It's Just A Flesh Wound (Honestly)

I had my first wipeout of the season today. I never saw it coming.

I was following Stewart down a path around Motol that neither of us had been down before. Mark was riding a good ways behind.

Instead of watching where I was going, I had my eye on Stewart, who was already descending, his back wheel skidding, a pretty steep dropoff ahead of me.

It all seemed to happen in slow motion. I was flying through the air, I hit the ground, and then my bike landed squarely on top of me.

Turns out there was a huge hole camouflaged by long grass. My front tire went right into the hole, and I went right over the handlebars.

I laid there motionless for a few minutes. I figured I must have broken something. Mark arrived and pulled the bike off me. (He re-creates the bike hitting the hole and flying through the air in the photo below.)

I landed on my right wrist, tearing my glove and leaving me with a few cuts. My right shin also got battered a bit. As I write this, my lower right back feels a bit sore.

For such a spectacular crash, I have little to show for it. In fact, these pictures look pretty pathetic.

Stewart was feeling a bit bad about not warning me about the hole, but the crash was all my fault. I should have been looking where I was riding, instead of watching Stewart.

It was a gorgeous day today, sunny and around 61 degrees (16 degrees C.) We took what Stewart had told us would be a modified Bakerloo Run. We ended up just calling it The Loo. We cycled through thorns and fields with no trails and behind factories and up hills and across highways.

It wasn't the most pleasurable run I've ever been on, but it had its moments.

Stewart has been taking this basic route from his flat in Prague 6 to Barrandov movie studios, where he is playing Lord #11 in the second "Narnia" movie, "Prince Caspian," which is being filmed right now in Prague. He's had to learn how to ride a horse like an expert for the film, and will soon be going to Slovenia for some shoots. Very cool.

Stewart and I strike a pose at the hidden lake in the Hlubočepy park.

We rode up to Barrandov today and he showed us around some of the sets, indoor and out. Lots of massive castle interiors made out of Styrofoam and wood, but which look absolutely real -- until you touch them.

(I've actually been up to Barrandov a few times myself. I do a little voice work, in English, when the need arises, which sadly is not often enough. I actually recorded the part of famous "Guard #1" in the upcoming "Love Story Bathory," by the famous Slovak director Juraj Jakubisko. It's reputedly the most expensive Czech and Slovak film yet made, with a budget of around $12 million. I had about four or five lines. I can't wait to see if I made the final cut. It's supposed to be released sometime soon.)

Also on our ride, Stewart and Mark showed me a hidden lake in a park in Hlubočepy where we like to ride (part of the original Bakerloo run), and came upon a motocross track with some impossibly steep hills. It took ropes and climbing gear just to walk our bikes up them, let alone ride. (See photo at bottom, which doesn't do the hill any justice at all. It was straight up!)

Stewart also got a flat tire along the river near Radlice. Luckily, I had a couple of spare tubes with me and a pump, and we were back on the trail in no time. I think that's Stewart's second flat of the season so far.

We saw a very depressing zoo hidden in a forest below Barrandov, full of some pretty sad-looking animals, including an Arctic fox, alone in a small enclosure, that must be constantly wondering how in the hell it ended up here.

We came back through the center of Prague, dodging tourists, in full sight of Prague Castle and Charles Bridge. I must have passed that view 1,000 times by now, and I never get tired of it. It never fails to inspire a few goosebumps.

We parted aways at various points in the center, and I ended my ride with a cold one at the beer garden in Letna park, overlooking the city.

All in all, one of the more memorable rides of the season so far!

Length of ride: 40 kilometers
Average speed: 12.3 kph
Maximum speed: 45.7 kph
Time on the bike: 3.14.18
Total distance for 2007: 641 kilometers


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