Iv'e had a pretty good summer of cycling here in CZ! I managed to do a few Enduro races and have checked out a few different trail centres with my buddies Adrian, Laurie and Pavel. Towards the end of the season we took a trip to Klinovec Trail Park, located in the north west of CZ, pretty much hugging the border with Germany. We were pretty impressed with the facilities and even more so the quality of trails. We decided that it would be cool to have another day out riding there with friends of the shop who wanted to get a taste for mountain biking!
A couple of weeks later, an early start, and two vans full of excited riders and we were en route to Klinovec once again! With some of the party nursing some pretty brutal hangovers it was a pretty quiet journey there and we hoped that the riding would wake us up. It did just that!! We were a group of 9 and there was a wide range of riding abilities. Some that ride week in / week out and others that were on a mountain bike for the very first time! That's why we thought Klinovec would be the perfect destination as there is a little bit something for every level of ability.
Adrian and Laurie got stuck straight into the technical stuff and Sam (beginner) bravely decided to tag along with them (much to my worry!). The rest of the group consisted of Francesco, Nick, Darko, Sam T, Stephen, Pavel and myself and we got to grips with the bikes, the trails and curbing our enthusiasm! Francesco was on a lovely new Trek Fuel EX 8 and it was his first time on a MTB, although I wouldn’t have thought it after following the maniac down the hill at break neck speed! Franceco’s smile was ear to ear and he was very vocal in his new found love of mountain biking, "James, I can’t believe I have never done this before, so much fun!!!”. Of course all in a cool Italian accent! The rest of the guys were also getting faster and faster with each run and it didn’t take long before there were a few inevitable crashes due to riders pushing their limits. Riders were coming down the hill looking like they had been attacked by zombie badgers! Cut knees, elbows, backs and arms - and we were only half way through the day! We decided to clean ourselves up, stop for lunch and talk about the riding!
On the chairlift to the top of the hill where the restaurant was we spotted Adrien, Laurie and much to my dismay….Sam…..riding on the DOWNHILL track! I shouted at Sam to take it easy but he disappeared into the distance in a cloud of dust. I needed a beer to calm my nerves! We had our lunch in a nice old and cozy Czech restaurant, enjoying various traditional Czech meals and beer at fantastic prices. We talked a bit of bikes and trails and headed out to enjoy the rest of the chilly and now slightly wet afternoon.
A few more thrills and spills and it was nearly the end of the day. Some of us swapped bikes to try different models and we each trail a couple of more times. The blue trail is smooth and long, perfect for beginners but still fun for riders with more experience. The red trail is a little bit rougher and more technical but still okay for beginners. A rider with more experience can really fly down this trail and make use of the rollers to hit a few gaps. I didn’t time us down any of the trails but they are really, really long! The trails have got to be hitting 10 - 14 mins, which is fantastic value considering the uplifts only cost 550czk for the whole day!
We all met up at the bottom of the hill and celebrated an awesome day with a nice cool beer (or two)! Unsurprisingly, Sam C won the worst zombie badger attack award with plenty of cuts and grazes all over his body. That’s what happens when you follow maniacs Laurie and Adrien down the hill. They were seriously impressed with how quickly Sam got the hang of MTBing and I am sure the injuries won’t have put him off. Everybody seemed to really enjoy themselves and it was really cool to see complete beginners build up their confidence throughout the day, and by the end completely taming the trails. We headed back to Prague tired and content, talking of the days adventures and life in CZ. It's not bad is it?!
The season has come to an end but what a way to finish it off and next year we shall be organising plenty more trips, so please keep an eye out for the next one!
Pavel - Trek Slash 9.8 2017
Adrien - Trek Remedy 8 2016
Laurie - Trek Superfly FS
Nick - Cube Attitude
Darko - Trek X-Caliber
Sam H - Specialized Hardrock??
Sam C - Trek Fuel EX 8 2018
Francesco - Trek Fuel EX 8 2017
Stephen - Trek Fuel EX 9 2016
James - Trek Slash 9.9 2018