275,40 km, 3.063 m climb, 16:45:32 h
Before I will start writing, I would like to thank all those who helped to make this crazy idea into reality and who supported me (they know). Special thanks to Franz Bauernhofer, who made great support to us and formed an important part of the support team. Another very important thanks to David Pašek, without whom I would not have the chance to participate in this project.
What was it?
Crazy plan; among other things with idea to bring together people and nationalities. In fact, ride for a peace. In the support team was only Jiří Sejkora as reporter and Franz Bauernhofer as a driver. Both had about 10 other jobs and they did it great. After some time, Jirka talked to me often in English and I have no idea in which language I was responding.
The journey to the Cyprus
from the blog ellaspace.wordpress.com
Looking around day
We’ve got an accommodation in the evening, and I, as the only woman, got my entire place two floors above the guys. I felt a little lonely.
At the morning was a bit of a shock to everyone. It was warm and we were surrounded by…hills. And quite steep and high hills.
After a magnificent breakfast, we went to arrange a few things and meet the press. In Nicosia, we’ve met the local reporter and went through the historic centre…well…just a few streets very quickly. I was feeling a bit uneasy in the tight miniskirt. I wasn’t wearing this kind of clothing for a year and I was afraid if it was too revealing.
The local people were something totally different than we expected in all next days. No one had a problem with us, neither we with them. In addition, local ladies were in classic clothes (often in a sweatshirt and jeans), some with a scarf over their hair. Here are two main religions: Christianity and Islamism.
An interesting “surprise” was the season of oranges that were also blooming. I’m a little embarassed about this botanical information slipping out of my head. The strawberries just ready to pick. From a phenological point of view, was the end of the vegetation, which was visible all around. Everything was green, the spring flowers already faded, the fruits ready to pick, the grain too…
Most of us also bathed in the sea, about which we were told it is cold. It was not that terrible. It was a pleasantwere told, that the temperature does not fall below approximately 15 ° C. But I already (slightly against my will) bathed in the sea in December.
The ride and the first problems
In the morning, I woke up before the alarm. So, not at 3 am, but at about 2:50. Then there was packing our bags, scooters and everything into car. The start was around six o’clock in the morning, and somehow without breakfast. Fortunately, I had one Pardubice’s gingerbread and then something more, I found somewhere.
We started with dawn. I was naively wrapped in a jacket that made me feel hot in five minutes. Discomfort began. During the first few kilometres I had to confront myself with my comfort and scooter. But after the first brake use, problems began. The brake was slowing me down when it shouldn’t, and I was losing the guys. I had to go after them in a fast pace. Kicking the brake to the side helped. But I was still losing them, I was using too much effort. In downhill they were going much faster than I could go, and I was still upset about the problem and that this is not possible for longer time.
For a moment, the scooter was okay, but they were still much faster in downhill. Niklas offered me his scooter to try. I had feeling, that going on something like this is cheating because it was so effortless. Carbon PG made perfectly to fit Niklas.
Soon, they dismounted my rear brake from my scooter. I asked if Niklas wants his scooter back, but he left it to me. At the downhill I said I will return it, but after a few small tests I found out how the scooter is behaving and I had no problem with downhill anymore. From that moment, I stopped asking for a changing back, enjoying the ride and fought with the handlebars where I had trouble to touch on the brake – it was a bit too far.
Crisis and the relieving end
I’ve been shallow breathing for a while, because a deeper breath made me cough. This, along with the increased speed on the flats, made me sick from moment to moment. It was like getting a slap. I was feeling languid (I couldn’t find better word). Rather, I informed Martin about this, so he would not be afraid if they will be picking me up from asphalt. I did not dare to ride another hill, instead I was leaning on the handlebar, lowered my head and breathed deeply. My body was not mine, it was totally someone else’s I barely controlled it. There was a pause at the top of the hill, so I poured Coca-Cola into myself, sat and after a while it was good again.
Soon the last few kilometres were ahead of us – a bad surface with deep holes. That path seemed endless to us. The police escort always awaited us on top of the hill. Probably to show us that the way leads uphill again and it does not end. The light of the accompanying car illuminated my way.
At one moment, someone in front yelled „a hole”. Both Niklas and Martin rode each to different side and I hadn’t time to react. Because I didn’t want to end in that about 10 cm deep hole, I quickly jumped off the scooter and jumped over the hole. After a few kilometres, no one bothered to report holes because there was to many of them.
My Kickbike was easily hearable as the loose metal sheet was scratching the ground. Somewhere along the way, a rivet was torn off and the scooter was scratching on everything.
On this asphalt in absolute dark I wanted to end it several times. I wanted to put off a scooter saying that I really don’t have the nerves for this and sit on the road side. But I had no other choice, so I had to finish it. What has happened after a tedious journey, and we stood at the eastern tip of Cyprus after 16 hours and 45 minutes riding – including breaks.
I stopped with relief and surprisingly realized that I was not as tired as I had expected. Yes, my muscles hurt, and I wanted to sleep – who wouldn’t after just a couple of hours sleeping – but on the other hand I felt quite fresh, only with heavy legs.
In the bus on the way back, I fell asleep in seconds. In our new accommodation, I resigned to be in my own house, and insolently went to a house with guys – so I wasn’t alone again. We fell asleep very fast.
Text by Ella Csakany´s blog ellaspace.wordpress.com – Photos Jiri Sejkora
In Czech Republic: