Hundreds of Czech cyclists aim to create a new world record by “drawing” the split-tailed lion, the symbol of Czech statehood, across a 2,000-kilometer route running between Ústí nad Labem and České Budějovice.
If a success, the Lion Trail project could be entered into the Guinness Records as the largest symbol in the world.
“We want people to move and get to the beautiful places that are related to Czech history. And we want a world record,” says Petr Janeba, head of marketing for Škoda Auto, the company sponsoring the Lion Trail.
Professional cyclist Milan Silný set out from Prague-Podbaba on Saturday. He will be the first brave athlete to tackle the entire trail which winds through the diverse Czech landscape, a journey expected to take about two weeks.
“When we count the kilometers traveled, it will be a world record. Something unique that they do not have anywhere else in the world,” Janeb told the Czech press.
You don’t need to be a hardcore cyclist to hit the Lion Trail which encourages amateurs and enthusiasts to contribute to the world record via hundreds of shorter routes designed for families, seniors, and beginning bikers.
The Czech coat of arms dates back to the 1200s. It displays the three historical regions that make up the Czech lands, including a silver double-tailed lion with a golden crown and claws on a red background denoting Bohemia. Today, the Czech lion by itself is also used as a symbol of the Czech Republic.
When asked to name his favorite places along the trail Silný included among them the last leg which ends, naturally, at the Pilsen brewery.
To participate in the Lion Trail project, you can log your kilometers on-line or via a mobile app until the end of September.
See the full list of routes (which include starting points in Prague and encompass plenty of castles, eye-popping nature, and monuments along the way) here.