It All Just Feels Real Nice


Daisy and I at the lake in Okoř .

I don't ride enough with Daisy. It's that simple. We always have a lot of fun when we do ride, and Saturday (October 6) was no exception.

We both had the weekend off, and while the weather on Saturday left a bit to be desired (it was overcast and gray and a damp chill hung in the air and wrapped around us like a cold, wet blanket), we decided to go for it.

I liked my impromptu ride last week -- what I called The Hole Way -- so much that I decided to repeat the route with a few minor variations.

From our new home in Černý Vůl, we headed to Unetice, and then up a nice, steady climb to the highway the heads into Roztoky, turning left, and then right, and whizzing down the wonderful hill into Úholičky, past the Pub With No Name, then up another mildly challenging hill in the direction of Tursko.

In the distance, we could see what we call Garbage Mountain, which is basically -- as far as I know -- the main dump for the city of Prague. From a distance -- and only from a distance -- it looks a little like a treeless hill in Scotland or somewhere. They've covered over the trash with dirt and grass, and from afar it doesn't look half bad. From up close, it looks all bad. Luckily, there's no accompanying smell, at least from this distance.


Garbage Mountain looms in the distance.

At the fork in the road near Garbage Mountain, bear left to Turkso. This route is very pleasant (if a bit too flat), but be forewarned. The road to Tursko has more than its fair share of trash along the shoulder, as if folks just didn't quite have the energy to go the extra kilometer all the way to the dump. Or else it's all fallen off garbage trucks on the way to the dump.

Either way, it's a shame.

I wrote in more detail about this route in my last post, so I won't repeat myself here. You can also follow the route by clicking here. For something really cool, click on the KML icon and import the route into Google Earth and you'll be able to do a 3-D flyover.


Our goal on this ride was to stop at Family Hotel Okoř & Restaurant for a late lunch. Regular readers of this blog will know that the hotel in Okoř -- indeed, the whole village -- is one of our favorite cycling destinations. The hotel is a little slice of the French countryside in the Czech countryside. The food is great, they have Pilsner on tap, the service is friendly, and it all just feels real nice and cozy like.

You also might see a few Czech celebrities at the restaurant. The well-known Czech musician Petr Hapka lives in Okoř, and I saw him sitting outside having a drink last week at the restaurant. He sang a duet I really liked back in 1997 with another famous Czech singer, Lucie Bila, who has also eaten at the restaurant, I believe. The song is called "Divam se, divam" ("I Look And I See").


The route was decorated with lots of fall colors, like this tree in Tursko. In the Czech Republic, most of the fall color ends up being variations of yellow, but that's OK.

After lunch and a bottle of Spanish red (it just wasn't a beer kind of day), it was a short ride back home to Černý Vůl.

Even if you live in Prague itself, I recommend this ride. It's beautiful, not too strenuous (our ride was around 31 kilometers), has a few nice watering holes along the way, and it's very easy to get to Unetice through Roztoky, which is itself only 7 or 8 kilometers from Stromovka park.

Abort! Abort!

The next day, on Sunday, I had a window of opportunity for a short ride, and so suited up and headed toward Tuchoměřice. But I must confess, once I was out on the trail, I just wasn't into it. Something was wrong. I felt lethargic and my heart suddenly wasn't in it anymore.

I knew I'd be miserable if I kept going, so I turned around and came home for a total ride of about 7 kilometers.

Sometimes, you just have to listen to what your body is telling you, even if it's telling you not to ride your bike.

RIDE STATS
Distance ridden: 38 kilometers
Average speed: Not available
Maximum speed: Not available
Time on the bike: Not available
Distance ridden in so far in 2007: 1,538 kilometers



These fantastic flowers were growing in a yard in Tursko. An anonymous blog reader has identified them as datura.


It's funny how something that's seemingly ugly can turn out to be rather beautiful, if you look at it in a different way. Like these broken windows in Svrkyně.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Hi Grant,

I think those flowers are a garden specie of durman (in Czech), but I am not entirely sure.

Look at wiki for datura http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datura or google for images using words datura + garden and you will get some pictures which are quite similar to the one on your page (I think there are plants with yellow or violet flowers as well).

Common specie called durman obecný (Datura stramonium) is well known as one of the most poisonous plant growing in the Czech Republic (although it is much smaller plant than the garden specie).

More about it on wiki:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datura_stramonium
Grant said…
Thanks. I think you're absolutely right. I found an amazing picture at: http://jackmaryetc.com/Travel/Americas/Ecuador/Images/381Datura.jpg

I'll amend the blog accordingly.

All the best.

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