It is pitch black, early September. We are cycling through the Czech Republic on a road we have never traveled before without headlights, trying to reach Luze, where my Czech relatives from Netreby plan to pick us up. Several kilometers ago, we had taken a wrong turn and just kept going It happened in Chocen, [...]

It is pitch black, early September. We are cycling through the Czech Republic on a road we have never traveled before without headlights, trying to reach Luze, where my Czech relatives from Netreby plan to pick us up. Several kilometers ago, we had taken a wrong turn and just kept going
It happened in Chocen, where bike path number 18 headed in two different directions. Now we were somewhere between Repniky and Domanice, each pedal stroke taking us farther and farther away from Netreby, unbeknown to us. Now, we found ourselves on switchback road, careening down a hill in the dark, unsure of how steep the hill was or how long the path. It was both an adrenaline rush and a little bit scary, as loose gravel could send us flying off the road. I made it through this segment and stopped to make sure Kathie hadn't flown off the mountain. As she sped by me in the darkness, I hollered, 'Go to Luze!'
That was the last time I saw her for 45 minutes or so. Subsequently, I became a little nervous when I didn't catch her at the bottom of the hill that leads out of Domanice, so I pedaled back up o Domanice, thinking that she might have gone straight, toward Srbce, instead of making. In Srbce I encountered a guy looking at the signboard near the bus station. Ye, he had seen a bicyclist, but that was in his car, before he arrived back in town. No, he wasn't sure which way the cyclist went. So he drew a map for me on the ground, indicating the road to Luze.
As I pedaled the three or so kilometers to Luze, I was concerned about where my wife had gone and also how I would explain to my family that I had lost Kathie somewhere in the dark, not sure which direction.
Even through it all, I still found time to appreciate what a perfect night for cycling this was. Temperatures hovered in the 60s with little wind. Farm machinery in a nearby field slowly churned through the darkness.
In Luze, fortunately, Kathie awaited me inside the enclosed bus stop. Shortly thereafter, the family called and soon arrived to pick us up.
Daniela, her mother and father Simona and Lubos, and Roman, Simona's brother were all smiles as they asked how we came to be this far from Netreby. We told them the story, as best we could, how two Americans got lost in rural Czechia. And then, back in Netreby, Simona fed us Czech-style hot dogs with delicious brown mustard and a kolac or two. Yes, we were hungry, but, oh what a great ride it was.
Note: unable to include haceks and accent symbols, due to formatting issues with blog posting website.