Spokes On The Water
It's going to be a long ride home in the dark.
Despite what they say, sometimes it's the destination, not the journey. This was one of those cases.
Stewart and I decided to go out for a ride last weekend.
Incredibly, the last ride we'd taken together was in late April, and that one was a bit of a laugh, really.
Before that, we'd ridden to Melnik in March, which was a truly fantastic outing. Hard to believe, too, considering how often Stewart and I used to go out, that this was the first ride, just the two of us, since sometime way back in 2011. I've moved closer into town, and it's a bit trickier to meet up for a quick ride.
Anyhow, him in Roztoky and me in Vokovice (Prague 6), we decided to meet in Lysolaje and head along the river toward the Prague suburb of Liben, the home -- or so I'd heard -- of a wonderful brew pub, Pivovar U Bulovky.
It was chilly, but the sun was out, a rarity at this time of year. We got a late start, not meeting up until 1:30, so we only had a few hours of cycling -- and drinking -- time.
It's an easy ride along the river (see our route above) and the setting sun and approaching darkness made for some wonderful urban vistas. We found the pub with little problem. It's not exactly a place you'd accidentally stumble upon. It's on a tiny little street darkened by the hulking mass of Bulovka Infectious Diseases Hospital. But inside, it's warm and welcoming, the tap room dominated by two gorgeous copper brewing tanks.
We sampled the house lager, a lovely, hoppy brew, and a half-liter each of a spicy ginger ale. That's ale flavored with ginger, not the cocktail mixer I'm talking about. Delicious. (The pub grub here also comes highly recommended, but we didn't get a chance to partake on this day.)
We stood outside and drank and talked. The windows of the pub are opaque, and even with bike locks, we didn't trust that our rides wouldn't be stolen while we were warm and toasty inside. So we drank and talked and got progressively colder until it was time to head home.
When the weather gets warmer, we vowed to book a table at the wine bar at St. Claire's Vineyard, which overlooks the Troja chateau. Looks like a lovely spot for a few glasses of grape juice.
Length of ride: 27.5 kilometers
Average speed: 14 kph
Maximum speed: 36.6 kph
Pivo Index: 2
Time on the bike: 1.56.54
Distance ridden so far in 2012: 267.5 kilometers
A couple of cold ones for a couple of cold ones.
Here's to old times and old-timers.
Stewart pointed out this interesting juxtaposition of the old and charming with the new and ugly . He says he always thinks of director Terry Gilliam when he sees this view, imagining Gilliam opening on the house, with appropriate idyllic music, and then panning out to show the tower block right there. "It's like a scene from Brazil. Brutalist architecture at its most brutal!"