2020 : Our Rides in Words, Maps & Photos

David Roy

Well-Known Member
I ride with goggles when I ride alone and push the pace. Yesterday I was riding with my wife and it is easier to visit without them. We also ride a bit slower so they aren’t as necessary.

One of the reasons I bought the winter helmet was because it works better with goggles and includes a clip and indent to keep them in place. Here’s a photo from before the winter helmet.
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Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
That's very proper David! I wear a snowboarding helmet in Winter. The best buy for me. I often forget to put the goggles on when I ride out. Short distance ride and I'm reminded 🤣
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
We are slowly heading back north, visiting our friends Jeff and Rebecca in Ventura. It was a crystal clear, 60 degree day. Today Jeff took Nancy and me on one of his favorite rides up Sulphur Mt. Road a fire road 20 miles east of town and just south of Ojai. We climbed 2,800 feet over 10 miles up this dirt and gravel fire road. It was a baller ten mile downhill rush...so much fun. The faintly visible mountain in the center distance of the last photo is on Santa Cruz Is. in the Channel Islands on the other side of the Santa Barbara Channel.

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David Berry

Well-Known Member
Not the best cycling weather …
Monday was too hot for comfort; Tuesday onward too wet. No complaints about the latter!

I did get out today but kept a close eye on both the clouds and the distance from home. Thirty minutes being drenched would be the limit so I kept to a large figure-eight ride, mainly on the gravel roads of Pine Mountain and the Brisbane Valley. Perfect!
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The view NW from Pine Mountain.

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gravel + mud + ebike + caution = a fun day out

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Brisbane River at Wanora, looking SE towards Pine Mountain – the bump in the distance (between the gum trees) – where the previous photo was taken.

All that was needed to turn the farmlands green was a good drenching. More please.
 
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Marci jo

Well-Known Member
We are slowly heading back north, visiting our friends Jeff and Rebecca in Ventura. It was a crystal clear, 60 degree day. Today Jeff took Nancy and me on one of his favorite rides up Sulphur Mt. Road a fire road 20 miles east of town and just south of Ojai. We climbed 2,800 feet over 10 miles up this dirt and gravel fire road. It was a baller ten mile downhill rush...so much fun. The faintly visible mountain in the center distance of the last photo is on Santa Cruz Is. in the Channel Islands on the other side of the Santa Barbara Channel.

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Looks like a fun group. And all ebikes too?
What more could you want?!! 😀🚴🏼‍♀️😎
 

steve mercier

Well-Known Member
Stefan …
Always two batteries (PowerTube + PowerPack; each 500 Wh) and on longer rides a third (PowerPack 500 Wh).
  • Monday : 172 km : Moreton Bay : third battery from 140 km;
  • Tuesday : 121 km : Mount Warning : third battery from 100 km;
  • Wednesday : 142 km : Moreton Bay : zero range showing at end but no third battery.
The final pitch up Mt Warning to the climbing track was steep. I switched the Bosch CX to Turbo and dropped the Rohloff down to #2. At the turnaround the trip meter showed 50 km ridden and the battery's range as 12 km. (The Kiox indicated that my heart rate was fine but this silly little computer was having its own private meltdown in not coping with crossing a time zone. End of aside!)

The third battery is from my Trek Powerfly 5 and is packed into an Ortlieb E-Mate pannier bag (same as on Nancy's Homage) when the expected distance and terrain trigger a warning.

For some reason Ortlieb doesn't make it easy to find the E-Mate on their website and, in checking for the link a moment ago, I discovered a new E-Glow handlebar bag. Looks interesting.
… David
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I have the Ortlieb Hi Vis bags. They reflect bright white at night when car lights strike them and I think they very good. After reading about the malfunctioning Gates belt from David and the Rohloff hub from Alaskan I no longer feel the urge to abandon the chain.
 

MechaNut

Active Member
True Dat! A chain, derailleur and cassette may be dirty and a pain in the ass to keep up but it's limits are well known and cost of parts is reasonable.
I can actually wear a regular pair of slacks over the top of my riding shorts without worrying about getting chain oil stains on my pant legs when I ride my belt drive bike to work. Kind of nice when the weather is in the 40 - 50 degree F range.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
The Apple-Tree Land in the Wintertime

That was my best ride of 2020 so far. Magnificent sunshine, temperature slightly below the freezing point, mild downwind on the way out that turned to a gentle breeze on the way back. 4 hours 40 minutes outside, of which 2 hours 48 minutes spent on the saddle. I rode my Vado in the Eco mode for almost whole trip with very rare use of Sport or Turbo modes.

