Reflections On My First Ride Of 2010

A quiet forest scene near Roztoky.

Glad to have done it, but also glad it’s over.

That was my reaction after completing my first ride of the new year. Hard to believe it took until March for that to happen. In fact, I hadn’t been on a bike for almost 100 days, since late November. That’s a record for me, at least in the past three or four years that I’ve been riding seriously.

I’ve prided myself on having ridden at least once in every month of the year – through snow and ice and mud and rain and cold. But this winter was just too brutal. Too much snow. Too cold. For too long. I just couldn’t face it, both for safety reasons and also because I just couldn’t muster the energy.

I found it even hard to bring myself to hop on the saddle this time. The sun was shining, remarkably, and most of the snow had melted, but it was still damn cold. And I must admit that I felt a odd twinge of nervousness, too. Would I still enjoy it? How out of shape would I be? I can’t quite explain it, but I felt I needed to get back on my bike, not out of enthusiasm but of obligation.

To break the ice, so to speak, I decided on a short solo run. Just to get a ride under my (every expanding) belt.

I figured I’d just ride from my home in Černý Vůl, a village on the western outskirts of Prague, to Roztoky, and cycle a little along the river path, and then back home again. Nothing too strenuous.

And that’s what I did.

Out of practice, I guess, I misjudged the warming rays of the sun and underdressed. I was freezing once I got out on the trails, especially through the shadows in the forest. And the river path was even worse. I couldn’t wait to get home and warm.

Not a lot happening on the trail on this day. Animal footprints in the snow. A few tits chirping in the bushes. And the late, great Koliba in Roztky still a sore sight for eyes, with no evidence of its rebuilding. (Does anyone know its future?)

Tracks through the snow on a pond near Černý Vůl.

I limped home, cold and stiff, from my short ride. Glad to have done it, but also glad it was over.

Length of ride: 16 kilometers
Time on the bike: 1 hour, 20 minutes
Average speed: 11.4 kph
Pivo Index: 0
Maximum speed: 33.7 kph
Distance ridden so far in 2010: 16 kilometers

The trail to Roztoky was still snow-covered and quite icy.

In the neighboring village of Únětice. Bright blue sky, a crumbling old chateau, and a satellite dish.


Loving the Bike said…
That's a long hard winer off the bike. Good to see that you're able to get out and start riding. Enjoy Your Ride.
Grant Podelco said…
I appreciate it. Thanks for reading!
Bring on the 18 Degrees C temps they're forecasting for next week...!!
Simon Vollam said…
I know what you mean about the long hard winter. I've only been out a couple of times myself. Welcome back on the bike.
Karin said…
It's only hard the first time!

Was in Prague Dec - 1st March. Snow, snow, snow. But I read your blog every day, just to make sure YOU DIDN'T go out!

Spring will be here soon, and you will no doubt be "in the saddle again".

Karin on Paros
Grant Podelco said…
Thanks, everyone! I really appreciate the support. Karin, I can't believe you checked my blog every day! Very funny. I was itching to go, but just wouldn't or couldn't.

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