Last November I wrote a post celebrating the first anniversary of this blog. In it, I commented that writing the posts, rather than cycling the miles, had - to my surprise - proved to be the toughest aspect of my circumnavigation of the Czech Republic on a bicycle.
On the basis of my experience this summer, I have to revise that view.
I still maintain that the cycling itself, while being certainly very hard work at times, has been the easy bit and that writing up my exploits is certainly the more laborious task of the two. But the most difficult part of all has been to find enough time for circuit riding at all.
Take this summer. Originally I’d planned to do Stage 6 of my circuit ride in July or August. I could make excuses about the bad weather (July, for example, was a washout), but the truth is I’ve been too busy with work, family commitments and (yes, I admit it) other holidays to get on with my journey. Now I find myself in September - with two stages and some 500 miles left to cover - and my diary is still almost full. Where this leaves my plan to complete the whole project this year, I’m not sure.
However, I can see a window of opportunity. At the end of September - on the 28th, to be precise - there’s a public holiday in the Czech Republic. It falls on a Wednesday. This means that by taking just two days off work (Monday and Tuesday), I can engineer a break of five days (Saturday to Wednesday), which is exactly how much time I need to ride Stage 6 (from Horní Dvořiště in southern Bohemia to Břeclav in the south of Moravia).
You can consider it pencilled in.
Then all that will remain is Stage 7 - the final leg back to Bohumín (where I started in May 2010). Whether I still manage to do that this year depends most of all on the weather in October. At some point in the autumn, the Slavic weather gods will switch off the heat and we’ll be plunged into at least five months of winter. And that, in turn, means no more circuit riding till the spring.
Needless to say, I’m praying for an Indian summer.