Zimigrod, the town where I left 5 to ride back roads
It was only 25 miles from Rawicz to Robert's house because I took the most direct route and rode most of those miles on highway 5 between Rawicz and Trzebnica. This section of 5 had no shoulders, some of it had bad pavement, and all of it had bad traffic in long bursts with periods of very peaceful riding between burst. I would probably have been OK with riding it if one big truck hadn't decided to pass me, at speed, while a long burst of traffic which was mostly big trucks, was passing me in the other direction.
The road was wide enough for two big trucks and a loaded bicycle, but that required that three three vehicles share the entire road. It also helped if the passing truck slowed down so there was less wind from the truck. I was passed, without problems, by lots of trucks including at least half a dozen that passed me into oncoming truck traffic. The one bad truck passed me, staying in the lane - perhaps traffic in the other lane wouldn't move over - at speed. That meant I had a big truck at most a foot from my panniers going fast. The truck was close enough that the turbulent wind from the truck was moving my bike around as it passed me and the truck was long enough that I was getting worried about being able to hold my line. I usually can keep my cool in tense situations, but not this time, and this incident spoiled the rest of my riding on 5.
5 during one of the low traffic periods
I got off 5 as soon as I could - about 10 miles from Rawicz - at Zimigrod. It was nice to ride to an through that town and I thought I could work my way down, parallel to 5 on small roads, It worked for one town, but then I found myself, unexpectedly, back on 5. The small roads were not signed and I'd made a wrong turn, or, more likely, failed to make a turn I didn't know about.
I rode 5 most of the way down to Trzebnica and then got off on another small road which led to a town a few kilometers from Roberts house. The fun thing about turning off where I did was that I quickly came to a fork in the road with signs for both directions. The signs were identical! Both branches of the fork led to the same place in the same distance. I took the left fork and had a very nice ride. I came to a fork in the road and I took it now has new meaning for me.
The small road