IF you want to print the interview, here is the version in pdf.
We have already published few posts about disabled Agatha and Piotr and finaly we come with a pretty long interview with them. Agatha and Piotr like to spend time together and they also like to show to people around that the physical disablement is not that big limitation as they could think. The argument can be also their journey which they have done in Summer 2008 and during which they did 1140 km.
It would be better to start with another question, but for everybody this is the first manner. Why Agatha cannot pedal, at least on handbike or so? If you do not want to answer, no problem.
It is because of Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Thanks to that disablement Agatha has no enough power to pedal by herself. Fortunately Piotr has enough force for both. That allowed us to make the trip from Wroclaw to Wien and back. We were dreaming about cycling together for three years, but it was necessary to solve quite some problems. But we really want to do things together and cycling is only the first step.
During the journey you have used a trike and bicycle trailer for Agatha. Was that the only combination you were thinking about? How look the development of the trailer?
Yes, it was in fact the only one combination, which was possible in that time. The trike has already existed as prototype and it was only necessary to develop a trailer for adult, because usually the trailers are made only for children. We were inspired by sport car seats, because we knew that Agatha need a very comfortable transport solution. It was also necessary to have the trailer with suspension to avoid bumps from road. Also we had to have some kind of raincoat for Agatha which you can see on some pictures. Everything has to be done so perfect that Agatha will not suffer. It is difficult for anybody who move each day how it is to lie all the day in fact in one position.
And what about the future, do you plan something new?
Yes, we want to build a bicycle based on Agatha´s trailer with an electric assist so Agatha will be able to hand-pedal. Thanks for that she will be more independent and active.
Let´s answer some questions about the journey. Why Wroclaw – Wien – Wroclaw?
We wanted to visit Wien and to see all the beautiful historic buildings. We wanted to see that together. And also we have followed an Eurovelo cycling route which goes there. And the best roads and and cycling paths were right in Wien. No curbs, no cobblestone. In the Czech Republic, it was little bit worse, and the worst part of the journey was in our Poland. Mainly the tractor drivers were unwary.
According to your web diary you were able to cycle almost 100 km per day. One would say that Piotr is professional sportsman or so.
Piotr is a good sportsman, but he doesn’t adhere to any sport club. Piotr likes to be active, he doesn’t like to sit on one place. Besides he loves to give joy to Agatha. Agatha is his will-power.
How often did you do some stops? We suppose that Agatha could not lie all the time in trailer.
We agreed that we go two days and the third day we have a brake. Average daily distance was around 80 km. We tried to adopt our route to our schedule but it was not that easy. Some days we did „only“ 60 km, another one more than 95 km. We made 10-15 min. brake about each 1,5 hour. Of course we made lunch pause which took about 1 hour.
Next time we would like to prepare the route with shorter daily distance so we have more time for sightseeing and more free time. And also when we did 90 km in one day Agatha was too tired.
How did you prepare for the journey?
After we got our Velokraft-trike and special trailer we started to train. During about two months we cycled almost 1.700 km. On the beginning it was really hard work for Piotr. In the same time Agatha lied behind me and looked around :). Fortunately all run like clockwork – Velokraft made amazing construction.
You were accompanied by three friends during the whole journey and you had also a support car with you. But you slept in tent usually. Wasn´t that too difficult for Agatha?
Yes, we had a car with us which carried all the stuff, because it would be impossible to have everything on the trike plus tow the trailer with Agatha. The trike + trailer + Agatha weight around 80 kg. And it was not a problem for Agatha to sleep in the tent. She just need good mat, hot tee and enough of silent to can sleep.
For most travelers the most important experience are people who they met. Was that the same for you?
We met many friendly people during the journey and we were really surprised the first time when somebody offered us a place to sleep. We were looking for camping spot for the tents and car and we found a beautiful calm garden. And the owner told us that we stay there. After such night we were really relaxed. And of course, many people greeted us.
But the most important experience for us is that we manage to do that. Terrific trip!
Thanks for the interview and we wish you many dreams which will change into reality.
Agatha and Piotr
Agatha Jablonska is known in Poland mainly as a model who has many photos in lifestyle magazines and who does many fashion shows. Agatha works for the biggest outsourcing company in Poland – our main sponsor names IMPEL www.impel.pl – she is responsible for recruiting new staff. She was born in 1981 and she lives with Piotr Rozniak (1979) in Wroclaw. They both like all the kind of sports and mainly cycling and swimming.