I biked in the Czech Republic a couple years ago and thought it had some of the best signed & nearly carfree bicycle touring. I tried to go this summer (2018), but there was too much stuff going on. After volunteering at the Botanical Garden, I checked the weather in Prague, sunny for at least a week. I was on the train the next day heading north to Prague with my bike. Continue reading →
i stopped by several different tourist offices, to try and figure out how to get on the Prague-Vienna bike path. She said you need to take bike route 12. We ride out of town and see a bike sign 12A and start following it.
WE ARE SO LOST, ROUTE 12A IS NOT ROUTE 12
The routes are well marked, but you need to know the difference between 12a and 12. We rode until we were finally convinced that we were following the wrong route 12.
CZECH IS STILL ACTIVELY BUILDING NEW BIKE ROUTES, LIKE THIS ONE ALONG THE RIVER. THAT’S NATASA AND SARA ON THEIR BIKES
We thankfully bought a bike map at the tourist office and tested our navigation skills. There are so many options, your never really totally lost.
EVEN OUR RE-ROUTE WAS BEAUTIFUL AND NEARLY CAR-FREE
WE FINALLY REACHED THE PRAGUE-VIENNA (PRAHA-WIEN) BIKE ROUTE
I WAS SO HAPPY
I KISSED THE SIGN,
We probably road 45km, at the end of the day we saw a sign to Prague 19km. I was hoping Natasa wouldn’t see the sign, but she did and was dead tired. She wanted a hotel, no camping. I asked the local policeman where there was a hotel, he drew me a map. Were in a really non-tourist town of Jílové u Prahy (photos google street map). Thenext day we ride to Sedlčan (photos google street map). The weather is looking grim, we opt for a train ride to Tabor.
NICE SUNNY PHOTO. RAIN?
OUR BIKES ARE GOING ON THAT? YES
The train that picked us up looked like a big bus. It was the cabin and engine all in one. We had to change trains, while waiting under the shelter it started pouring rain, I was glad to be taking the train. Were in TABOR (photo tour) the sister city to our home of Skofja Loka. Czech’s largest chocolate museum is in Tabor, OK we’ll go.
OUR CHOCOLATE “TEACHER” WAS SUPER HELPFUL AND HAD ENOUGH ENGLISH TO HAVE SOME GOOD LAUGHS TOGETHER.
THERE WERE MANY COLOR OPTIONS AVAILABLE
OUR FINISHED PRODUCT
THE CASTLE TOWER VIEW OF TABOR
i love taking photos of art and this one was pretty special.
THE BAROQUE STYLE BUILDINGS WERE BEAUTIFUL IN TABOR
We’re happy to be back on the road and the biking here is some of the best I’ve ever done.
THE ROAD SPLIT THE LAKE
RIDING THROUGH THESE VILLAGES IS REALLY SPECIAL AND AGAIN NEARLY CAR FREE!
This is mainly a bike touring route, but lots of cyclist enjoy the low traffic backroads.
MOST OF THE ROADS WERE IN GREAT CONDITION, THIS ONE WAS BRAND NEW.
ONE OF THE MANY RELIGIOUS MONUMENTS, IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE
Were following the Prague-Vienna bike route, but we missed a sign and end up on another bike route.
GETTING “LOST” AGAIN TURNS OUT TO TAKE US DOWN THE NICEST ROUTE OF THE ENTIRE CZECH BIKE TOUR
ANDREJA, TA SLIKA JE SAMO ZATE
This is the last night where we could camp. We’ve been carrying our tents, sleeping bags and pads, but haven’t used them yet. I wanted to camp, but the vote was 2-1.
THIS WAS OUR LAKE SIDE CABIN, IT’S REALLY COZY
The State Chateau of Hluboká
Were in the town of Hluboka, it has a CASTLE (photos). Were here and were going to visit it. What an amazing place. We weren’t allowed to take photos inside. The place was amazing, the intricate carvings in every room were flawless. The carvings around a mirror took 3 people 17 months, it was absolutely perfect. There were so many photo opportunities, but no. I look at the souvenir photo book, not the pictures I would have chosen, I don’t buy it. Now I wish I had taken some clandestin photos. Here’s a link to some INTERIOR CASTLE PHOTOS
THIS IS A PHOTO OF THE TYPICAL CZECH BIKE PATH
i love taking pictures of pedestrian bridges and CESKE BUDEJOVICE, didn’t disappoint.
PHEASANT, CABBAGE SALAD, HAM, CHEESE/VEG CASSEROLE BEST MEAL EVER!
We stop at a market on our drive back and there’s some touring cyclist from Czech.
SHE PROUDLY POSES WHILE FLYING THE CZECH FLAG AND HAS A CAR CZ STICKER ON HER COFFEE MUG. LOVE IT.
We decide to take the whole day to drive back. We stop in Linz, Austria and buy this cute garden sculpture for our garden.
Then to IKEA, for some shopping. Some parts of Europe are just like America and IKEA is just that. We must pass through 12 or more tunnels and there are these signs inside.
