trip I am hoping that the border between the two countries near Boboszów is not manned so that we can ride straight through and back out again unmolested. If not I guess we bluff it or turn around! On Google Maps Streetview it looks simple enough with just signs explaining the speed limits etc. The reality might be different! If you know better then comment away!

Once back into Czech we head along the roads to Vernířovice. I have another fuel stop planned before we get to the rally hotel. This is to ensure that should the club have a ride out on Saturday we have full tanks.

And that should be it. A nice relaxing evening catching up with things and hopefully Phil and Giles picking up the long distance awards!

Czech Trip Day Three

Czech Trip Day Three

Boboszow PL

Boboszow PL

Posted by InvictaMoto 18:56 Archived in Czech Republic Tagged poland czech_republic brno plzen popůvky vernířovice boboszów hradec_králové czech_trip_2022 Comments (0)

Czech Invader Rally Trip - May 2022

A week to go....

sunny 19 °C
View Czech Invader 2022 on InvictaMoto's travel map.

Just a week before we set off for the east of the Czech Republic for the local Suzuki Owners Club Rally. In fact, Phil and Giles will actually be setting off on Tuesday to come across from the west country to Dover. For me it's a 14 mile ride from door to door (as it were!).

As well as having everything printed I will have some of the details on my phone. In fact, I'll have multiple copies of all the stuff I need to have with me. One in the tank bag and others (!) in the top box. Belt and braces!

Today I copied the routes from MyRouteApp to the TomTom. At the same time I saw that there are map updates for Europe and the US. I don't usually bother with the US upgrades but whilst I am at it I might as well let it run.. 🤯

The updater came up to say that to do the download would take 10124 hours.... it changed before I could get a photo... to 1 hour 24 mins. Phew.

I also downloaded and installed the DFDS app to my phone and logged in. It shows the last check-in time to be 7.15am for the ferry we are booked on. I will aim for well before 7am arrival at the docks. Looks like a very early start. Just like going to work! The app also says that you can enter the API (Advance Passenger Information) using the app. I can't find that and so whilst I still have a laptop to hand I entered my passport details for the booking through the website! Is it worth an email to DFDS to ask about the app? Hardly worth it now.

Today it is a day for changing the bikes over in the garage and relegating the Suzi the Kettle to the back and getting Vera Strom to the front and giving her a check over. She is well within the service limits and the tyres are almost new. A bit of oil on the chain. I'll use the Scottoiler oil I have left over from when I had one fitted to the Kettle.

Oh and of course the UK sticker needs to be found a place! maybe on the back of the pannier? Which side? Decisions eh!

And finally. I have to fit and tune the new air seat cover to my butt's needs. The V-Strom is a really good motorcycle. It does everything you would expect from a 1000cc v-twin. The gearbox is slick and typically Suzuki in operating but... the seat is terrible. I have tried using the Alaska Leathers sheepskin pad that I have used before on the BMW and Triumphs (since 2004!) I have had in the past. But to no avail. After fifty miles it feels like my butt cheeks are numbed and then painful!

So I bought a Hommiesafe inflatable seat cover.

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It gets great write ups on the V-Strom forums. It needs only a little air in it to take the pressure off. I will fit it and see about a few test rides to fine tune it. Perhaps ride up to Arsenal for the last game of the season on Sunday rather than take the train. It's 75 miles each way?

That 1h 24m turned out to be nearer 3 hours in the end before it had downloaded the maps and the other little changes and then installed on the 410. Still, that's it for another three or four months.

Posted by InvictaMoto 11:15 Archived in Czech Republic Tagged czech_trip_2022 Comments (0)

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