Czech couple cycling around the world: another year to go


Two years ago, a brave young Czech couple, Michal Jon and Lucie Kovarikova, set off to conquer the world on their bicycles. First they headed north to Scandinavia. Then they crossed Russia, rode through Mongolia, China, South Korea and Japan and then took a flight to Australia. A year ago, Radio Prague spoke to them during their stopover in New Zealand. This time, Pavla Horakova caught up with Michal and Lucie in Los Angeles, California. She first asked Michal to recount the journey from Australia to California.

"From Brisbane we flew to South America via the island of Fiji. First we came to Quito, Ecuador. Quito is right on the Equator, so from the Equator we cycled all the way down to Peru, Bolivia, Chile and we ended up in Tierra del Fuego or Fireland. From there we went by boat to Antarctica which was one of the highlights of our trip so far. From Antarctica we went back to Argentina and cycled all the way north along the coast Buenos Aires and from Buenos Aires we did a 3,000 kilometre loop via Paraguay and Uruguay. From Uruguay we flew about three weeks ago to Mexico and from Mexico we cycled to San Diego and now we are in L.A."

Having pedalled 47,000 kilometres, Michal Jon and Lucie Kovarikova have a couple of records under their belt: they were the first Czechs to cycle around Greenland and the first Czech cyclists to ride into the Antarctic. With two thirds of their journey now over, Lucie and Michal have started looking ahead.

"We should be back home exactly in 11-months' time. The idea is to come back on May 1st, 2005 so we will have been on the road for exactly three years. Of course, we miss our families, our parents and our friends back home and we miss our wonderful country, of course, but we don't know how we will be able to adapt to a normal life again, not having to get up every day and cycle 120-150 kilometres. We are not afraid but maybe it will be a big shock or surprise, I don't know."