B3 TOUR 2019 – what was it.
I’ve already written how I embarked on this journey in my previous articles. Therefore, this is only a brief summary. In December 2018, I took a little detour, through Liverpool to Prague, where I got a job. Without a dime, but determined to do something with my life. I knew what, but I didn’t know how. I had already decided that I wanted to travel. And on a motorcycle. Simple. No savings, I stayed with my sister in a room with my nephew, I had no motorcycle, no experience….
But such trivialities couldn’t stop me. In February 2019, I got an “advance” from my boss and bought the first motorcycle of my life for my birthday. I would like to point out that I had been at work for a little over 2 months. There probably aren’t many bosses who would do such a thing. So I had a motorcycle and the idea that I would travel a chunk of Europe and also set the endurance record in a single trip. I bought some motorcycle clothes and started planning the trip.
Then it went fast. I managed to get a GPS locator from GPS Supervision so that I would have my trip properly documented. In the Yamaha Prešov store of Petro a spol, I managed to procure summer clothes as a sponsorship gift.
I even got on Radio Antenna Rock, where the moderator Mary did an interview with me and also a few entries from the trip.
What were the first reactions? My family is used to my crazy ideas, but others around me and the general public didn’t receive it quite as well.
“You must have gone mad, you have never ridden a motorcycle, you won’t manage.” That wasn’t true, I had driven almost 3 000 km before the trip. “You have no experience, you will fall somewhere and that will be it. Start off slowly… “Can anyone explain to me what the difference is when you start off slowly or when you go somewhere farther? Are those miles different? Different roads?
“You’re not used to it, you’ll lose your ass and it’ll be over.”
June 6th 2019 in the morning I set off. It went smoothly, Prague – Bratislava like butter, in peace and a direct beeline to Radio Antenna Rock, where Mary was waiting for me at 12 to have an interview with me. Well, not entirely smoothly. I had 283 km on the tachometer and the motorcycle suddenly stopped working. “This can’t be right,” everyone said that my Honda, this model, is indestructible, and I still have to have at least 100 km of gasoline. But looking at the tank convincingly proved me wrong. So I cursed, and a few kilometers in front of Blava I put my helmet on the road and started hitchhiking. After a while, a car stopped with a married couple in it. “Problem?” The guy behind the wheel asked. Here, I must thank Daniel Knošek, who was one of those who did not think I was mad. He wrote to me: “All you need is determination, money and time. Then you can travel anywhere.” And one more important piece of advice I followed for 36 days: “Take frequent short breaks.” Thank you again, I took breaks every 45 minutes, and I was able to be on the road 14 to 17 hours a day without any problems.
“No, my vixen just guzzled all of my gas 100 km earlier than she should have.”
“I don’t have gas, do you have a canister?”
I had everything, tools, 2x spare motorcycle clothing, spare helmet, but I did not have a canister.
“And the money, do you have it?”
“OK, I’ll drive you to the gas station and take you back.”
On the way to the gas station, it turned out that he was a biker. “You also have to take into account the weight and resistance of the luggage,” he explained.
He stopped, I jumped over the barrier, and went to feed my vixen. I got to the radio just in time and I added a 5 liter gas canister to my luggage, which weighed about 20 kg. My mother made a practical bag for me.
So now I’m really ready for everything.
How little one knows about what awaits him and what will come his way.
I enjoyed the evening at my sister’s, home-cooked food, and in the morning I stopped by my parents’, where I found out that the GPS locator did not record my location. After a few phone calls, we realized that the SIM card did not have roaming activated. After setting it up, I was able to go beyond everyday life. I went to the very east of Slovakia, from there a bit through Hungary and on to Romania. Destination Transfagaras and Transalpina, well, basically as much as possible from the Carpathians.
I gave up at night and spread out my sleeping bag in a meadow. It would have been a shame not to go through those beautiful bends during the day and lose that amazing view. In the morning, I was greeted by dogs running free around me. I packed my stuff and I took off on the Transalpin. On the same day, I got to Transfagaras as well.
It’s an experience for a biker, even though I found places on my way that matched these two, I understand the main reason for their popularity is the distance. I walked under Dracula’s castle and then things started to get complicated. When I was at the radio station, Mary asked whether I was ready to meet a bear. All I knew was that one should run down the hill. But what the heck should one do when it’s on the road? My theoretical knowledge of wilderness survival did not go that far.
I’ll shorten it. my motorcycle ended up in a ditch, upside down, broken rear view mirror, plastic shield…
A Romanian coming from the opposite directly stopped next to the bear and tried to scare him off with his horn. it didn’t work. He gestured to me to get into his car. “Are you crazy?!”. I shouted from behind my motorcycle. “No way, am I getting in your car.” The bear measured us both inquisitively, and after a long moment, a little bored and with a contemptuous look, left in peace. And I slept under the open sky the night before! We put the bike back on its wheels, and I took off. While driving I thought about how my journey would continue. I experienced quite a lot in 3 days. I was vaguely aware that I would experience a little more than just riding my motorcycle and gaining riding experience.
Someone should edit the maps in Moldova, or at least write a note that roads only determine the direction and are not for driving. Calling them roads is too fancy a name for something that may have resembled a road decade ago. Although, it is true that the occasional bits of asphalt that separated the potholes made it possible to suspect that at some point there really was a road.
Fortunately, I learned something in those few days. It doesn’t matter what happens to you or where it happens. There are people everywhere happy to help those in need.
Just because it’s the right thing to do. I experienced clouds of flies that made a layer on my helmet, through which I saw nothing. A storm, during which I literally swam along the road and managed to stay on track just by guessing the direction I should be going in. A tsunami in Croatia. Cold and heat well above 40 degrees. I fell, turned my motorcycle upside down. Visited Slovaks living in Serbia. I almost slept next to the carcass of a wild boar. Saw military control barricades in Turkey, mock-ups of police cars, beautiful nature….
And also absolutely amazing people, people who were curious, invited me for tea, for a chat, gave advice on what to see, what to visit. There was no language, religious or racial barrier. It taught me that the world is a beautiful place and that the people who inhabit it are amazing. I do not know when we began to isolate ourselves from others, when we began to create our own world, to which only a select few have access. I know one thing though, nothing is like it was before this journey. I look at people as unique original beings with whom I do not always agree, but I respect their opinions. I realized that life is too short to be upset about pettiness, I’d rather live it to the fullest. I’m already looking forward to my next journey and also to those who will follow.
A few facts:
17 969.9 km
499.16 km / day
827.3 liters of gasoline
4.6 liters / 100 km
16 states, not counting the unrecognized Republic of Serbia
31 state borders crossed / I do not count the unrecognized Republic of Serbia in Bosnia and Herzegovina /
Now I just have to wait for the documents from GPS and confirmation from the Czech and Slovak books of records.
If you are curious about the details of the trip, visit my Facebook page: