2024 - Our Rides in Words, Photos, Maps and Videos

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I needed 84 miles to reach 1000 miles for 2024 so that was my target on a very nice day for cycling. It was a frosty start and there was a bitterly cold northerly wind blowing, thankfully only around 15mph. I was well wrapped up and set off around 9.15am with blues skies and sunshine for a nice change. I headed south as it was much warmer with that northerly wind at my back, I was using the main roads due to the frosty start as I didn't trust the untreated back roads! I reached Carluke and turned east for Carnwath, passing through Kilncadzow and enjoying this awesome road.

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I reached Carnwath and continued east towards Newbigging, passing through Kaimend where I stopped for this photo before hurtling down this cracking descent.

At Newbigging I took the road to Dunsyre where I had this lovely view of the Pentland Hills.

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The road to Dunsyre is all ups and downs and so much fun with amazing views all the way.

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I eventually reached the end of the Dunsyre road and joined the main A702 just after Dolphinton and was now heading southwest towards Biggar, another awesome road.

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A short time later I had this lovely view of the Coulter Hills.

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Then I met this cute little Shetland pony. ☺️

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It was separated from its friends in the next field, probably had been naughty ;)

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The road is just amazing all the way to Biggar and thankfully the traffic was light.

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The stunning views just kept coming.

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The hills still have snow on the peaks.

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You can see the roads were white due to the salt.

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Just before reaching Biggar I couldn't stop taking photos, it was just a perfect clear day with no haze.

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It was a little busy passing through Biggar but I have seen it much worse, I was glad to get through the town and turned northwest where I joined the main A73 towards Lanark. I passed through Symington and stopped for more photos of the stunning hills.

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I reached Hyndford Bridge and the sun decided to desert me for a bit and the temp difference was instantly noticeable, at least I had the big climb up to Lanark to warm me up. I was wishing I had taken the road to Carstairs at the top of the climb though as the town was a nightmare with road works everywhere, at least I managed to pass all the stationary cars down into the centre of town. I decided to head down into the Clyde Valley and hope it was quieter, thankfully it was and I enjoyed the awesome descent down into Kirkfieldbank and grabbed this photo of the old bridge over the River Clyde with the sun making a welcome return.

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I continued along the valley to Crossford and got another photo of the river before tackling the beast of a climb up towards Braidwood.

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I turned on to the back road to Carluke near the top of the climb and then took the back road to Law Village and tackled the big climbs back up to the main A73 where I then took the back road to Allanton.

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At Allanton I had now covered 70 miles so i needed another 14 to reach my target, so I turned northeast towards Shotts and then joined the back road into Harthill where I turned north towards Blackridge. At Blackridge I turned west for home with 77 miles in the bag now, heading past the Hillend Loch which was flat calm today because it was sheltered from the northerly wind.

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I arrived in Caldercruix with 82 miles in the bag and knew I had 4 miles to go to reach home so the 1000 miles were passed 2 miles from home, I don't think I have ever managed 1000 miles by February before and considering how awful the weather has been its quite a surprise. Of course I have been forced to do longer rides on the decent days and its no surprise my average is already over 62 miles! I arrived home with a clean bike for a nice change, the roads were all dry today with just a few floods around which I managed to bypass....

What a brilliant day that was 😁 I will sleep well tonight for sure ;)
 

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I’ve been riding with my wife the last couple of weeks, 10 to 16 miles at a time. I need to find something to take a picture of there just isn’t much to see lately. The weather has been unusually warm for late winter a hit 75 f today.
 
I’ve been riding with my wife the last couple of weeks, 10 to 16 miles at a time. I need to find something to take a picture of there just isn’t much to see lately. The weather has been unusually warm for late winter a hit 75 f today.
75F in late winter? I’ll take that any day of the week. It was -30C (-22F) for most of the day here and snowing. Not much scenery either unless you enjoy a blank canvas. 😅 For the time being, I’ll have to get used to living out my bike fantasies through @RabH 's ride porn.
 
The Puławy Recon Ride
Monday, 26th February 2024

We had to dismantle my Vado SL so it could fit the boot/trunk of my cousin's Sebastian BMW 1 😁 We were very lucky not to be stuck in any traffic jam, and thanks to excellent new roads (the Southern Beltway of Warsaw and the S17 towards Lublin) we covered the 175 km distance to Puławy in no time! 😊

The small nice hotel offered overnight storage of my e-bike, and now I had a plenty of time to kill.

