My Top 10 Cycling Moments of 2007


Rob and I take a moment for a photo at Křivoklát castle, about halfway through our century attempt on October 21.

There will be no cycling today in Černý Vůl.

We've had our deepest snowfall of the season so far, around 3 or 4 inches (around 9 centimeters), wet and sticky.

This seems like a good time to take a look back at my Top 10 Cycling Moments of 2007, including links to the blog posts about each episode.

10. Critically Flawed

For the first, and last time, I participated in a Critical Mass bike ride through the streets and on the highways of Prague. I had, and still have, some serious reservations about the methods this movement uses to gain increased awareness of cyclists and cycling.

Find the original blog post here.

9. Crash Machine

I'm not crazy, but I like to ride fast, and I do probably half of my riding on trails, not on roads. Despite almost 2,000 kilometers of riding, I only crashed once, when I flew spectacularly over the handlebars after my front tire plunged into a hidden hole. I still have the scar on my right hand from that wipeout.

Find the original blog post here.

8. A New Set of Wheels

I was sick for most of the month of March, and I used that down time to buy a new bike. And not just a new bike, but a mountain bike -- a GT Avalanche 2.0. Up to that point, I'd been riding a trekking bike, and was having some problems keeping up with my cycling buddies on the hills and trails.

Overall, I've been very happy with it.

Find the original blog post here.


My new GT Avalance 2.0 mountain bike.

7. Knowing My Position

In the end, and much to my surprise, many more people read this blog than I had anticipated. And a lot of them were, and are, looking for advice on where to ride.

Creating route maps by hand using some of the websites and software out there is pretty time-consuming, so I purchased a Garmin Edge 305 GPS device, which attaches to my handlebars and records my exact ride, which I then upload onto a website called Motion Based using my Apple iBook G4 laptop.

I've made a library of my routes, which you can find in the left-hand column of this blog.

Find the original blog post here.

6. Year-Round Riding

One of my goals in 2007 was to ride my bike in every month of the year, despite the weather in Prague. And despite not reaching my kilometer goal of 3,000 for 2007, I'm happy to say that I did ride in every month -- in rain and snow and cold and occasionally even sunshine.

5. Moved To Tears

Living in Prague as I have for more than 10 years, I was familiar with the tragic history of Lidice, a few kilometers northwest of the city. But it wasn't until July, on my bike, that I actually visited what's left of the village. I was deeply moved.

Find the original blog post here.


This poignant statue represents all of the lost children of Lidice.

4. Caveat Emptor

Using something called statcounter.com, it's possible for me to see how readers find my blog, whether it's through a Google search or from links on other blogs or websites. I get a lot of hits from folks searching for naked ladies, World Naked Bike Ride, cheap beer, and trdlo or trdelnik (I never realized how popular it was).

But I get more hits from those folks thinking of purchasing electronics (such as a Garmin GPS device) from an Atlanta-based company called Myron Global, or from those who already have and who are having tons of trouble with that firm. Just like I did.

I sleep well at night knowing I've steered many customers away from Myron Global.

Find the original blog post and all the comments of dissatisfied customers here and here.


I get a ton of hits on this blog due to this picture.

3. Love To Ride

I wish we'd had the chance to do it more often, but with a 7-year-old at home, it's hard for Daisy and me to break away and ride together. But when we did, we had a fantastic time, including tasting some of the first fizzy burčák of the season,

Find some of the original blog posts here and here and here.


On a ride in Roztoky, Daisy samples a glass of the energy drink recommended by four out of five Czech cyclists.

2. A Century In My Sights

In October, Rob and I set out to ride 100 miles in a single ride, what's called a "century" in those countries using imperial measurements. That comes to 160 kilometers for those of you keeping score at home.

I'd done 100 kilometers on a single ride the year before -- a metric century, if you will. But an imperial century is considered a milestone that every serious cyclist must conquer in order to be called ... uh ... a guy who rode a century, I guess. Or maybe centurion?

Did we make it?

Find the original blog post here.


Rob speeds down a beautiful country road on our century attempt.

1. Winning Friends

I truly never thought so many people would end up reading this blog when I started posting in late February 2007. I started it as an alternative to keeping a written journal of my rides, after being inspired a friend of mine, Brewsta, who began his Prague restaurant blog a few weeks before.

In the ensuing 10 months, I've received many e-mails from fellow cyclists both in Prague and around the world, seeking advice on where to ride, where to rent, and where to get service.


My Greek friend Costas poses in a forgotten sculpture garden I discovered in the Prague suburb of Liben.

And in the most amazing development of all, I've actually gotten to ride or hang out with some of my readers from all over the world -- to be specific, Carlo from Australia (who's now living in Prague); Costas from Greece; and Pauline and Ulandt from Boston.

Find some of the original blog posts here and here.

Of course, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention my regular cycling buddies Stewart, Rob, and Mark. To say that we had fun out there would be to belabor understatement. They're great pals.

I'm looking forward to riding with everyone in the new year!

Watch this space for some resolutions for 2008.


Winter comes to Černý Vůl.

Comments

Happy New Year.

Go easy on those critical mass rides. Cars do it every day all over the world. At least the bike masses keep moving.
Pauline Lim said…
I feel the same way you do about Critical Mass; there is a CM ride that blocks Storrow Drive during the occasional Friday rush hour in Boston, and it freaks me out since there are always ambulances on their way to Mass. General Hospital there. I hate to drive, because when I'm stuck in a traffic jam, I burst into tears and have a near panic attack! So I'd hate to do that to other poor slobs stuck in their cars. Bikes are like water-- we always find a way around obstacles. But when you're in a car, you're an effin' prisoner. I have bike-commuted year-round in Boston for about 20 years and have never taken part in CM. It's too confrontational for my faint heart. Boston had a Sunday-morning bike fest where they shut down Storrow Drive to cars for several hours, and it was great fun, and it attracted thousands of bikers to City Hall Plaza where there was a big rally and lots of exhibitor booths and activism. How about one of those in Prague? It would garner attention and be fun for cyclists without ruining people's day.
Pauline Lim said…
Dear Grant: I just posted a comment but forgot to also say that I read all the links to this post and discovered some great ones that I hadn't read yet. I'm so proud to be in one of your top ten riding events of 2007! Now I can't wait to see the next Narnia movie and try to spot your buddy Stewart of the Beard.
Grant said…
Sorry, Midnight Rider. I'm no fan of the CM rides, and never will be. I think cyclists can get together and make their point in more effective ways.

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