I had a different kind of day today. Instead of riding most of the day, I sat around and people watched and read for several hours. I expect to do much more reading and sitting tomorrow.
My day started a bit late - I overslept - and was further delayed by a stop at an internet cafe I found on the way out of Gniezno. It was 10:30 by the time I actually left town, heading south on 15.
The wind wasn't as strong as it was yesterday, but there was a steady wind from the east and it was chilly. As I rode, my knees, especially my bad knee, hurt. They felt better after half a hour of so of riding, but never stopped hurting a little.
I had decided to ride to Wrzesnia, about 30 km, and then, if I was feeling good, head southwest on 432. If I wasn't, I would take the train west to Slublice, a town on the German border. I could see that the main train line from Warsaw to Berlin ran through Wrzesnia, so I thought it would be a good place to catch the train east. I was wrong.
In Wrzesnia, I had a good lunch, but one where the waitress took advantage of my lack of Polish and served me more than I order, turning a 5 Euro lunch into an 8.5 Euro lunch. The real pity was that I couldn't eat it all...
I stopped at an internet cafe to ask for directions to the train station. That worked, but the guy said 'go over the bridge and turn rather than turn before the bridge. That cost me at least half an hour and a bit of unpleasant riding on the expressway to Poznan.
When I did find the train station, I discovered that only local trains run from Wrzesnia. All those express trains pass it by. I had to take a local train to Poznan and then get a train to Slubice. The next local train left at 3:45 and it was about 1, so I decided to try to find 432 and head soutwest. That turned out to be complicated by the autoroute and construction so I went back to the station and bought tickets, for me and the bike to Slublice. Then I hung out - had icecream, read, sat in a park - till it was time for the train. That wasn't too bad, it was a pretty day, the people watching was good, and I had a Kurt Vonegut novel, "Jailbird," to read.
When I got to Poznan station, I got my ticket for tomorrow. It is the slow, cheap train, It takes 14 hours (!) to cover about 200 km. If I had Polish, I'm sure I could have found a better train for more money, but that station was zoo, and I took what they gave me ;-(. Actually, I'm not really unhappy about it since I can get off anywhere I want to. It leaves at 8 AM and gets in at 10 PM, but I'll probably get off in one of the larger towns before the border and before it gets dark. | am a little concerned about food and water- I'll carry some - and about potty breaks. However, I assume I'll manage and get close enough to the border to be riding along the Oder the day after tomorrow.
Tonight I am in another 40 Euro hotel, The Lech Hotel, in downtown Poznan. I have a double room - supposedly for the single room rate - and they let me bring my bike up to the room. That is great because there are a number of minor maintenance items that I need to attend to. This hotel, although not as fancy, is much friendlier than the hotel last night. My room is also three times as large ;-).
One of my big problems with touring in Europe rather than the US is that my bike gets neglected because it isn't with me when I'm not riding. Tonight I'll clean and lube the chain, do some patching on my Flite seat - this is its last season, but it has had tens of thousands of miles of use - and give the bikes bolts and nuts a good checking.
I have now, after about 40000 miles of loaded riding with heavily loaded - typically about 15 pound each - front pannier - stripped both fork end bolts that hold the fender and the racks on. One of them I actually stripped last summer in California, but I Gooped and strapped it and didn't and replace until earlier this summer when I was at Primoz's house. The other came loose last week and I've used Goop and a plastic band to hold it in place since then. That side of the rack is wobblier that the other, but it still works OK because there are two other points of attachment - the bolt midway up the fork and the bolt that clamps it to the hoop. If it was hoopless, it would useless now and my pannier might well have rotated into my front wheel. Because of issues like this, I would not use a hoopless front lowrider rack!
I only took one road image today, and it will be at the top of the web page. On the bottom of the web page are images from Torun that I took two days ago. I afraid the riding and the scenery aren't as nice here as they were in Torun, which is one of the reasons I'm riding the train tomorrow.