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

Did about half my normal Seaplane Base ride this morning! Unlike @BlackHand, being routed through there is not an issue for me 😁.

I was all gung-ho to do the whole thing, but PM thought it was time to head home. He was right! As soon as we got the long (not particularly steep, except right at the end) hill home, even with assist, I could feel the drain quickly coming on. Damn.

I'm probably wrecked for the rest of the day (hey, it's only housework 🤪), but I got a ride in, and went twice as far as I did last week! Priorities!!!

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
That soup looks superb ...listens to stomach rumbling.
The good news is Ive already lost a stone and feel twenty years younger and Im impervious to Stefans food posts.
Though I can taste that soup
Another off topic, but a friend just sent this pic, its us back in 1991 at the abandoned ski jump in now Slovenia.
That pic was about 5 weeks before the collapse of Yugoslavia, all the money had three noughts added with a pen and there were lots of marches in the streets at Kranska Gora.
Thats me at the back right in the green jacket.
Yes, it was the 90s.
That Nevica jacket was 200 quid then.
what was I thinking

@Stefan Mikes - Awesome job with that Imperial century! Those Vado are a powerful blast to ride, aren't they? 😁👍🚲
Thank you Flora!
Indeed, the Vado is exceptionally good for long tours, especially with a spare battery. I used 40% assistance, and now I lean to ride at 30% for even longer range!

I presented my latest long ride to a Facebook group. The best comment was: 'No wonder Stefan no-one wants to ride together with you. You ride too fast for a traditional touring cyclist but too slow for a roadie!' :) True! The only person that can understand me is Jacek but he rides an e-bike, too!

I liked that, too:
-- 'Man, you rode for 160 km on a hot day at average 23 km/h? Kudos to you!'
-- 'Hey, but he rode an e-bike!"
To which my answer was:
-- ' Did you pedal for seven hours on any day of the last weekend mate? Because I did, and my e-bike has no throttle!' :)

I decided to swap my Electrak tyres for Smart Sams. I loved how fast Electraks were rolling on pavement but now I will be riding with gravel cycling groups again, beyond the Imperial Century distance. As our area is full of sand, I needed more grippy tires!

@Prairie Dog: Thank you again for your excellent advice how to break the bead in tyres clinched inside the wheel rim!


The Vado at my Old Home. The reconstruction of my partly burnt house has just started!
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I did 15 miles today, hopefully I can ride a little more, I found another tree down from a storm we had recently and cleaned it up yesterday. I also found a barn un photographed by me. Also a picture of someone’s nice landscaping and a cemetery that had a huge tree go down that doesn’t show to well in the photo.
What is the weather like where you live, David?
We experience an increasing heatwave here in Poland that shall be terminated by violent thunderstorms!
Yesterday when I was using a chainsaw and tractor to cleanup the downed tree it was 90 with the humidity making it feel like 97. Todays bike ride it was in the low 80’s but still humid. This is the time of year it gets pretty hot here in Western Illinois.
i usually like to have a destination, or an excuse to run to town. turns out the position i had vacated two years ago at the local college has yet to be filled. the compensation package has been handsomely increased, so i decided to go up and talk to a few ex co-workers. It could be that I may return to work for a few years. I walked out a little early and funds are scarce since we are not drawing SS yet. Visited others awhile and zig zagged thru town. really was looking for the long way home. took uniontown road out of westminster to head back out. Not much shoulder and people driving fast.
Another cool cloud day and somebody's scorched grass.

and I got my 100 mi in this week!
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18 miles on the paved road yesterday. Left home at 8:30am to beat the heat and humidity, plus get out ahead of the massive To Do List waiting for me at home. So it was a quick up-and-back to exercise my legs and take in the quiet, deep green semi-rural scenery.

I got up close and personal with a roadside garden filled with blooming coneflowers.

The color and display was incredible in person, and provided a nice reason to stop for a picture, take a deep drink from my water bottle, and account the rapidly rising heat and humidity for fueling a decision that a reverse course back towards home would be prudent right about now.

