THE IRON SIDE RIDE 2018-Day 02-Part 1

“FORMER LINES – PART 1”

*Scratch*, *scratch*, *scratch*, …, …, *plonnng* *crinkle* *crinkle*
… that are just a few noises which you can hear while lying in a tent, trying to sleep. Often fine needles, leaves or branches from a tree falling down onto the tent sheet, or some insects are rummaging around make this noises.
During the first camping night from the Iron Curtain Ride a mouse or something similar “big” found its way underneath the groundsheet of my tent and caused an uncommon annoying noise. Normally I’m not the person which is paying attention to these noises, but this time that thing had stamina and came back again a few times during the first camping night of this ride. Sadly I wasn’t able to get this little disturber. -_-

But now enough of this, here’s the first part of the ride report of the second day of the Iron Side Ride 2018 …

This riding day followed like the second half of the first riding day the former Iron Curtain. We started in the southeast of the Czechian city Budweis and rode the trail along the border to Upper Austria and Lower Austria til we reached some wine growing areas near the Village “Laa an der Thaya.”

Hello you nice morning! The last night was dry. As already mentioned further above, a little animal was a bit annoying, due its movement and scratching sounds underneath the ground sheet of the tent. Besides that, I slept well. The gear was packed quickly, so Чернотa and I started into the day, to do the first 100 km before breakfast. The morning mood …

was astounding. During the cold rain the day before, light mist was steaming out of the lakes we passed.

“Good Morning Steaks!”

We always tried to follow our planned border track …

which was often drawn obviously with a ruler …

along the former Iron Border.

Funny thing: The tire in the right half of the picture was surely put over the tree a few decades ago. The route led us along clear forest tracks …

and foggy meadows. It also went along …

a dike, which was spliting a dam into two peaces (near the Czechian village Stankov).

That has been only one of a few eastern made wooden huts along the former border which we have found. Most of them have been in a surprising good shape and still used from hunters and/or wood workers.

Our ride also went through some old border villages, where it’s unclear how long further on people will live in such edge regions.

Following some meadows, the first watch tower of this dual-adventure-ride showed up in the distance.

A few people maybe would say, that it is boring …

to follow a former …

border and its straight lines. I say: “It surely would have been, when the …

scenery and road conditions wouldn’t have …

changed so often.” And when the tracks have been boring and …

straight like this one here, a soft pull on the right-hand lever is all you need. Riding along such tracks with more than 100 km/h or 60 mph brings some fun with it.

Short before midday, overgrown forest tracks moved …

for huge …

agriculture plains. Still being somewhere in Czechias south, …

my black beauty and I found this little bunker. Expedition time!

This, in the meanwhile from hunters used bunker is orientated with its main loophole to the south, straight to the Austrian border. Here on its eastern side …

a narrow entrance is located. The heavy door seemed to be removed a long time ago.

I entered the bunker and followed a short corridor. It was leading to the northern bunker wall …

which was also equipped with a loophole and an air ventilating system on the ceiling. There in a corner a pipe connection for a wood burning stove was visible (no photo of that). A U-turn in front of the northern wall and we followed another corridor which led back to …

the main loop hole, which is pointing to Austria – Czechias main enemy not so long ago. On the ceiling above the loophole a gun carriage is mounted. The pipe in the upper left corner is leading …

in a steep angel down to entrance door area. Probably the intention behind this installation was for the worst case: Eastern soldiers maybe would have thrown some presents right onto the feet of the western intruders, which may have tried to get into this bunker.
Such a machine gun bunker is a real narrow thing with about 2 feet or 60 cm thick concrete walls. I tried to imagine how it must have been to work here. I can’t. Surely it was a real badass job, back in former soviet times.

After that small bunker tour Чернотa and I followed our planned track …

along some overgrown ponds, …

and a short piece along a well build tarmac road …

til we reached the city Vranov. There is the …

famous and impressive Castle Vranov located. I only stopped there for this photo and went on along the border line. It didn’t take us long til …

my black beauty and I reached the Iron Curtain Memorial in Cizov.

There is one of the last intact fragments of the Iron Curtain located. Watchtowers which have sight to each other are built behind some concrete tank cubes and a 2 meter or 6 ft high electrical fence. Sounds hard to get over that fence unseen/unharmed. Alone along the German part of the Iron Curtain more than 1000 people died whilst trying to flee from east to west.

After strolling around a bit our journey went on …

until it found a sudden end at this river crossing!
After a short time of making a plan for such a waters crossing and passing it four times via feet, it was time: Despite all my worries I encouraged myself to give it a try. I turned on the ignition, put the side stand up and fired the combustion engine! Now I put in the first gear and opened up the throttle. The LC4 engine inhaled the cool forest air and Чернотa roared loudly. My fingers let the clutch loosen, the transmission mechanism closes and the back wheel started spinning … . Finally, we both brapt over this dangerous hurdle nonetheless. Adventure-riding at its best! *pheeewwww* ^_^

A bit eastwards of the Czechian city Znaim we entered a big forest area which was lying in a curvy/hilly river valley. We followed the river …

Thaya which is also part of the border between Austria and Czechia. Short after that bicycle bridge, we reached …

the village Satov. Besides some Iron-Curtain-Objects …

there is also a huge anti-tank-bunker located. This bunker was in duty til Czechoslovakia was falling apart in 1993. After taking a few pictures, …

we went on along the planned route. Here you see Чернотa on a soil hill near Excalibur City. Excalibur city is a gambling hell, shopping center and funfair located at the Austrian/Czechian border crossing near the village Kleinhaugsdorf.

Nearby this watchtower was found, which was in a good shape and has a new and useful purpose as a radio antenna.

My black beauty and I rode on along some huge kolkhoz fields and …

in a wine growing area, we used the opportunity …

to have a brake. A “few” fresh picked and sweet grapes have been eaten. With a belly full of fruits we started into the second half of this day …