The area between the roads S7 (to Radom, Kielce, Kraków), S8 (to Częstochowa, Wrocław, Katowice) and 50 used to be dubbed "the Bermuda Triangle" back in 1990s. Sparsely populated at that time and with little of road access yet full of woods it was the home to organised crime groups. Times have changed. The gangs were broken up; many Warsawers wanted better new homes so there was (and still is) huge housing activity in the area. Yet what was always there were apple orchards.

Towns of Tarczyn and Grójec are the capitals of the Apple-Tree Land. Poland is the second top apple juice world exporter (after China). Not that the Tarczyn-Grójec area is the only apple "basin" of Poland but it is certainly the largest of them. When you travel through the area villages, what is sold locally is mostly coal, pesticides/fertiliser and agricultural machinery. Apple orchards spread over long kilometres, also southwards of Grójec in the direction of Radom.

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Just entering the Apple-Tree Land. Notice the old apple trees at the left hand side and very young ones on the opposite. Judging by the sight of the tractor, the gardeners always do their work. Or, perhaps, he was just driving his vehicle to a store?

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That time I let my route planner/GPS navigation app Mapy.cz select a "Trips nearby" route on its own. That way, I was landed off-road. Unpaved roads, all mud, very deep freshly frozen puddles, potholes, just name it. I was scared I might fall, stop or the motor might fail because of water. I survived, yet the bike was covered with "liquid Scheisse" 🤣 I was clean and I can only attribute the fact to the well thought Specialized Dry-Tech mudguards (you Americans call them fenders, heheh).

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STOP means "stop". That was the rule I learned while driving in Houston TX. We Poles rather slow down very much than stop at the sign. I took the sign literally and made a quite long stop here, enjoying the weather. The village of Jeżewice. (I am sure the railway plays the major role in apple juice exports!)

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It is not my belly! I stored my winter gloves at the stomach level 🤣 I must say I had too warm clothes on me. I removed the winter jacket at the stop. It was needed later, at the sunset.

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Greetings from Tarczyn! The town is the home of a huge "Fruit-Vegetable Processing Plant of Tarczyn", one of the major Polish apple juice producers. I liked the Tarczyn juice before I found I'm diabetic. Tarczyn has no proper downtown; the tiny park (and a large church!) pass for the city centre. (I put my tube scarf on my head during the long rest there).


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You may remember my bad experiences with road SPD pedals. As I said, I have had enough. I replaced the SPD-SL with Shimano PD-M324 MTB clipless pedals and with the SH-56 cleats. The pedal allows you using the flat or the clipping side of it; the SH-65 is released by outward, inward or upward heel movement. I could have fallen for three times on the day; in any case, the shoe was released before any disaster might have happened. I'm in love with this system!

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At dusk in peaceful Rusiec. When I was a conscript cadet in the Army back in 1987, Rusiec was a huge military base and a shooting range. How the times have changed! Now, it is one of these locations where people build their new homes. Notice a decent dedicated bike lane.

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I could have ridden home from Nadarzyn via a principal county road, yet I was afraid of the rush hour traffic. So I chose riding through a fire-road of the Młochowski Forest, which is a Nature reservation. Off-road again. Notice the car. The Forest is the favourite place for couples who want to make some hanky-panky, even if it is cold 🤣 Don't tell me they go to the woods to pick some fungi in the winter there!

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My most favourite fire-road of all, #40. Direct and the shortest connection between Nadarzyn and my borough of Brwinów.

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The ride stats. Notice many forests in the area. The road marked as E77 is the S7.
 
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Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Freezing 74 km to see my first cousins ("brethren")

On December 29th last year, I got the new Smart TV set delivered. By chance, my first cousin Jacek and his wife came to me at that day to deliver a wedding invitation of their son. As Jacek's business is television, he helped me set up the new toy. While we were enjoying the 4K television, I jokingly told my cousins "It is my time to pay you a visit with an e-bike". They both were thinking I was joking since it is the wintertime and they believed they lived 40+ kilometres from me. Indeed, it is 40+ km by car if you need a convenient, fast journey. It is 34.3 km by bike the shortest way.

