Prague: Culture of Resistance

Note this is another in a series of posts from the Mobile Social Worldwide.

While Prague and the Czech people comprise a culture of resistance, it’s not to the car. Cyclist there ride mountain bikes for the cobbles, hilly terrain, and to make quick escapes onto trails when the hostile drivers turn violent. As a symbol of westernization, the car dominates. They proudly make Skodas.

Mobile Social Worldwide: Prague Day 3

Coming back from a bike path ride, I had a stare down with a driver. I was at a crosswalk not even on the road and he stared me down. I stared right back. My thinking at the time was “hey you surly Czech, I’ve ridden in LA, Beijing, and just yesterday was sprinting roundabouts next to cabbies and lorries in London … you don’t scare me.”

Later, Grant told me his tales of road rage. He blogs about biking in Prague and is a writer/editor/producer at Radio Free Europe.

Angry, crazy drivers shouldn’t deter someone from riding Prague. The trails take you through flood plains, along the river, and to sights it feels like few Western cyclists have seen. Like this cycling art I found in an abandoned sculpture park

Mobile Social Worldwide: Prague Day 3

or the German I met who was riding a Dahon. Watch out for the cobbles though; especially when wet.

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3 Comments

Well it’s a pitty ... I was perfectly prepared to see you ... unfortunately I was ill at home :-C

Prague isn’t so cobbles and hilly terrain that you need to use mountain bikes and Lycra to cycling ... it’s some kind of fashion to have it even if you don’t need it :-)
I have Dahon with 7 gears and I pretty well know what I’m talking about.

On the other hand the cyclepaths infrastructure is very bad here and many people think that that driving car (in jams fot short travels) is somethning which show that you are somebody.
We have 2 cars in my family and still using my Dahon for 20km road to work one way and thinking about Xtracycle to travel to kinderkarden with childs and than continue to work.

The only true is that people are just lazy.

P.S. - try to visit Pardubice like Mikael to see czech cyclist city http://www.copenhagencyclechic.com/2009/09/czech-cycle-chic-in-pardubice.html

Thanks for writing and sorry we missed you—Greg Raisman had connected us to you. Note that my opinion in the post was formed from observing cyclists in the city and talking with Grant. I was hoping to meet other cyclists, but didn’t. Good tip on [Pardubice]( http://www.copenhagencyclechic.com/2009/09/czech-cycle-chic-in-pardubice.html).

Well I’m just ordinary reader of BikeHugger ... I’m reading you daily but it was just chance to come here.
When I was collecting information about Dahon I found out your “Dahon and Bikehugger Bike Ride” and love it :-)

So when I was by chance reading that you will be in my city ... I had plane to see you personaly ...

About biking here ... I don’t like the “fashion” of lycra+MTB and this was the reason why I hate bike for many years even if I was biking from school and finally with road bike and than some MTB.

I’m reborn now with bikes! MTB rebuilded to semi track-citybike (thanks Yeahuda Moon) and love with Dahon which I could really take it everywhere I need ...

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