A Dirty Pub, A Mysterious Hole, And An Unexpected Visit


The Dirty Pub

I'm either a bad cyclist or a good alcoholic.

I took my first ride of the year a few days ago. I met Stewart at what will forever more be called The Dirty Pub, also known as Na Břetislavce, on the corner of V Podbabe and V Sareckem Udoli in the village of Lysolaje. It's a right filthy joint, but it's got cheap beer and some outdoor seating under the big trees out back, and it's about halfway between my home in the Vokovice neighborhood of Prague 6 and Stewart's home in Roztoky.

Except in my case, it's all downhill from my house to The Dirty Pub. About 5.5 kilometers of downhill, to be exact. (The ride's a bit more strenuous for Stewart.) Which means I hadn't yet come anywhere close to earning my first bike beer of the year. But I had one anyway. Make that two each.

Let me digress.


The "beer garden" behind The Dirty Pub

The night before this ride, Daisy and I had been to Sansho, the celebrated Prague restaurant run by British chef Paul Day, who's become a good friend since we first met more than two years ago. I and 40 of my friends took over Sansho for my 50th in 2011, and I celebrated my 51st birthday in his butcher shop, The Real Meat Society, last year.

Paul recently moved to Lysolaje, and in fact we had been talking about The Dirty Pub the night before, which is close to his house. So as I sat there sipping my beer, I sent Paul a text message, just for fun, and attached a photo of two crazy cyclists.

Unexpectedly and very surprisingly (I wouldn't even have replied to such an SMS on a quiet Sunday morning), Paul and his partner, Michaela Jorgensen, invited us over for a few glasses of wine and a tour of their new home. We had a blast talking and drinking as Paul tended to some pork he was slow-roasting on the Weber and their dog, Yuzu, tracked mud through the living room.

What an unexpected and delightful detour.


This is the photo we sent to Paul to warn him of our presence in his 'hood. He invited us in anyway.

Not wanting to wear out our welcome, and wanting to get a little actual riding in before we were too far in our cups, Stewart and I bid our farewell and headed up into the forest. We ended up between the villages of Horoměřice and Nebušice, near Route 240, which gave me a chance to show Stewart something I had seen on a ride last year but had never really gotten the chance to inspect: a large swimming pool, surrounded by overgrowth and mature trees, abandoned in the forest.


Abandoned swimming pool or drainage pool? You make the call.

On closer inspection, we concluded that it was likely not an old swimming pool but perhaps some sort of drainage pond. The sides of the pool were sloped, unlike a swimming pool, and there was some sort of small crane hanging over one end. And while we were there, contemplating what this big old hole could be, we heard a big gurgling sound and some sort of effluent burbled up from a drain at one end.

If anyone has a clue what this is, I'd love to hear from you.

From there, we cycled through the forest to Nebušice, where he had a few more beers and a couple of pepperoni pizzas at U Ády, before parting ways.

An inauspicious but totally predictable start to my cycling year. The ride reminded both of us of last year's ride to Únětice, which quickly devolved into a drinkathon. Although looking back at it, I managed eight more kilometers in that ride than I did in this one.

There's nowhere to go but up.

RIDE STATS
Length of ride: 19 kilometers
Average speed: 12.4 kph
Maximum speed: 46.1 kph
Pivo Index: 4 (plus some white wine and Champagne, with a capital C)
Distance ridden so far in 2013: 19 kilometers!


Finally, hitting the trails, for a little "bhiking." If you don't know what that means, click here.



Man, that tasted good.

Comments

CH said…
Sewage overflow ?
Grant Podelco said…
I don't think it's for sewage. I'm not sure why, but I don't think that's right. There's no village for 3 kilometers or so, and it's pretty small to handle sewage. And no treatment facilities.
Paulo Rafael said…
Dear Grant, me and my wife will do a little trip by bike in South Bohemia (27may to 7june). We'll cycling from Prague to Beroun, Beroun to Konopiste, Konop to Tabor, Tabor to Jindrichuv Hradec, JH to Ceske Budejovice, CB to C. Krumlov. Who knows we will find you by the czech roads?!
Anonymous said…
It looks like a detention pond. After heavy rain this thing fills with water that then drains back out at a slow rate. This is to prevent flooding of streams and ditches during very heavy rain of short duration.
Grant Podelco said…
Hey, Paulo! That's quite a trip! Keep me posted on your adventures!
Grant Podelco said…
Hello, Anonymous. Thanks for that. Very well could be a detention pond. Would it be strange for it to be in the middle of an overgrown forest like that?

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