Last morning, I sent Jacek a message asking if he would be at home on the day (Saturday). Yes, he said, feel invited. So I prepared for a ride with my Lovelec, taking two batteries, the camera, a tripod etc etc. Then I rode out guided by Mapy.cz app.

It is quite important to say it is far more between us than just being first cousins german. I have no own siblings. Our fathers lived together in a large family home in then rural part of Warsaw. Jacek and I spent our childhood together. Jacek's younger brother Piotr came when I was 11. By family tradition, Jacek and I address each other by "brother" and we have very strong family ties. That part of family also addresses me by my second name, as my Mother and Father did.

When we were resettled back in 1973, my Dad's brother bought a farm in Kiełpin north of Warsaw and he was doing horticulture there. My brethren live there by this day. Yet, something interesting happened in Łomianki, Kiełpin and all neighbouring villages after 1989: all neighbours started their own businesses. That way, the borough of Łomianki is among the richest areas of Poland today.

Regarding the weather, the sunshine was magnificent, winds acceptable, yet the puddles were frozen. On my way back, there was even less wind but the temperature after the sunset dropped down to -3 C and even -4 C (let's say, 26 F) . Yet I am prepared for any kind of weather now and the trip was just a pure pleasure again.

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At the entry point to the Kampinos National Park (KPN). That's the Warsaw's closest large nature reservation with the moose as its largest animals. The area was formed by a glacier, so it is sand dunes with marshes in between. Yes, there are bike trails in the KPN but I just say: you better ride a fat bike there :D As you can see, the terrain is made of white sand. The KPN attracts foot tourists mostly. Note: As the forest is indeed a wilderness, it was the home of strong partisan groups during the WW2.

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With my "brother" Jacek. He is a sportsman in his spare time; he showed me his acoustic FS MTB, a beauty! Jacek ages very slowly, being only a bit younger than I am.

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With Jacek's wife Renata and his younger brother Piotr. Piotr looked at my e-bike (he rode it and was very happy) and said: "But your directional front tyre is mounted in the wrong direction?". Damn. The brethren took my bike to the garage and fixed the matter in five minutes :)


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On my way back. Here, it is the Forest Park of Młociny north of Warsaw. The large clearing is the scene of numerous barbecues all year round. I was told that not that many people come there nowadays but only a couple of years ago you could expect there as many as hundreds of barbecue grills or bonfires in deep snow during the frost, with people playing guitars and drinking wine.

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A dedicated bike lane in so-called "Vistula River Trail". That is on the taller, left-bank flood embankment of the river.

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In the Mirrycle.

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74.2 km (46 miles) in 3 h 20 minutes net. Long ride at night on the return way.

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Ride stats.
 
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Alaskan

Well-Known Member
Freezing 74 km to see my first cousins ("brethren")

On December 29th last year, I got the new Smart TV set delivered. By chance, my first cousin Jacek and his wife came to me at that day to deliver a wedding invitation of their son. As Jacek's business is television, he helped me set up the new toy. While we were enjoying the 4K television, I jokingly told my cousins "It is my time to pay you a visit with an e-bike". They both were thinking I was joking since it is the wintertime and they believed they lived 40+ kilometres from me. Indeed, it is 40+ km by car if you need a convenient, fast journey. It is 34.3 km by bike the shortest way.

Last morning, I sent Jacek a message asking if he would be at home on the day (Saturday). Yes, he said, feel invited. So I prepared for a ride with my Lovelec, taking two batteries, the camera, a tripod etc etc. Then I rode out guided by Mapy.cz app.

It is quite important to say it is far more between us than just being first cousins german. I have no own siblings. Our fathers lived together in a large family home in then rural part of Warsaw. Jacek and I spent our childhood together. Jacek's younger brother Piotr came when I was 11. By family tradition, Jacek and I address each other by "brother" and we have very strong family ties. That part of family also addresses me by my second name, as my Mother and Father did.

When we were resettled back in 1973, my Dad's brother bought a farm in Kiełpin north of Warsaw and he was doing horticulture there. My brethren live there by this day. Yet, something interesting happened in Łomianki, Kiełpin and all neighbouring villages after 1989: all neighbours started their own businesses. That way, the borough of Łomianki is among the richest areas of Poland today.

