Cycling trip Choceň – Seč and back (Day 1: “highlands”)

My college semester starts next week and, to have a nice end of “holidays”, I decided to go for one last cycling trip. I’ve never gone to a (cycling) trip longer than one day and this seemed as a nice opportunity to try it.

On Monday evening I packed a tent, sleeping bag, some clothes (and all other things necessary for two days’ long trip) and loaded it on my bike – wanted to be ready and able to set out early on the next day.

Start Finish Distance Max. elevation Min. elevation Total ascent
Choceň Seč 122.2 km 758.6 m 280.4 m 2051 m
Elevation diagram - from Choceň to Seč via Žďárské vrchy

Elevation diagram - from Choceň to Seč via Žďárské vrchy

On Tuesday I left my home at 7 o’clock and headed to the south-east. The first 50 kilometers were almost the same as during my trip to Znojmo – I went via Litomyšl and Polička to Jimramov. The only difference was that while on the first time I went from Polička to Jimramov along the valley of Bílý potok brook, on the second time I used a little shorter, but much more exhausting way via village Korouhev, during which I had to climb to more than 645 m ASL!

After a short break in Jimramov (during which I read a very live description of last match of local football team) I left the village by road 360. This time I stayed on it and didn’t turn to the south to Jimramovské Pavlovice, because I wanted to ride through Žďárské vrchy (vrchy = hills), protected area that is part of Bohemian-Moravian Highlands.

Fryšava - commemorative plaque to a local postman

Fryšava - commemorative plaque to a local postman

Even though Žďárské vrchy aren’t very high – the highest “mountain” has only 836 m ASL – there are some pretty steep ascents. The first one (and probably the steepest one) was waiting for me just at the beginning, when in Věcov I left 360 road and started climbing to village Odranec, located at approx. 730 meters ASL under the peak of Bohdalec hill (791 m ASL).

From Odranec I went via Kuklík to Kadov, from which I planned to continue to the north-west to Herálec. But at first I made a little detour to the village Fryšava. During my previous visit there I noticed a plaque on the wall of post office, dedicated to local postman who served here for 42 years and during that time walked and rode on the bike/ski more than 200,000 kilometers! I’ve never seen such a plaque before – and liked it a lot. If you ever get to Fryšava, definitely go see it and also have a lunch in local pub. It’s quite small, but their “Fryšavský guláš” (“Fryšava goulasch”) is excellent!

Cycling route nr. 1 between Kadov and Herálec

Cycling route nr. 1 between Kadov and Herálec

After the lunch I returned back to Kadov and set out along the cycling route number 1  (long-distance route PragueBrno) to Herálec. Those 10 kilometers (between Kadov and Herálec) were probably my most favourite of all, because in this part road leads through the forest and among highest hills of Žďárské vrchy – e.g. Devět skal (835 m ASL  – the highest one), Křovina (830 m ASL) and Žákova hora (810 m ASL).

After getting to Herálec, I had 84 kilometers on my cyclometer and was behind two thirds of my today’s track. From there I climbed to Vortovský vrch (704 m ASL), last hill of Ždárské vrchy and started descending down to the valley of river Chrudimka to the town of Hlinsko.

Seč water reservoir

Seč water reservoir

The following part was a little easier, I went to the north-west to the water reservoir Seč, located in Železné hory protected area. Železné hory (= “Iron mountains” in Czech) also belong to Bohemian-Moravian Highlands, but are a little lower than Ždárské vrchy – the highest mountain, Vestec has only 668 m ASL.

Seč is a favourite holiday resort with some hotels and two campsites around, which is why I chose it as a target of the first day of my trip.  However, this season was very bad and both autocamps were empty! Fortunately, Autokemp Seč Pláž was “opened” – manager told me I could move in (= built my tent there) , and after 30 minutes he came and opened the toilets and showers just for me, ONLY GUEST! It was an interesting experience – how often does this happen?

The truth was I was extremely lucky. The whole trip to Seč was 122 km long and very hilly, estimated total ascent being 2051 meters! With all the bags, including my tent, I couldn’t go much longer,  and was glad to be able to have a rest and prepare myself for a next day’s trip back to Choceň

Alone in Autokemp Seč Pláž

Alone in Autokemp Seč Pláž

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