A good ride spoiled.

What were the chances, I thought?

In the end, it turns out, the chances were pretty good.

Daisy and I took advantage of the incredible Prague weather of late by heading out on a bike ride. Just the two of us. Something we don't get to do that often.

The week before, you see, Emma, Daisy, and I had also gone out for a little ride (more about that later), and when I went down to the garage to get the bike ready, Daisy had a flat front tire.

I replaced the leaky tube with a new one, the only spare I had for Daisy's bike. The ride -- a short one -- went fine.

I'd kept meaning to stop at the bike store to buy a few more spare tubes, but never got around to it.

The courtyard of the lovely Auberge de Provence.

Still-life at Auberge de Provence.

When an opportunity for another ride presented itself, I decided to go ahead and take the risk and have Daisy ride without a spare inner tube. What were the chances of two flat tires on the same bike in the span of two weeks?

Daisy and I rode from Černý Vůl to Statenice to Tuchoměřice, out to Kněževes and then over to Středokluky. I thought we'd make a pass through Okoř , have lunch, and then make our way back home.

Except that in Středokluky, Daisy noticed that she had a flat rear tire. What were the chances, indeed.

I had no spare tube and no repair kit. I called a taxi but AAA didn't have a car big enough to handle a bike.

I could have ridden home myself and brought our own car back and picked Daisy up, except that both of our cars were parked in central Prague since we'd taken a taxi back home after being out the night before.

A right mess, it was. I was pretty angry with myself, and at the situation.

A homemade plum tart and a half-liter of the local brew.

In the end, we had no choice, really, but to walk our bikes back home. It turned out to be an 8.5-kilometer (5.5 miles) walk in the hot sun. We stopped about halfway at the lovely Auberge de Provence restaurant, a French/Belgian fantasy in Tuchoměřice for a bite to eat and a couple of beers. And then it was off to home.

The walk probably took us two hours or so. Not exactly how I'd envisioned spending such a lovely day. I did learn my lesson, however.

Daisy and Emma on the abandoned stretch of road outside Roztoky.

As I mentioned earlier, Emma had joined us for a ride the week before.

We headed the other direction that time -- from Černý Vůl to Únětice, and then down to Roztoky.

There's a very cool stretch of road that heads out of Roztoky toward Sedlec that used to be the main road but which has since been superseded by a new highway along the Vltava. The old road dead-ends at the railroad tracks outside of Roztoky, which means it's abandoned, save for the occasional cyclist or roller-blader.

It's a great stretch.

On the way home, we stopped at U Lasiku, the best little wine bar in a place you've probably never heard of, and had a few half-liters of the excellent Únětický pivo, brewed just a few hundred meters down the road, and a few slices of lovely plum tart.

And I was really proud of Emma for tallying 17 kilometers. She's outgrowing her bike, so I think I know what Santa might be bringing her this year.

Let's hope the next ride with one or both of my ladies is a little less eventful!

RIDE STATS #1 (with Emma)
Length of ride: 17 kilometers
Average speed: 12.7 kph
Maximum speed: 26.2 kph
Pivo Index: 1
Time on the bike: 1.18.56

Length of ride/walk: 18.5 kilometers
Average speed: 8.9 kph
Maximum speed: 31.8
Pivo Index: 2
Time on the bike: 2.02.47
Distance ridden so far in 2011: 258.5 kilometers

No caption needed.

We passed these old circus caravans in Unetice. Wonder what the story is. Did someone get them for a good price at an auction somewhere? When were they used, and what for? Oh, the questions such things inspire.

Anyone know more about this amazing house in Tuchoměřice? It's been under renovation for years, and now seems poised to open. A bed-and-breakfast, perhaps? An office? A private family home? In any case, it's gorgeous.



Jim R said…
People in Vegas forget this all the time: Even with the odds in your favor, you can still lose. At least it didn't rain. Huzzah for the hardy cycle-walkers.
Grant Podelco said…
Hey, man. Thanks. You're right. It could always be worse. And it's possible the walking was even more exercise than the riding would have been. My legs and hips certainly felt it the next day.
Anonymous said…
The villa in Tuchomerice is, I am told, an office + private home in back. They did a nice job on the villa, but I hate that they built right behind it so closely. I suppose they tried to match the style, but it ruins the original design of a villa in a garden by backing it with another building. C'est la vie!
Grant Podelco said…
Thanks for the house info. I have to say, I hadn't noticed the back of the house. I'll have to take a look. From the front, though, it looks pretty awesome.
Robicku said…
Grant its not ideal but I have stuffed leaves, grass etc between the rim and tire in place of the ruined tube. It got me home anyway with no damage to the tire.
Grant Podelco said…
Wow. I'd never have thought that could actually work. You'd really have to cram that in there tight, and get the wheel back on the rim, too. Good work!

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