No Broken Legs

Looking out from inside a tunnel that leads to train tracks near Nelahozeves.

Cottages along the Vltava.

"I'm not worried about things that will injure me. Only stuff that can kill me." -- Scott Bellefeuille

I took an actor friend of mine on a bike ride the other day.

Scott Bellefeuille came to Prague for the first time back in the early 1990s. He began performing on various Prague stages pretty much right from the get-go. At least until a few years ago, when he moved with his wife, Eva, to Arizona, where he runs his own business.

But he was enticed to return to the boards to play the smooth-talking Lord Buckingham in Prague Shakespeare Company’s production of “Richard III” -- part of the Summer Shakespeare Festival outdoors at Prague Castle and for a one-night-only show at the historic Estates Theatre.

At some eerily carved sandstone cliffs near Nelahozeves.

I had a small role as Richard III’s biker-gang thug Ratcliffe, which is how I first ran into Scott. Turns out he is an avid mountain biker and a regular reader of my blog. Of course, we had to go out for a ride.

The problem was, should I show Scott show of my favorite trails around Prague or vice versa? We opted for the former. The latter will come on Scott’s next trip here.

I decided to take him on the route we call Baker’s Falls, one of my all-time favorite rides, named in honor of our infrequent cycling buddy Mark Baker, who had the distinct displeasure, in 2009, of falling backwards with his bike into the Vltava River from the top of a high wall that the trail runs atop. He was, miraculously, unhurt. (Read all about it in one of my most popular posts here.) Another cycling friend of ours also fell from the wall, but he was unlucky enough to have broken a few ribs in the process and had to be evacuated by river ambulance. Awful day, that was, and I wasn't even there.

We call it the iron bridge. Not sure if it's really iron, but it is no longer open to car traffic and is a very cool way to get from the west side of the river to the east, just above Nelahozeves.

It’s a thrilling ride. I really love the tiny whiff of danger that comes with his trail now, after these mishaps. Scott wasn’t intimidated. He says he’s used to riding on trails in Arizona where rattlesnakes are a frequent hazard and on some hair-raising clifftop paths in Moab, Utah.

Scott and I had a great day. The weather was hot and sunny, the beer was cold and wet, and, since it was a weekday, the trails were empty.

I hadn’t ridden in quite some time (as you can tell from the pitiful posting that's happened on this blog as of late), and this was not a quickie (57 kilometers/35 miles). I was really dragging for the last 10 kilometers or so. And I slept like a stone that night and could barely get out of bed the next morning. My butt hurt real bad.

But I’m looking forward to hitting some new trails with Scott on his next trip back, and riding more in general and posting here more. In fact, I’ve been meaning to write about an epic trip that I took with Stewart and Brian back in April. Yes, April.

As usual, no excuses. Just busy, I guess. Stay tuned.

Length of ride: 57 kilometers (35 miles)
Average speed: 16.2 kph
Maximum speed: 35.1 kph
Time on the bike: 3:30:42
Pivo Index: 4

Road block on the trail to Klecany.

Serious tire chains.

Never get tired of these undulating sandstone cliffs.

Nelahozeves Castle, owned by the Lobkowicz family. The village also features the birth home of Antonin Dvorak.

No caption needed. Those delicious Pilsners were about $1.50 each, for those of you keeping score at home.

We came across this old Cadillac in the village of Klecany. You never know what you're going to find when you head out on the trails in this country.

I wonder if she runs.

A small tunnel through a sandstone cliff near Nelahozeves leads to a train tunnel. It's always a thrill when you time it right and a speeding train whizzes past just a few meters away.

I picked up a few passengers along the way.

Scott and his bike and a weeping willow along the Vltava.

We paused at the place where I believe Mark took his tumble into the river.

Trail riding doesn't get much prettier than this.


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Riding trail good its so nice view and climate to ride bicycle its plenty cool
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