Adrenalin sidecar ride of czech handicapped traveller
Prague – Casablanca 2008
It all started with the project which we introduced to czech travelers fund …and it started to roll on with the support of motorcycle quys at czech exhibition Motorcycle 2008. Here is Zdenek´s and Radek´s, MC Outdoors first project:
The goal of the project is an expedition of physically handicapped person as a part of sidecar ride Prague – Morocco, which will be organized for Zdenek Krupicka in the term 12th April - 3rd May 2008.
The start of the journey of handicapped motorcycle traveler will be in Prague, Czech Republic, finish in Morocco, total lenght of ride 5900 km, Zdeněk will visit Unesco sightseeing places and will return back by ferry. He will be traveling in sidecar which will be adjusted to his needs by Carservis s.r.o – product line LZ Side – Prague´s based company which specializes in custom made sidecars. This one will have enough space for carrying Zdeněk´s wheelchair as well.
Project for handicapped person involving motorcycle sport is a new challenge and it gives option how to improve the lifes of this part of human society – here through adrenalin and adventure travel activity.
The purpose of the journey is to provide experience from the expedition traveling to such people with special needs, who can see their disability as something nearly fatal, who are not able to cope with their physical status. Physical handicap can be perceived as the end of their active lifestyle.
This project is in his initial phase, where one handicapped person will take participation, he has disabled legs only, so he will be able to accomplish such task which will be difficult ride in sidecar and with wheelchair. Based on first experience we can continue with such activities ...
For this original and adventurous expedition was chosen Mr. Zdenek Krupicka, active physically handicapped person and succesfull sportsman.
The experience of motorcycle traveler on his expedition is very unique and not so many people can really say “ I was a part of motorcycle expedition.” Zdenek was able to overcome adversity and he became a member of motorcycle travelers society.
And how the project was organized…
It started to move on with the Prague motorcycle exhibiton where Jiri Ledinsky and Jan Zlabek, Carservis s.r.o. – general sponsor, displayed in their exhibiton space also Zdenek´s sidecar.
Radek and Zdenek participated in this meeting and explained to the people all about it.
We received a huge support from local motorcycle magazines – Motoroute, internet server Motorkari.cz, Motohouse, Motocykl. Supermoto and many others.
Firms such as Velorexport, Regno , BMW Autec, Bikerscrown, Cerveny pneu and other sponsors supported us.
Radek and Bara Kriegler´s, MC Outdoors spend days and months on preparing Sidecar Ride and Love Ride and finally it was all ready to move on on April 12th, 2008.
The departure was organized as a press conference at Caffeteria Ferrari sponsored by Vlasta Hajek - Ferrari owner, Love Ride supported by HOG Chapter Praha, BMW Club Praha, Sidecar Club and Motoklub BMW. Start of Sidecar Ride was done by Mr. Jibraili from Morocco Embassy at BMW Autec premises.
Sidecar ride was originally planned without support vehicle but we accepted the offer of Petr Hostalek to go with us. Petr was writing articles and book about this ride and he was giving presentation at HU meeting in Maadid.
The departure was organized as a first Love Ride in Czech Republic – 200 people participated to support the idea of establishing this beneficial ride in our country.
After a very succesfull mission with czech handicapped person on the wheelchair to Morocco, Radek decided to establish MC Outdoors Fund which will be used for further sidecar traveler´s projects of handicapped people from other countries as well. If you know of handicapped fellow who would like to go for his journey pls. inform him about this exciting opportunity to start with motorcycle traveling to exotic destinations…. Our contact mail: firstname.lastname@example.org .
MC Outdoors Sidecar Ride 2008
On April 12th, 2008 Love Ride in Czech Republic was a huge success . About two hundred people participated – the purpose of it was to introduce to the czech motorcyclists the whole concept of Love Ride which is of american origin (www.mdaride.cz).
People were quite touched by the story which happened this day. Radek, MC Outdoor´s organized the press conference which purpose was informing about our trip , to introduce Kada from HOG Chapter to Jan Picman from Jedlicka Institution and to introduce to czech motorcyclists the whole concept of Love Ride.
The idea was nice, agency Cerbiatto TV s.r.o. which was choosen by HOG Chapter Praha to organize Love Ride next year has long term experience in this type of the events.
After we finished Love Ride in Roztoklaty we turned towards Germany. We used local roads, the weather is OK and we are a bit nervous how it will all go. Zdenek enjoyed his very first day as a motorcycle traveler very much – support of othes was huge and he felt like a movie star which just received an OSCAR prize for best film. We spend the first night in Munchen hostel,and we enjoy the visit of BMW headquarters showroom next day.
Petr is well know czech traveller and motorcycle museum owner and very good story teller. Even Petr and Zdenek did not know each other from before they immediately start to like each other a lot – Zdenek is very friendly and admires Petr and Petr likes him as his grandson….
