Here is the subjective list of the last things of the past year. I can not compare everything with everything, but the large number of places and races we have been able to visit and the equipment we have played with seems to give a sufficient view.
the heaviest Polish race:
The Beskid loop, long distance
the best organized Polish amateur race:
Tatra Road Race
In this case, there is also no doubt. Tatra Road Race (which received the title of the heaviest race of the year from Panda) is an unsurpassed organizational model. Both when it comes to securing and guiding a route in an area where every highlander urgently guards his centimeter of land, as well as rewards and the general atmosphere. The relation from 2 years ago, because this year I had no strength: here.
the greatest racing splendor:
For a moment, Cyklo Gdynia was still shining in the back of my head, but no. However, Królak's memorial is a different league. The race is being played in the very center of the country's capital, with thousands of spectators watching (which, of course, is quite an abuse, because 86% of them just wanted to cross the street but could not). One spectacular descent on the cobblestones, one even more spectacular driveway on the even more paving (?) Pavement on Bednarska. Professional peloton, children's race, balloons, music - that's how I imagine real racing. The MTB race is unnecessarily organized as part of the event, but I understand that $$$ must match. Relation here.
the most boring cycle:
Home cycle of every cyclist in Masovia. I am sorry to put him in this category, but I have no choice. While several races have somehow been defended, driving a dozen or so people along the service route, around a fast traffic route somewhere near Warsaw sounds ... exactly as it sounds.
the best amateur initiative:
Cyclocross, or travel, will probably never be popular with us. It's a bit like ski jumping - such a sport for strength ... but it has one major advantage: it can be practiced almost anywhere. All you need is a small plot, a kilometer of tape, any obstacles, and we have a ready route for a dozen or so dozens of madmen who will circulate for an hour, occasionally moving the bike. Placing her in a city or suburb makes random people may be interested in this case, and as we know - there is no better show than sweaty guys, dirty from the mud, running up the stairs with a bicycle on your shoulder ... I think. You can read about my first cross-country race here. A three-way alternative that has already gone a bit further and if I lived in the north, it probably would have won: Dre Bicycles Cyclocross.
the best pro peleton race:
Rio, olympics, men
Whoever watched, knows. Not only unfortunate accidents turning the tide of the race are Rafał Majka with a great chance for gold, Kwiato helping him, a sprint to the finish line, massive conditions, a hard route and everything that is best in road cycling.
the worst road race amateur:
It's nothing personal and it could have hit any other big race. I would definitely choose the Tour de Pologne Amatorów, if it were not for the fact that I learned in experience, I did not start in it. Mass road racing is a bit of a mistake. Split levels and misconceptions about your own abilities make you either stand in the sector one hour before the start, or you will count on a miracle that nobody will fall out before you. Carambola is a lot, a small mistake is enough for several people to lie. As everyone knows about it, everyone wants to stand in the front - even the slower ones. Either way, after an hour of driving, it comes down to 50 riders who survived the first 80-90km. The fact that I can arrive at the site 40 out of 1500 is no more happy than place 30 on 80. This start I finish my adventure with mass races. But it could have been worse, because:
the largest racing race:
ŠKODA Wrocław Bike Challenge
because it was not there, what the organizer announced 2 days earlier. One of the largest cycling events in the country was to take place on Sunday, half the long weekend, and on Friday afternoon, when everyone was already setting off packed in a car for a vacation to Wroclaw, the entry on the Internet showed up. As we all know, everyone follows fejsbuk on a regular basis, especially when leaving in traffic jams from the city ;-)
the funniest race:
Polish IT Championship
I would like to say that the race was funny, but it was not. Gale, which did not let go and a rainstorm in which nothing could be seen, these are not my best memories. The idea itself is ridiculous. The race was held as part of ŻTC in Serock, and the classification was given to all who paid higher buy-in. Thanks to this, I arrived, as usual, somewhere around the 10th place, but taking into account the number of people who spent a bit more on the start and breaking up into various age categories: I became the Vice-Champion of Polish IT. It draws attention to the fact that with a little desire everyone can be a master of something in some category.
Most do not know what to say:
B'TWIN Ultralight 500
Ultralight jacket is the best thing in the price / quality category that we can fit in the pocket. Almost every 2/3 of people have it with them on practically every long ride. When it is wet - it saves lives when the temperature drops drastically - it saves lives. He turns us into a sausage in a foil which, although it is sweating, it is in comfortable conditions. Each of them also has a characteristic grimace on the face. It is not without reason that we call it whisk. This is probably the worst jacket in the history of the clothing industry. If you plan to overcome a long descent in it, you will hear the flutter in your ears for 3 days and your average will drop by 20% due to resistance. On the other hand, it is 2-3 times cheaper than the counterparts of more well-known companies. I hate her ... and I love her, I do not go on a bike without her.