Regarding the weather, the sunshine was magnificent, winds acceptable, yet the puddles were frozen. On my way back, there was even less wind but the temperature after the sunset dropped down to -3 C and even -4 C (let's say, 26 F) . Yet I am prepared for any kind of weather now and the trip was just a pure pleasure again.

View attachment 45409
At the entry point to the Kampinos National Park (KPN). That's the Warsaw's closest large nature reservation with the moose as its largest animals. The area was formed by a glacier, so it is sand dunes with marshes in between. Yes, there are bike trails in the KPN but I just say: you better ride a fat bike there :D As you can see, the terrain is made of white sand. The KPN attracts foot tourists mostly. Note: As the forest is indeed a wilderness, it was the home of strong partisan groups during the WW2.

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With my "brother" Jacek. He is a sportsman in his spare time; he showed me his acoustic FS MTB, a beauty! Jacek ages very slowly, being only a bit younger than I am.

View attachment 45411
With Jacek's wife Renata and his younger brother Piotr. Piotr looked at my e-bike (he rode it and was very happy) and said: "But your directional front tyre is mounted in the wrong direction?". Damn. The brethren took my bike to the garage and fixed the matter in five minutes :)


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On my way back. Here, it is the Forest Park of Młociny north of Warsaw. The large clearing is the scene of numerous barbecues all year round. I was told not that many people come there nowadays but only a couple of years ago you could expect there as many as hundreds of barbecue grills or bonfires in deep snow during the frost, with people playing guitars and drinking wine.

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A dedicated bike lane in so-called "Vistula River Trail". That is on the taller, left-bank flood embankment of the river.

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In the Mirrycle.

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74.2 km (46 miles) in 3 h 20 minutes net. Long ride at night on the return way.

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Ride stats.
Stefan, what a great family story and story about a challenging winter ride in Poland. I love all the vicarious travel that happens on these pages.
 

Marci jo

Well-Known Member
Freezing 74 km to see my first cousins ("brethren")

On December 29th last year, I got the new Smart TV set delivered. By chance, my first cousin Jacek and his wife came to me at that day to deliver a wedding invitation of their son. As Jacek's business is television, he helped me set up the new toy. While we were enjoying the 4K television, I jokingly told my cousins "It is my time to pay you a visit with an e-bike". They both were thinking I was joking since it is the wintertime and they believed they lived 40+ kilometres from me. Indeed, it is 40+ km by car if you need a convenient, fast journey. It is 34.3 km by bike the shortest way.

Last morning, I sent Jacek a message asking if he would be at home on the day (Saturday). Yes, he said, feel invited. So I prepared for a ride with my Lovelec, taking two batteries, the camera, a tripod etc etc. Then I rode out guided by Mapy.cz app.

It is quite important to say it is far more between us than just being first cousins german. I have no own siblings. Our fathers lived together in a large family home in then rural part of Warsaw. Jacek and I spent our childhood together. Jacek's younger brother Piotr came when I was 11. By family tradition, Jacek and I address each other by "brother" and we have very strong family ties. That part of family also addresses me by my second name, as my Mother and Father did.

When we were resettled back in 1973, my Dad's brother bought a farm in Kiełpin north of Warsaw and he was doing horticulture there. My brethren live there by this day. Yet, something interesting happened in Łomianki, Kiełpin and all neighbouring villages after 1989: all neighbours started their own businesses. That way, the borough of Łomianki is among the richest areas of Poland today.

Regarding the weather, the sunshine was magnificent, winds acceptable, yet the puddles were frozen. On my way back, there was even less wind but the temperature after the sunset dropped down to -3 C and even -4 C (let's say, 26 F) . Yet I am prepared for any kind of weather now and the trip was just a pure pleasure again.

View attachment 45409
At the entry point to the Kampinos National Park (KPN). That's the Warsaw's closest large nature reservation with the moose as its largest animals. The area was formed by a glacier, so it is sand dunes with marshes in between. Yes, there are bike trails in the KPN but I just say: you better ride a fat bike there :D As you can see, the terrain is made of white sand. The KPN attracts foot tourists mostly. Note: As the forest is indeed a wilderness, it was the home of strong partisan groups during the WW2.