Second day we continue our journey through Alpen Mountains near Garmish Partenkirchen and we use valley roads to St. Moritz. The mountain sceneries are wonderful and we enjoy a spring trip very much. We sleep in italian Colico and at the dinner Petr complains that if everything will go so smoothly that he will have no material for his book – so far it looks like a regular ideal trip with no interesting events for readers…..
The third day of our journey Petr forgot his camera at the hotel. We have to returned to get it and it starts to rain. Zdenek is first time covered in sidecar under the rooth and he dislikes it so we take it off. (At this moment he does not know that he will spend under it next week and he will manage it).
The whole day is rainy and after couple of hours in traffic finally we decide to use highway which take us out of Monza – Milano suburbans to Genova. In the evening we search for the hostel which is really complicated. All of it in heavy rain , we lost each other as well. This was our first nightmare rainy day.
Petr has a troubles with his bike from the begining – it fell down at the gas station because of overloading. Later we realized that it would be better to use BMW instead of chinese motorcycle for support vehicle of handicapped traveler – due to issues with breaks Petr fells off 6 times in zero speed when turning, in heavy rain he crashes in sidecar and we fix the bike many times….
It was Peter´s choice to use it (Radek offered him his own BMW) because of better sponsorship conditions for his ride by his friend - local chinese dealer, so we had to manage somehow but chinese unreliable bike for this purpose was definitely not a good idea….On the other hand we admired Petr how skilled he was and he was able to continue with this bike the whole journey – he is very good mechanic as well.
Sunshine next morning makes us really happy. We go to Janov port where Radek is arranging option to go by ferry because of rainy weather. Zdenek and Petr admire historical ships in the port.
We pass the Cote d´Azur by highway and then we choose local roads. The sun is shining but the wind is really strong. We spend a night in Formule 1 Hotel in french town Salon. Local motorcyclists are really impressed by our sidecar and they invite us to their table when we go for a drink in the evening. We chat about bikes, moto routes, and trips. What is our surprise when they pay for a drink as well. What a nice treat from them.
We continue our journey through south France and we reach Sete. Ferry would leave next day but Zdenek wants to travel by sidecar anyway. We decided to continue without using ferry even the probability of rainy weather is high. In the evening the same day we visit Unesco protected village and castle Villefranche de Conflent. Cobblestone streets, small butique shops and many stone buildings and church remind us of the rich history of this place.
We are at the Pyreneye Mountains and we found the place to stay overnight near the french gypsy camp. Zdenek is able to build up tent himself and he si proud to show us how he can do it. We can experience how modern gypsies life looks like. It reminds us a lot of Indian stories of american west. They still have wild horses but they live in caravans and listen to loud music from TV or radio. The habits and original customs had disappeared.
Next day morning mountains welcome us with the rain. WE decide to skipp Andorra and we continue to Madrid and next day to Granada. We have to still fights again heavy rains and strong wind . Especially the region de la mancha famous for his wind mills and Don Quijote de la Mancha novel is etremely windy. We have to slow down a lot because Petr´s bike is not designed for such conditions and the ride is quite challenging.
In Granada we visit famous Alhambra – the Maor paradise. We found private apartment and stay overnight in historical parth of the town.This district is full of narrow streets, stone churches and residential buildings with tiny windows. At each corne we found market, church or restaurant which is here already for centuries. Local people are very friendly and soon we are directed by them to the nearest restaurant and we have dinner with the sea delicates.
Following day in the morning we head towards mountains of Sierra Nevada and we make a picture of Zdenek in the snow in 2075 m above sea level. We are on the road already seven days and we had only two without rain. Zdenek is bold – he has to sit long hours in sidecar and let the rain fall on him directly or to be closed inside with foggy view of the countryside.
But we have to go back from mountains and reach the Africa. We still travel partly in the rain and heavy winds. In Granada we met czech travelers who said that they do not remember such bad weather conditions and they travel here every year for last ten years.
The same day 400 km further we are at the ocean and in the evening we cross the sea near Gibraltar from Algeciras to Ceuta.
We reach ferry in Algeciras at 8 pm and after ferry ride we still attempted to cross Spain - Morocco border in Ceuta. The border crossing is very busy and we give up and leave it for next day.
It takes us couple of hours to cross the border in the morning. Local guides together with officers create many obstacles which purpose only is to get couple of euros from you. After we paid the procedure improved by one hundred percent and we leave the border in 5 minutes.
9th day of your journey is our 1st day in Africa. We are happy that we reached new part of the world for us and expect that weather will change rapidly to hot temperatures. What is our suprise next day that after 1,5 hour crossing border the rain and cold is there again.
