Day 42, Fletnowo to Torun, PL

The Wisla at Grudziadz

I had great breakfast this morning and an easy ride to Torun. Now I'm at the Kopernik Hotel where I stayed 3 years ago. It has been bought by a chain - Hotele21 -and now cost twice as many zlotys - which means, in dollars, four times as much, and has wired ethernet in the rooms, which doesn't work. If the ethernet worked, it would be similar in value to the hotel I stayed at in Ketrzyn which did have working wireless. Without the ethernet, I'm not a happy camper, but in Torun, even more than in Ketrzyn, in town is where you want to be.

I hiked all over the old town to find an internet cafe I could use to upload my last four web pages and ride reports. I was hoping to have email from Robert Mink in Wroclaw or my friends who live in Hamburg, about visits. I'm scheduled to visit Robert this Friday.

I know my friends in Hamburg need to get home by the end of the month - they are on vacation now - and I know how to get to their flat, so I am aiming for getting to Hamburg before the end of the month. If they aren't home yet, I can entertain myself until they get there or until I need to get down to Tubingen to visit with my daughter before flying home from Stuttgart on August 5th..

My route to Hamburg remains open. I need to decide if I want to do the Baltic Radweg, just ride across that part of Germany, ride more in Poland and take the train in Germany to Hamburg, or ride a more direct route to Hamburg that would go through Berlin. I have roughly two weeks to get there and only about 1000 km - max - to ride, so I have plenty of time. I look forward to discussing routing with Robert.

The turn onto 55 in Grudziadz

It was only 5 miles from my jazazd to Grudziadz, about half on highway 1 heading south and the other half on highway 16 heading east and crosing the Wisla. The part on 16 was decidedly faster that the part on 1 because there was a strong west wind, but both were easy riding. It was cool enough that I wore my wind vest for most of the day and, as yesterday, it would have been hard and cold riding into that wind.

55 with a great shoulder, but I'm not supposed to be on it because of the 'bike path' you can see at the side of the road

In Grudziadz, a bike path paralleled 55 and bikes were supposed to be on the path, not on the road. The road was wide enough and always had a smooth shoulder, so I rode on it. I was doing 14 mph in comfort and safety on the shoulder and I would have been doing 10 mph and getting beat up on the bike path. Several drivers told me to get on the bike path, but I ignored them. The funniest one was a big truck who paced me blowing his big horn telling me I shouldn't be on the road. His truck, which was the biggest kind of vehicle on that road, and my bike rode side by side safely while he tried to get me off the road. I looked up at his mirror and shook my head. Poles use to be cool about bikers who sensibly choose not to use the bad bike paths, now some of them act like Germans or Dutch. Note: I rode for a long distance - at least 10 km - on a good bike path in Gdansk. It was better than riding on the road. I just object to bad bike paths and folks that expect me to use them when the road is better, I am perfectly safe on the road, and I am not causing anybody - except the ones with German self-righteousness - problems by being on the road.

55 later, in another town, with no shoulder and a bike path that I didn't feel any need to use because the lane was wide and traffic was light

55 lost its shoulder and most of its traffic and became a very nice, if hilly, bike ride. It climbed several hundred feet up onto a plateau which was topped with rolling hills. I stopped after about 18 mile to rest and snack. 55 ended at 1 about two miles later. I was sorry to see it end.

1 had a shoulder, although sometimes a very bumpy one, all the way to Torun

Riding 1 was less fun than 55 because it was flatter, noisier, and more open to the wind. The strong east wind wasn't a big problem because it was blowing across the road from me, not to me, but it still slowed me down and made riding less relaxed. The other problem was the inconsistent shoulder, It would be smooth for a km or two and then very bumpy for the next km. When it was smooth, I could ride without paying much attention to riding. When it was very bumpy, I had to be very focused on what bumps were ahead.

Entering Torun from the north
It is much more impressive to enter from the south

I rode into Torun at about 12:30, The north end of Torun looks like just another Polish town, but you soon see that the other end of Torun is a neat medieval city with a lot of interesting stuff in it. I spend a couple of days here three years ago, so I've already done my pictures of Torun page. You can see it in my European tour05. This time I've just eaten and waked around looking at people and things. I didn't even take my camera. At the end of my second outing - this evening - I walked to the Wisla, which is only a few blocks from my hotel. One of the things I saw there was a woman riding a new Dutch bicycle. She must have bought it from the couple I met the day before yesterday. It certainly looked at home riding along the bike path on the Wisla.

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