The World's Stupidest Bike Lanes -- Prague Edition
Back in April, I posted some videos from a series highlighting some of the world's stupidest bike lanes.
I wrote about what I thought should be Prague's entry -- a bike lane on Štefánikův Bridge -- and posted some photos.
Now I've finally recorded a video to show you just how silly this bike lane really is.
My friend Rob points out that many of the storm gratings right next to the bike line are set parallel to the path, making lovely death traps for bike tires.
I took the video on my bike ride into and back from work in central Prague on a warm, spring Saturday.
On that ride, I realized how much the Vltava River defines my ride from home, in Černý Vůl, a village northwest of Prague, to downtown Prague. I pick up the river in Roztoky, following it to Sedlec and all the way to Stromovka park. I leave the river for a bit, only to pick it back up near Štefánikův Bridge, with its sweeping views of Prague Castle.
The Vltava River near Sedlec.
I often see cruise ships heading north toward Dresden, or dropping families off at Prague Zoo, which hugs the river near Stromovka.
And lonely fisherman hiding in the brush along the banks, fishing for carp in the early morning. The occasional barge drifts by, hauling gravel from a quarry upriver.
And there are always the cute little ferries, with their stripe-shirted captains, taking passengers from one bank to the other, part of Prague's public transportation system, and invaluable to us cyclists.
The Vltava River near Podbaba, with St. Vitus Cathedral visible in the middle distance.
Prague Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral from Štefánikův Bridge, in central Prague.
On the way home, I stopped at my new favorite pub in Roztoky, Hospůdka Zvířátka (Little Animals), which serves something like six different types of Černá Hora beer, one of my favorites.
This time, I ordered a half-liter of the 15° brew -- a rare offering in these parts. (For more about what that means, read what my friend the Beer Philosopher has to say on the subject.) I knew it would be strong, but man, did it knock me for a loop. It tasted like a shot and a beer, and smelled strongly -- but not unpleasantly -- of fermenting apples. It set me back 36 CZK, or about $2.30.
It reminded me of a strong Belgian Trappist ale I once had, Chimay Grand Reserve, I think it was, served in a wine bottle, cork and all.
Instead of feeling refreshed, as I usually do after a beer while cycling, I felt incapacitated, and limped home.
It's a delicious beer, but probably best left for drinking with a hearty meal. I'll stick to a 10° or 12° pilsener next time.
I was proud of my average speed for the ride. I broke 20 kph for the ride in, and almost broke 20 kph for the overall ride. That's not bad for a mountain bike with fat, sticky tires!
Length of ride: 38 kilometers
Average speed: 19.7 kph
Maximum speed: 38 kph
Pivo Index: 1
Time on the bike: 1.55.48
Distance ridden so far in 2008: 777 kilometers
I ran into this funky three-wheeled motorcycle parked outside Hospůdka Zvířátka.
These are roses from a bush in my own backyard, aglow in the setting sun as I returned home.