Making Hay

The fields we passed were often decorated with baled hay. I think this field was somewhere near Holubice.

Ride through the blink-and-you'll-miss-it village of Trněný Újezd and you'll find yourself at the top of a hill.

The top of a hill is one of my favorite places to be on a bike.

It means only one thing.

When you get to the top of this hill in Trněný Újezd, do yourself a favor and ride down. It's my new favorite thing to do.

It's steep, and a little winding, but there are enough straight stretches to get going really fast, and the turns are gentle enough that you don't have to squeeze the brakes much.

It's a kick.

I'm taking motorcycle lessons (I used to have a motorcycle about 30 years ago, but haven't been on one since), and the rush of going down that hill on my mountain bike reminded me of why it's so much fun to ride a motorcycle. You get that feeling all the time on a motorbike.

The downhill in Trněný Újezd came in the middle of a ride with Stewart, our first excursion since both of us returned from two glorious weeks on the Croatian coast.

I must admit that my legs did feel a bit tired about three-quarters of the way through the ride. I'd exercised my arms a lot swimming in the Adriatic, but I guess my legs lost some of their conditioning.

I met Stewart at our usual meeting point between Únětice and Roztoky. Stewart made a memorable entrance, whistling at me from far off, pedaling slowly along the edge of a spongy wet farmer's field, as usual trying to find a route from his house in Roztoky where he could avoid his nemesis, the automobile.

That he accomplished, but it was slow going, and the last 100 meters or so was pretty muddy, and he was forced to hoist his GT Avalanche on his back and carry it the rest of the way.

Stewart takes the hard way to our meeting point.

We had a fun ride, heading to Uholicky, up the hill to Turkso, over to Holubice, to Trněný Újezd, Zakolany, and then up a very steep trail to a historical site called Budec that we'd visited before, and then down a wonderful drop outside Okoř, where I had a beer (Stewart abstained since he had to drive shortly after he got home), and then it was home.

You can follow the exact path here, courtesy of my Garmin Edge GPS device:

View Larger Map

It was the perfect post-holiday ride -- two or three tough climbs, a few good downhills, not overly long, good conversation all the way through, and a beer at the end.

Nothing more to ask for.

We had to wait for this horse and rider to vacate the stream near Okoř before we could ride through ourselves. Wet feet, sure, but it's a small price to pay for feeling like a kid again.

(A few days later, I ended up going out on a short ride by myself, since I was heading into work late and it was a beautiful day. Another little tune-up ride of 21 kilometers., through neighboring towns and forest paths. I'll combine the stat totals of the two rides for the sake of convenience.)

Length of ride: 53 kilometers
Average speed: 15.5 kph
Maximum speed: 48 kph
Pivo Index: 1
Time on the bike: 3.28.53
Distance ridden so far in 2008: 1,085 kilometers

As I was riding through Únětice on my way to meet Stewart, I looked over at the window of an old building in the middle of town and spied this little tableau of clay figures. Don't know who put them there, or what they mean. Fascinating.

I liked the flower boxes and the shadows on this house on my solo ride, somewhere near Číčovice.


wissy said…
Hello Grant.
I always love your photographs you have an excellent eye for detail. Just out of interest what camera do you use whwn you're out on your rides?
Grant Podelco said…
Hi, Wissy,

That's very kind of you to say so. For my rides, I use a Nikon Coolpix S3, very small, easy to fit in my little carrier bag under my seat, and easy to pull out and take pictures with even with one hand sometimes, while I'm riding. I've been very happy with the results. It's no bigger than a deck of playing cards, and takes really nice pictures.

Thanks again. And thanks for reading!

All the best.
Wissy said…
Thanks Grant.

You should get Nikon to co-sponsor your sites!

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