The Naked Lady & The Smokin' Blues Shack
What is this woman doing, and why is she doing it in the middle of Stodulky?
I, my girlfriend, Daisy, and our friend, Rob, went riding this morning.
It was a cool morning, with temperatures around 60 degrees F., and partly sunny skies. We met in the neighborhood of Velaslavin in Prague 6 and basically followed the bike route 201 to where it intersects with VE-DE and BR-LE, and followed BR-LE to the park Obora Hvezda, where we picked up the RE-HL trail through Repy and Stodulky, down through the lovely park in Hlubočepy, a personal favorite.
(I'm still working on some interactive maps of my regular routes that I hope to share with everyone very soon.)
Daisy and Rob spend some quality time with the mysterious Lady of the Lake (which sounds better than Lady of the Pool of Brackish Rain Water).
It's basically what we call the Bakerloo Run, but in this case we didn't cross the Vltava River over to Branik and then follow the bike path back into town, through Podoli and Vysehrad, which is what we usually do.
We came back into town through Smichov, a shorter but less picturesque route.
I really like the Bakerloo Run, for a number of reasons.
There are some challenging climbs, including Mt. CMC (named after the nearby Canadian Medical Center) and the famous Halfway To Straight Up.
There are also some pleasant bike-only paths through the panelaks of Stodulky, one of which goes by a very odd sculpture pond featuring a naked lady standing in a weird pose. Sort of like she's performing without any clothes on to a small, empty amphitheater.
This "Jetsons"-like landscape can be found along the RE-HL path in Stodulky. That's the Prague metro line running above ground for a bit, above a nice fishing lake with a playground and lots of skating and biking paths.
The route also takes you downhill through the park in Hlubočepy, one of the most pleasant places to ride a bike in Prague. No cars. Few people or cyclists. Lovely scenery, including Secret Lake (see below), which I first mentioned in a previous post.
The Blues Shack, which features cold beer, smoked sausages, and tons of ambience.
And then, of course, there's the Blues Shack. Or that's what I call it, anyway. It's a delapidated shack at the end of the Hlubočepy park ride that sells beer (Gambrinus for 19 CZK for a half-liter, or about $.89) and some damn tasty sausages smoked right on the premises for 25 CZK ($1.17), including bread and mustard.
All it needs to make it complete is someone named Mud Lip to be playing some Robert Johnson songs around the fireplace.
It's a dump, but it's cool. It doesn't even have the wherewithal to give itself a proper name.
Daisy and I parted ways with Rob around Stodulky. He ended up going off on his own a bit, linking up with the 8100 trail. He's been a cycling fool this year, and hit 750 kilometers just in June. The two of us kept pace with one another last year, but I can't compete, it seems, in 2007.
Length of ride: 37 kilometers
Average speed: 13.8 kph
Maximum speed: 52.5 kph
Time on the bike: 2.38.52
Distance ridden in 2007: 1,043 kilometers
Two swans had made Secret Lake their home when we visited today.
It's hard to beat freshly smoked klobasa for 25 CZK (or about $1.17). It's kind of like the Czech version of a Power Bar for cyclists. And the beer is the Gatorade.
I've always liked these fanciful cat sculptures above a doorway in the posh Střešovice neighborhood of Prague.