What would you say if I wrote that the best road loop you've ever traveled is near Warsaw? I know what - I am abnormal. You would, of course, be right. Under Warsaw, it is impossible to create a perfect loop, or to draw a route for people from different corners of the country. Mazowsze is average for a road bicycle rider, there is no doubt about it. So what should I write off to people who in private messages ask me where to go to make the most of the weekend in the capital? Well, how is it, at Gassy. Everyone goes to Gassy (I wrote about Gassa in SZOSA magazine, if you have not read, I recommend a number from around the end of last year - I will say immodestly that it's probably one of my better texts).
... but maybe there is something else?
At the outset, I would like to point out that in fact - unless the areas themselves are not very interesting (to put it mildly), there are many other advantages. Apart from the social aspects and the ease of establishing cycling contacts and joining the training / ride / pączkowe / Dziewczynyńskich / biegców / lanserskich / any other groups, Warsaw is quite well designed by cycling. I know - shock and disbelief. However, the more often I go to millions of cities abroad, the more I appreciate it. First of all, it is possible to set up a reasonable loop in practically every direction. Secondly: the entire city, from the northernmost bridge, to the most south-facing bridge, can be overcome by an asphalt (mostly) a path on which there are ... some lights - if you go through, you can cross the other side of the river without any intersections . Then it is not worse - from the southern bridge you can easily designate a 100-kilometer loop with an ideal asphalt, which also will not be light.
It's not the best here (and it's flat)
And this is not an entry to convince you that in Warsaw it is the best. Is not. It is worse than in most other places, but it does not mean that we are doomed to failure. Well, many cyclists still find here the joy of riding, sunsets over Tarczyn's orchards, the rains on the banks of Narwia and Wkra, crazy speeds on the Vistula gates and beautiful colors of the Kampinos National Park and Mazowiecki Landscape Park with which the city borders.
Conviction about the superiority of your region over others, let us leave people from the mountains, who like to elevate their heights above the hills of others (I do not know how it works, but asking a cyclist from any undulating part of Poland where he is the nicest - he answers that The answer to the answer may be a question about how often it visits other undulating regions ;-)).
There is no such thing as the best route. Everyone has their own preferences - one prefers hills, another mountains, and another (this strange) - flatness. One prefer steep ramps, where the grip is lost, another likes to fight an incline of around 7% for an hour. If you ask me, therefore, what route is the best in Warsaw, I will not give you an answer that will satisfy everyone. Although each is flat. The loop described here is the best for me, but hundreds of people from the capital will not agree with this - I understand them, they have the right.
The most important thing is that by throwing any of them on the fejsbuka, we can be sure that at least one comment will be made by this guy who finds it embarrassingly flat. I appreciate these comments, though I never know if I congratulate such a person for being with him betteror let my head down and say that he was very right and I never thought about it myself.
The criteria for choosing the best route near Warsaw are:
- accessibility of the route from the city center
- quality of asphalt
- number of dangerous / illegal fragments
- aesthetic experience
- unexplained subjective feelings
There were several candidates. Contrary to appearances, there are many decent routes in Mazovia, the problem is that Masovia is 5 times bigger than Majorca and Istria put together. Let's focus on those that start in the city center. It is logical that if someone lives in the northern districts, around Zegrze will be much better for him than Góra Kalwaria.
– Immortal Gassy. Most often chosen road in the area. I am even inclined to say that the loop to Góra Kalwaria along the shaft is the most popular road in Poland, and I would not be surprised if its range placed it high even on a European scale. According to Stravy, she was driven almost 90,000 times, which is 10 times worse than on the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco, and on the other - how few of us use Stravy and how late she appeared. The route takes on blushes even more when we decide to go back on the other side of the Vistula or bounce west, expanding it for the cult route of Ośka Warsaw. Bitumens are very good, quick departure from the city, minimal traffic, many cyclists, views ... moderate. Or maybe not moderate? Maybe they just have already dressed? In any case, perfect for training.
– Surroundings of Nasielsk. Very nice areas, small hills, Zegrzyński reservoir, Wkra and Narew, very good asphalts, average access, traffic very different, depending on the category of road and season (on weekends large).
– Tarczyn, Mszczonów. Access is mediocre but compensated by impressive orchards full of apples. In free chemo spraying, thanks to which we will grow big and strong.
– East, or behind Otwock - areas visited more and more often, which allow to see this slightly less civilized Mazovia. It is a pity that the trip can be a bit bothersome.
– kampinosabout which more in a moment ...
Generally, it can be assumed that in Mazowsze, the farther from Warsaw, the more fun it is.
Who wins and why Kampinos?
During the week I drive south, on weekends to the north. While midday is the default route for most of us, North West is a kind of oasis. Until of course we miss the Babice group training or the Legion store - then we can unexpectedly find ourselves in a group of several dozen people.
In Kampinos, it's a bit like a weekend holiday outside the city. You can forget for a moment that you live in a city of almost 2 million people. Small villages that, unlike Konstancin, do not consist mainly of rich employees of large companies who drive to Mordor with their expensive cars every day. Shops in which we can buy a little more than orangeade and Cocoa Ringer. For this, horses, cows, chickens, suicide dogs and stray vipers. A visit to Kampinos is a clearly perceptible trip outside the city. Of course, on a scale achievable by a bike by the average person.
