Our Rides in Words, Photos, Videos & Maps

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Warsaw in the Time of Covid

The first day of the Spring. Temperature above 15 C (60F), warm sunshine and the wind you could live with, no goggles required. It was the first day in the year I could get rid of the windbreaker, gloves and the warm helmet. I took my Good Ole Mule for the trip (a good touring e-bike and I could use bike paths and lanes). Besides, I tested the new Schwalbe Marathon E Plus tyres with Michelin Protek Max tubes. That combination was worth every cent! The tyres are completely silent on the ride (hard to believe how silent), have perfect road grip and feel very comfortable. The silence of the bike was astounding.

As you (Alaskan, Saratoga) say, personal exercises are allowed, also here. The Saturday Warsaw looked as a regular Sunday here. Of course light traffic but still quite many cars. The places where people exercise -- especially bike paths -- were busy. Even if the Mayor of Warsaw banned drinking on the Vistula River embankments, there still were many people there. True, people avoided gathering in groups.

What felt depressing were the police cars announcing the Stay At Home order by loudspeakers; it felt like a military occupation.

The Lovelec is equivalent to the U.S. Class 1 e-bike, not a performance thing. I admired a petite young woman riding a beautiful, sleek road-bike who overtook me so easily! Who surprised me the most was a kid perhaps 6 year old who rode some 20 mph on his tiny bicycle; I could not see his parents around. I also watched who wore the cycle helmet and who didn't. Pretty young girls wear no helmet! Careful about their hair I think :D

At some moment, I heard a loud bike behind me; I thought it was a Bosch e-bike 🤣 No, it was a regular bike but for some reasons it was very noisy. The middle-aged guy was pretty fast and at some point I won the race. The idiot tried slipstreaming behind me; on the first occasion I had to brake he almost hit me!

When I returned home I realised I had no alcohol. A friend of mine came to stay with me for the weekend and help me with the cleaning so it would be fair to have a couple of drinks with her. The store was to close very soon. I just pulled the windbreaker on, grabbed the battery and a pannier, put the helmet, goggles and gloves on (it was cold after the sunset) and rode my Vado out. What a bike! Compared to the Good Ole Mule it felt like a rocket. I was at the store probably faster than with a car and my way back was even faster! Oh, I felt so sporty and fit after all those rides.

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In the ulica Prosta (Straight Street) in Warsaw Wola. Funny to think this street belongs to the Hwy 719 by which you can reach my home, 25 km away. I've always thought Warsaw was so far away from my Brwinów. It doesn't feel so if you're riding e-bike.

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I was checking if I still could take a photo of a moving bike in the full Manual mode (including the focusing) with my camera and a 90 mm telephoto lens.

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The most known monument of The Warsaw Mermaid, the symbol of the city (by the Holy Cross Bridge). There are several statues of the Mermaid in Warsaw but this one is the most known.


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The National Stadium in the background, on the other bank of the Vistula River. Not the prettiest building in the town 🤣

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Sadly deserted The Olympic Centre in north Warsaw. It would be humming with activity if not the Covid.

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That guy rode the doo-hickey lightning fast. I was thinking what would have happened if he hit a cyclist...

You can see the part of the Vistula Trail, which is a long bike-only path by which you can explore Vistula River from the very south to the very north of Warsaw and beyond. I have to ride the whole way on some day!

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Vistula River flowing towards the Baltic Sea. The picture was taken from the northernmost of Warsaw bridges, the Marie Curie Bridge.

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A peculiar building by the S8 freeway. You can rent space for warehouse, an office or a showroom there.
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Off-road in the Pszczelin Meadow. I was testing the Marathons E Plus there and those did their job well. Notice the young kids socially distancing :)

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The ride stats.
 
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Mulezen

Well-Known Member
Very nice writing Stefan...surprised at how well you get along with English...doo-hickey indeed...but I shouldn’t be surprised considering the tradition of the Poles (think Joseph Conrad).
I am going with the E-Plus when they become available for my new bike (Bosch🧐). Happy to hear of your positive experience.
 

BillH

Active Member
Almost the same story. 200 miles north of NYC, but part of the Capital Region which is turning up more cases daily. 1 year younger than you, me with A/Fib and my wife a cancer survivor with some respiratory issues. We’ve been sequestered since early this month, haven’t had any direct contact with anyone. Lots of FaceTime with family and friends.

