Show Me The Way To The Next...

Every year at this time, it seems as if I can never take too many pictures of the fields of rainslicker-yellow rapeseed that paint the landscape around Prague. (For more, scroll further down!)

At first flash of Eden, we race down to the sea.
Standing there on freedom's shore.
Waiting for the sun
Can you feel it now that spring has come.

-- The Doors, "Waiting For the Sun"

Seems like we're always waiting for the sun here in Prague.

The spring started out on a positive note -- lots of sun and unseasonably warm -- but now it's turned cool and wet, and it seems as if it will never be hot and sunny again.

I've been thinking a lot about The Doors lately. Been watching a DVD, The Doors' "Soundstage Performances," picked up for me for a few dollars on the street here in Prague by my friend Rob. I've always been a huge fan, and this DVD contains footage of the band that I'd never seen before, which is saying something.

So it was funny when I reached into the drawer where I keep all my cycling clothes and pulled out my Doors cycling jersey, purely by chance. I bought it last year, or maybe the year before, during some closeout sale at Bike Nashbar, but had never worn it. Maybe it felt too tight. (Read: I was too fat.)

Modeling my Doors cycling jersey, while soaking up the last rays of the setting sun.

Anyway, I slipped it on, and it felt pretty good, so I wore it during a short ride I took the other day, just to enjoy one of those days of sunshine I mentioned earlier.

I started out from my home here in Černý Vůl, west of Prague, headed up to Horoměřice, across the fields of rape I mentioned in an earlier post, and then cut across a really nice path through the forest, toward the village of Nebušice. The path emerged on the Tuchoměřická road, which leads down into the village, or up toward the village of Přední Kopanina.

I headed up toward Přední Kopanina.

You see, there's a pub there that I know, U Housliček.

I didn't think I'd need it, so I'd neglected to bring a water bottle with me, and I was parched.

Yes, a beer would do the trick nicely. I didn't really deserve one. I hadn't earned it. I hadn't cycled all that far.

But sometimes a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.

I stopped for a beer. Solo style. I sat in the sun and sipped my Gambrinus and all was right with the world.

My fluids suitably replenished, I climbed back in the saddle and headed toward Tuchoměřice, past the spot where we watched Air Force One come in low for a landing last month, and then passing the hulking shell of the Galleria Moda along the way. It's a gigantic mall that was being built near the airport, but construction abruptly halted, due to the economic crisis, I'm assuming.

It's a sad sight to see in some ways, and a happy one in others. Do we really need another shopping mall in Prague? Especially one that would attract more cars to the country roads that we now ride our bikes on in relative peace?

The empty shell of Galleria Moda, between Přední Kopanina and Tuchoměřice.

From there, it was down into Tuchoměřice, then through Statenice, and back home.

Uneventful, perhaps.

Therapeutic? You betcha.

Length of ride: 21 kilometers
Average speed: 15.5 kph
Maximum speed: 42.5
Pivo Index: 1
Time on the bike: 1.18.46
Distance ridden so far in 2009: 316 kilometers

A field of rapeseed between Horoměřice and Nebušice (above and below).


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