Day 88 - somewhere in a forest to Torun: The wind wins - No More Taxi Drivers - CycleBlaze

April 13, 2015

Day 88 - somewhere in a forest to Torun: The wind wins

The day started with me mostly pushing the bike back out of the 3 km sandy track I had followed into the forest, back through the village, which consisted of a handful of mostly unoccupied houses, a motel, a church, and a suspiciously large cemetery. Thinking about this, I decided I was lucky to have survived the night.

It rained off and on in the morning--as soon as I exited the forest, so I escaped with a dry tent--which didn't bother me but did surprise me. I don't think it was in the forecast the last time I checked. There was, however, wind in the forecast, but the wind surprised me anyway, because it was stronger than what was called for, definitely rivalling what I encountered in Czech Republic.

When I was going north, the crosswind was so strong that I often had to turn my head to gulp air, like a swimmer doing the front crawl, because I couldn't get a satisfying lungful of air when it was blowing so fast across my face.

I kept getting blown off the road, despite my recently acquired wind biking skills. And if there is anything that can strike fear into the heart of even the most hardened touring cyclist, it's suddenly finding yourself uncontrollably heading for the edge of a Polish road.

Somehow I managed. I even made decent time because anytime the crosswind was slightly behind me, it pushed me forward as well as off the road. And I stayed on roads with light traffic, so time spent waiting for trucks to pass was minimal.

It was actually going pretty well, considering the conditions, until one sudden, very strong gust of wind sent me off the road and down a small embankment, ending with neither me nor my bike upright. I bruised my thigh a bit against my saddle, but nothing else was hurt, not even my pride. I was a bit disappointed that I wasn't going to finish this trip without falling off my bike (technically I guess I can claim I was still on the bike, just sideways on the ground). I thought I was safe by this point: out of the hills, out of the ice and snow, used to how a loaded bike handles, used to my cleats (plus riding unclipped in all sketchy situations).

Congratulations, wind. You beat me where snow and sand and gravel all failed. Now please go away and don't come back.

The last part of the day was through the forest, on a paved road this time, and the sun came out, and there was some sort of Hitler monument (against Hitler, I assume), and it was generally a pleasant afternoon.

In the 3 seconds it took to get this photo, the wind blew my bike over
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Sand blowing across the fields. And I left my desert survival gear at home
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Torun by night (photo is from tomorrow)
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Today's ride: 80 km (50 miles)
Total: 4,275 km (2,655 miles)

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