Looking back on 28 from about 400 feet up the 900 foot climb on the way to Sanok
An Orthodox Cemetery in Ukraine, overgrown, but with flowers on every grave
I had a hard time getting out of Ukraine today. At the border crossing, cars had about a three hour wait - it was probably a similar wait at the crossing I used yesterday - and there was no provision for pedestrians or bicyclist to cross the border! I had to be in a car or truck to cross. After a bit of negotiating ;-}, it was decided that I could get in a truck that was at the front of the line before the actual border control stations. That cut out about two hours of the wait and gave me chance to get to know a very nice Ukrainian truck driver, so it really wasn't a bad experience, but this is the first border I've crossed where pedestrians and bicyclists were not allowed to cross. I don't think I'll try to cross there again.
Before I left the motel today, I helped the Russian - from Moscow - lady who runs it make some corrections on the English version of the restaurant's menu. She had translated the Ukranian menu into English and done a pretty good job of creating a usable English menu. I helped her correct some errors, e.g. shrimps, and improve the grammar.Then we talked about motel issues like improving check in and breakfast.
It was fun helping her since she sincerely wanted criticism and suggestions. I believe she will quickly addresses the issue we discussed and that the motel, which is already a very nice place to stay, will become an even nicer place. Unfortunately, the only straightforward was to get there is through the border crossing I used today. The other crossing, from Przemysl, which I thought I could have used yesterday, is closed.
I rode 7 km south to Chyriw, the biggest town in these parts, and then 15 km south and east from Chyriw to the border. Getting through Chyriw was a challenge, mostly because the road conditions were so bad. Dodging potholes on an empty road is far easier than dodging potholes in a busy small city. Most of the people traffic was on foot or on bicycle, but there were a few cars, buses, and trucks on the road. The road improved a few km out of town, becoming much nicer than the road from Dobromyl. My bike did well, but it took quite a beating yesterday and today. a mountain bike would be a good idea for those roads!
The road going south--east from Chyriw had some
Notice that I'm riding in the very middle of the road because it is the smoothest part
After getting through the border, my friend the Ukrainian truck driver - we used German to talk - took me some 15 km up 890 which was part of his route to Przemysl. Then I rode 890 west to 28 and 28 south and than east to Sanok. Except that I took an 20 km detour that my friend suggested in search of a flatter route to Sanok. It didn't work out for me, so I more than made up for the 15 km truck ride. I rode 51 miles today with 2100 feet of climbing in four and a half hours of riding time. Hmm, I left Dobromyl at 10:30 and arrived here at 5:30 without stopping for a meal. I did stop for two breaks, but that still leaves bout 2 hours unaccounted for. My border wait must have been more like an hour and a half.
890 was very nice riding and, since I started at a high point, I had miles of downhill to flat riding before I had to climb out of that valley. Nice! Then i descended to 28 and descended down 28 to the low point just before the big climb. The climb is 900 feet in about two miles. It is mostly around an 8 % grade, but has 6% and 10% sections. Not easy, but not terrible either, with proper gearing.
The alternate route my friend suggested was great riding, after an initial 3 km of road that looked like the small roads in Ukraine, going west, but the road south to Sanok was too hard for me to ride on my touring bike. It started paved but soon turned to rocky dirt with climbs so steep that I had trouble keeping my rear tire from breaking loose. I rode about 20 km out and back to try that route, and, before the dirt part and after the bad pavement part, it was some of the nicest riding I've done in Poland. I didn't 'waste' my time riding it!
A switchback on the big climb. The switch backs
were flatter than the sections between them
This one is between a 6% grade and a 10% grade
The climb over the ridge was hard, but the zoom down the other side was quite fun! It is still very hot here, so I removed my helmet and gloves for the climb. My shirt was soaked with sweat at the top, but dried out nicely on the way down. The ride from there to Sanok was easy and I stopped at the first hotel I saw when I headed for the centrum. It isn't fancy, but it had what I needed - a Bankomat to get Zlotys, a room to clean up in, a restaurant to get a meal in and a phone booth to call my wife from. Compared to last night in Ukraine, this place is way over priced and the restaurant is crude, but it worked for me. I'll see how the bed works for me in a few minutes..