Rolling On The River
This is what it's all about.
Hard to believe how little I've ridden so far this year, a combination of a crazy schedule, bad weather (it snowed out my way on May 3!), bad timing, and bad luck.
But the gods (and the sun) were shining on me -- and on Daisy, too -- on Mother's Day, May 8, so we decided to take advantage of the fortuitous circumstances and head out on the bikes.
From our house in Černý Vůl, this is really a lovely little ride -- mostly, if not all, flat; mostly cycle paths free of cars; and with ample opportunities to pull over for a cold beer.
Even if you don't live out in the middle of nowhere, like we do, and you're starting out from somewhere in the city, it's still perfect. Just catch up with the route near the Prague Zoo, cycle north, take the ferry across to the west side of the Vltava in Klecany, as we did, then cycle back toward Prague. It couldn't be any easier, or prettier.
On our trip, we cycled from Černý Vůl to Únětice to Roztoky, and then headed toward Prague 6 along the Vltava -- partly on roads, partly on a wide sidewalk that hugs the western shore. At Podbaba, we rode the charming little ferry across to the east side of the river (our metro passes are honored on the ferry, believe it or not), where we immediately felt the need for liquid refreshment.
There seem to be these mom-and-pop beer/sausage stands every few hundred meters on the east side of the Vltava. We enjoyed a delicious half-liter of Bohemia Regent for 22 CZK (or about $1.30). So far this year, that qualifies as my cheapest half-liter, although I thought I spied a half-liter of Staropramen for 20 CZK along the same route. But then again, it's Staropramen.
Approaching Klecany, we passed a swampy area, where the frogs were in full song:
We cycled north, mostly on the smooth, immaculately paved cycling path along the riverbank. Which sadly deteriorates after a few kilometers into a rough stone road that looks -- and feels -- as if it dates from Roman times. I wish the city -- any city -- would get its act together and complete the cycle path to Klecany. It's obviously popular. The path was clogged with walkers and hikers and roller-bladers and cyclists.
In Klecany, we grabbed another beer while we waited for another ferry to take us back across to Roztoky, from whence we retraced our route back home.
Not a long trip. Not a difficult trip. Simply an enjoyable trip.
Length of ride: 27.5 km
Average speed: 15.3 kph
Maximum speed: 36.1 kph
Time on the bike: 1.47.11
Pivo Index: 2
Distance ridden so far in 2011: 119 km
The beautiful path between Únětice and Roztoky.
Still no sign of reconstruction at the dearly departed Koliba, our wonderful forest hideaway that burned to the ground a few years ago...
... and which is right next door to the Hotel Maximilian, apparently a famous hotel and restaurant in its day but which also burned down many years before. Coincidence?
A wide walkway along the highway makes cycling south from Roztoky to Prague relatively safe, despite the traffic and the trains.
This cute ferry is actually part of the Prague public transportation network and will take your bike across for no extra charge.
There's a rubber duck on the flag. Just thought I'd point that out.
Soaking in the scenery.
This grizzled guy has been guiding the ferry across the Vltava from Klecany to Roztoky ever since I can remember. I wonder how many crossings he's logged? And how many cigarettes he's smoked?
One of the pubs in Klecany that caters to cyclists boasts this communist-era monument to the proletariat.