We start with a loop ride to Tanger where we are supposed to meet Antonio From Horizons Unlimited group. Unfortunately due to the windy sea conditions he arrives to Ceuta instead of Tanger. We meet their group later in the afternoon on the way. Antonio Caldeira with couple of other quys takes us aboard of their organized motorcycle tour and we spend with them lovely afternon and evening.
The hotel Madrid choosen by Antonio is very comfortable and we stay there the whole morning next day so Zdenek can take a little rest and Petr can continue in writing the articles about the journey. In the afternoon we ride together couple of kilometers and after Petr´s stop at the petrol station we continue independently towards Casablanca.
In the evening we get a petrol at the local station and man on the moped approaches us with the offer of accomodation – it is getting late so we gladly accept. We have a great opportunity to experience a local culture, we stay over in his house. We have for breakfast their own baked bread and hot olive oil. And of course the berberian whiskey – strong and sweet herb tea which is served anytime instead of alcohol, welcome drink or morning coffee. We are quests in the private teacher´s family and Ahmed´s hobby is photographing. He is quite happy to have us over and invites us over for visit of his friend´s resort next year which is totally accesible for people on the wheelchairs. We gladly accept invitation.
After night which we basically spent inthe local school, we continue towards Casablanca. We arrive just at noon in front of the local government building and the mayor of the town welcome us together with 3 other people. Zdenek receives a big cup for a winner – he made it in sidecar from Prague to Casablanca. We enjoy the Atlantic ocean in the afternoon and stay in Casablanca overnight.
Next day we arrived to Marrakesch – a beautiful historical Medina where we visit mayor sightseeing places.
At the square there is a row of the carriages which serve as a selling places. Zdenek and Petr enjoys buying of stones, Petr has the shoes cleaned by the local man, they both are having tatoos by hena and drink fresh orange juice. Radek is searching for pharmacy to buy a sun block lotion for Zdenek. We all enjoy a scenery of the well preserved town.
In african Morocco we realize that it is not going to be that easy to make photos of local people. Especially woman goes nearly crazy when we attempt to make a picture of them. On the roads it looks like 15 years ago – more than half of the taxi drivers drive Mercedes 20 years old and similar situation is with the vans.
When leaving Marrakesch we are experiencing a real african traffic which consists of thousand people riding mopeds, big limo taxi cars, small petit taxis, people riding animal carriages and pedestrians walking accross the streets. Everyone takes their destination at big round about and people do not care about lanes or traffic lights.
Tonight we sleep again under the tent in the atlas mountains. When building up the tents a local boy comes over to watch what we were doing. He just sits silently and after 1 hour he leaves without any interaction with us. It was getting dark quite quickly so we were hurying with building up the tents and we are for him strangers. Boy is afraid to come closer but on the other hand very curious as well.
Next day we already pass Atlas – paradise riding for motorcyclists. We enjoy the red colour of the mountains, curvy roads and we start to adjust to the market rules of this region… At each corner you will find one up to ten people selling rocks, ceramics, stones, pots and other turist items. In the begining we pay for the beautiful stones what they asked for. Later we negotiate and we purchase stones for half of the price. At very latest stage we realize that some of the stones we can just collect from the ground ourselves – the nature is very rich here.
When we visit Ain Beinhadou – village and castle on the hill near the dried river local seller wants to exchange stones for Zdenek´s shirt when we say to him that he does not have any more cash money….
The ride is spectacular the whole day and we are quite impressed by the mountains which remains us the similar red rocks in Colorado and Oregon, USA.
We stay next night in wonderful hotel Rosa Damaskina which is really full of the roses and price is just 7 EUR. Because this is a low season an owner allows us not only to choose from many rooms available but he offers us for morning breakfast 3 restaurants to choose from. Our motorcycles are parked in the shop with the nice persian carpet which is used in the high seasons for selling tourist collectibles.
Atlas mountains has left strong impression on us. Ride through curvy roads, the beauty of stones and half diamonds and fosilia, meeting with the local people.... today we have a goal to reach Maadid where we will meet HU motorcycle riders and dunes of Sahara next day in Merzouga.
In the morning we head towards Todra valley. The goal destination of many turists who want to see the Morocco village and famous canyon and we found here the camel riders. This is an opportunity for Zdenek to try the camel ride. he says that this is going to be for him a new life experience. He was glad he tried it but he is also glad to be back in safe sidecar.
And finally we are riding downhill to Todra. There is on one side river Todra and road on the other side there are hotels for foreigners. No bridge - the off road car will take you there through the river. The high rocks are from both sides and the sun has no chance to get into the canyon.
All visitors of Todra Canyon are going back the same road as they arrived. We decided not to. Radek starts sidecar and we continue towards the mountains. The road climbs up the hill and her condition is quite bad because it goes by river which damages the road each rain seasons. This is the worst road part so far we are going by in morocco. part of the road is damaged by the water . The other part is being repaired by heavy machinery.