I haven’t gotten out on the bike as much since winter hung around, but yesterday we had a sunny day and I got the snow blower back to the shed and the ebike in the garage where it belongs. Got in a quick 10 miles along the Erie Canal, which I can access right from our driveway through the neighborhood. I think I’m going to be riding that stretch a lot for the next month or so. Vicky is just too apprehensive for me to go out on the roads.

But being shut in together has been pretty easy, I must say. We were well stocked before this ever came along, have always sort of operated that way, which made it easier. We never had to go deal with the crazed crowds at the store, just picked a day and said That’s it, we’re in for a while.

Best to everyone here, and certainly to you and Nancy, Richard. I’ve enjoyed your posts ever since we all showed up in this little arena.
Cheer up for soon you will be here starting your Erie Canal venture this year.

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Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Good for you...I try my Spanish on the Mexicans next door On the horse farm...they turn their heads away when laughing
The point is, I have been writing in English for my whole professional life. These Forums, however, gave me the wealth of understanding how native speakers "speak" their everyday English, what the popular idioms are, how to write better. Regarding the cycling terminology, my English vocabulary was next to nil only six months ago. I still experience problems with, for instance, the sequence of tenses, the proper use of "the", with overdoing my sentences etc. Good the Edit option exists!
 

Oscar56

Member
My wife has been playing tennis for the last 25 years. Last year I took some lessons and started plying down at the local club. The courts are about 5km away and with an elevation difference of ~250m. it seemed a waste to drive my pickup down to the club for a couple of hours of play but I was just not enthused about the concept of hopping on my full suspension MTB to cycle 5km uphill after playing tennis.

Part of my justification to purchase my first eBike in March was to allow me to get to the club without feeling guilty about using my pickup truck. The Covid-19 sturck. Now all organized recreation activities are closed including our tennis centre. But I still have my bike and am riding regardless.

One of my new routes is down to the waterfront and terminating at our local provincial park. Both the waterfront and the park are some of my local birding sites, so I will strap on my binoculars and carry on.

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Oscar56

Member
We live near a US Covid 19 epicenter. I turn 70 this year, I have heart issues so I am both high risk for getting Covid 19 and high risk of not getting anything but palliative care if I do get it. Nancy and I have been house bound for three weeks, constant hand washing. doing rigorous disinfection of anything that comes into our home, no guests, family included. We do get out to walk the dog and ride our bikes. We don't stop and talk to anyone. Ride out, ride back, avoid mixed use trails and stay on the road. That keeps enough distance. The weather has allowed me to ride 9 of the past 11 days but the current forecast does not bode well.

Blossoming cherry trees and some fun memes.
Alaskan:

It appears you have both a Brooks saddle and Kinekt seat post on your Trek. That's a combination I am considering.
 

David Roy

Well-Known Member
Three weeks ago my daughter, her husband and their 2 young children moved in with us. The schools in their town just outside Boston had been closed and we had a prearranged plan. My daughter is under 40 but has serious asthma. She and her husband can both work remotely so coming to our fairly remote corner of Northeastern Connecticut seemed wise. We are fortunate to have 2 houses next door to each other on 35 acres of forestland . One is our home and one my workshop and gallery. They would live in the gallery portion which can also be a guest house. The 4 adults would share childcare and education while still working. My wife and I are self employed and semi retired so our schedules are very flexible.

The change has been both jarring and good. Both Marji and I are in our late 60’s and healthy other than the creaks of age. Ramping up to kid speed took some time. Little kids have so much energy. Fortunately somehow they share it with us and we both feel younger and more energetic although we fall into bed early. Having their giggles and laughter as well as crying and complaining makes these lonely times bearable. The days pass quickly but so far there isn't an end in sight.

Other than biking and 2 quick shopping trips no one has left our land for 3 weeks. We have now learned how Instacart works and have food delivered from a local store. We all miss others but are glad to have each other. Our daughter and son-in-law have adapted to working with slow rural internet augmented with wireless hotspots. The major carriers have removed data caps for 2 months so that helps.

Biking is limited to 90 minutes in the late afternoon weather permitting. No more 3 and 4 hour rides for me for the duration. The weather is warming up and we’ve had a few stellar days that make everything seem better. During rides we have noticed more folks out gardening, walking and biking. Everyone exchanges big smiles but stays clear of each other.

I want to thank everyone for sharing their stories. This is a hard time made easier by sharing.

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Alaskan

Well-Known Member
Last night the weather prediction was for rain all day. It was pouring early this morning but stopped around 9 and then became mostly sunny with a 15- mph breeze. Nancy and I jumped at the opportunity to get a ride in and did a thirty mile cruise around the northern shore of Bellingham Bay.

