Our Must Do Rides series features some of the best routes around the world. This ride was captured and written by Adrian Narvaez.
Prague is the Czech Republic’s capital and largest city. Known for their tasty beers (Czech-style pilsners), gorgeous architecture (Romanesque chapels, Gothic cathedrals, Baroque palaces, and Art Nouveau buildings), and rivers (the Vltava runs right through the city), Prague may seem like another typical European city, but there’s far more to it – and the Czech Republic – than meets the eye. I was invited by friends from CzechTourism to come along on a day ride with a couple of Prague locals. After visiting South Bohemia for a multi-day bike tour, I was eager to see how accessible great single-day rides are just outside of the city. The Czechs love to cycle, whether it is on the road or the trails and I can see why after the day we all had.
The route was built by Martin Levý, a member of Koa, a local cycling shop in Prague. It’s roughly 100 km with 1,000 m of climbing and one notable climb/segment, called Řevničák. The segment, approximately 5 km long with an average grade of 5%, is about halfway through the ride. Afterward, you can grab a bite to eat after the descent into a couple of towns. The beginning and end of the route runs along the Vltava river which is a great warm-up and cool down before and after the climbing. If you decide to explore more of the area and run out of time, there is a train that you can take right back to Prague.
The ride starts at Koa where we group and prepare for the day ahead. We head out and coast down along the Vltava, passing the iconic Charles Bridge and Prague Castle. We make a quick stop at Wine Food Market which is right along the river to grab a quick coffee and pastry. The first 20 km continues along the Vltava where we get the blood flowing and wait for the caffeine to kick in. Once we arrive at Prague 16 (Radotín), the southwest corner of the city, we veer off from the river and start our ascent into the countryside. We meander through small towns, roller coaster up and down rolling hills, and cut through covered forests, which is a calming contrast to the hustle of Prague and gives us a nice variety of scenery.
At around 40 km and after some climbing, we take a quick refuel stop at Lom Velká Amerika, or Quarry Great America, an abandoned limestone canyon with steep cliffs on all sides. Afterward, it’s downhill until Řevnice where we received a little break before the main climb. The segment, Řevničák, is a 5.4 km climb which is covered by trees that give riders some mercy from the midday sun. Once at the top, take a look around to see how far you’ve ridden. The hardest part of the ride is over and now it’s time for some cruising downhill to grab some lunch.
We headed to Dobřichovice, the town just east of Řevnice, and had some traditional Czech dishes at Panská Zahrada. Now stuffed, it’s time to head down to the Vltava to finish the final 30 km ride back to Prague. We caught a bit of rain on the way back which made for an interesting ride but once we made it back to Prague, the rain stopped, which resulted in some awesome skies for photos around the city. Once back at Koa, we talked about our day and had celebratory pilsners because that’s what you do here: you work hard, eat good food and drink good beer. The bonus I had was that there was cycling and good people involved. What an incredible day to explore Prague and its surroundings!