A Birthday Beer & Flat #3

It was my birthday today, so I took the day off from work, went by myself to an early morning movie ("300") at Novy Smichov (the audience for which was me and, despite the graphic violence, a gaggle of 8-year-olds (shouldn't they be in school?)) and then headed out on my bike.

The day started off warm and rainy, but improved considerably throughout the afternoon. I headed through Letna, then Stromovka park, then felt inexorably drawn to the Hill of Doom. It was taunting me. Telling me I too out of shape. Too tired. Too, well, old.

Not quite yet. I made it to the top, spent but exhilarated.

Grant 2, Hill of Doom 0.

Cycled through Divoká Šárka and figured I'd reward myself with a Herold Wheat Lager and a kolbasy at the beer garden. It's my birthday, after all. I deserved it.

Two things ended up thwarting that enticing plan, however.

1.) The beer garden was closed.
2.) I simultaneously discovered that I had a flat front tire, my third of the season.

Of all the luck.

That's three flats already this year. Not that I'm counting.

Luckily, I had a spare tube, and with minimal difficulty managed to fix it and be on my way. I couldn't find the specific leak, so I'm not sure what the cause was.

Now I really deserved a reward, I figured. I'll bike to Koliba in Roztoky, one of my all-time favorite oases, and have a tall, cool Budvar.

I did.

Koliba was closed for the day.

Which gave me a chance to check out a tiny pub near Koliba, on Tiché údolí, that James Gogarty had recommended, and which I had passed dozens of times but never bothered to try.

It's called Hospůdka Zvířátka (Little Animal), and it's a welcoming stop for cyclists. They've got a bike stand, and even sell a few bike accessories, like tubes and such.

Hospůdka Zvířátka in Roztoky is a welcoming pit stop for weary, or thirsty, cyclists.

Best of all, they sell Černá Hora beer on tap for 18 kc (87 U.S. cents) for a half-liter of the pilsner. It's hard to beat that price anywhere in Prague. The beer itself was delicious, and the head was as creamy as frothed milk. The brewery dates from 1530. I just like saying that. 1530!

In the end, it was a perfect way to wrap up the ride.

But jeez, a flat on my birthday?!

Ride stats:

Distance: 42 kilometers
Average speed: 18.1 kph
Maximum speed: 37.6 kph
Length of ride: 2.17.54
Number of flats in 2007: 3
Distance so far in 2007: 450 kilometers

I posted my fastest average speed of the year so far today. I'm not sure if that's because I was riding alone, and wasn't slowed by socializing, or because I really wanted that beer. Hmmmm.

I'm confident enough in my masculinity that I can take time from my ride to stop in Letna and take pictures of beautiful tulips.


Carlo said…
Happy birthday!

You should have treated yourself to a pair of Specialized Armadillos for your ride :)
Grant said…

I *have* purchased, based on a reader's recommendation in the U.K., a set of Slime Tire Liners from REI in the United States. He swears by them. I'm going to install them this week and write about it when I do.

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