Debica to Przemysl, Poland

My favorite town today - Kanczuga, Poland

It was a hot and hilly ride!

Today started late and ended late because I spent several hours this morning visiting with my friends in Debica. It was important to me spend that time with them, but it was also important that I got on down the road to near Ukraine, so I started late - after 11 AM and rode late - about 7:30 PM. That meant a pretty average day for me in Europe this year - 78 miles in six and a half hours of riding. It was a bit slow because there was a lot of steep climbing in the last part of the ride. I climbed 3100 feet, with half of that in the last 25 miles. It was also a very hot day - we are having a major heat wave over here - which means we are getting up to normal US summer temperatures here. It also meant a bit of smog since there has been virtually no air movement for the last few days.

Heading east on 4

The really good shoulder went away and was replaced by this for most of my ride on 4 today

I rode 4, the major east west highway, from Debica to Lancut today. Then I rode a small road, 801, from Lancut to near Przemysl and 77 for 5 km or so to Przemysl. 4 was definitely 'getting down the road' kind of riding with at least a small shoulder and lots of traffic, including many big trucks. It was noisy, somewhat exciting at times, and stressful going through the cities. It was also pretty fast riding with lots of services.

801 is definitely in the 'wow, what a neat bicycling road' riding category, but with few services and lots of steep climbing - much of it on 8 -10% grades - which made it slower and much more physically demanding than 4. I think 801 is one the nicest roads I've ridden in Poland. I found it much prettier than the little roads I rode in Mazurski, and similar to the very pretty country over near Zamosc. Last year, when I rode into that part of Poland, I really fell in love with the Polish countryside.

The view from 801

I hadn't planned to ride 801. I expected that I would ride 4 to near the border, but when I stopped for a break between Rzeszow and Lancut, I looked at my map and saw that 801 went diagonally down to near Przemysl. I'd be riding 4 for three or four hours by that time and I was tired of the noise and the congestion, so I decided I'd try 801. I had stopped for lunch at a small bar before Rzeszow - a really down home place where I got a 300 gram trout and potatoes with a big beer for 20 Z - and I had figured I could find snack supplies and water along 801. I knew it would be hilly just by looking at the country it went though, but it was short enough that I still could get to Przemysl before sundown.

801 after the first climb

The back end of a combine - it was harvest time

It was great to get on 801: peaceful, pretty, and mostly decent pavement. From Lancut, 801 runs through a pretty small town and then climbs up on a plateau. There was service station up there, so Was able to replace some of my food supply. When it comes down from that plateau, it climbs up on another one ;-}. Coming down from that one, I saw Kanczuga, a very pretty little town and the biggest town on 801. I stopped there at a store to get some cheese and water, and visited, in German, with a couple of men about my tour. The town, the store, and the visit were all very pleasant. Then I had to climb out of town.

after Kanczuga, the hills got steep

And they stayed that way

The climb out was a 10% grade, straight up the side of the valley. Like most of the later climbs it was 150 to 200 feet of vertical. For the first time on this trip in Poland, I needed my lowest gear - 17" - as I cranked up that hill at 4 to 4.5 mph. From then on - or about 2/3 the length of 801, the climbs were mostly 8 to 10% grades and fairly long. This was OK since I had the gear I needed and the scenery was beautiful. It was slow cycling and I worried a little that I might run out of light since I'm now in southern Poland and the sun goes down an hour sooner. I stopped one more time to snack and rest and rode into Przemysl with the sun almost setting at my back. Przemysl is quite beautiful when the sun is setting ;-}.

Coming into Przemysl

I found the best lodging bargain of my trip in Przemysl. I'm at a hostel like place where my single room cost 29 Z. That is less than $10. I spent 45 Z on meals and another 10 Z on snacks yesterday, so the total cost for the day will, with breakfast, will be around $30.

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