Back in Kalmar I had stayed at Peter’s place. While there I helped do the computer processing of some photos to be printed on T-Shirts using software only written in Spanish for a local tractor appreciation society. At this time, I met Peter’s brother. It turned out he was a motorcycle racer in the European 250 cc Motorcycle Grand Prix. A local factory owner, and avid bike rider himself, was their main sponsor. They were heading down to Most to race in the Grand Prix there. They asked me along. Of course, I said yes.
So I headed off to do some touring before the race began. I got my visa for the Česká republika in Copenhagen. Then caught the ferry back to Sweden and met the others at Malmö as the sun set to catch the overnight ferry to Rostock.
On arrival in Germany the Swedes were worried. Some of their passports had expired. Though they were worried the immigration man waved us through. It was just a courtesy bit of information. This was not a problem with entering Germany. For Germany it seemed a driver’s licence would do. But it would be a problem entering the Czech Republic. We drove through was was, until recently, East Germany. On reaching the border into the Czech Republic, they handed over the stack of passports of all of us in the team truck. The border guard looked through the stack of passports, just at the covers. He handed them all back except of mine, with the extra piece of paper that was the visa. There was a palpable sigh of relief. He was a little unhappy. You have to put the flight or ship number on your visa, well in this case it was the licence plate number of the truck. Of course in Copenhagen, I did not know that, so I had left it blank. Then I had forgotten. With this oversight corrected he took my bit of paper to be processed by whichever ministry does that in the Czech Republic and we continued to Most.
Once in the Czech republic we went along a road that was famous for being lined with prostitutes. Well, I’d say there were only a small number the day we were there. They supposedly pick up rich German clients. A Porsche driver did stop and pick up one woman as we went past.
We got to Autodrom Most on Wednesday afternoon. The race was to be held on Sunday. I slept with the team in Pit Lane. It was an interesting few days. The first days were the practice lap sessions. Peter’s brother’s bike is 88 and the other bike in the team is 20.
As I was not part of the team, I focused on not being in the way. I went into Most itself. As you can read, the old city was destroyed, but the church is in the guiness book of records as being the heaviest building ever moved. And all of that by the godless communists. Who would have thought? Anyway, the new Most was an interesting view of the soviet era construction techniques and thinking. I actually found it much better than the places in the Soviet Union. There was a calmness to the place. I think though that it had none of the frenetic chaos. It gave the air of being comfortably run, and seeming run well.
We had a fantastic dinner up in an old medieval castle on a hill in the valley near by. The owner of the team paid for the dinner. The castle was very small. I cannot remember the exact dishes, but I remember it being good. For the whole night they spoke in Swedish. At first they were talking about the Lonely Planets view of how proper Swedish people still have one strange, unexpected habit, which I think from memory is something they chewed. When one of them stopped to explain what they were talking about, they were taken aback that I already knew. After that they were more discrete (which is sad) and I understood very little of what was said.
Back on the race track the public started coming to the course on Saturday, though the race was on Sunday. I never did go up into the grandstands, preferring to wander the track itself. On the race day disaster struck our team. They had a flat tyre on the warm-up lap and had to start from pit lane. Our rider was never able to make up more than a few places. They had such high hopes for this event.
When it was all over, my offer of a lift to Prague fell through. So my Swedish friends dropped me off at the train station and I caught what must have been the slowest train I have ever been on, a little rail motor, from Most to Prague.