Sunday, 15 July 2018

Young Czech to ride across five countries on folding bicycle

17 July 2017

Kolin, Central Bohemia, July 15 (CTK) - Filip Kretschmer, 20, set out for an expedition on an old Eska folding bicycle from Kolin across five countries, Slovakia, Poland, Ukraine, Hungary and Austria, today and he is to cover 1623 kilometres, he has told CTK.

He plans to return home by the end of August, he said.

A priest gave him his blessing before the trip.

Another two cyclists accompanied Kretschmer from Kolin, but they will leave him still in the Czech territory. The first one will only ride to Caslav, central Bohemia, while the other continues to Brno.

Kretschmer originally wanted to return to the Czech Republic by train, but then he modified his route to be able to ride the bicycle back as well.

He told CTK that he had started riding a mountain bike at the age of 12, making longer and longer cycling trips.

"Three or four years ago, I got a folding bicycle from my grandma, so I sold the mountain bike and told myself that from now on, I would be travelling on the folding model instead," he said.

His so far longest bicycle trip was to Germany, in particular to Zittau.

He planned his latest trip by chance. He first wanted to ride to Turkey, but then he changed his mind for financial reasons.

He said he feared technical problems the most. If he faced them, he would have to see the nearest bicycle service, he added.

Kretschmer won financial support for his project. The town of Kolin and its mayor as well as a construction firm subsidised his trip.

He took up too 40 kilos of equipment on his bicycle, but he decided not to take a tend and would like to sleep under a waterproof canvas instead.

He also said he would like to share his experiences on Facebook every night.

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