My reconnaissance ride led via bike paths all the way. It was 4.05 km one way (or a quarter on pedal power only).

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Azoty Puławy (Nitrogens), a huge chemical plant with Engineering and R&D. All are my clients.

Then I rode to a service station (to see whether they could serve good early morning breakfast), to another hotel to buy local craft beer, and to yet another place to meet a friend who needed some consolation.

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We met with Marek three times, always in Puławy. Here, in a local dive bar of cult following, and yes it is non-alcoholic beer 😊

25.77 km total for the day.

It is 6 am now and I'm in hurry to be at the client on time!
 
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You two got the right idea. Have a drink 🍸 on me.
Pics from short jaunt to library, I had picked up tax return papers and pedal to my workplace to check on my arts and crafts. Not satisfied with the clear coat.
Then 7 mile ride to pharmacy on the passenger seat of my Toyota.
Last picture of hedge will turn orange 🍊 colours during peak of spring season
 

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Haven't been riding, a stressful week buying the wife a car after she wrote the last one off.
Everyone one was the wrong colour, didn't like salesman, tiny scratches.
Days of smiling through gritted teeth.

Anyway, we finall decide on a little Citroen and went to bank transfer and it all went teets up.

You're transfer limit has been temporarily reduced...ok.
Ring bank, eventually got it put back up after giving all the details of the dealer.

Went to transfer..blocked for fraud concerns.
Another 15m wait for the bank, what are you buying, are you being forced to make this payment, is someone selling you a car who you suspect might be s criminal, are you confident you haven't been tricked, do you feel you may have been drugged, have you updated your phone to the latest software, is the app on its latest update.
On hold for another ten minutes of checks, he comes back .
Just ten more questions, who is that I can hear in the car with you?
It's my wife.
Have you been forced into this marriage?

Seriously, it was insane, talking just ten grand here.
An hour and a half later it was sorted.

Basically handing out phone based transfers has led the bank's into a security nightmare and they are covering their butts legally to ensure its your own fault.

Anyway, sorry for the rant, back to bikes now.
 
Me and my wife rode about 14 miles today. Nice day today but a little windy. I think the temp topped out at 78 today, the high tomorrow is predicted at about 35. Early tonight it’s suppose to drop 6 degrees and hour and be a low of 17 tonight. 🥶. A couple of pictures I have shared in the past but I shot a different angle today. The first is a nice barn with a nicely restored windmill near it. The second is an old one room school house.
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Last night...
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I had Tartar Steak for the first time in my life 😊 The two glasses are filled with clear vodka. Sure, you need some disinfectant when you eat raw beef with raw egg yolk 😁

Today, it is my last day of working in Puławy. My Vado SL will immediately be transported to my brother afterwards for the motor overhaul. Unfortunately, the motor bearings gave up (but I can still ride this e-bike today).

All the best to you all!
 
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Last night...
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I had Tartar Steak for the first time in my life 😊 The two glasses are filled with clear vodka. Sure, you need some disinfectant when you eat raw beef with raw egg yolk 😁

Today, it is my last day of working in Puławy. My Vado SL will immediately be transported to my brother afterwards for the motor overhaul. Unfortunately, the motor bearings gave up (but I can still ride this e-bike today).

All the best to you all!
The food looks amazing but a shame about the motor bearings. How many Km did they last for?
 
Last night...
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I had Tartar Steak for the first time in my life 😊 The two glasses are filled with clear vodka. Sure, you need some disinfectant when you eat raw beef with raw egg yolk 😁

Today, it is my last day of working in Puławy. My Vado SL will immediately be transported to my brother afterwards for the motor overhaul. Unfortunately, the motor bearings gave up (but I can still ride this e-bike today).

All the best to you all!
Isn't your Vado still under warranty?
 
Isn't your Vado still under warranty?
No, the warranty expired in June 2023.

How many Km did they last for?
Some 14000. It is not clear what has actually broken (not until the motor gets opened). It could be bearings or the main clutch.
I will know when the overhaul kit arrives and Jacek opens the motor.

Besides, I'm back home! And still have the Vado 6.0 to ride! :)
 
No, the warranty expired in June 2023.


Some 14000. It is not clear what has actually broken (not until the motor gets opened). It could be bearings or the main clutch.
I will know when the overhaul kit arrives and Jacek opens the motor.

