2023 - Our Rides in Words, Photos, Maps and Videos

Oh no, you can't judge burritos by the BLOs (burrito-like objects) you get at Taco Bell.
Well, we do not have many Mexicans in Europe :)
On the other hand, I started hating Mexican cuisine after my visit to a Mexican restaurant near Houston TX :) It happens when you haven't grown up with a given cuisine :) Don't think the Chinese food as served in the U.S. is the same what you would get in the mainland China. I would not try to offer many Polish types of food to you in Poland. What you get as the "Polish cuisine" in the U.S. is not what we eat :)

Besides, I perceive most of American food as inedible :D
 
Well, we do not have many Mexicans in Europe :)
On the other hand, I started hating Mexican cuisine after my visit to a Mexican restaurant near Houston TX :) It happens when you haven't grown up with a given cuisine :) Don't think the Chinese food as served in the U.S. is the same what you would get in the mainland China. I would not try to offer many Polish types of food to you in Poland. What you get as the "Polish cuisine" in the U.S. is not what we eat :)

Besides, I perceive most of American food as inedible :D
When we visited our former landlord's family in Greece several years ago, their daughter, Dina, couldn't wait to take us to the newly opened Mexican restaurant. We got to our table, and they brought out the chips and salsa, followed by our meals. Dina's husband, Michalis was very upset, and kept asking "where's the bread?" (Greeks eat lots of bread!). Dina tried to explain to him that the chips WERE the bread, but he wasn't having it. He said they were never going back there! The restaurant went out of business a year or so later - I don't think Michalis was the only one who couldn't wrap his head around chips as a substitute for bread ...
 
What you get as the "Polish cuisine" in the U.S. is not what we eat :)
You can say that again. There's a Polish restaurant near my sister's house, and although a lot of tourists rave about their food my sister and I know it really isn't that good. My father's parents were Polish and my mother's parents were Slovak. So my mother knew how to cook several dishes; pierogi, stuffed cabbage, potato pancakes, and kielbasa with sauerkraut over boiled potatoes were frequent meal items at our house. Christmastime we always had plenty of 'horn cookies' filled with an assortment of prune, apricot, or nut/honey mix and the yeast-bread rolled up with poppy seeds or nut/honey mix. Although, my grandparents emigrated before 1900, so the food being served in Poland today might not be precisely the same as what they learned to make.
 
Union Bridge.
Western Maryland Railroad Museum.
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apparently there is some old history goin on around here.
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the receiving end of the conveyer goes into the "space dome" just to the left of the plant. The entire spectacle can be viewed from google maps, earth.
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at the far end of the quarry, the fence had been cinched tighter, so I was unable to get the picture I wanted. As I continued on I eventually HAD to stop several times to eat ripened berries. Actually felt like i was a kid in the old neighborhood again doing exactly what I was doing!
I started out going opposite of my intended direction, and the humidity is brutal. My destination is on the farthest horizon. That ended up being about 12mi (19.3 km) from this location.
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On the way home, there was a really ominous cloud that looked like it was headed right for my house. I was out abou 5mi so I cranked up the assist and arrived just shortly before it did. lucky me...it was a deluge! And my butt was killing me!
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You can say that again. There's a Polish restaurant near my sister's house, and although a lot of tourists rave about their food my sister and I know it really isn't that good. My father's parents were Polish and my mother's parents were Slovak. So my mother knew how to cook several dishes; pierogi, stuffed cabbage, potato pancakes, and kielbasa with sauerkraut over boiled potatoes were frequent meal items at our house. Christmastime we always had plenty of 'horn cookies' filled with an assortment of prune, apricot, or nut/honey mix and the yeast-bread rolled up with poppy seeds or nut/honey mix. Although, my grandparents emigrated before 1900, so the food being served in Poland today might not be precisely the same as what they learned to make.
As countries around the world have undergone decades of global migration, one might think that are plenty of opportunities for multi ethnic cuisines to establish footholds in their respective communities. That’s not always the case when it comes to authenticity as many establishments tend to favor menus that cater to the local clientele. Life in a small prairie city does have advantages but when it comes to dining out, it can be a let down with respect to finding true cultural cuisine regardless of word of mouth. Case in point, many Greek restaurants here will have steaks, pizza and burgers on their menu alongside Souvlaki and often its usually the western items that outsell the Greek fare. My wife who is native Japanese, makes the odd trip back to her homeland to visit family but also does so in order to sample her favorite foods. Can’t say that I blame her. It’s likely why we choose to prepare most of our own meals at home.
 