The best insole in shorts:
How many donuts, so many tastes. There is certainly no one, the best insert. In this case, however, you must trust Panda's buttocks, because it was this insert that turned out to be the best of all available at home.
the best clothing line in cat. price / quality:
B'Twin, 700 series and aerofit
When I get messages about what clothes to buy, the answer is always the same. The highest series of clothes from Decathlon is, in my opinion, an unsurpassed pattern in price / quality relations. The proof of this is the FDJ proton team, which uses the aerofit series in the largest cycling events in the world. Add to this the fact that the company's warranty policy allows for the exchange of clothes virtually indefinitely, the distinction is guaranteed. The disadvantage is one ... the color scheme that will not suit everyone ... and of course the fact that it is, however, Decathlon, seen by cycling as a third category company.
the best women's t-shirt:
Great pattern, great cut (in most women's t-shirts the zipper is arranged in a beautiful, three-dimensional sinusoid), great quality .... a little less great price, but trust me - it's better to have 3 such shirts and wash them for a change than the average 10. And everyone asks for it!
best men's t-shirt:
Lack. I can not point one out, the best one. For years my favorite has been the shirt of the team Mróz produced by Viking Sport, but it's probably only because it hit the perfect cut.
the most controversial purchase at home:
White, knotted bike shoes. If you ask me - they are terrible. Still dirty in a way that I can not clean with the strongest detergents, too tight to the sides, despite the fact that I still have one finger at the front, with laces I will not understand. They look good, of course, but any regulation, when the leg is a little swollen, is an additional minute in life, just like setting up or trying to remove the pebble that accidentally came to them. According to Panda, these are the best shoes ever. I am glad that we do not have to write an official review of this product, because it would be a home affair.
the biggest occupation of the season:
Milan - San Remo
You can find my account of the route and spring Liguria here. In short: we found out why most of the races from such races only start from half. It is not that the route is quite hopeless, because half of it is done well, taking into account the potential of the areas surrounding it, it is definitely a waste of time and potential. It's not worth it (while Liguria itself is cool).
the largest view on the route:
Droga Trolli / GC200 Gran Canaria
Here we have two contenders for the title. If we like the sun, the sea and the cliffs, the most dangerous route of Spain wins, which you can read about here, but if you do not mind the cloudy sky and slightly more traffic on the route, then the undisputed winner is Norwegian Trollstigen. If I had to spend one day with a bike anywhere in the world, I would probably choose this road and its surroundings (and of course it is not affected by the fact that the day is there with 22 hours:>).
the hardest drive this year:
Mortitolo / Valley of Tears
The most difficult climbs would surely be one of the Czech side of the Karkonosze - even on a compact crank I did not manage to defeat some of them, others pushed me with a miracle. They are so short, however, that you can somehow survive. With Mortirolo it's a bit different, especially if it is stuffed in the middle of the race (read about GranFondo Stelvio). I do not know how it happened that I found myself on it with a standard crank dressed in long trousers on a hot day, with a few dozen kilometers of racing ahead, but it was difficult. It's the kind of "heaviness" that you start to calculate: if I'm driving now 7km / h, enjoying every crank push, and I still have 10km left, how long will I still have to suffer? Mortirolo is heavy and everyone knows that.
Ex aequo on the box goes a road called the Valley of Tear on Gran Canaria. It is easier to drive through breathtaking views and serpentines, where you can tilt the slope a little, but you have to prepare for it much earlier. If on a hot day you realize that you are in the middle of nothing, having in every direction a dozen or so kilometers of driveway, the nearest store is a minimum of two hours' drive away, and the last man passed by somehow in the morning, this is cause for concern. On this day, we were short of withering somewhere in the middle of a volcanic island. Relation from this day: here.
the most overrated route:
If on any blog or website you hit an entry about the best cycling roads in the world or a list of routes that must be overcome before death and in the forefront will be the Atlantic Road, you can easily stop reading. The road is nice, yes, but during the day very crowded: it is actually a few kilometers of a bridge somewhere at sea and one known elevation. Cool, but not crazy. Maybe it's just the Parisian syndrome, but I was hoping for something more.
the best place for a bike in Poland and the surrounding area:
If you have a free 2 or 3-day weekend and do not know where to go, hit the Giant Mountains - preferably Czech ones. Close to the border, low prices, huge driveways, walls, great views, good surfaces - everything you need. This year I was there only for a moment, testing Kross bikesbut it was another weekend in which I regretted that I was there so short.
the best place for a winter trip:
Tenerife / Gran Canaria
The choice is simple: flights are cheap, life is cheap, the weather is certain. If you have doubts, I invite you to entries:
the most interesting bike:
b'Twin Ultra 740 CF
Zaskoczka, what? You can find my bike review here and in retrospect, it would be the bike of the year, in my opinion, if ... there was any possibility of configuration. By paying PLN 15,000, I would like to be able to change wheels or at least the dimensions of the bridge, steering wheel or cranks. 740 is a brave, visible, interesting model. In the flood of asexual, black bikes (I chose this one myself) allows you to stand out from the crowd. If you want to be noticed, have a good technological equipment, and at the same time find yourself in a kind of avant garde in the Cipollins, Lightweight and Enve reservoirs, this is a good choice. I would buy, but because of the configuration options, I decided on Rose (entry about the considerations about the choice: here).
