Urban Bro-Cycling

Here's to us!

Stewart and I decided to meet up for a little urban exploration a few weeks back. (OK, it was about two months ago now. Egads.)

I wasn't into anything too strenuous, but I wanted to get out on the bike, get some air, drink a few beers, and shoot the shit.

He lives in Roztoky, I live in Vokovice in Prague 6, so we decided to meet up near the zoo, at a pub that's a short ferry ride across the Vltava from Podbaba. He would take a different ferry at Roztoky to get to the eastern side of the river.

Me and my bike take the ferry from Podbaba across to the zoo. What's cool is that regular Prague transport tickets are also good for the ferry.

Unfortunately, the ferry wasn't running as regularly as Stewart had hoped, so he was a few minutes late for our rendezvous, time which I was forced to fill by drinking a very delicious half-liter of Svijany for 25 CZK ($1.30). Or two.

When he did arrive, he was not alone. His 13-year-old son Jules was also along. It was time for a real bro-cycle ride.

We drank another pivo and then headed south, past the zoo, intending to head along the river toward Liben, perhaps have another drink at the Trojan Horse pub, which was recovering from some serious flood damage. However, the world championship was being held on the kayaking course on the river just past the zoo, preventing us from going any farther.

So we headed up. Up a steep climb past Troja into a neighborhood full of cool, modern, expensive homes, until we eventually emerged on the edge of the Prague Botanical Gardens, which I knew were there but had never known were so beautiful or extensive. It was all fenced off, and there was an admission charge, and we had our bikes, so we didn't go in, but I'm definitely going to take the family there sometime for a nice walk.

Some sleek modernist construction in the neighborhood near Troja.

Some sleek modernist construction in the neighborhood near Troja.

By this point, we're high above Prague, in the area known as Bohnice. I'd always sort of written off Bohnice, having seen, and been not impressed, by its jagged skyline of raggedy old panelaks from afar.

But it was actually very cool -- a mix of old communist-era high-rises, some cool new construction, and a crazy BMX course we happened to stumble upon. We even came across a game of women's fast-pitch softball being played on a baseball field near a school.



And then I got to do something I'd been wanting to do for a long time -- stand on the high bluff at Bohnice that looks out over the Vltava, over the village of Suchdol, over Sedlec and the Riverside School, and over much of Prague 6.

It's a sweeping view. Sadly, on this day, the clouds and spitting rain spoiled things a bit, but it was still a fantastic feeling to be up that high and know that we cycled up there, baby. (I admit, I had to walk my bike part of the way up the hill. Just too, too steep.)

From there, it was down a fast mountain path until we emerged back along the bike path on the east side of the river. We headed back to our original meeting place, where we had a few more beers before parting ways.

Sometimes it's cool just to stay in the city and explore.

Length of ride: 24.5 kilometers
Average speed: 11.8 kph
Maximum speed: 43.4 kph
Time on the bike: 2.03.56
Pivo Index: 4
Paltry distance ridden so far in 2013: 182.5 kilometers (jeesh)

The view from the Bohnice Bluff.

Savoring the view.

We stumbled upon a game of women's fast-pitch softball.

Feeling safe, heading south on the bike trail along the Vltava.


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