So my mother knew how to cook several dishes; pierogi, stuffed cabbage, potato pancakes, and kielbasa with sauerkraut over boiled potatoes were frequent meal items at our house.
I'd say the staple food of Poland today would be a pork chop in crumbs, boiled potato and boiled cabbage. Of course, all the meals you mentioned are Polish.

Word on the street is this is the place to go in Seattle if you want some Polish cuisine.

Looks good!
One of my friends, a Pole who emigrated to Vancouver owns a Polish restaurant there. To give his patrons a good preview of the Polish cuisine (and the value for money), he makes the plate stuffed with pierogi, kiełbasa, bigos, pork chop etc. (A Polish Platter). If he did it in Poland, he would be laughed at! (we do not mix different food on one plate) :)
 
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I have seen Taco Bell, but I never actually thought through they they sold Mexica food. 😄
They looked like some offshoot of pizza hut to me, not a place I would visit
Ive looked them up and unfortunately I have a major adversion to minced meat sold by large chains, I can only imagine what leftovers of an animal are churned into that slop.
Its a bit of an issue for me, a kind of eating disorder.
I look at cheap meats and thats what is in all foods in these places, all the bits you wouldnt eat seperately , churned and pressed into a lump, dyed the right colour and hidden in a sauce.

Anyway Im sure you could can get good stuff, I'll have a go.
 
An Unexpected Imperial Century!
Gravelevo, Wychódźc...

It was to be 133 km on last Saturday. I just didn't want to let a wonderful Summer day go to waste! Yes, I was aware there would be a tad too warm. Yes, I knew that the westerly wind would strengthen in the course of the day. A quarter past 7 am, I was on a ride with my big Vado. The first part of the ride was obvious: I would take any of the usual bike routes towards Płock, cross the Bzura via a trestle bridge in Brochów, take a short ride in the Land of Hauländers and across the Vistula to get to a small city of Wyszogród. The ride was so easy and pleasant, even if I could feel massive sunshine radiation with no escape for all the day!

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Along the river Bzura (a view on the Valley of Bzura, atop an embankment), and shortly in the Hauländer Land.

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Hiding from the sun under a tree at the escarpment in Wyszogród (at confluence of the Vistula and Bzura). There has always been a Vistula bridge there. I could drive through a very old wooden bridge there years ago!

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There was nothing for me in Wyszogród. I, however, stopped by the large "Legend Inn" by the Hwy #62 soon after. All I wanted was soup (long distance riders love having a soup!) I got a big bowl of very warm Zhur, full of sausage, meat, and eggs! Loved that! (Options were Tomato Soup or Broth; no Cold Soup, alas!)


Bike route planners avoid main roads (unless you have selected "Road Cycling"). My automatically planned route (RWGPS) took me away from the 62 through Mazovian asphalt and gravel... Trust me, the area is not flat north of the Vistula! :)

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My original idea was to name the trip "Gravelevo" :) for the village of Garwolewo (bottom). (I was even not aware it was Garwolewo when I rode through it!)

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I think it is rye. We use rye for bread and vodka in Poland :) (Extra Żytnia is probably the most known rye vodka abroad).


Again on the 62 (for a short stretch), I noticed a sign pointing to Wychódźc. My friends have speculated what you, my dear English speakers, would think about the name! :D Yes, one of the most difficult names for the Polish tongue, too! Vy-khoodj-ts! Hahaha! I could heard the name before, so, intrigued, changed the route and bombed a beautiful asphalt road down the hill at high speed!

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The missing link: The non-existent ferry crossing in the place where a ferry should be operating!

