News & Notes
Emma and I in Letna park today, before the training session began.
Here's a first. I'm helping to teach Emma, my 6-year-old stepdaughter (soon to be 7!), to ride a bike. I took her training wheels off this morning, and Daisy and I took her out to Letna park, on another gorgeous Prague day, to give it a go.
All in all, it went pretty well, although it's definitely going to take a few more lessons. Emma managed a few meters pedaling on her own, but didn't really get it down enough so she felt comfortable. She was quite afraid of falling, of course, even though I was always there behind her.
I also discovered that all that running around can be hard work!
If anyone out there has any helpful tips for how to do this, I'd certainly appreciate it!
Critical of Critical Mass
The debate about the merits of the Critical Mass bike rallies continues in force.
As I wrote about in a recent post, after having participated in my first CM ride, it's my belief that they do not help the cause of cyclists. That is, based on what I saw for myself here in Prague. Perhaps it's a different story in other cities.
I would like to know if there is any evidence that CM rides have resulted in tangible benefits for cyclists anywhere in the world. Is there anywhere where improvements are attributable to Critical Mass? That would seem to be the reason to continue them, it seems to me.
Anyway, in addition to a record number of comments on my own blog entry, this issue has inspired some impassioned debate on expats.cz, which you might want to check out, as well as on bikeforums.net, which is a great site in its own right.
New bike path in Prague 9
Thanks to one of my favorite sites, "Prague Monitor," I learned about a new bike path that's being planned in the city -- a four-kilometer-long stretch in a former industrial area of Vysocany in Prague 9. That's good news, indeed.
I haven't yet been cycling over in that area. Looking at my bike map, I see a few trails marked in Liben and Vysocany. The problem is getting from here, in Prague 6, to there. I can't imagine doing that without encountering quite a few cars and heavily trafficked streets.
Maybe one of these days I'll head over that way to see for myself.
The wrong way
I read in a recent issue of the free Czech newspaper "24 Hodin" that the Czech Republic (or perhaps it was just the city of Prague, I can't remember) is considering enacting a law in which cyclists would ride against traffic. That's right, against traffic.
The theory is that drivers will see cyclists better, and vice versa.
The reality is that cyclists will get killed.
Apart from that one article, I haven't been able to find out any more information about this proposal in Prague. I've found plenty of information that supports me in believing that this is a ludicrous idea.
If you know anything more, please leave a comment. Thanks.