The ride becomes quite a challenge for solo rider who has to managed or unpaved parts of the road on regular street motorcycle tires which are not the best solution for this type of surface. It would be much better to have GS than chinese bike. But this is not all for today. We have the passing of wild river with motorcycles ahead of us.
First pass is allright. The second one is worse. Peter has a problem to keep up on solo bike and sidecar is stopping in the middle of the river.
Local quys are jumping into water after a while of hesitating and enjoying the unussual situation. In this type of situation Petr´s long term motorcycle experience became quite handy. Thirst to get a sidecar wheel out of small stones, then with the help of engine sidecar started to move forward. After we are out of water we realized that we forgot to make a picture of motorcycle in the middle of the river…
The last obstacle of a day shows after riding over 200 km with no petrol station around. We are passing a small vilages so we are really interested where those small bikes get the petrol from? Petr´s bike has a small tank and he was finally making over 220 km on his motorcycle which is a record in consumption during the whole tour.
In the evening Petr is giving the presentation of his RTW journey at the Horizons Unlimited mini meeting in Maadid which is organized by Antonio Caldeira. Radek is translating and Zdenek was already tired and stayed in the hotel room.
After difficult day in the mountains we rest the next morning and Radek is searching for the lost screw for Peter´s chinese motorcycle in nearby village. We bet on the screw that it will hold his shifting lever to Prague (bytheway it did, so we won a glass of beer over Peter). The breakfast is served in berberian like tent and young camel is just a part of this morning atmosphere. Peter will stay in tent till late afternoon and is planning to write more articles about Zdenek and his Ride.
Zdenek and Radek are already on the way to Erg Chabbi which should be the highlight of the tour. There is a suprise already on the way there because we are passing the sigh watch out wild river and instead of water there is only sand instead of water. In Merzouga we stopped by the first restaurant and we got to have a juice from fresh oranges.
Slight after lunch time we are going to sand adventure and Zdenek is jumping out of sidecar and he wants to run on his hands to the top of dune. After couple of jumps on the hands he stops and cannot continue. the sand is to hot and his hands are just burninng. Radek gives him motorcycle gloves and he goes on the hands up the hill. The view of yellow sand hills of Sahara desert is majestic and this is the goal of our adventure.
At the sand dunes the local boys are assisting as well and they help the sidecar to get out of the sand when it ends in one of the sandy routes. During the ride back to Maadid we again take the pictures of camels and after not being succesfull with renting the quad we head back to the hotel.
Although originally we wished to stay longer with Horizons unlimited group at their mini meeting organized by Antonio. We decided after discussion with Zdenek that we will continue our ride and we head towards AR Rachidia. At the Xaluca hotel the local berberian band playes and dance his traditional songs. Camel is also allowed to enter the hotel. Antonio is very friendly to us and he suggest to organize next year meeting of HU in central Europe. He also offers Peter to bring his veteran motorcycles for the exhibition to Porto next year
In Morocco there is always some dangerous situation waiting for you behind the corner. In one of those the taxi driver does not pay much attention to driving because he watch sidecar going by and Peter has nearly accident with him. Petr´s side case just touch the car and he goes to the side of the road. He has enough luck so he manages the whole accident without falling down from the bike and he follows us again in few seconds.
The itinerary which was reccomended by friend Milan is leading us through Midelt. We have the lunch picnic by the lake Aguelmame de Sidi-Ali over 2000 meters above sea level and we arrive in the afternoon heat to Fes. Town is historical pearl and we enjoy every street and palace. We also have lunch - typical tazin with favourite orange juice.
In the late afternoon we arrive to Ouezzane by the narrow street nearby by lake Oued Ouerrha – the road is paved by just the middle part and this makes it very interesting when approaching thousands of taxis in opposite direction. Nobody wants to go down from paved road and this was very challenging riding.
The last night in Africa we are celebrating the end of african traveling and we search for the right place where to get a beer. In muslim country this is not easy piece of cake and we have to go long journey through many people after we will be able to get it.
Next day evening we reach Algeciras and on the ferry board we watch how the african banks are leaving behind us. In our heads the memories of Africa are still flowing.
On our way back we skipped the love ride in Switzerland because our friend Zdenek wished to play floorbal game with his friends back in Czech Republic. We arrived to Czech Republic after 21 days of traveling.
Motorcycle rallye Love Ride which we made a promotion of by our ride should be organized in future in favour of Jedlicka Institution in Prague. Prague Chapter HOG is supportive of the idea of establishing the beneficial ride in Czech republic with the chairman Kada.
Our thanks belongs to all who are supportive of traveling of handicapped people on motorcycles.