Later in the day we reached 92°f with a humidity index making it feel like 97°f. It will be even hotter today.

Virginia's classic summer has arrived with a vengeance.

Once again our weather has been crazy, very wet and very windy so I couldn't get a shorter recovery ride done yet again! I was actually thinking of doing todays ride last Sunday but changed my mind as its a very popular cyclist and biker route and it would have been too busy to really enjoy it! Today I got it all mostly to myself, of course I encountered many cars and log trucks later in the morning but I got out early again to avoid them so the first few hours were nice and peaceful! I put the bike in the car and drove down to Peebles in the Scottish Borders, only 45 miles from home so only an hours drive! I set off from Peebles just after 6am in blustery but dry conditions, taking the main A72 down to Innerleithen where I would take to the back roads!

As you can see it was a nice morning in Peebles town centre!


The view of the Tweedsmuir Hills just outside Peebles!


The road to Innerleithen is almost flat with just a couple of small climbs, this is one of the climbs just after Glentress!


The road runs alongside the River Tweed which unsurprisingly is very high at the moment!


Another view of the river just before arriving in Innerleithen!



Just 7 miles in and it was time for the first big climb of the day, 3.5 miles up to almost 1200ft and directly into the 20mph headwind! The cimb was actually very welcome as it was quite a chilly morning so this warmed me up nicely! As soon as I crested the climb it was straight down into the valley heading for St Marys Loch, sadly due to the wind the water was a bit choppy today!


I have been lucky to see it flat calm a few times and it looks incredible, not that it looked bad today of course! ;) As I rounded the loch the Moffat Hills came into view, I would be tackling them in a lttle while...


Shortly after passing St Marys Loch, its quickly followed by the Loch of the Lowes which looks very different now due to the logging operations going on in the hills!


The road starts to climb again up to around 1100ft before dropping down into the valley once more, this part is actually a lot of fun to ride as its never really flat and it rises and falls all the way to Moffat! This is the start of the descent!


Not a bad view down in the valley!


I used to love riding here on the motorbike but the big downside is the sheep which love to have a sleep in the middle of the road!🤣 There were a few around today but only one having a nap, I was about 2 feet away when it decide to jump on to its feet and move right into my path! :rolleyes: I was in heaven riding along the valley even though it was a bit of a wind tunnel with the wind direction today, with roads like this a little wind wasn't going to spoil it!



I was nearing Moffat now and I knew I was in for a real slog of a climb up the Devils Beeftub, this is the name of the climb and its very popular with road cyclists! I actually spotted a sign saying a race was taking place but I'm guessing it was at the weekend and they had forgotten to remove it! Almost as soon as you arrive in Moffat the 6.5 mile climb up to almost 1400ft begins, thankfully its a pretty gradual climb! I think my gps said it was 3.3% average! As I started the climb my first battery was at 29% but I decided to keep going and got about half way up before I had to change it!

The views of the hills on the way up were still pretty awesome!



This is at the top of the climb at 1366ft!


Now I had a nice 12 mile descent to enjoy, a pretty shallow descent but a very welcome one! The road was in great condition in some parts and very rough in others, if only it had been like this all the way down!


With the wind behind me all the way down the descent the battery was doing no work at all so I decided to add another 5 or so miles to my trip and passed by the road which I normally use and continued on the main A701 route to join the Peebles road just before Blyth Bridge, this is the road I used in the morning to get to Peebles in the car and that's when I thought it would be fun to take this route as its such a great road despite the traffic at this time of the day!

Luckily only one truck passed but there were many cars but they were all well behaved! I got back to the car with 67% left in the second battery, the ride from the top of the Devils Beeftub all the way down to Peebles was just amazing with the tailwind! :D A few miles back down the road in the car and the rain started to fall on the road I had just ridden on the bike, I think it was my lucky day and it was the 13th!;)


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You know that Heaven has a government clerk writing down all your jokes, right? There'll either be a reckoning, a new stand-up routine for the Big Guy, or both.

I get a laugh either way, so keep 'em comin'.
Whew, that's a relief! I was pretty much resigned to the idea I was headed... um... south of there...