Besides, I'm back home! And still have the Vado 6.0 to ride! :)
Its 3 years old in June this year?😯 It seems like you just got it last year, 14000km isn't good! I thought my Giant was bad needing new bearings at 14000miles...
 
My friend has just had his motor rebuilt again!
Loud clicking noises, it was quite a small part that had failed, but the shop doing it replaced the main bearings on warranty while it was open and asked him if he wanted to replace the ceramic cased bearings for full steel instead.

They showed him a box of shattered ceramics and said that's just from one heavy pedal strike, they recommended going for full steel considering his riding style.
I'm not sure which motor he has, but it has the carbon fibre belt.
 
No, the warranty expired in June 2023.


Some 14000. It is not clear what has actually broken (not until the motor gets opened). It could be bearings or the main clutch.
I will know when the overhaul kit arrives and Jacek opens the motor.

Besides, I'm back home! And still have the Vado 6.0 to ride! :)
Fingers crossed it is just bearings. I guess these will always have limited lifespan but I wonder that the benchmark should be. Presumably it is a much more work than replacing a typical bottom bracket bearing.
 
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It's good the motor can be repaired at fifth of the new motor price... The common knowledge is the part that fails most often is a €40 sprocket clutch bearing that can be bought separately.

I need to mention my Vado SL was crashed for many times. That might have affected the motor internals.
 
The Puławy Trip Summary

On a lighter note!

There was a competition by the name of "The Bicycle Capital of Poland" in 2023. Cyclists could voluntarily download an app and track miles. Puławy got the 2nd place for cities of 50-65 thousand of population, which tells a lot about that gorgeous historical city with the modern industrial present. Many people ride bikes not only for the commute but also for recreation there, and man, they do ride quality bikes!

On Day 1 of my stay in Puławy, I wanted to return to the hotel by a forest "rail trail" -- a bike path taking the place of a commuter railroad of 1965 (that has never been eventually built!) As I got lost, I was asking cyclists met en route for directions. By the plant's Gate #2, I met an elderly couple: the man was riding a new Giant gravel bike while the wife had a new Trek XC bicycle. They offered riding together with them, which I gladly accepted. (I was riding in a suit, helmet, and a reflective vest -- the latter necessary to ride into the chemical plant) :) The man soon asked for the reason of the bottom bracket area creaking. Eventually, we all rode down the place the couple lived! The man brought a long torque wrench with a proper hex bit (!!!) and tried to tighten the cranks -- it immediately turned out the reason of the creaking must be inside the motor. Just fancy how friendly and expert cycling people can be found in Puławy!

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Alone on the rail trail, Day 2.

My working day was usually starting at 4 a.m. Wearing casual clothes, a helmet and the hi-vis vest, I was riding up to the only big petrol station of the city, where I could have a breakfast. Then I was going back to the hotel, taking a shower, changing to the suit and appropriate outer clothing and was riding to meet my client at the plant. As the training was starting at 7 a.m (very early), I had to get an entry pass from the Watch Commander, then to ride into the plant, where my e-bike was stored in lab by my assist person. Commuting on a bike is as common in Puławy as nobody was making faces or smirks at my sight! It was perfectly normal to get by bike to the work in Puławy, only the rider had to wear a reflective vest (no excuses about that! No vest? No bike inside the plant!) Many cyclists wear hi-vis vests in the city too, and trust me, it is vital to wear it there, especially at night! Yet only sporty people were wearing a helmet.

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My usual breakfast: A warm baguette, a pączek, and a big cup of Mocha.

My trainees could see me riding when they were getting to or from the work with their cars. A phone call at 6:35: 'Yes, Mr Mikulski, I could see you were already at the gate! I could see you riding!' Or, 'I could see you stopping and asking a cyclist for directions!'

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On a bike path near to the plant.

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Now, I learned the gospel truth about the Polish staple food, "Pierogi ruskie" (Ruthenian Dumplings). As the word "ruskie" sounds like 'Russkie' (and we are not fond of Russia now), many restaurants have renamed the meal to "Ukrainian Dumplings". The Ukrainian people laugh at us and say: 'It has never been our food! It was you, the Polish to invent it in Ruthenia, now Western Ukraine' :) When you get to the East of Poland, you find Pierogi Ruskie served with sour cream -- something we do not do in Central Poland!

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My typical day (Day 2), a 13 km ride.

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In a bigger map.

The training was successful Now, I need to adjust to my daily routine where I live! :)
 
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