Saturday, 20 August 2011

The Last Month

This is my first post since, well, my last post a month ago and blog viewer-age has drastically dropped because of it. However, this is what I've been doing for the last four weeks.

Week 1: 
The day after Le Tour ended, I jetted off to Poland to visit family and to do any work that needed doing. I was presented with a heavily equipped town bike that would be my main port of call for training for the remainder of the trip.

 Make: Unknown
Model: Unknown
Brake Type: Single Pivot
Brake Make: Unknown
Cranks: Unknown
Drivetrain: 5 speed Shimano Positron
Wheels: Unknown
Age: Have a guess 
Weight: Couldn't find a scale big enough
Other: Dynamo w/ front and rear lights, full mudguards, spring saddle with suspension seatpost, luggage rack/seat, buckled wheels, loose headset, stand.

Me, being ever resourceful, thought I would make life easy for myself and brought other a few tools and spares, to make the bike a bit more cosy. 
In my magic bike bag where, Sram Gripshit, full cable kit, quickrelease front axle and Shimano SPD pedals, which I quickly transeferred onto my bomb-proof steed. 
Handle-bars where a bit more tricky, but I tried a variety of different postions until I found one that let me almost replicate drops.

With this set-up, I could terrorise the rural Polish population to my hearts content.

Week 2:
The villagers seem to have gotten wind that there was someone that could fix their pre-war nags for free, so I spent half the week fixing their bikes. I was surprised to see ovalised chainrings on one. I tried to swap them but they where welded to the crank. 
The other half of the week I spent eating, sleeping and pooing, inbetween bike ride to various places far away. I always got lost but somehow managed to find a loop everytime.

Week 3:
Poland is a very agricultural country, with just over 40% of available land being arable. We live in the rural south-east and own a fair chunk of land, which all needed to be harvested when I was there. So, off I went across the Polish country-side bombing round in one of the three tractors that they use; the German 'Zetor', the Bellarussian 'Belarus' and the Italian 'Lamborghini'.
Then, when I got to the designated field, I pulled up, hopped out and sealed the two-ton grain trailer I was towing, hopped back in the tractor to escape various blood-sucking insects and played on my phone for three hours. The combine harvester came every half hour, dumped its load and off it went for another circuit of mentioned designated field. 
Occsionally, a deer or two would run past the stationary tractor with a family of storcks pecking obsessively at the newly harvested ground behind the behemoth of the combine.

Week 4: 
More or less the same as week 3, but I got to visit Przemyśl. This ancient town was once surrounded by Europes third largest fortress, which was purposefully destroyed when it was being surrended to the Russians in 1915. It is a ring of 44 forts in a circle of 45km in diameter, with most forts being open to the public in various states of ruin. 
The town itself is very old with every second building being an Archcathedral of various donimations. 

A view of Przemysl half way up

A view of Przemysl at the top

A big catherdral

Another big cathedral

Inside big cathedral

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