We are moving to a server with less intrusive ads. New address is nightrider.mzf.cz (just replace "xf" with "mzf", all file names and locations stay the same).
After last year's relative success, I couldn't resist and signed up again. New couchbike is not finished yet, so I took my second fastest horse, the Favorit. Crucial part of the plan - better navigation - should have been taken care of by a smartphone with a map and GPS, mounted on top tube and charged by dynamo. But it was foiled by a new, untested USB cable with a bad contact. The day was saved by plan B: a hastily scribbled cue sheet showing all villages and crossroads, which I partially memorized en route to Brno. In the end, I only got lost about three times and almost didn't have to stop anywhere. This meant more than an hour of difference.
The weather was nice, sunny and warm. Strong southeast wind was blowing since the morning, acting as headwind for two thirds of the route (typical situation: going downhill, aero-tucked, hair flapping, fifteen km/h on the speedo and pedaling like crazy to keep it there). It mostly ceased in the evening, when it would have made a nice tailwind - Murphy's classic. A lowracer would be handy, although the six kilo lighter DF was not bad in the hills (it just needs more gears). Snacks scheduled regularly after every 20 km worked well, as did offroad hiking boots instead of light sporty shoes (they stick to the pedals almost like clips). Right Achilles tendon started to hurt after 150 km just like last time, confirming the problem is in it itself, not the type of bike or shoes. Therefore I'm not going to try the 300 km event - sport and masochism should be easy to tell apart :-).
Second (counted from zero) instance of the races was quite humble, only about twenty people participated. The event spanned from Thursday to Sunday; I arrived on Friday afternoon and left on Sunday morning, so my report is everything but complete. On Saturday morning, we raced the same thirty-kilometre road circuit as last year. As the only wedgie rider (paint still drying on my new 'bent), after a heroic effort, I finished second, counted from the end :-). An entertainment program for local children (boomerang, airguns etc.) was planned for the afternoon, but Thor was outing his herd of storms, so it was postponed to Sunday. All in all the championship was worth visiting, at least we had an opportunity to chat and drool over new machines.
There's no point in racing without a proper bike, so I was slacking off in the paddock again (building tents, making snacks, mixing drinks, photographing etc.). The weather was not bad: bloody hot during the day with some wind, but windless and mildly warm at night, so good results were made and a nine years old women's record was broken. I rode two laps just for fun: first right after the start, second one after midnight at a racing pace. The ride was nice, I'd even been leading a group of roadies for a while, but not for long (and showing off doesn't have that punch with a folder which whirrs like an e-bike). I hope to race next year.
Here's a gallery of crossroads and tricky places along the track for your information: