Groundhog Day - The Bill Murray Edition - 9 1/2 Weeks - CycleBlaze

October 5, 2019

Groundhog Day - The Bill Murray Edition

Prague to Pilsen

Some things seem to occur on every tour we are on regardless of the country or continent. Logic would suggest that these things are likely expressions of innate human qualities. Today's innate experience Kirsten is convinced is due purely to genetics. To be more precise, it's due solely to the presence of the Y chromosome.

We actually had a good start today with the Garmin starting to record our ride at 9:01:11. After 4.6 km's things ground to a halt when I spotted this parked along the road:

Beautiful Porsche 356 Super 90 in Prague
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When we turned and looked the other way into a parking lot, we saw it was filled, and I mean filled, with equally beautiful vintage cars. Of course, it was Saturday, it was Shown & Shine time, and the boys and their toys were out to play. Not only was it show time, it looked like everyone was getting ready for a bit of a drive / rally. To top it off, a good portion of the folks were dressed in period costume ... or maybe I'm really out to lunch and that's just how the fine folks of Prague dress on Saturday.

By 10:01:11 (or maybe a little bit after that) my camera's memory card was almost full and we were pedaling down the road again. You'll see a little bit of what we saw as you scroll down!

Like every other day so far in the Czech Republic, the road , or bike path, was excellent. Leaving Prague was a piece of cake and soon we were out of the city pedaling SW along the Vltava river.

So the Shown & Shine was a fun and happy Ground Hog Day occurrence. Unfortunately  the rest of the day was dominated by our more recent experiences. Drizzle and headwinds. To add a little insult to injury, the wind was also cold with the thermometer stuck in the very low (10 -12) 2 digit range all day.

Nothing else to do but suck it up and pedal. The countryside was quite beautiful with rolling hills dotted with section for forest breaking up the farmland. On any other day this would have been a very nice ride. However the cold head /side wind once again turned this into a day to be endured, as our avg speed showed. Probably our slowest day of the trip!

A few things worth mentioning during the ride though ... we saw a horse drawn carriage approaching with a very formally dressed coachman driving a team of black horses. I pulled over and stopped to get my camera out thinking it would make a great picture. Then K and started wondering  what was in the carriage, and we convincing ourselves that the carriage was actually a hearse, and hence pic's may be in bad taste.

Turns out there was one young, also formally dressed, bushy bearded guy sitting in the back. Holding 2 big glasses of beer. Smiling.

We concluded that this was a bride groom heading off for his big day. That's the story we're sticking with.

The next interesting 'moment' came about 2 pm when we were pulling into Horovice, the only 'large' town we'd be passing through. Our plan was to find a place to take a break, warm up and grab some hot lunch. Well, it tuns out that today was Horovice's big street party day. The entire main street was shut down to traffic and was wall to wall people and street vendors. Any restaurant that may have been open would have been completely blocked by the vendors and throngs of people. Our warm break and hot lunch became a seat on a wet curb eating a sausage with mustard and a piece of bread from one of the street vendors.

Our final 'moment of interest' (I think I'll abbreviate this as moi for future use) came as we were pulling into Pilsen. This is of course the home of Pilsner Urquell and, since it was Saturday night, K and I were thinking there may be a bar or visitor center / restaurant that we might check out later tonight. As we were on the outskirts of Pilsen, we started to smell the coal smoke and saw several large factory works. A few minutes later we were cycling along side of a very large factory complex. For many minutes we continued to cycle along this complex and then started to see scores of yellow vested security people managing a very large crowd of people headed towards this 'factory'.

Well, this was the Pislner Urquell brewery, and after talking to one of the security people, we were told that today was 'National Beer Celebration Day (as if the Czech's need something like that!) or something of the like. The Brewery complex was open for a party. Peaking in the gates we saw thousands of people inside, with more streaming down the streets like lemmings to join in. A very large percentage of them were already quite pissed, and nearly every one was already carrying a beer ... and they were headed to a Brewery! About 5 minutes later  the techno beats started and the party / concert was in full swing. K and I decided to give it a pass. We could still hear the music thumping quite loudly when we got to our hotal some 2 km's away.

So, another long relatively tough day of biking, all due to weather though. Great trails and roads, beautiful country and some pretty cool stuff along the way.

We ended up wandering a km or so into the main part of the town for dinner and managed to get 2 seats at a shared table at the Brewhemian Pivstro. Once again it was GREAT, super food (K had a burrito and I had Taco's they were truly great), very lively atmosphere with packed tables and lots of conversation and great staff. This also set up Song of the Day.

It was like they had one of my old playlists on (and the crowd in the place was on average much younger than we were) and we were singing along (discreetly) to every song. We hit on this one though:

Song of the Day; What a Wonderful World by Sam Cooke. Yeah, even after grinding it out today, both K and I really do feel it's a Wonderful World

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It wasn't just guys doing the Show & Shine
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There were lots of Mercedes, Fords and other familiar makes, but also loads of obscure (to me) central European marques
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Loved that folks here were going all out, not just with the cars
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... classics
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This one was a real beauty and the folks in it were dressed to a T - pun intended
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...of all the cars here, this was my fave, A Tatra, a Czech brand that's completely new to me
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You can see a 2 cylinder boxer engine, like a BMW motorcycle engine protruding out the sides of he cowling towards the wheels
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... the back end of the Tatra - beautiful wood restoratiom
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... and here's the rear trans-axel. The boots on the universal joints are leather!
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.... you can see where the anthropomorphism that led to the Pixar movie 'Cars' came from
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... wonder what they are packing for lunch...
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This was one of the best parts of the whole show. This Fiat 500 was just arriving .... being pushed into the lot by these guys! They were having a good laugh! It just doesn't get any better
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... another Cars inspiration ... a Healy Bug Eyed Sprite
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...a Borgward. Now defunct German brand from the '50 - 60's. This particular car had some beautiful wood inlay
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..... oh yeah, we're on a bike tour. Here's Kirsten sampling some of the fantastic Czech bike infrastucture. This off ramp from the bike path led to a bike bridge hung under an autoway bridge to cross the Vltava river
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Now you see her ...
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Kim BorhenLove love love ❤️ this picture Lyle!!
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1 month ago
Lyle McLeodThanks. That was s really cool bridge!
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1 month ago
.... now you don't
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a lot of nice quiet riding along rivers in the early part of today. Here's an older gent out fishing
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... and the Formal horse team and carriage . I didn't get a good picture of the guy in the back with the beer. It was blowing pretty good with a little rain, and I had gloves on trying to fuss with the camera. I was lucky i got this one
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And here's part of the crowd in Horovice. This part is not particularly crowded, and this went on for at least a kilometer
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Classy lunch today ... it’s not M Michelin all the time!
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... and our final destination. It was hard to find a hotel here in Pilsen, probably because of the beer festival, which, of course we discovered as we were riding past it!
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Another great dinner in Czechia, a little more casual but great in all respects!
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K’s burrito
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And another day done!
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Today's ride: 111 km (69 miles)
Total: 1,047 km (650 miles)

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