Ligfietsen in het buitenland

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In het uitgebreide bericht een verslag van het tjechische ligfietstreffen van vorig jaar. Het stuk beschrijft het ontstaan van ligfietsen in Tsjechie en de historie van de bijeenkomsten. In tegenstelling tot veel nederlandse bijeenkomsten is er in het land nog nooit een velomobiel gesignaleerd. De treffens zijn succesvol, en dus komt er ook eentje in 2008.

Het begon met een mailtje met de tekst : "Anyway there is already preparing next year meeting, which will be held in Hodonin town - the town celebrates 780 years of existing as a town. And the recumbent meeting should be a part of the show"
En dat maakt je natuurlijk nieuwsgierig. Een bezoekster schrijft op verzoek dit verslag en daarbij ook een stuk geschiedenis: "Some time ago (and it’s actually long time ago) I tried to promote the (GREAT) recumbent bike meeting (somewhere) in the Czech Republic in such way that everybody has to go there ;-) Then the meeting passed and no report appeared about. What happened? Was it so boring? No participants from abroad? Well, it was great and I am not scared to say that everybody enjoyed it a lot. But things pass and we forget fast…
Here is the report:

The recumbent bike meeting was held from 14th to 16th of September 2007 in the village Suchý (with two camp sides) in Moravian Karst – a protected landscape area near Brno.
But I think I should start a little bit earlier. The need to organize recumbent meetings has already some history. The first meeting was in Roztoky near Prague in 2002. It was just a weekend meeting but from this link
you can see that Aleš Zemánek (from AZUB/BIKE) is already there and some Krakow influence as well ;-).

Soon after that there was another meeting called Štercl (according organizers’ surname) in Šternberk and Olomouc in September 2002. This meeting was important in the case of interesting participants – I would call them the founders of recumbent cycling in CZ:

    Nakládal company – a small series production of recumbent bikes,
    Aleš Zemánek – with his Azub models 2002,
    Štercl brothers – who made few bikes with a homebuilt image,
    a Czech-Swedish couple Kempe – with the first and very nice sites about recumbent in CZ - , where you can find probably the oldest documented recumbents in CZ at all, from 1943 -,
    Ladislav Bláha – more less the guy bringing bent news from abroad to CZ with his sites -
    and Luboš Pokora – who made some bents and organize the very nice meeting in Opava in 2004.

But before it there was the year 2003 and small meeting in Polička near Prague.

The meeting till the one in Opava were small, about 20 participants, but somehow the Opava one got much more publicity and spread among Czech recumbent cyclists. The event has its T-shirt and “after CD” with hundreds of photos from participants. And also few Polish arrive to meet the Czech. The event participants also made up a recumbent cyclist salute – Lehni!, what means “lay dawn!”.

The meeting in 2005 which was held in Nivnice near Uherský Brod was organized by AZUB/BIKE company. There were 51 participants in a nice blue T-shirt with ‘bent evolution’ .
Photos of the event are here.
The Prague’s meeting in 2006 (actually near Prague in Chrustenice) was already well introduced by the invitation which I wrote before the 2007 event. There were 67 participants in yellow T-shirts and the meeting becomes partly international: 5 Germen, 3 Velokraft Polish, 1 Finish, 1 Slovenian, 1 Dutch…
Photos of the event are here.
According that we expected much more foreigners and also more Czech participants in the year 2007 and meeting near Brno. The organizer was brnoBENT club.
On Thursday evening first arrivers received the red T-shirt of the event. For clearness organizers had the T-shirt orange.
The event was based on cycling trips through the nature area, which is hilly but scenic with stalactite/stalagmite caves. One of these caves we visited on Saturday afternoon.

Main program for Sunday was trike and snail races. AZUB/BIKE borrowed their showroom’s Greenspeed trikes and one homebuilt plywood trike from an organizer were used.
The winner of the snail race used Nazca Fuego and the video.
Links to photo galleries of participants. I actually don’t remember how many people were there. Every day the number of participants changed. But we were glad to see among us also Finnish (3), Germen (5), Slovak (few), Austrian (1), Australian (1), and Ukraine (1).

The meetings now are very well prepared even with an alternative program for rainy days. Mainly it is about meeting all similar people, with trips with booked restaurant for lunch and in the evenings there were often some slide shows with previous meeting photos and in addition some extra cultural change.

What I personally like on the meetings is the huge collection of homebuilt bikes and their owners – builders. It’s always nice to see new changes on their bikes, how they are proud of them ;-) and you can test all the bikes. It is nice to see new people, new recumbents and cycle together with them through towns, villages, countryside.

The Czech Recumbent Meeting 2008 is now preparing. It will be hold in Hodonín in South of Moravia (eastern part of CZ) and will be supported by the Hodonín-microregion ( - also in English). This region is known for its wine yards together with good wine.

Duration of the event: September 11th – 14th 2008

It will be one day longer than the previous meetings.

Thursday: is the big trip day through the region – 100km (with possibility to shorten it).
Friday: 30km cycling in total, with a barge cruise on the River Morava and in the afternoon competitions of trikes, snail race and 4 km long run.
Saturday: a cycling trip 60km long and for evening is planned wine tasting with cymbalon music right in the camp side.
Sunday: show off cycling through Hodonín by the occasion of 780th anniversary of its foundation.

As a bonus of the event we offer, besides the T-shirt, also a recumbent jersey (more about in the official program below).
The organizer has a special request for Dutchmen – please come with a velomobile! We haven’t seen any so far in CZ!!! 

Please download the detailed program and application form.


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