WHICH WAY SHOULD I GO?
All and all It was a another successful tour, got lost a few times but no injury accidents. Were home safe and sound in Skofja Loka. I’m working on a story about life in Skofja Loka. They have been remodeling the whole town, laying new cobblestone. I’ve got lots of fun pictures.
I’ve been super busy, we just got back from our Czech bike tour then I left for the Euro-Bike Expo in Friedrichshafen, Germany. I wanted to see the latest in E-Bike technology. I think the future in transportation is going to be the combination of a bicycle with electric assist. There was talk of changing the expo name to The E-Bike Show. E-bikes dominated, the show, both in number of booths and the test area was packed too. I’ll post some photos from the bike show, after this story.
I thought Czech was some of the best available bike touring I’ve done to date. I didn’t look at this map before we left, here’s the opencyclemap.org, a free to access bicycle map, mostly for Europe. I was shocked when I saw the multiple route options that I could explore the Czech Republic with a bicycle. Many of the routes were signed and there were good bike maps available at most tourist offices.
CZECH COMPETES WELL WITH THE NETHERLANDS FOR BIKING OPPORTUNITIES
We wanted to take the train to be car-free, but no, that was a 14 hour adventure with 3 train changes. It’s only a 5 hour drive, that saves almost 2 days of travel and vacation time.
We stay at the HAVANA HOSTEL, in Cesky Krumlov it was clean, cheap, very friendly and informative.
OUR BAGS BLOW-UP AT THE HOSTEL
IT WAS A NICE “CAR-FREE” VILLAGE TO WALK AROUND
The town was super cool, with the river s-ing it’s way through town, full of rafters, it was quite entertaining. It seems every town has a tower to climb and Cesky Krumlov had one too.
WE VISIT THE TOWER FIRST, TO GET A BIRDS EYE VIEW OF THE CITIES LAYOUT.
A SELFIE SHOT BY SOMEONE ELSE
We spend the day visiting museums and galleries.
WILDLIFE CANDLE HOLDER
WHEN YOU GOTTA GO AND YOU DON’T WANT TO GO ANYWHERE
A RARE SWORD WITH A GUN (just in case they survive the gun)
HUNTING WAS A HUGE SPORT, BACK IN THE DAY. MANY CASTLES ARE DECORATED WITH ELK & DEER ANTLERS
IT’S NOT RAINING, YET
The tourist office can’t tell me where the bike trail starts, so I head out on my own to find it. I always find something interesting when I’m exploring on my own. I finally find the start of the bike trail.
NO GUNS, DRUGS, TIES OR RUSSIA!
it starts raining and that includes the forecast, but Prague is dry. Our original plan was to ride from Cesky Krumlov to Prague, but after we evaluated the weather situation, we flipped the ride around. We now plan to take the train to Prague and bike back to Cesky Krumlov, where the car is parked.
We start off by getting on the wrong train going the wrong way. We can get upset, but what’s the point? We just sit back and enjoy the ride. by now it’s pouring rain outside and a train ride is much better than a bike ride, in the rain. In Prague we meet a German couple at the train station and they follow us into the Old Town Square of Prague (photos).
THE FAMOUS PRAGUE ASTRONOMICAL CLOCK
Prague is packed with tourist and biking is nearly impossible. Except when you go out at 6:30 in the morning.
THE FAMOUS DANCING BUILDING OF PRAGUE
THE WORLD’S NARROWEST BIKE LANE, (NOTICE NO ONES UP YET).
GIANT SCULPTURE: OF CRAWLING BABIES
After riding both sides of the Vltava river(photos)Natasa wants to go back to the hostel, I opt for a tour of the PRAGUE PALACE (photos).At that hour of the morning, no one was around, except the Palace guards, who told me to get off my bike (3x’s). I ‘m a little lost, but I accidently bump into the hostel were staying at, thank goodness. I did pass a farmers market on the way back. I grab Natasa and Sara and we head back to the farmers market.
THE MIXED BERRY BASKETS WERE AWESOME!
PAUL’S FRENCH BAKERY, MMMMM
WELL, I DON’T HAVE ANY
Our good friend Stanley from Royan, France was in Prague at the same time we were. We went on a hike around VYSEHRADSKE SADY (photos).
NATASA WAS REALLY ATTRACTED TO STANLEY
No trip would be complete without a visit from the Famous Rev. Phil with BIKE SMUT. He’s having a showing Prague, while were in town. We reserved him a bed in our hostel room.
VEGETARIAN BUFFET DINNER WITH REV. PHIL AND STANLEY
SAYING OUR GOODBYES TO REV. PHIL AND PRAGUE
We’re finally starting our Czech Republic bike tour. We’ve got our bikes packed up and were heading out of Prague, IN THE WRONG DIRECTION!
THE BIKE PATH IS AWESOME, BUT IT’S THE WRONG ONE.
This story will be continued with BIKING THE CZECH REPUBLIC PART II