Posted by: Chelsea Novak | September 29, 2002

I want to ride my bicycle

This afternoon I got some exercise in the name of a 4 hour bike ride. Like the terrain of the latter part of the ride, my feelings for it went up and down. The ride started just near Karlovo namesti. We made our way down to the river bank and headed south towards Branik. This part of the ride was wonderful. The weather today was perfect fall weather. Sunny, cool and there were still green leaves on the trees. We passed Vysehrad and a collection of “really big rocks” as Evan said. There is a nice wide and flat bike path along the side of the river, which gave us some great veiws of the riverside and I remembered why seeing a river cutting through green hills is a beautiful site. I usually come down pretty hard on rivers, having been raised on the shores of one of the Great Lakes, but this day, and this area made me regret my earlier critcisms. It was simply beautiful.

For awhile I forgot I was in Prague, and I finally felt that release I’d been looking for. Freedom from the cars and smells, from noise and work. It was a sweet moment. Sadly, it didn’t last. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m very glad I went on the bike ride today, but I’m certian I went over my limits. This over exertion is exemplified by the fact that I have a pillow on the chair I’m sitting on. That is all the detail I will give.

Once we reached Branik, we made our way from the river towards Krc and the Kuntraticky Les (forest). Sadly, this destination took us up a hill. Some more experience cyclists would say an easy hill, I would say a big and unpleasant bohemeth of pain. Not for my heart or my legs mind you, but for the reason that I’m sitting on a pillow. Eventually I had to get off the bike and just walk up the hill (briskly, mind you). This part of the ride took us through neighbourhoods and along freeways, and kind of put a kibosh on my whole relaxed and out of the city vibe.

However it did come back. At last we arrived at the Kuntraticky Les. A lovely forest in the middle of a city. We took some exciting hill paths (many of which would have been more exciting if the people walking on the path understood the concept of getting the hell out of my way, but I digress) and arrived at a charming pub/restaurant on the edge of the forest. We sat and chatted for awhile and my desire to inflict painful death upon everyone I saw faded away. Don’t misunderstand, I was among wonderful company and would hate to have any harm come to any of them, I just get REALLY hostile towards everything when I have to cycle up hills and can’t do so.

Anyway, when I evaluate the whole thing, I enjoyed myself, and with a little more experience (and maybe some trackpants with a padded bum) I could do that alot. Thank you to everyone who took me out today. It was the perfect day to spend outside and I’m glad I was convinced to do so. Prague really is a lovely city from foot and from wheel. I’d love to see the centre become more bike friendly. Less exhaust fumes and healthier travellers. I may even cycle to work from time to time (granted I live in walking distance)… you can ride a mountain bike in a pink wool skirt….right?



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