Tour05 Day 36

Robert and another local cyclist, near Debica
That other fellow was pedalling with his heels, toes pointed out about 45 degrees
and he was riding almost as fast as we were ;-)

Robert and I rode north from Debica on back roads to a castle about 20 km away. It was fast riding - if bumpy on some of those roads! - with a tail wind. The weather forecast was for thunderstorms coming in from the from the south, and that was why we had the tailwind.

We stopped at this small castle - the kind of thing you can do in eastern Europe - for beer and sprite - and talked for a good while. Then the thunder started. Robert showed me the way north and, after a very good visit, we parted. He rode south, into the wind, and I rode north, fleeing the storms.

A wedding party in a small town

The back road riding was fun, and I enjoyed the villages and the farms along the way, but when I came to a slightly larger road that went over to a bigger town, I took it. It was about 12:30, the place where Robert suggested I eat was 30 km away, and I needed a snack. I got a king sized Snickers bar - that sounds so American! - at a service station, ate it quickly, and continued to flee north from the storms.

The bigger road, south of Baranow

The slightly bigger road, 985, was smoother than the back roads I had been riding and, except in towns, traffic wasn't a problem. The ride to Baranow was simple - just go down 985 - and pretty fast. I was cruising at 15 to 18 mph - based on the gears I was using, my bike computer is a good clock now - with the tail wind and smooth, flat roads.

Where I had lunch

In Baranow, the castle - yes, a two castle ride today - was about 1.5 km west from the road I was on, and, when I got there, I discovered that the restaurant was closed. This castle has a hotel and a fancy restaurant, and is much larger/fancier than the one where we had a beer.

Fortunately, there was a outdoor setup where they would grill - on charcoal - meat and serve it with some bread and a good Polish pickle. I got the last steak they had - it was 3 PM - and a large beer. I was disappointed not to get the beet soup that Robert had raved about, but the steak was good, the atmosphere was very pleasant, and I enjoyed my lunch.

After lunch, I decided to keep on riding west in hopes of finding another road north to Sandomeirz. There wasn't anything wrong with the road I had been riding, but I had time to explore and there was storm developing north of Baranow, so I didn't want to go that way yet.

A storks nest west of Baranow

As it turned out, I got lost in a bunch of little roads and villages and had to retrace my route back to Baranow, but I enjoyed the ride and the 45 minutes I spent riding out and back saved me from riding into the storm I had seen developing between Baranow and Sandomeirz.

The road wass usually much better than this

The wind was now from the east instead of the north, so my riding wasn't was fast and easy, but it was, except for some bumpy sections and several km of wet road with puddles, good riding. The road was four lanes in the wet section so I was usually able to take the outside lane. That help me avoid riding through most of the puddles and kept other vehicles from riding through deep puddles beside me. I managed to stay dry through that section. I wouldn't have if I hadn't taken the lane.

The 4 lane road after the rain

I took the hard way into Sandomierz, getting off the road, riding a sidewalk to get to a steep little cobblestone road that was closed, at the bottom end, to cars. It felt good pushing my bike up the sidewalk, and it gave me a chance to pee before I got to town ;-)!

The cobblestone road into Sandomierz

In town, I stopped at the first - and still only - hotel I saw. It is a nice 3 star place with a fancy restaurant and, for the first time on this tour, a fast ethernet connection in my room. After cleaning up, I walked over to the cathedral, but it was closed and is only open for two hours on Sunday afternoon. I figured I'd have to miss seeing the famous Blood Libel mural inside, but, as it turns out, I will get to see it.

The Cathedral

I woke this morning feeling like I was coming down with a cold, and listening to rain. I felt a little better after breakfast and some pain killer, but the rain has continued on and off and things look very dark to the east where I had planned to ride. About 10 AM I decided I'd better see if I could stay here another night. It was iffy, but I can, and feeling lousy, but having the internet to entertain me, I'm looking forward to a productive rest day here.

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