Tour de Poland on 434?
I saw these same markings on the very nice small roads going east from Dobre Miasto
Tourist? This group was on 36 where 434 ends.
Today was a 434 day. That 'small' road started one block from my hotel this morning and ended 6 km from my destination tonight. Riding 434 was a big improvement over riding 15, even though some parts of it seemed to have almost as much traffic as the less trafficked parts of 15, and I still had to deal with the strong east wind for most of today. Yesterday's abuse of my body, especially my crotch and my bad knee, both of which have a hard time with bad roads, bothered me today, but my body was spared further damage by the relatively smooth roads. I have to say roads since 434 which is nominally one road, is really made up of dozens of roads. None of these roads were nearly as bad as the bad parts of 15 and most of them were quite nice riding.
Where 434 starts. Image from the parking lot of my hotel
The first part of 434
Today I was back to my current 'normal' day of 130 km or 80 miles. It took me seven hours of actual pedalling since my average speed was about 11 mph. Without the wind, I would have covered the same route in about six and a half hours, so the wind wasn't as big a problem as it was yesterday when my average speed was about 10 mph and I only rode 66 miles. Tomorrows ride to Robert Minks house, should take about three and a half hours if the weather is like today.
Much of 434 goes through nice woods and fields like these
That is wheat on the left and corn on the right
I'd been riding for an hour and a half, and covered about 30 km, when I took this image
I saw a lot of tractors pulling what looked like wheat wagons on the road today, but it wasn't until mid afternoon that I saw combines harvesting wheat. I don't know where the wheat is stored - I didn't see any grain elevators - or how it is transported.
There is a lot of wheat, as well as other grains, to be harvested here. Neither the fields or the harvesting process are up to western Kansas standards, but this seems to be a productive agricultural part of Poland.
434 as seen from above A2
A2 as seen from 434
I passed over A2, the new north-south autoroute that I've crossed three times getting here from Gdansk, on 434. The traffic on the autoroute was mostly large trucks. In the US, the real cost for diesel fuel has doubled in the last two years, making long distance truck transportation less affordable. Here, most of the vehicles on the road, including all but the smallest cars, are diesel powered. Diesel is a little more expensive than regular gas, but, unlike the US, it hasn't gone up a lot.
I haven't see many freight trains here, unlike most other countries I've been in on this tour, so I assume Poland is, unfortunately, following the US model of transporting almost everything on its highways rather than its railways. The highways are a lot better than they were five years ago, but the older roads weren't designed for these heavy trucks and the trucks do a lot of damage to them. 434 was never really bad, like some parts of 15 -25, but there were long stretches of Koleiny, pavement that had been depressed by heavy truck tires. A few of them were deep enough that my outside pedal would hit the raised pavement next to the tire depression.
434 where it really is a little road with big truck traffic
434 where it really is a big road with pavement designed for big truck traffic
I reached Rawicz about 6 PM and stopped at the the first hotel I saw. It is a new, and nice, hotel and restaurant located behind a fancy service station. I registered and then was told I had to pay and extra $10 for a secure place to park my bike. That is something I have only encountered a few times and never has the fee been quite that large.
My bikes' "room"
And it is a good shot of my classy bird seed bag pannier cover!
It turned out that they have three locked - I have the key to mine - garages for, I guess, folks with fancy cars or motorcycles and they also use them for bikes. This wouldn't be bad deal for a group of bicyclists or even for somebody who need a place to work on their bike.