The default loop is the famous: half of Kampinos shortened by the village of Roztoka or ... Kampinos, or full of Kampinos, or a lap of the entire Park. The Kampinos Forest covers 670 km² (including the park itself - 385 km²) - as a reminder, Majorca has 3 640 km². We suggest a slightly modified version, over which our friend Piotrek (whose regular pictures from Kampinos are interspersed with photos from the best cycling places in Europe you will find on his Instagram) sat for days and nights testing different variants.
The entry is correct
We start from the Warsaw Mermaid - it seems to be the center of the city. Even if not, if one of the right means is the Palace of Culture, it is ideal for accessing a continuous, asphalt bike path. After Świętokrzyska, avoiding the known Krakowskie Przedmieście and Nowy Świat, and then one of the most serious downhill rides (craze 500 meters with an average of almost 5%) in the city - Tamka and the momentum of momentum we reach the Mermaid. From here, there is a pretty good view of the National Stadium and the Świętokrzyski Bridge, but this is what we will do when we return. We move north along the Vistula boulevards.
The boulevards are pretty cool, but only at selected times of the day. In the afternoons and at slightly earlier weekend hours, drama is done here. You will come too quickly, broken glass of tourists and lokalsów will kill your tires, you will be too late - you will die in the crowd, some child will screw you into the spokes or a man on Veturillo it will enter you. However, this is not a problem in the morning. Driving along the Vistula, we pass the Copernicus Science Center and the University of Warsaw Library, the old city, the fountain park and the Olympic center - places that are also worth visiting from the shoe.
[pullquote] "It's not true that I used a truck to get this KOM." Piotr O. [/ pullquote] We drive this way to Młociński Park, where the worst part of the route starts - I have to cross a kilometer of route number 7, which has no roadside but instead, there are thousands of Warsaw citizens who are battling this way to the sea and Masuria. A small exit (-1%) can be treated as a challenge and after finding a large and sucking trucks, try to get a KOMA - to catch the box just turn the average over 64km / h.
We bounce aside and we can breathe a little. At 7 we passed the first and probably the last traffic lights on which we will be standing that day. Yes, on 172 kilometers of the route, we will pass 3 traffic lights, of which one is the right handed one in Żelazowa Wola. We pass the northern cemetery on the right and a bit further on Górka Śmieciowa on Bemowo. Górka Śmieciowa is a real sensation: it is the largest junk mountain in Europe (there are respected internet portals). So you can see about 80 meters of rubbish covered with soil, which one day will be transformed into a sports or leisure center (it is said about the ski slope and bicycle paths). This is a great place considering that it is almost on the border of the capital and the national park.
Next we have a bit of boredom, in exchange for which we notice a decrease in traffic with every kilometer. Rondo in Babice (the northern capital of cycling;)), turning right and only fields and scattered cottages. The buildings are slowly beginning to resemble what is badly called "Mazowsze B", but I personally like it much more than the sterile districts of elite residents. For consolation, from time to time we come across masterpieces such as Villa Campina housing estate. The impressive gate, adorned with Roman columns, is what I would like to see when returning home every day.
Leszno - Robert Lewandowski and circus musicians
We are sticking to Leszno, where the first is prawilny shop where you can stand. There is also a piece of the first, bad asphalt, somewhere between the road quite good and freshly renovated. Next to Leszno, in Julinek (ie the route covering the loop Half of Kampinos), there is the only National Circus School in Poland. More important, however, is Leszno's probably the best-known Pole - Robert Lewandowski (he started at the Leszno Partisan). We are guided, however, by the empty road, to the town of Zawady (I greet przemekzawada.com), in which we cross a river with a beautiful name: Loss and we enter areas that, with a little imagination, could be mistaken for those close to Masuria. The road narrow, along the river, with good asphalt, interrupted by very short sections of quite bad. We get to Żelazowa Wola, where we pass the birthplace of Fryderyk Chopin, whom we have never looked at.
It is only better from Żelazowa Wola. Not that it was bad before, but it's really good now. Forests, rivers, villages at the end of the world (in the Mazovian concept). Such Kaszuby without hills and without lakes and without fussing drivers and no holes .... okay, it turns out that it's not Kaszuby at all. The thesis confirms that the farther from Warsaw, the better with us. Now we are moving along the Bzura River - I will tell you that further north, the areas towards Płock are also quite good. Along the way, we even pass some hills:
Secymin - highway for biscuits from Mascarpone
We are flying at 575, which is equal to the Swiss motorway and empty like my legs at the end of the weekend. Somewhere along the way, the surface changes to a worse one (that is, ordinary), to remind you that the commune has probably changed as well. We arrive to Secymin, where we are welcomed by the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Joyful Nanny of Nature, but more importantly - Marta's Shop. Especially we put it to him from 400 meters (we will return later on the same way). This is the most important point of the trip, because Mrs. Marta orders different cookies every week, but all of them are based on Mascarpone cheese. These are probably the least deceived cakes I have had in my life. It happens that there are fewer biscuits in a cookie than, for example, strawberry mousse with cream cheese. This is an obligatory point, a dot.
