Tag: Riding

Europe 2009: Mile 1531

19th April 2009

A low mileage day today.Since Isabel’s screen will be replaced in Poznań on Tuesday and we have been told that the old part of the city is pretty we decided not to go any further north but rather spend a couple of days in the city. So after a (very) hearty breakfast at the hotel (which we needed when we had to carry the panniers down the stairs!) and a chat to an Australian guy with an arm in a sling. Apparently he has two sons who are going to ride speedway for the local Leszno team. The breakfasts here seem to be buffet like affairs where you help yourself to as much as you can eat which is great because I do! 🙂

Breakfast (and chat) over had a bit of a problem putting one of my panniers on – it was the pannier on the side the bike landed during the crash of the other day. Took it off and saw that the lower locating plate (I use SW Motech Panniers and rack) had bent slightly and had difficult “locating”. Not anything that a little force couldn’t put right (I leave all the subtle stuff to Isabel). Luckily it doesn’t cause too may problems at the moment.

Off we went and when we got back to the main road the GPS said we needed to take a long detour to get back onto the same road – Why? Luckily I used what little intellect I possess and decided not to follow itand just headed towards Leszno. Later the GPS tried to fool us into taking a road that had been closed. Not its fault this time I will admit but still slightly annoying. Then I managed to miss a slight kink in the road and headed instead down a country lane which,pleasantly, proved to be a nice ride. I am, of course, going to take the praise for that and not admit it was a mistake – Oh bummer I’ve gone and written it down now – oops!

Eventually we got back onto the main road and once again we had to fight it. Basically the roads here are worn out and have two well defined grooves in them where the cars and lorries have ridden. The problem is that the “ridge” between these grooves is usually in a very bad state and cannot be ridden (it is full of potholes etc.). Therefore you have to ride inside one of the grooves (which can be up to about six inches deep). If you ride in the nearside groove there is a very big edge on the kerbside which could get really nasty if you hit it. The offside groove is usually OK but puts you too near oncoming traffic. This, coupled with the propensity of drivers here to overtake when there isn’t really an overtaking opportunity means you have to concentrate hard at all times which is exhausting. Luckily at Gostyń we turned off onto a much quieter road towards Dolsk.

Which brings me to the next time the GPS annoyed me: One of the roads it took us on was errr not a road as such but a country track along the edge of some fields! After the incident the other day this basically made me very nervous indeed. Anyway there was nowhere to turn round so onwards we went. The quality of the “road” went downhill even though it hadn’t started all that well but we made it in the end without falling off even though I did stop a few ties when I felt my nerves were getting the better of me and I needed to calm down. 🙂

From there it was tar the whole way. We rode through Śrem and on to Poznań. One strange site was more “Ladies of the night” in the middle of nowhere. Well in the middle of a forest actually – They were stationed at the junctions of forest tracks and the road but far away from any town or place where there was seemingly enough traffic for them to carry on their trade effectively. Very strange and with the amount of clothing they weren’t wearing very cold presumably.

Once in Poznań we negotiated the traffic and ended up at a very nice campsite at Malta which is part of a hotel. Very nice and we awarded this

Five sarges

The campsite/hotel is situated near a lake used for rowing regattas but which also has many other facilities. Since the weather was superb there were lots of people out. On bikes, rollerblades, feet. A brilliant place. We went on a ride built like a bobsleigh. I hate to admit it but I actually enjoyed it! Had a hamburger and a wander (Oh and a large waffle 🙂 ) and came back and did some washing in the campsite laundry. After that we had a walk around the lake (about 2km long) and came back to the campsite restaurant.

After some difficulty getting in we got a table. We were practically the ones there. I didn’t expect much from the restaurant but we needed something to eat. The waiter, a friend and the chefs were behind the bar having a chat and a cigarette when we arrived. I ordered Eisbein and Isabel ordered Pork Fillet. To be honest I was totally blown away by the food! Absolutely brilliant and a very very high quality and beautifully presented. That will teach me not to have preconceptions! After to that we went to bed very tired but very happy. A good day!

Lessons Learnt:

  • Be prepared to be flexible in your journey. If you take the wrong road enjoy it!
  • Do not prejudge other cultures and places – They might surprise you!
  • Adrian & Isabel

    & Mr Teddy

© 2010 – 2016, fatman-overland. All rights reserved.

Europe 2009: Mile 1464

18th April 2009

Poland! At last! And the 3000th mile on the GS’s clock!

A bit of a strange day to be honest. It was cold for most of the day. Grey at times. From the overnight stop we headed towards Łeknice in Poland. Stopped at Bad Muskau at the border for something to eat at lunchtime. We ordered a started. Errr they have big starters here and I do mean BIG! After that we headed off across the bridge over the river that marks the border. Immediately after that there is a market which is very busy with cross border visitors which may be because Germany is in the Euro zone and Poland isn’t (It uses the Zloty – what a cool name for a currency!)

Once out of the market and the town there are “Ladies of the night” stationed about every 1/2 km (OK it’s in the middle of the day but I’m trying to be polite). There were even some stationed in one of the villages with normal people walking about! These stopped after about 5 km. From the state of the roads and houses you can see that this is a much poorer area – at least that is what it seems like.

Some of the roads are quite bad. No actual potholes but the surface is very uneven. With the roads in this state a lot of concentration is needed especially since the drivers here love overtaking! Also bikes seem rare here because we are stared at a lot but that may just be because of my magnificent physique! 🙂 Rode to Głogow filling up along the way. I am not sure the petrol station deals with a lot of foreigners as they didn’t seem to know how to work the card machine but they made up for that by being helpful in other ways and they filled the bike up. Once in Głogow we drew some money from an ATM.

After that we headed roughly North-East to look for a place to stay. Along the route we saw cranes on the nest. There were two of them – bigger than I thought they would be. Interestingly many other small birds (LBJs) were using the underside of the nest as well.

unfortunately the first accommodation we found had a wedding on and no rooms available. The second looked nice but was being renovated. Luckily we came across the Hotel Ach Tu To in Strzyźewice. This also had a wedding on but had some rooms available. Everyone was very friendly – even the wedding guests.The car park was large but we could easily park the bikes out of sight. In all we award this

4 sarges out of 5

After we took the panniers to the room we changed and went looking for somewhere to eat. Since the hotel restaurant was full of wedding guests we had a wander around the place and found nothing. Luckily the next door petrol station had a bar that served food. We had a light bite then went back to the hotel for planning, reading and an early night.

Lessons Learnt:

  • Start searching for accommodation early since the first you come to might not be available
  • Polish petrol stations sometimes serve food!

Adrian & Isabel

& Mr Teddy

© 2010 – 2016, fatman-overland. All rights reserved.