Steve´s Corner – Part One of...?

Stephen Edwards 6.12.2010


Vítejte v prvním článku naší nové anglicky psané sekce Steve´s Corner, kde si budete moci několikrát do měsíce procvičit angličtinu a zároveň si vychutnat krásný sloh a bohaté zkušenosti motocyklového nadšence Stephena. Jestli jste se na výstavě zastavili vyzkoušet si kevlarové džíny u stánku firmy Sensormet, pak ten poděs oblečený v skotské sukni byl právě autor. Steve má obrovský nadhled a nepřeberné množství zkušeností s motocykly a vždy jsem litoval, že neumí česky - než jsem dostal nápad rozšířit web o malou anglickou sekci, kde si můžete přečíst dojmy od Brita žijícího a jezdícího už pěknou řádku let v Čechách. Napřed tedy krátké představení autora - Stephena Edwardse - jeho vlastními slovy a pak už si vychutnejte první článek o kouzlu podzimního a zimního motorkaření.

As this is the first instalment of Steve´s Corner, I may as well tell you a little of my story and my life with bikes. As mentioned, I am originally from Scotland and have been fanatical about motorcycles since I was a young boy, much to my mother's horror. My first ever bike was a Velosolex moped that was given to me by a family friend and I rode up and down our garden for hours at a time being too young to have a licence. After leaving home at seventeen to go and work in the big bad city I bought my first real bike, a Honda CD185 which I rode in my general ignorance everywhere. A couple of years later I got my hands on a two year old, 1981 Triumph Bonneville, which I have to this day and shall never part with. Various bikes have come gone over the years, though to be fair I have never been all that good at parting with them and a collection, of mainly piles of junk, has accumulated in my garage. I came to the Czech republic seven years ago, having fallen under the spell of one of the many beautiful ladies who inhabit this land. I am happy to say that she is now my wife and I am very settled here with my family of a four year old son and another little girl. Through everything motorcycles have been an obsession and they shall continue to be so. I like them all and firmly believe there is no such thing as a bad one. Some are just better than others.

Steve´s Corner – Part One of…

The long, warm, sunny days of summer are now a distant memory and to many the riding season ended many weeks ago. All over the country Suzuki's are sleeping, Kawasaki's taking a kip, Honda's hibernating and Yamaha's yawning but if you look closely you will still see the odd brave soul taking to the road on two wheels, though not too many. This, I think, is a real shame and I am here to propose that many are missing out.

As a Scotsman if I only rode the bike in warm weather then I would have more or less never ridden at all when I still lived in 'the old country', which is a place of stunning beauty but very often awful weather. It may well be that all the years of riding over there desensitised me to the cold, I don't know, but I surely have some great biking memories from winters in Scotland, some of which I may share in time.

In the Czech republic just take a look around and you will see some beautiful sights as hillsides of trees turn colour through their autumnal tones, very often set against clear blue skies. The masses of tourist cars are long gone and the roads take on a emptier, more pleasant status. Dropping temperatures can mean that tyres don't grip quite as they do on a hot summer day but that is fine, they are still perfectly safe, just go a few km/h slower. There is so much to be seen at a more relaxed pace as you ride through rural villages and towns after the summer months have passed, watching locals going about their daily lives and getting ready for the real cold that inevitably shall arrive. The pubs and restaurants that welcome visitors in the warmer months are still glad of our trade at any time of year and there is something quite nice about warming your hands on a mug of coffee in a small hostelry while taking a break from a ride. It doesn't even have to be country trips that are rewarding. I have the unpleasant task, every day, of a sixty kilometre commute each way into Prague and back home again. In a car it would be nothing short of hell on earth to be sitting for forty five minutes to cover the two kilometres that it takes to wind my way through the multiple road works on route. I do feel ever so slightly smug as I zip up the middle of the stationary lanes of wheeled boxes in no time at all and I just know there are guys and girls in some of those of cars wishing that they had not put their bike away for the winter, just yet.

I am not advocating that everyone should ride in the snow, if they don't want to. That however can also be a load of fun and I would urge you all, at least one time in your life, to get yourselves to the Elefantentreffen, which is held at the end of January in Solla near Thurmnsburg, Germany, not all that far from the Czech border. Words can't truly do this event justice so I won't even try, just Google it for some pictures and take your spirit of adventure out of its winter hiding place. I am sure that there shall be more about the event here on Moto Denik as the time gets closer and we make our preparations to go.

So go on, get your warm weather riding gear on and use your bike. There is no reason why some great times can not be had right the way through the year, its just that winter trips are different to summer ones but every bit as enjoyable.

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