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PDXzap

Well-Known Member
I decided to take the Turbo Como to the grocery store and saw this on the way there, a fitting sign of the times?

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This steed was parked, quite appropriately, at the correct social distance from mine when I finished shopping.
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I waited around to talk to the owner but his English was weak, my Spanish even weaker. But I did manage to find out a friend of his in Mexico sold it to him and he said he likes it.

Saw this on the other side of the sign on the return trip.
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Maybe when they reopen it will be as a comedy club?
 

David Berry

Well-Known Member
High point of the ride …
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Rothwell on Redcliffe Peninsula, Queensland
Click photo to fill screen.
There's nowhere particularly high on the Redcliffe Peninsula but a slight rise has to do for the water tank. Being higher than everywhere else is all that matters!

Pelicans are seen on almost every ride close to the sea. Brolgas (Antigone rubicunda), Australian native cranes, are a rare treat, although they are common further north in the tropical wetlands. A pair of rakali (Hydromys chrysogaster) hide beneath.

Now back to Mario's mobile espresso for the next coffee!
 
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Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
Wicked rainy today, and it has been chilly all week. So my rides were fairly short:

Town park and river:

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Going higher from home. It gets full of snow quickly! I've been looking at some roads with binoculars that appear to be open, but often times the lower approaches still have a lot of very icy snow. Just past this photo there was a snow pile about 4 feet deep across the road:

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Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
"April Is A Weaver - It Weaves Some Summer With Some Winter" (a Polish saying)

Hey, but that's still the month of March? I basically could not stay at home and had known what I was getting into. I knew the weather forecast already in the week before. Temps just above 0 C (32 F); the puddles were frozen. Stiff frosty northerly wind of 25 km/h, often with stronger bursts. I wore my Winter Armor #2 (the #1 is reserved for frost and snow), rode out my Vado as that e-bike handles upwind better than the Good Ole Mule thanks to its powerful mid-drive motor. Heading North, always having the outbound ride into the wind.

The plan was to encircle a half of the Kampinos National Park (KPN). Beware of the moose!

The outbound ride was terrible. Dreary weather, intermittent snowing (not very much; yet, heheh), hard wind to overcome. At least I was prepared with my clothing although ears were somewhat suffering from the cold blows. From time to time, glorious sunshine happened to appear. At such moments the wind used to slack a little and my morale was boosted. Not for long time though.

More on the ride in the picture captions, it's gonna be dramatic at times :) I covered the most of the 50+ miles in the Sport mode customised to 50% support because I needed a solid workout. I made the last 17 km in full Turbo mode because I was very tired and only needed to survive. Funny thing, the wind stopped blowing when I was coming back, no assistance of that power of Nature.

I need to say my Vado, or Turbo Vado as an e-bike model is perfect. Regardless of really adverse and varying conditions it ran noiselessly at constant speed, could handle massive side wind gusts with a snowfall well, the Electrak 2.0 tyres had excellent traction on any surface, disregarding dry or wet, smooth or damaged. Hard to believe I could safely and with full trust make 85 km under the weather I experienced on that trip.

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Light snowing on Hwy 579 before Leszno. I was riding into the wind and the weather was gloomy.

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The State Academy for The Circus Arts in Julinek. That school has a very long tradition. Notice a short moment at which the Sun appeared.


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The South-North Hwy 579 divides the KPN into two parts. The moose are dangerous there. The speed limit is 60 km/h but few drivers respect that. The road is the fastest connection of my place to the Warsaw Modlin Airport (WMI) operated by Ryanair. A large parking lot at my right hand side was closed as well as the best tourist entry to the KPN was blocked (see the white-red tape).

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Reptiles, deer/elk, cows. So many dangers on that borough road going through the KPN! I was especially scared of the cows, the murderous beasts! 🤣

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The administrator of the village of Truskawka (literally: Strawberry) is a pigeon-fancier. I was wondering who the people living inside the KPN were and I guess they must be foresters. Note: Snowing again! "April Is A Weaver"....

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Sunshine again! Entering the region of Łomianki, which is probably one of the richest boroughs in Poland. Businesses everywhere. The road behind the trees is the S7 expressway (Warsaw - Gdańsk).

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The Winter hit back when I was riding through Kiełpin (where my brethren live). It was a heavy snowfall. I'm loving it! "April Is A Weaver"... Still in March?

