My landlord/research colleague, Monika, is kindly loaning me her mountain bike for the remainder of the cycling season. I took the path along the Ostravice river south for about 15 miles down to Frýdek-Místek and back again. I would argue this is possibly the nicest bike path I’ve ever been on. The path is basically level, the pavement is smooth, and there were refreshments along the way! About every 5 miles was a small pub with picnic tables taking advantage (to the joy of) cycling passers by. The path took me through forests, with occasional views of the Beskyky Mountains.
The industrial side of Ostrava was ever-present, including what appears to be extensive use of the river water. There was a dam every couple miles, it seemed, and pipes crisscrossing the river and path. Some looked overgrown and forgotten. Others dripped fresh water, revealing their use. The river itself is incredibly shallow – often only ankle-deep. I wonder if it would run much deeper if so much wasn’t being syphoned away. Still, oddly, I liked the pipes as they foretold of the history of Ostrava and evinced a slightly mysterious purpose.
As it was a three-day weekend (Wenceslas Day) with a beautiful forecast, I couldn’t wait to take the path north to the Polish border the next day and again east and west on one of the many side routes into the country. But no such luck! The next morning the front tire was flat. I pumped it up but it deflated again. I was forced to explore in other ways (which I did).