Day 39 of my cycling journey – June 8, 2022
On a fine cycling day, with overcast skies but a perfect temperature for cycling, I went south from Lodz in direction to Krakow. Through little villages and a huge meadow area, created around an enormous power plant complex, I cycled to the little town of Radomsko and beyond. Cycling 109 km on this day, I enjoyed every minute of it.
Having decided that I would like to reach to reach Krakow in three days, I started early. It was a bit difficult to cycle in the inner city of Lodz, since the cycleways are not very well planned and executed. A lot of high curbs, and the ripped-up streets for maintenance works were making my cycling a bit awkward. But once I had navigated to the more spacious roads leading out of Lodz, the cycleways improved markedly, and I was able to navigate quite well the suburbs of this huge city and pass into the quiet countryside. I also had decided that I would try to make a lot of mileage on this first day on my way to Krakow, so that I would have ample time to cycle through the “Polish Jura”, which is the Krakow-Częstochowa Upland. Unfortunately, I don’t have too much time, since I have a reunion with several former colleagues of mine in Prague on the mid-summer weekend (23-26 June). This reunion had been planned several years ago and is one of my two fix-points for my cycle trip this summer.
Once I had left the suburbs of Lodz behind me, cycling became very pleasant. It was a joy to pass the pleasing little villages and, at times, to accept their unspoken invitations to stop at their little “Sklep” (shop) and buy an ice-cream. Ice-cream, it seems, has become my new carbohydrate delivery vehicle and my mental stimulation and reward system. Stopping two times during the day in one of these little shops and having an ice-cream gave me pleasure and energy to continue strongly on my bike. I must, however, be careful. I might get addicted to this, and the pleasure experience may wane over time and might only be achieved with increased dosages of my “drug”.
Near Rzasa, I saw a huge power plant, which I think was the Belchatow Power Station. Several gigantic cooling towers were belching enormous amounts of steam into the atmosphere. Right around the power plant complex a system of artificial lakes and streams had been created for miles over miles and since these areas were not farmed, a lovely artificial meadow landscape had developed. I cycled through wetland meadows and along artificial streams and saw an impressive amounts of birds and plants which you usually see only in floodplains of rivers. It was a very agreeable passage of cycling during the day. If there wouldn’t have been the gigantic cooling towers on the horizon, it might have been perfect.
I cycled on and passed the town of Radomsko. After about 105 km, I was ready to set up camp. I searched and found a little forest, just outside a village, where I couldn’t be seen from the street. I set up my tent, had something to eat and wrote my diary entry. I fell asleep rather early but was awaken almost forcefully by the noise of a major thunderstorm. Raw energy and power were released above me and drenched my tent with buckets of rain, but I was tired, turned around in my sleeping bag and slept quite soundly for the rest of the night.