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PhD Eng. Stefan went into a dustbin :D (Parzniew, 5 km from home).

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Not bad, taking the circumstances into account.

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The usual bullshit of Endomondo. "Mostly sunny"! A joke or what?!
 
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Alaskan

Well-Known Member
"April Is A Weaver - It Weaves Some Summer With Some Winter" (a Polish saying)

Hey, but that's still the month of March? I basically could not stay at home and had known what I was getting into. I knew the weather forecast already in the week before. Temps just above 0 C (32 F); the puddles were frozen. Stiff frosty northerly wind of 25 km/h, often with stronger bursts. I wore my Winter Armor #2 (the #1 is reserved for frost and snow), rode out my Vado as that e-bike handles upwind better than the Good Ole Mule thanks to its powerful mid-drive motor. Heading North, always having the outbound ride into the wind.

The plan was to encircle a half of the Kampinos National Park (KPN). Beware of the moose!

The outbound ride was terrible. Dreary weather, intermittent snowing (not very much; yet, heheh), hard wind to overcome. At least I was prepared with my clothing although ears were somewhat suffering from the cold blows. From time to time, glorious sunshine happened to appear. At such moments the wind used to slack a little and my morale was boosted. Not for long time though.

More on the ride in the picture captions, it's gonna be dramatic at times :) I covered the most of the 50+ miles in the Sport mode customised to 50% support because I needed a solid workout. I made the last 17 km in full Turbo mode because I was very tired and only needed to survive. Funny thing, the wind stopped blowing when I was coming back, no assistance of that power of Nature.

I need to say my Vado, or Turbo Vado as an e-bike model is perfect. Regardless of really adverse and varying conditions it ran noiselessly at constant speed, could handle massive side wind gusts with a snowfall well, the Electrak 2.0 tyres had excellent traction on any surface, disregarding dry or wet, smooth or damaged. Hard to believe I could safely and with full trust make 85 km under the weather I experienced on that trip.

View attachment 48671
Light snowing on Hwy 579 before Leszno. I was riding into the wind and the weather was gloomy.

View attachment 48672
The State Academy for The Circus Arts in Julinek. That school has a very long tradition. Notice a short moment at which the Sun appeared.


View attachment 48673
The South-North Hwy 579 divides the KPN into two parts. The moose are dangerous there. The speed limit is 60 km/h but few drivers respect that. The road is the fastest connection of my place to the Warsaw Modlin Airport (WMI) operated by Ryanair. A large parking lot at my right hand side was closed as well as the best tourist entry to the KPN was blocked (see the white-red tape).

View attachment 48674
Reptiles, deer/elk, cows. So many dangers on that borough road going through the KPN! I was especially scared of the cows, the murderous beasts! 🤣

View attachment 48675
The administrator of the village of Truskawka (literally: Strawberry) is a pigeon-fancier. I was wondering who the people living inside the KPN were and I guess they must be foresters. Note: Snowing again! "April Is A Weaver"....

View attachment 48676
Sunshine again! Entering the region of Łomianki, which is probably one of the richest boroughs in Poland. Businesses everywhere. The road behind the trees is the S7 expressway (Warsaw - Gdańsk).

View attachment 48677
The Winter hit back when I was riding through Kiełpin (where my brethren live). It was a heavy snowfall. I'm loving it! "April Is A Weaver"... Still in March?

View attachment 48678
PhD Eng. Stefan went into a dustbin :D (Parzniew, 5 km from home).

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Not bad, taking the circumstances into account.

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The usual bullshit of Endomondo. "Mostly sunny"! A joke or what?!
Stefan, you are racking up lots of epic rides. You are looking markedly slimmer since you first came on the scene. I know the weight loss is not from a diet of deprivation, as you share photos of some of your yummy Polish food. You are clearly burning lots of calories though. How much weight have you left behind on the roads of Poland?
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
I lost 11 kg (24 lb) since the beginning of January @Alaskan. I attribute the body mass loss to three factors:
  1. Metformin (anti-diabetes drug) that I believe contributes to the weight loss;
  2. Careful diet. I use no sugar. I eat regularly but far less than before and take care what I eat. Quite a lot of protein, low-carb, some fats but not too much. Sometimes I eat pączki or cake as a reward for a hard work-out :)
  3. Hard work-out almost everyday. I believe now any time less than two hours of the active ride is a ride lost.
I don't know how long the trend would keep but my objective is to get down to 92 kg (203 lbs), which is the weight I had 15 years ago. Any further weight loss will be a bonus.