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ENDURO / AM
20 | 11 | 2017
As I travel a lot, I meet many foreign bikers who ask me about riding in my country. The guys are usually interested in the mountains as well the best spots and trails we have in the Czech republic.
The most important fact is that you're allowed to ride almost everywhere except environmentally protected areas which means you can enter forests and use the hiking trails as much as you want unless it's explicitly banned by the law.
Apart from the open paths, you can find trails built by bikers especially for the purposes of the mountain biking. Most of them are kept secret but if you get in touch with someone by social networks before visiting some specific area, the local guys would probably guide you through their playground and show you their best. With growing popularity of the enduro biking, the old drops and huge jumps are slowly swollen by vegetation or incorporated into the new trails.
Recently, also many new official projects like bike parks or trail centers have been founded or even accomplished. Most of them can be found under the canopies of the trees of the mixed forest offering a pleasant shed in summer. One of the most famous and popular resort is called Rychlebske stezky (The Paths of the Rychlebske mountains). Luring even visitors from the surrounding countries, it's absolutely amazing place and must to see. For more check their website on http://www.rychlebytrails.eu/en/
Luckily, I don't need to travel far when I am home and want to have a test ride of a new bike. I've just completed my new Foxy Carbon RR SL. I was pleased by its low weight of only 12,5 kg which is in the 150 mm of travel category almost unbelievable. Instantly after assembling, I took it out for a quick test and the second surprised arrived - the bike has a great handling, especially when leaving the turns. With this bike, I feel confident in any situation including landings. I only need to slow me down sometimes because this Spanish stallion can get incredibly fast and then, some jumps would occur to be too short for him.
Where I live: Radotin
From this suburban part of Prague, you can reach the downtown by train in only 17 minutes. I live here with my wife Tereza and our 3-years old daughter Eleanora. We share the house with my wife's family. On the ground floor, there's a bike shop with a tradition since 1892 owned by Tereza's father Josef. Literally from the doorstep, I can get on the trail leading to the Brdske Highlands. Most of the bike trails are over 20 years old remembering the times when local hero Franta Mrazek cruised the woods with a shovel in his backpack. Some of the trails are still in a good shape and are truly fun to ride. The closest spot is about five minutes far from my house and so I can set out with just a light gear. All of the trails lead to the village of Karlik. In the valley close by, there used to be an old but gnarly freeriding line which I'm tempted to remove dust from and renew it. Even in the most difficult parts, my Foxy bike feels as good as my old downhill bikes but above that, I can make a big cycling loop with it including a mug of the best Czech beer.
Where I come from: Jirkov - Chomutov
The town, originally founded by the German settlers living in Bohemia, is approximately just one-hour car drive from Prague in the direction north. My heart still belongs to this region and it's not only because my parents live here. My father helps me with assembling new bikes and I try to engage him as much as possible to keep him in a good form. I also have many friends here who I've known since my membership in the local BMX club. Through the window of my flat, I have a magnificent view over the Ore Mountains ridge and to the closest chairlift, it's only 15 minutes by car. On the borders of the town, there's a brown coal mining area. Even though the entry's been forbidden due to the safety reasons since my childhood I used to spend hundreds of hours there preparing for the Red Bull Rampage that I had been taking part regularly since 2002. However, these days, it's much harder to get there as the security guard got much quicker vehicles. That's why local MTB crew has been building trails in Bezruc's Valley since a couple of years. The starting point is easy to reach by car within half an hour and so we can shuttle if someone would sacrifice for the rest and drive. Even though the lines are pure downhill mania, my Foxy trail bike works flawlessly on them. It flies like a bullet and I feel that I can spend in the air as long as I want. I'm not sure what made us so good mates - maybe because the bike itself looks like a piece of art.