Next is the shaft. If we have never been on Gassach, that's how they look. Fresh, slightly wavy (in both axes) asphalt allows us to feel like in the south of the city. The difference is that we will meet some 13 times less cyclists. Unfortunately, the episode is not long, but it compensates us with agritourism and Olęder settlements (16th century newcomers from the Netherlands who settled along the Vistula and very good agriculture).
Behind the shaft, we do such a trick-pike, that - let's not be afraid to say it - cross the 6 kilometers probably the most beautiful road in Mazovia. Here you are in front of you: Wilkowska Road. This is a brand new, perfectly even, narrow asphalt run by the very center of the National Park. It sounds a little controversial, right? For the purposes of this entry, we can enjoy it, but I leave it for individual consideration. We go between hills, among dense and tall trees on a road with virtually no traffic. The hills are (although the asphalt, of course, goes flat), because the road leads between the areas named Łyse Mountains and Piaszczyste Góry.
This is what every racer dreams about seeing people on MTB in Kampinos. Yes, Kampinos is the most beautiful unfortunately from the point of view of a wider tire and reminds us of the way we go down. In terms of surface, quite average - I would even say that the worst we can see all day, but it can be seen from the legendary Rift. Szczebel is a single, which could be easily played out by the XC timeframe. It is quite difficult technically, with driveways, sand, roots - perfect 5km for training. Many people come here especially for him. It even seems that he led one of Legia's marathons.
Path - goshawk
Then cross the road 591 leading from road training, leading between Leszno and Nowy Dwor Mazowiecki and we enter the second half of the loop called Half of Kampinos.
We drive through villages, on level asphalt roads, with numerous bends, near trees, fields and animals. We look with disdain at the asphalt bike path set on the side of the road. It jumps every moment from left to right, with signs that it is unidirectional (in a random direction, depending entirely on nothing). It is amazing how much the surface of the same street can be different from the line marking the bike lane and behind it - to our disadvantage of course.
In this way, we reach the probably most depressing road in the vicinity of Warsaw - Agricultural, leading between Czosnow and Łomianki. Sometimes it is equal, sometimes it is full of holes. However, this does not matter, because the man who designed sewage wells on it probably comes from the very center of hell. They are scattered without any deeper convention, therefore we no longer even show them. It does not make sense anyway - each of us knows this path by heart. The way to go is simple - I look at the numbers of the buildings on the right: twice counting from about 250 to zero, changing the surface meaning half (5 km) and the last counting - from 500 to zero.
Interesting things along the way? Funny street names in Łomianki: Złote Rybka, Koszałka Opałka, Waligóra, Duck Dziwaczki, etc. - not much more. Maybe the awareness that we are also passing the Dziekanowskie Lake, where you can swim freely. I dream about the day when the shaft will be extended from the blue bridge leading to Nowy Dwór to the bicycle path starting in Młociny. Those willing can take a nice forest path to the cemetery in Palmiry - a place where every year the cycling season officially ends (within the last, shorter loop of the Babka Rondo). This is a place especially important for athletes, but for an explanation I refer to Wikipedia. If you do not like pavements (the worst ones) and gravel, you should return the same way.
Because, unfortunately, the entry to the city from the north is moderately pleasant - again we are crossing the road on route 7, only slightly longer. This can be avoided, but after such a distance, we no longer want to scurry at intersections and traffic lights. To the delight of cars, we enter the city like this and return to the path along the Vistula, which in the afternoon no longer resembles the one we saw in the morning. The struggle for life begins.
We get to the Syrenka, but since we are already there (and the area around is at the moment when I write these words, in the renovation - reconstruction of boulevards), it is not necessary to miss the Świętokrzyskie Bridge. There is a quite decent view of the river and the city (though not as good as from the distant Siekierkowskiego or concrete piers, which are located near the beaches located at the Vistula). Then only the National, which is crowded on this day due to speedway races and we land in the only rightful region to eat ice cream - Saska Kępa. On the occasion of events at the stadium, it has an additional charm, as most of the streets are closed. On the French you can easily find a vegan ice cream in a colorful, gluten-free wafer at a great price of PLN 6 per knob. Welcome to Warsaw. About where to eat, to be good and what to do in the city, to properly regenerate before Sunday Grandmother - at other times ...
A reminder that "with us" is not the best and we know it well
The photos for the entry were made spontaneously (just like the whole trip), using the equipment that was at hand. With a bit of planning and posing, I think you can calmly try a session that would not be ashamed of the top bike catalogs. This time you have to believe me that it is actually better than in the pictures.
This does not mean, of course, that it is a tour that you will talk about with your friends on the face - it is not. How many capitals in Europe can boast of being so easy to leave the city in any directions and empty roads in your area?
PS Yes, the route is about 400-500 meters high, I will do it for you: "HAHAHAHA, but flat!"
PPS Someone might say that I am not especially encouraged to drive around Kampinos to maintain a status where most cyclists are still in the south. This is of course not true ;-)