Bicycling Czech Republic – Day One, Leaving Olomouc
“Something tells me that I am going to make it,” I thought to myself as I pulled out of the Poets’ Corner Hostel and onto the Open Road for my great bicycle journey from the Czech Republic to Turkey.
So I got off of the bicycle, looked around at Olomouc, and then returned to the Poets’ Corner with my tail drawn up between my legs. I rang the buzzer at the door and Nicola, the hostel attendant who just saw me off with waves of farewell not five minutes before answered.
“It is Wade, can I come back in?” I asked rather meekly.
The door opened and I took my bike back to the rear of the hostel – the place from which I had just departed for my great journey. I then tore off the demasculated rear wheel the particular sort of vengeance that a man pays to a piece of machinery that lets him down, and plunged into fixing the flat with anger fueled enthusiasm. I fixed it up quick, and then looked over my gear.
I knew that I was hauling too much weight for the bicycle to bear on its back. I loaded it mostly into an old milk crated over the rear wheel, and I had one backpack on my own back as well. I needed to loose some weight. So I went over my gear piece by piece and tried to sort out all that I did not really need. The only things that I could place into the discard piles were my books and a crappy bicycle repair tool that is usable. I liked my books, and I surely did not want to get rid of any. But books are heavy and bulky, and the Road ahead was long. I knew clearly what I had to do.
So I picked up the century old, hard cover copy of Harry Franck’s A Vagabond Journey Around the World, which I had been traveling with for years, gave it one last embrace, and signed it over to the Poets’ Corner Hostel. This is my favorite book in the world, and I had obtained it under rather magical circumstance, but the Road was beginning to wear it down. Its’ pages were wore and some were crinkled, the binding was coming loose all through it, and the spine had pretty much become detached from the rest of the book. I knew that if I did not allow it to retire into the Poet’s Corner library that it would disintegrate on the way to Turkey.
I did what was best and wrote a note to Greg to let him know the significance of this book, and ran it up to the hostel library.
I also got rid of the useless bicycle multi-tool.
I was now again ready to set out on the long road to the Middle East.
I left the Poets’ Corner Hostel with a heavy heart, and looked joyfully into the unknown turns that invariably laid ahead.
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