There is a well known ferry crossing between Gassy and Karczew south of Warsaw (so-called "Gassy Ferry"). Here, north of Warsaw there is no single Vistula bridge between Nowy Dwór Mazowiecki and Wyszogród. The area behind the river in the picture is Secymin in the Hauländer Land, the village with the "At Marta" store, the place visited by thousands of cyclists every year! They ride by the river, look at the landscape and whisper: "It is the Gassy of the North... If there were a ferry here!" For that reason, Wychódźc could be called "The Karczew of the North"! Interestingly, Wychódźc is very popular for any boat-people such as kayakers, owners of boats, etc. The place is just ideal to launch a boat! (It is impractical on the other shore).

The GPS navigation led me through worse and worse roads. At some point, I was offered to ride in the sand for 4 km! I said "No way!" and escaped on the pavement and the 62 to get to Zakroczym (I have never been inside Zakroczym before!)

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The multi-year reconstruction of the S7 expressway is a disaster. The infrastructure around and along the road is damaged, and many overpasses are closed. First, I had to illegally cross the S7 towards Modlin. Later, I got lost in the temporary road system, and my way home became very long...

It was expected to ride for 133 km (over Gran Fondo distance). I started thinking: "140 km? Why not 150? Oh, that would be 155? Why not the Imperial Century?" :)

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I could have ridden via the blue and green route, or ride directly along the yellow trail. I said: "No way will you Wahoo force me to ride through the forest today!" Then, I was doing anything possible to lengthen the distance to be ridden! And that Wahoo misled me again: into the forest, sandy roads! (I think I lost an hour there). Back to my neighbourhood, I made a "victory ride" to eventually make 100 miles for the day! :D
 
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I have seen Taco Bell, but I never actually thought through they they sold Mexica food. 😄
They looked like some offshoot of pizza hut to me, not a place I would visit
Ive looked them up and unfortunately I have a major adversion to minced meat sold by large chains, I can only imagine what leftovers of an animal are churned into that slop.
Its a bit of an issue for me, a kind of eating disorder.
I look at cheap meats and thats what is in all foods in these places, all the bits you wouldnt eat seperately , churned and pressed into a lump, dyed the right colour and hidden in a sauce.

Anyway Im sure you could can get good stuff, I'll have a go.
I can understand that aversion.

When I go to Taco Bell, lately I tend to order the vegetarian burrito... but my main motivation is that it's less expensive than most alternatives. 😆

I just want to mention one alternative: a better Mexican restaurant (around here at least) will also offer fajitas (pronounce the j like an h), which includes strips of steak or chicken (not chopped). That might be more to your liking.

I was just remembering a story one person related about her visit to China. Concerned about the meat in the dish she was ordering, she asked the server, "there's no cat in that meat, is there?" The server replied, "No, cat costs extra." 🤣
 
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Our weather has been so changeable lately, I was hoping to get out early this morning but the rain had other ideas so I had to wait a while and eventually the skies looked much more promising! There was a possibilty of thunderstorms in the afternoon, around 2pm so I planned a route to get me home before then! I set off just before 8am and headed down to the Clyde Valley with the intention of heading for Strathaven and using a road I have neglected for quite some time, the A71 down to Galston in Ayrshire! I forgot how good this road is and luckily it was pretty quiet, its pretty much like this all the way to Galston!

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The views are not bad also and the sky was looking so much better now!

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I was heading for the village of Priestland and the views were still looking very nice across the fields! There used to be an awesome Motocross track in Priestland back in the 80's and 90's, sadly it was closed in the 90's as it was down to rock face and too dangerous!

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This is the road into Priestland, its a lovely descent!

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I passed through Priestland and Darvel which is almost a continuation of Priestland and was nearing my turning point at Galston where I would head north up the big climb to Moscow village, another blink and you'll miss it place... ;) I recently used this road but in the opposite direction which is way easier as its mostly downhill, so it was almost all uphill today and quite a workout! I passed this field which had a few young foals running around, they looked only a few weeks old and were very cute!😁

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The view back down towards Moscow!

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This part is pretty flat but not for long as the road soon rises once again!

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Eventually I reached the top of the climb and grabbed this photo looking back down, its such a fun road to ride!

