Showing posts from August, 2022

Day 14: Łowicz to Warsaw

Distance: 89km 😄 Average Speed: 21.2km.h ☹️ — blame the Warsaw traffic Legs: 🙂 Undercarriage: 🙂 Bike: ☹️ Because I only had 90k to go today, I was hoping to sleep in and start later than usual.  Unknown to me, today was a very big religious holiday in Poland and the two churches in Łowicz decided to have a bell ringing contest at 6:30am.  For quite a long time. I hauled myself out of bed and, for the last time, applied SudoCrem to my “soft tissues”, stuffed my things into the desolation-bean and pulled on some slightly damp Lycra.  I had hoped that I might be able to do something better with the bean today but there weren’t a lot of options with only one remaining strap.  Ho hum, it’s only 90k… More of the same The morning was a reprise of all of the greatest hits of the previous days on the bike.  After the (now traditional) pull uphill out of town I was back on the flat plains of Poland pedalling against the headwind that had plagued me since the German border.  I once again stopp

Day 13: Konin to Łowicz

Distance: 137km 🙂 Average Speed: 19.9km/h ☹️ A completely flat stage but with sand and mechanical issues. Legs: 😐 This is about as good as they’re going to get after nearly two weeks on the bike Undercarriage: 🙂 It appears that full numbness has set in. Bike: 😢😢😢 In every film — maybe every story ever — there’s a moment which is known as “the long dark night of the soul” where the hero struggles to see a path to redemption and how to complete of his or her task.  Today was that day. The day started at one in the morning when some of the students who were staying in the Dom Studenta #1 came home after partying.  Where they were actually partying in Konin is a mystery since the kebab shop had closed at 9pm.  Then another group came back at 3pm and banged about the corridors shouting and having a great time.  Neither the walls nor the door were well insulated for sound in Dom Studenta #1.  Finally, at 4:30am whoever was in the room next to me had “got lucky” and had returned to thei

Day 12: Poznań to Konin

Distance: 139km 🙂 - a much more manageable distance Average Speed 20.5 km/h - fearsome headwind and 20km of gravel Legs: 🙂 Undercarriage: 🙂 - I suspect everything is just numb Hands: 😐 - Still not right Bike: ☹️ I’d packed everything up before I got to the door of the hotel and with a sinking feeling realised it was raining.  Hard.  So I had to get the damn kidney-bean-of-pain off the bike, open it up, get out my wet weather shell, cap and gloves and then pack the whole thing back up again and get it attached back on the bike.  This caused no small amount of swearing, grumbling and groaning in the hotel lobby. Getting out of a city is always hard.  The Garmin route is often confusing, roads have been made one way and there’s the ever present terror of tram lines trapping your wheels.  Today was no exception to that rule and 30 minutes after I left the hotel I seemed to only be about 500m from it.  After a while things settled down and there was a nice bicycle path along the river f

Day 11: Poznań

  Distance: 10.7km 🙂 Average Speed: 6km/h 🙂 Legs: 🙂 Undercarriage: 🙂 Hands: ☹️ - still tingly and weird Bike: 🙂 As is always the case on a rest day, I woke up refreshed and feeling like I could jump on the bike and do another 180k.  After a hurried conference between my legs, my bum and my hands, that idea was firmly binned and I had a relaxing day of seeing the sights in Poznań to look forward to. There was a bit of “Jack Reacher” shopping to do.  A new T-shirt, some toothpaste and a three pack of sports socks all told cost me €25 and I could bin the old ones later on in the day.   The “Old Brewery” shopping centre was outstandingly beautiful — and it’s not often you can say that about a shopping centre. A retail cathedral. Poznań hasn’t quite done the full “geographic retail sorting” which happens as cities mature.  On the streets there’s occasionally restaurants next to hardware stores, clothes shops next to food stores.  As I was walking back to the hotel to dump my purchases

Day 10: Rzepin to Posnań.

Distance: 182km ☹️ Average Speed: 19.6km/h ☹️ - blame gravel, sand and roadworks Legs: 😐 Undercarriage: 😐 Hands: ☹️ - making a new appearance as another part of my body which is getting destroyed. Bike: 🙂 My friend Lee said yesterday “When I read your blog I sometimes think ‘Just stop’”.  Today as I vomited chunks of undigested pizza into a recycling bin in the forecourt of a trucker garage surrounded by the muscular smells of spilled diesel and blocked toilets I was close to stopping. This wasn’t a day with good stories for the blog or interesting sights to take pictures of.  I’d planned a 120k route but an hour into the morning, I got an email from the hotel to say they were now going to be shut.  I suspect I was the only guest and they’d just decided to bin the whole “open a hotel for one sweaty cyclist” thing.   I spent 15 minutes in a bus shelter with and it turned out that the next place which actually had a lot of hotels was Posnań.  Creating the route in Garmin C