View attachment 45410
With my "brother" Jacek. He is a sportsman in his spare time; he showed me his acoustic FS MTB, a beauty! Jacek ages very slowly, being only a bit younger than I am.

View attachment 45411
With Jacek's wife Renata and his younger brother Piotr. Piotr looked at my e-bike (he rode it and was very happy) and said: "But your directional front tyre is mounted in the wrong direction?". Damn. The brethren took my bike to the garage and fixed the matter in five minutes :)


View attachment 45412
On my way back. Here, it is the Forest Park of Młociny north of Warsaw. The large clearing is the scene of numerous barbecues all year round. I was told that not that many people come there nowadays but only a couple of years ago you could expect there as many as hundreds of barbecue grills or bonfires in deep snow during the frost, with people playing guitars and drinking wine.

View attachment 45413
A dedicated bike lane in so-called "Vistula River Trail". That is on the taller, left-bank flood embankment of the river.

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In the Mirrycle.

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74.2 km (46 miles) in 3 h 20 minutes net. Long ride at night on the return way.

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Ride stats.
Wow Stefan, that’s a fabulous adventure on the ebike. Even more so to ride to see family.
Your ebikes have certainly opened up a world of adventures for you.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Thank you! Let me add a little to the story. As my family and I had a good time together, the time flew by fast. I noticed I would have to return home at dusk and at night. We talked about it with the family members and Jacek gave me a practical advice:

-- When you ride to the end of our street, you'll find a bike lane. It runs all the way up to our Wawrzyszew (it was our childhood area). You were there at the Wolumen Market only a week ago and you told me there were bike lanes all way up to your place? Go there and then you'll decide if you take a commuter train from Warsaw or you just ride home!

So I rode to Wawrzyszew at dusk, via the Młociny Park. Sitting at a gas station in the area we brethren were so familiar with and having a hot dog, I discovered it was only 27 km to my place. Only 27 kilometres! If someone told me a year ago 27 km on a bike were an easy trip, I would have laughed. That's how electric bikes change the way we live and think!

I cannot wait until the Spring when all the locations will bloom and the pictures will be so nice to the eye! For example, the beautiful Wawrzyszew church of 1542 where my grandparents got their final rites, my parents were married, and I was baptised.

My e-bike used around 720 Wh from two batteries. All the ride was in the PAS 3 to relieve the hardness of riding in the frost.

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On a ride in 2014. The Wawrzyszew church was erected in 1542, and the King Sisigmund III Vasa named Warsaw the capital of Poland only in 1596. He moved his capital there from Kraków as he wanted to be closer to his beloved Sweden.

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That's why it is better to ride a fattie in the Kampinos National Park ;)
 

sexton Tom

Member
Thank you! Let me add a little to the story. As my family and I had a good time together, the time flew by fast. I noticed I would have to return home at dusk and at night. We talked about it with the family members and Jacek gave me a practical advice:

-- When you ride to the end of our street, you'll find a bike lane. It runs all the way up to our Wawrzyszew (it was our childhood area). You were there at the Wolumen Market only a week ago and you told me there were bike lanes all way up to your place? Go there and then you'll decide if you take a commuter train from Warsaw or you just ride home!

So I rode to Wawrzyszew at dusk, via the Młociny Park. Sitting at a gas station in the area we brethren were so familiar with and having a hot dog, I discovered it was only 27 km to my place. Only 27 kilometres! If someone told me a year ago 27 km on a bike were an easy trip, I would have laughed. That's how electric bikes change the way we live and think!

I cannot wait until the Spring when all the locations will bloom and the pictures will be so nice to the eye! For example, the beautiful Wawrzyszew church of 1542 where my grandparents got their final rites, my parents were married, and I was baptised.

My e-bike used around 720 Wh from two batteries. All the ride was in the PAS 3 to relieve the hardness of riding in the frost.

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On a ride in 2014. The Wawrzyszew church was erected in 1542, and the King Sisigmund III Vasa named Warsaw the capital of Poland only in 1596. He moved his capital there from Kraków as he wanted to be closer to his beloved Sweden.

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That's why it is better to ride a fattie in the Kampinos National Park ;)
Thank you for sharing your adventure ! I get a wee bit jealous seeing all the wonderful places you have to explore !!! My home town is rather boring compared to yours. We do have our camping trips planned for this summer to some pretty nice State Parks so hopefully I will be able to post some interesting photos.