My Last Ride Of 2007

Proof that the sun did shine on Sunday, December 30, in Prague. This frozen pond is a short distance from my house in Černý Vůl.

I didn't make it.

My distance goal for 2007 was 3,000 kilometers. That was based on the 2,400 kilometers I cycled in 2006. Since I was planning on doing a lot of winter riding in 2007, 3,000 kilometers seemed realistic.

It wasn't.

I lost a lot of time to illness, and some to vacation, and I just didn't seem to have as much free time to hop on my bike, what with a 7-year-old running around, the pleasant demands of family life, and moving into a new house.

I had great fun, nevertheless.

In the end, I cycled 1,932.5 kilometers in 2007.

My last ride was Sunday, December 30, a rather mild winter's day in Prague, around 5 Celsius, or 40 Fahrenheit.

Some locals take advantage of the decent weather to play hockey and just have a little fun on a frozen pond near the village of Únětice.

And believe it or not, through some freak meterological phenomenon, the sun actually shone for a few hours. It was quite something to see that bright glowing orb in the sky again.

I cycled from my house in the village of Černý Vůl, down to Roztoky and one of my favorite restaurants in Prague, Koliba, back to Černý Vůl, and then through Statenice and onto Tuchoměřice, before turning around and heading home.

It was just a chance to enjoy the decent weather and get a bit of exercise.

I also got a chance to try out some cool biking stuff I received from Daisy's father, Paul, and his wife, Allison, for Christmas -- some Pedro's Chainj Chain Lube, some Gu Energy Gel, and some fun tire-valve tops that actually have bottle caps from American beer glued to them.

Since I seem to write as much about beer as about biking on the blog, I thought they were a perfect fit!

Stay tuned to this space for a look back at the highlights of 2007, and some cycling resolutions for 2008.

Thanks to everyone for reading in 2007, and for posting comments and sending me e-mails. It's been a fantastic experience.

Happy New Year to you all!

Length of ride: 21 kilometers
Average speed: 17.2 kph
Maximum speed: 35.9 kph
Time on the bike: 1.11.48
Distance ridden in 2007: 1,932.5 kilometers

The grill restaurant Koliba in Roztoky. I should put together a blog slide show of photos of Koliba, taken in all the seasons. What stays constant is that this is one of the coolest restaurants around, especially on a warm summer's night.


Pauline Lim said…
Happy New Year, Grant! I salute you for continuing to ride even in the snow and cold. Your pictures are stunning and moody. We just went to Chicago to visit my bro's family, and it was our first trip without bikes in a long time. We'd read that there was snow on the ground, but in the end, we could have used them-- it was comparable to Prague or Boston weather. Instead we spent time on the subway and elevated trains, and it made me remember how efficient and fast the Prague system is.

While I was there, I read another Kundera novel, "Life is Elsewhere". It was way grim-- much less funny and delightful than "Immortality". Despite its dreadfulness, it was quite perceptive regarding artistic (narcissistic) personalities. Its depiction of the Communist takeover was chilling. I recommend this book if you can tolerate irritating and silly characters, because it has a lot of neat descriptions of Prague.

Our Chicago friend belongs to the fancy health club where Oprah, Barak Obama and Jesse Jackson work out, and he took us there for a mega workout. They had stationary bikes with video monitors that had pretty convincing scenery and other riders to race against, and you could steer around the various venues depicted. Fun! We swam and lifted weights, too, so our endorphins are flowing. Also, we've been XC skiing when it's snowy out.

The thing about winter activity is, I always need to be near a lodge or somewhere I can warm up. I took a 90-minute bike ride on Xmas Day around Boston, downtown and on the waterfront. It was great because there were no cars, and the sun was out, but I don't think I could have gone much longer without getting hypothermic. I found an open Starbucks chain and savored a peppermint mocha. I was bonking by then, and it would have been worrisome if I couldn't find somewhere open on Xmas Day.

I recommend not stopping at all on a snowy winter day; it just gives you time to freeze.

The other day a guy on a mountain bike passed me wearing studded snow tires; it made a racket on the pavement, but it must be pretty fun if conditions are icy. I don't ride on days like that-- too scary.

Cheers, and have a wonderful 2008! Keep those endorphins flowing, my friend.
Grant said…
Hi, Pauline,

Best wishes to you and Ulandt for the new year! And thanks for the great post/comment. Sounds like Chicago was fun, and I'll have to check out that Kundera. I must admit, dare I say it, to never having read *any* of his stuff. Sacrilege, living as I do in Prague.

I am waiting for the day when I can stop for a Peppermint Mocha at a Starbucks while I'm riding in Prague. In the meantime, I'll settle for half-liters of Czech beer for 17 CZK.

All the best.
Pauline Lim said…
Wow, I love this blog. It's just like traveling!

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