September memories #1 – Jura!

Let no one say it
(And say it to your shame)
That all was beauty here
Until you came

September for me was a month of respite, rest, going back home to familiar places and faces. A brief moment of loosing oneself when resting your head against a wooden pier and admiring a sunset. A whole month sounds like a long time, yet when you try to fit in over a year’s absence, it soon starts to shrink incredibly fast. So many people to see, so many places to visit, so many things to do. One would like to stop time or at least slow down it’s inevitable progress… well that’s what I was just about to do.
Paradoxically nothing slows down time for me like riding a bicycle and so I’ve decided to commit at least a week for a self-propelled two-wheeled trip in Poland. This wasn’t supposed to be just any trip, I had two clear goals in my mind. Firstly I wanted to visit long not seen friends and secondly doing so by riding as much cross country as I can.
Marcin, Daria and their daughters, Piotrek with Ola and little Ala, Kasia and Marcin. All of them had something in common: I haven’t seen them for quite some time and I really wanted to change that. What divided them was distance. Zawiercie, Zabrze, Wrocław were the cities sticking out lonely on the map and I’ve felt a strong urge to personally connect them with a continuous line, not necessary a straight one.

Bike packed shortly before departure. I haven’t planned any camping en route,
apart of provisions my bags contained mainly “visiting” clothing. 
I had the way out of my home town all figured out,
half of the first 20km was spent on field paths overcast with morning fog. 

Past my backyard I spend some good time meandering alongside the Łódzka Magistrala Rowerowa N-S (a long distance cycling path) running through the whole Łódzkie voivodship. Just behind Radomsko I meet a ranger who gives me some hints on cycling through a nearby forest and I take the opportunity to divert from my original route.

…vast and wide.

Thanks to that I come upon a monument near Ojrzeń, commemorating the first meeting of the conspirational Łódzkie Voivodeship National Council during WWII.

30 VII 1944 r.
Shortly after I find myself back on quiet country roads,
a good opportunity to stock up on calories.
Fortunately the forests didn’t let me stranded for too long.
I had high hopes when arriving in the Polish Jura. Sadly the route I’ve taken,
although very scenic, was literally littered with fallen trees.

…literally littered.

The last stage before Zawiercie was supposed to lead me along the Trail of the Eagles’ Nests. It seems I must have taken some old route, the amount of sand pits on the trail seemed to contradict it’s cycling purpose, unless someones equipped with a fat bike. After cycling more than 100 km and carrying my bike across fallen trees not so long ago I was clearly not up to the task. A couple of kilometers into the trail, when watching the setting sun I decide to make a turn for a tarmac road. Marcin, when he heard on which part of the trail I’m on, “gently persuaded” me to get the hell out of there. I’ve spend the last 20 km from Żarki to Zawiercie riding the main road with heavy traffic.

Marcin waiting at the finishing line.

Route:

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