For the past few years I have wanted to do a Century Ride (100 Mile Bike Ride), and the opportunity finally presented itself this past September.

I had been working in the Czech Republic for a few months for Backroads when I found myself with a week off, and I suddenly remembered that my neighbors, Kathy & Ivan, from California had invited me to their cabin in Northern Czech Republic. The region in which they have their cabin is called Český ráj, but is often referred to as Czech Paradise or Bohemian Paradise.

After contacting them to see if they where actually there (and they were) I dug out a hand-drawn map on how to get to the cabin that Ivan had given me a few months prior in the off chance I did have the time off to come visit.

So, with this map, a Backroads bike, and a week of free time I trained and bused to Dresden, Germany where my adventure was set to begin.

The day I chose to ride it rained all day, but what’s a little rain? Riding into the Czech Republic from Dresden means you get to follow the Elbe River the majority of the way before you climb into the rolling Bohemian foothills. This route offers up spectacular views, and gets you away from the crowds.

The ride went by very fast, and I found myself at Kathy and Ivan’s Czech Cabin before nightfall, where I was welcomed in traditional Czech fashion with dumplings and slivovitz, which warmed my soul.

For the next three days I lived as the locals did. We picked mushrooms, visited the Kost Castle, hiked, and most importantly had more dumplings!

Note: Google Maps put my route at 97 miles, but let me assure you I deviated from this route quite a bit due to bad road conditions and adverse weather, which added on a quite a few extra miles.