Story by Hagen Lindner | @xtheincrediblehagenx
Pictures from Hagen's camera; Portrait picture of Hagen by Robert Krügel
Before & after 1320km | 22000m elevation around the ancient, Bohemian borders.
I’m not an endurance racer by any means. So the inaugural edition of the @bbb_race was the one to pop my cherry in ultra-cycling. With a background of racing alleycats, fixed gear crits, cross races & the annual messenger championships, there’re barely been efforts above 150km within recent years. Yet I’m looking back to finishing the 2021 Bohemian Border Bash Race in 6days 6hours 36min. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, on a bike, but also physically & mentally & on so many levels in general. I got rewarded with a beautiful journey, many adventurous moments & an emotional finish. I can’t compare it to anything I experienced in my life.😊 I’m very grateful to be that privileged to do such things & I’m still processing a lot of the memories & my body still asks for some proper caretaking. I like to thank everyone who was part of that journey; nevertheless, if you scouted the route, raced the race, volunteered, followed the dot and/or wrote me a message, etc. special thanks & mad love for my #brotherfromanothermother & #ballerbruder @ballernballern for sharing that adventure, even though we weren’t physically close to each other most of the time.
From the start to the geographical midpoint of Europe. day 01 - 324km | 6.000m of elevation | 18:00h | 13.500kcal | 720TSS
We started at 6 am sharp, on Saturday morning. The first guys were off right from the start & I should never see them again. I found a good rhythm of the very first kilometers & tested the ears bars on the flat roads. When a peloton of at least 20 riders caught up with @ballernballern & me, I was wondering for a second how strict the term “self-supported” was actually understood. The first climb had a ready answer. I met @marec_Lehmannsky, who I knew through Biehler, & @matzanic, who rode together as one of the few pairs for @focusbikes. Soon the bunch dissolved & from now on, it was me & the track, which comprised a lot of tarmac roads on this first day of the BBBR. I managed to get into a good rhythm of riding, so good that I forgot to relubricate with chamois. I did the first hike-a-bike of the race together with @dr.rennsau through some bushes. Later that night, we made our way through the trees & hiked up a fire road to reach CP2 - the Geographical Midpoint of Europe - around 2:30 am. It was the biggest effort I’ve made on a bike, by far. And a really great start.
From the Geographical Midpoint of Europe to the Bohemian Forest. Day 02 - 177km | 4.270m of elevation | 12:50h | 9.600kcal | 515TSS
I woke up in a ranger lookout, where I slept for about four hours the first night. It had some carpet & therefore it was comfortable even without my mattress. When my alarm went off at 6:30 am, I already could hear the first riders zoom by. My body decided it was too early to get up after only three hours of sleep. I took off at around 8 am - pretty late - but the rollercoaster roads brought me down to a gas station shortly after. I got water, coffee & crisps & a few kilometers later, I caught up with @jonwoodroof, who hadn’t slept the first night. He impressed me a bit later with a bold move when he just rode through a flooded section on the track, with water hip-deep. I just watched the show & didn’t take my phone out - which I still kinda regret. I went for the little beaver dam a bit on the right & kept my feet dry. 🦫
The day felt super slow. I stopped a million times, either to get water, eat snacks, or butter up my bum - kinda had to make up for the sloppy caretaking the prior day. It wasn’t before noon when I finally found some rhythm of riding. As it was Sunday & stores were closed, I opted for a restaurant stop in the early evening in Furth im Wald - “Cafe VIP” sounded just good enough for me. It was the first time I met Basti, cap33. I just finished my plate of fries, a big salad, a wheat beer & a big coffee when I realized that my front tire had a solid wobble due to a slightly ripped sidewall over about 15cm. There was nothing to do about it & another 70km to reach CP3. So gritty to finish the day with some sort of accomplishment, I started to push the pedals again. The sunny evening & the fairly rich dinner helped me push into the night. I made it to the checkpoint around 00:30 am and continued a little bit further to a sheltered picnic area, where I built up camp to get a few hours of sleep.
From the Bohemian forest along the Iron Curtain day03 - 230km | 3.800m of elevation | 13:30h | 10.100kcal | 540TSS
I woke up at some point, and I wasn’t sure if I was actually freezing or sweating. Somehow I was shivering. I realized that my sleeping bag was wet from the outside. I was confused and fell asleep again before my alarm went off at 6 am. I expected the night to be a bit colder & therefore, I used my emergency bivy for the first time. The silver side of an emergency blanket stuck together at two sides, so you can put a mattress and sleeping bag inside it and gain additional warmth. I must have created a lot of heat during that few hours of sleep, as it was all wet on the inside. I hung my sleeping bag and the bivy to dry off a little while I had my first snacks, a slight stretch, and put on all the clothes I brought. When I started to roll back to the track, the wahoo showed 5C. 🥶
I quickly warmed up my body on the first climb & after a freezing ride through a gorgeous valley. The sun was so warm already that I had to take most of my clothes off. I stopped at a gas station, about 50km down the road, where I met @hanslookinthesky. We didn’t really talk. He didn’t seem to be in the best mood - days later, I learned that it was actually the moment he decided to scratch from the race. On the other hand, I was focused on getting my supplies sorted, was keen to push it that day, and wanted to make up for the rather slow progress for the day before. There was also still the slightly concerning wobble in my front tire. 🥒
I knew there would be a bike shop right at CP4 in Česky Krumlov, where I wanted to get a spare one. The track took us through the stunningly beautiful old city center. But with 100km+ on the clock, my focus was rather set on some healthy snacks, and I stopped at a supermarket. Some riders passed through while I chilled and ate at the Focus checkpoint.
Do you want to know how Hagen's story ends? Let him know that you are interested here: @xtheincrediblehagenx