The Mayor of Trail Town
The region of the Czech Republic known as Moravia is covered in rolling green hills and quaint little villages that would be easy to miss if you blinked your eyes while driving through them. Yet it's here in one of the smallest towns, called Černá Voda that you can find the headquarters of Rychlebské Stezky (Rychleby Trails) and it's frontman Pavel Hornik. I call him the "Mayor of Trail Town" because well…he is the mayor of Černá Voda! He and his partners have created created some of the best mountain bike trails in the world here. He began as a forester, walking through the dense timber and surrounding the village and found a network of trails that lay hidden for decades. As he began to open these routes and ride them he realized that he wanted to share them, with his family, his countrymen, and the world. He found inspiration in the work of famed Welsh trail builder Dafydd Davis and used his trail building techniques and the concepts behind the successful Trail Centre program to create an amazing system of flowy all-weather sustainable mountain bicycle trails. The system of nearly 60 kilometers follows streams, passes an old castle, winds through meadows and eventually climbs over 470 meters to a mountain top overlooking the town. From here you can choose from a number of rocky descents and even one butter smooth Flow Trail that is almost finished!
Trail Specialist Shane Wilson spent three days exploring the trails that Pavel Hornik has created here. He was accompanied by Fadri Cazin of Allegra Tourismus and Patrick Koller, the creator of the new Corviglia Flow Trail in St. Moritz, Switzerland. With an eye towards designating Rychlebské as a Ride Center® for 2013 they were amazed to see such a polished and world class trail center in the rural Czech countryside. Very special thanks to Sandra Tejnecka of the Czech Mountain Bike Association (CEMBA) for making the visit possible.