Our bad luck with our gear continued today when our tent and bicycles were hit by a car! Things could have been much worse though and luckily we were not injured at all.
We were sleeping in our tent at 8:00am when we heard a loud crunch and then felt our tent being pulled to one side. At first we didn’t realize what was going on, then we both woke up and realized there was a car right next to us that was still moving! We screamed for the driver to stop and he shut off the engine as we crawled out of the opposite side of the tent.
A large crowd formed immediately and after a lot of back in forth in Czech, we learned that the driver was attempting to pull out of his campsite without starting his engine and in doing so he lost control of his car and slid on the wet grass through our campsite before colliding with a tree and our bikes. He then attempted to start the engine and back the car away from the tree, and in doing so ran over the corner of our tent.
We were very lucky he didn’t run directly over our tent, or things could have been much worse. As it was, Sarah and I were OK, but our bikes were injured. My frame was bent in a couple of places, including the chainstay.
Sarah’s bike had less damage. She had a bent pedal and front rack and her rear wheel was out of true.
Our tent also now has two broken poles instead of one!
We spent the next couple of hours waiting around for the police to arrive. Everyone urged us to take a lot of pictures, especially once they learned we were American. “You know, in case you want to sue their asses.” It is funny to hear the conceptions people have about Americans. A few weeks ago we met a Dutch girl who asked us if it was really true that if you want to drink alcohol in public in America, the law states that the alcohol bottle must be wrapped in a paper bag!
Once the police showed up they helped us take the bicycles to a local mechanic to asses the damage. Luckily at this point we were being helped by Jana, the operations manager of the campsite, so she was able to translate for us. The mechanic’s verdict was that my frame was totaled but that Sarah’s bike was pretty much OK and just needed some minor repairs. We relieved to hear that he could put my components on a new Czech frame for less than $500. For a while we were wondering if our trip was going to be cut short!
After that, it was back to the police station to fill out a police report. We left our address in the United States with the police and the driver with the understanding that we would be reimbursed for the costs of the bicycle repairs after an insurance claim had been filed. We’ll let you know how that turns out!
We planned to leave Trutnov today, but now we will be waiting here for three more days. There is a train that runs to the National Park, so we may take that to the park to do some hiking while we wait.