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The road soon reaches the main A77 from Glasgow to Kilmarnock but its a very quiet road now as they built the M77 motorway alongside it, there's also a nice cycle path all the way to Glasgow from here but I sure wasn't going there...;) I used the path for a couple of miles before joining the Eaglesham Moor road which is quite a climb once again followed by a brilliant fast descent where I reached 45.2mph today, I passed a couple of cyclists on the way up the climb and caught them battling their way up! The guy at the back actually stopped before the climb and said "dude, you are killing me" 🤣I didn't realise he was following me until I stopped before the climb, I told him it wasn't wise to follow an e bike up a climb like that!;)

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The other guy looked like he was in his 30's and he was very fit, he actually pulled away from me on the next climb! Now the start of the descent, this is just awesome to ride!

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Picketlaw Reservoir in the background with some of the wind turbines of the massive Whitelee Wind Farm, which is one of the biggest in Europe!

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The descent continues all the way down through Eaglesham and Jackton before the climb up to East Kilbride starts, I finished my working career here in 2020 so I know the place very well and always loathed it! Its like a concrete jungle full of roundabouts, I decided to use the cycle paths to avoid all the roundabouts...its a real maze of paths but I found my way through and was glad to get on the road to Chapelton away from most of the traffic! The road to Chapelton is a lovely quiet back road and eventually leads to the main road down into Hamilton which is a very fast descent! Hamilton is another busy place but I took the back road to the Clyde Valley from here, also a pretty busy road with all the garden centres!

As soon as I joined the valley road I took the climb up the Brownlee, another beast of a climb which takes you through Law Village and eventually joins the main road to Newmains! I arrived in Newmains and took the back roads back home and arrived home around 1.30pm with almost 84 miles covered! The sky still looked ok, no sign of the thunderstorms so I had another look at the forecast and it said the thunderstorms would now arrive around 7pm! So I had a late lunch and grabbed my 3rd battery and set off again to complete an imperial century, I stayed on my local back roads and took yet another big climb up past the Blackhill transmitter! This is at the top of the climb with the transmitter masts at my back, looking down at Roughrigg Reservoir!

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The view of the Campsie Hills in the distance from the top of the climb!

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I was nearing 90 miles now and took yet another big climb up to Kirk of Shotts followed by a big descent which I only used for a short distance before taking the lovely quiet back road to Hareshaw, this road has been almost fully resurfaced in recent times and its just a joy to ride! :DI soon had another lovely descent to enjoy down to Cleland but I forgot about the heavy rain in the morning and the road was flooded under the railway bridge at the bottom, unfortunately I was going to fast to stop so ploughed on through it...thankfully it was only about 8" deep today! 😂 I've seen it way worse! I reached Cleland with 97 miles covered and noticed I had the possibility of doing 100 miles in less than 6 hours for the first time ever! I did it a short time later and was over 2 mins under the 6 hours, well chuffed with that given I had climbed almost 7000ft!:eek:


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I eventually arrived back home with just under 105 miles under my belt, what a brilliant day on the bike!😁 Its now 7.30pm and the rain has arrived but I haven't heard any thunder yet....

@Stefan Mikes Congrats on another imperial century, Stefan!
 

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@Stefan Mikes Congrats on another imperial century, Stefan!
Thank you Rab! I've got an appetite for longer rides because I need to make use of the wonderful Summer weather. Meanwhile, nobody wants to ride together with me! Many traditional riders think I'm riding too fast (even if my average speed even does not compare to yours!), and the fast cyclists would not tolerate my long rests, often taking 1/3 - 1/2 of the total trip time! :)
Besides, I seem to have found an alternative to the dreadful name of Wychódźc: Let it be Wychwood, and everybody is happy! :)
 
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made a quick bee line to town and back today, if for nothing else, just to accumulate miles. Also to test and run the BBSHD hard. weather was looking "not favorable", but at least not swealtering heat!
on the way home I got caught in a downpour and sought shelter under a piece of heavy equipment in a local contractors lot.
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it passed quickly and I find myself with another first....riding with a soaking wet bike and wet roadways. I now understand the importance of having a front fender on a roadish type bike.
my goal from here is to try to log 100 miles a week, regardless of how many rides it takes to do it.
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Woke up this morning with burritos on the brain — no doubt the lingering echo of our recent, totally on-topic discussion on the subject. So hopped on the ebike after breakfast for a 4-mile Coast Highway run south to Karina's in north Encinitas for a several-day supply.

