Jeremy Powers, on touring Prague with “the voice”
This is our second episode from Plzen, Czech Republic, the home to the famous Pilsner beer. I can tell you that the beer that comes straight from the factory is worth the trip alone. I’ve been laying very low on the beer consumption this year, so I didn’t even drink one this year. I did last year, however, and sometimes it’s best to just leave great memories alone. Sometimes, when you try to do it again, it comes up short, so… I’ll keep telling myself that anyway!
We left you last time in Tabor, the home to the first World Cup. After that race we headed up to Prague for the week to check out the city and get in our training. It seemed like a nice idea, as the riding just outside the city is fantastic and there’s quite a bit more to do in the big city, making the trip a lot more fun, too.
Monday after the race we hired Egon, our awesome Czech tour guide, for a personal tour around the city! We loved all the info he was feeding us. We discussed things that we’d never have known about. I asked him, “Why do people touch this toe here on this statue revealing the gold underneath, what’s its significance?” Egon responds in his astute, mature voice, “Oh Jeremy, that’s just made up nonsense that was brought here many years ago and has no relevance what so ever!” Of course that’s the case! It’s like the old game Lemmings; we all just follow someone else’s lead and, before you know it, everyone needs to touch this foot for good luck. Some were even saying small prayers on it. To each their own, as I like to say.
We learned so much as he showed us all around Prague. There’s the famous astrological clock the city center, and the famous “Lennon Wall,” which is a wall covered, graffiti owned by the knights of Malta. Egon also shows us how the knights who guarded the famous bridge linking old town and new town would sharpen their spears and the marks they left after years of sharpening! I cannot believe how old these stones are. It was blowing my mind and made me wish I paid more attention in history class!
After our tour, and throughout the entire show actually, it seems like I’m talking to you guys, the viewers, but really I’m just doing my best to get Sam and Tom and whoever else to laugh out loud. I always seem to sense silence or people trying to daze off and I try to disrupt that. It’s a game I play constantly with myself: “can I say enough dumb stuff to get everyone laughing…” And during this episode, for some reason, we picked up this voice. You can sometimes hear Tom and me talking in “the voice.”
It all started after we heard a Czech radio personality in the beginning of our trip. He talks in this distinct, theatrical voice, which we pick up and constantly laugh over. Every bad situation seems to bring out “the voice.” The second I walked home and tried to talk to my dog in “the Czech voice,” I got yelled at. It’s never been done again at home, but don’t worry, we’ll pick something else up soon enough.
We got down to Plzen, the weather turned gruesome. There was snow, rain and cold, cold temperatures. It wasn’t what we were expecting, but we were prepared to deal with it.
Once we get to the race, it’s actually worse than we thought because it stopped raining. The course in Pilsen is hard enough, but it got really heavy. I ended up getting crashed at the start, which you can see here on YouTube:
Elia Silvestri, from Italy, jams himself in a hole that I should have closed.
So it’s my fault for not closing the hole as much as it’s his fault for thinking he’s going to ram in there.
Either way, I smashed my right knee pretty good, but the worst of it was from the tip of my seat that ripped the back of my left leg in my hamstring. If you watch closely, my front wheel gets taken out, and then, as I’m lying there, Phil Walsleben, from Germany, takes a hot second to curse me out before I can straighten out my bars.
The crash took some of the wind out of my sails. I expected a great day with another strong result and I came away with a DNF. I was disappointed as it was a chance to gain more points in the UCI ranking. My whole team flew over and we spent the week in the Czech Republic just for this reason, so to walk away in the end with nothing when I snapped my derailleur off and I couldn’t finish… it was a tough day at the office to say the least.
I hope you all enjoy and had a great Thanksgiving, Thanks for following along!
Oh, and at the very end, you see Klass Vantornout doing the serious look back at the end of the race. He told me after that he thought he saw the guy with the crazy mustache from the Behind THE Barriers show… Just kidding. He was trying to protect his teammates lead by not scoring points in front of him. But I like that first story better!
Behind the Barriers looks ahead at a busy weekend of ’cross racing on both coasts of the United States
Behind The Barriers' Sam Smith shares some of his fond cyclocross memories, and relays a story involving a small car and a wild animal
Behind the Barriers looks ahead to a weekend of elite U.S. ’cross split across the coasts
Elite U.S. ’cross heads to New York this weekend and Behind The Barriers looks ahead
Behind The Barriers delivers the highlights and storylines from Iowa City
Behind The Barriers follows Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com and Sam Smith spends a night in a sunken lounge near Chicago O'Hare
With three days of UCI racing on tap in Iowa, Behind The Barriers looks ahead to Jingle Cross weekend
Nine-time U.S. ’cross champion Katie Compton checks in via Google Hangout and explains her role in R&D for the Trek Crockett
Ryan Trebon and Jeremy Powers take victories out of Louisville in elite cyclocross' return to the site of the 2013 worlds
Rapha-Focus makes its way through Cincinnati and Sam Smith reflects on new ink in Louisville