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Karina's is what I look for in a Mexican restaurant — clean but not polished. Slick places rarely have the good stuff.

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Great car-watching on the Coast Highway as I waited for my takeout. This immaculate old 289 Mustang was parked next door. As I ogled it, several more old muscle cars went by. Then a thoroughly modern one — a new Mercedes-AMG GT roadster with a crystal-clear big-V8 exhaust note that would have made all Three Tenors weep. The more things change....

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The way home From Karina's started with a steep 2-block climb west, straight into the parking lot high above Beacon's Beach — a popular surf spot with both reef and beach breaks. Surfboards were coming and going all around me as I stopped for photos.

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Meanwhile, a guy serenaded his gal on the sand below.

From Beacon's, took my preferred northbound route through north Encinitas — sleepy, one-way, one-lane Neptune Avenue. The beautiful cliff-edge homes on the seaward side enjoy sweeping beach and ocean panoramas. For now. Eventually, they'll be lost to sea cliff retreat due to storm-wave erosion — as the Beacon's Beach parking lot very nearly was last year.

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From Neptune, got back on the Coast Highway, then on the unofficial rail trail leading to my rail underpass at Poinsettia Station in south Carlsbad. Miraculously, none of the small plastic salsa containers in the takeout bag popped open on the bumpy ride.

This commuter train must've been near Encinitas Station, some 4 miles south, when I first heard its horn. That was my cue to stop and wait for this very shot.

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Got home at lunchtime, so I poured myself an Aperino (Aperol in Pellegrino) and plated some of my prize.

Quick Mexican food lesson for @Chargeride: Carne asada (marinated steak) quesadilla with green tomatillo salsa on the left; breakfast burrito stuffed with bacon, egg, and homefried potatoes on the right; and a spicy pickled carrot and jalapeno pepper garnish up front. Katrina's does not disappoint.
 
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As I continued on I eventually HAD to stop several times to eat ripened berries. Actually felt like i was a kid in the old neighborhood again doing exactly what I was doing!
A fellow after my own heart! I did the same the other day - the wineberries growing in prolific crowds, lining miles of our country roads, were ripe and ready to be picked. The birds and assorted wildlife had already been feasting on these sweet berries, but there were still lots of juicy fruit left for me.
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I should have taken a photo of the wineberry before I picked them.
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I've taken a page from @RabH and have settled into cruising our paved roads (admittedly my countryside has an extremely limited selection unlike our lucky friend in Scotland) to get in some quick, daily 20 miles before the heat, humidity, and my busy schedule intervened . Our brilliant network of gravel roads is too slow, too dusty, and developing some washboarding in some spots which is discouraging to ride. I need fast and smooth right now. Neighbor G joined me the day before for a 20 miler, but I was once again on my own when I took the south road and passed the polo field. Quite surprised to find the teams were back and a game about to begin. I stopped to snap a few shots, once again sorry I had zero time to stop and watch.
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Pardon for the lousy resolution, although the above would make a great watercolor. I was shooting from a bit of a distance.
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By the time I got back home 18 miles later the heat and humidity was already unbearable. Time to duck into the AC for a cool down and enjoy watching the latest stage of the Tour de France. They are suffering the same temps as we are here in Virginia, but doing so for well over 100 miles a day while climbing mountains. It makes for highly entertaining TV broadcast to watch, but still is nothing short of insane in my mind.
 
It's more hilly out there than I'd imagined. Nice photos, beautiful countryside. I want to ask, I keep seeing your bike on the right side of the pavement, so are you all riding against traffic or with it? Do your motorists drive on the left?

Here in the US, cars drive on the right and the cyclists ride with traffic. Wondering if you do it differently there.
 
It's more hilly out there than I'd imagined. Nice photos, beautiful countryside. I want to ask, I keep seeing your bike on the right side of the pavement, so are you all riding against traffic or with it? Do your motorists drive on the left?

Here in the US, cars drive on the right and the cyclists ride with traffic. Wondering if you do it differently there.
We drive and ride on the left but I usually take my photos on the right to face the traffic for safety reasons!
 
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