the best bike:
None - there is no such thing. I drove at least a dozen or so top bikes from different manufacturers this year and there is not one that I could easily identify as the best. It depends on whether you prefer light or aero, colored or black etc. I do not have my leader, although as I mentioned in the point above: standing in front of choosing a new machine I was guided by the price-performance ratio and configuration options and fell on ROSE X -LITE TEAM-8810.
the coolest accessory:
Sram Red eTAP
The accessories are different and each has a bit of a rationale. For me, the deal-breaker is the lack of cables in eTAP (especially since Dura Ace with integrated power measurement did not make it appear this year). Like every electrician, of course, it works slower than the Super Record from which I changed, but it does not matter . Maintenance-free, aesthetics, weight and stuff - everything is a plus. It is a pity that you have to remember about the batteries. A brief summary of the group after the first few thousand kilometers, soon.
the biggest revolution:
Zwift existed before, but he now has his moments of glory right now. The simple idea - the translation of watts, which is generated on the trainer on our virtual counterpart, traveling with thousands of other people. One can argue about whether such kilometers and surpluses should be included in the general statistics of Strava, but one thing is certain: never before have so many turned so far, actually moving so close. Every day, I see how dozens of people who hated filming last year or just sat on the couch in the winter are now shooting for hours.
the largest hardware patch:
Mavic Race Pro
I know, everyone uses these blocks because they are the best. I have used them myself for a long time. In fact, I really care about two things, because price and abrasiveness are secondary - I do not save on braking: reliability and braking modulation. For this reason, I gave up ribostones for low aluminum. The Mavic Race Pro block fell to me this year at the congress, it was about 300 kilometers long and it was factory-mounted on a bicycle. During intense braking I felt his pieces fly to my knee, from 500 meters away he was not quite there - the other remained intact. It looks like a factory defect - I have not written to the producer yet, but I definitely intend to. If the congress were longer, it could be uninteresting.
the best sports webcam in cat price / quality:
For PLN 300, we get a webcam, which in 86% of cases can effectively replace us with any GoPro, many times more expensive. You can read about the details of taking pictures on a bike and choosing the equipment here.
the biggest hardware hope:
Xiaomi QiCYCLE R1
Started. If one of the best known Chinese companies (at least in the category of electronics: photo / telephone) enter the road bike market, it means something is happening. Even if the price for a bike on Di2 and power measurement is still prohibitive, it still announces the upcoming revolution. If Xiaomi follows the blow, which I wish them much, we can wait for a far-off offensive. If only they went better than Speedx.
the best computers:
Ha! You probably thought that Garmin 520 would be here .... ass I do not distinguish any of the cycling computers. Do you know Apollo's space missions? This mission was based on computers the size of a car and costing three and a half million dollars. iPhone 6 has a processor stronger than them 32600 times! In a big simplification, it's like being able to control 120 MILLIONS of spacecraft at once, having the power of one phone in the pocket. And now the situation: I'm riding a bike, Garmin hangs or turns off. Or otherwise: I buy equipment for PLN 1500, and he has space for uploading only 3 provinces at the same time. Maybe 1000, which as befits the equipment for a real traveler can withstand ... max 10 hours on battery. I'm silent about the 8xx series. WAHoo ELEMNT gave me hope, as I am a huge supporter of this brand. Unfortunately, I do not think there is a Polish distributor, and ordering it goes very reluctantly.
The greatest invention of humanity and I do not know why I discovered it so late. Since I dressed 2 or 3 times cheaper than my favorite Oakleys Uvexy, I did not put in any more. Lack of the process of thinking about choosing the color of the glasses and translating them is perfect. It is clear - they are dark, it is night - they brighten. Simple and effective. From now on I only go with photochromes.
the most expensive season error:
roof rack in the underground garage
Do you know a cyclist's nightmare that he rides with a bicycle rack on the roof of an underground garage? We did it :) In total, these roofs suffered in the car, saddles, seat posts and girders. A lot of luck in disguise.
the best cycling fanpage:
Simple choice - relationships backstage'owe from the Tour de France, a look at cycling from the millet viewpoint. Although I do not always agree with him, his entries were the most interesting this year in fejsbuku. link.
the best Polish cycling blog:
In fact, the only possible choice. Of all the typical cycling blogs, only this one is full of content. It is true that it covers mainly topics that should appear on large, cycling portals, but from the perspective of time, it is on it that I read the most letters. Unfortunately, we do not have an interesting road blogthat would describe events, routes, curiosities and all this lifestyle not at the same time taunting about discovering yourself, searching for happiness and throwing your head up every day in training. link to the xouted blog.
the best Polish non-biking cycling blog
mamba on bike
One of the few cycling blogs on which I click on entries without embarrassment or for a purpose other than secret criticism in my head. I am not saying, of course, that I read everything, because in general I know about the enduro as much as about football, but after a few entries and a dozen or so photos, we signed up for a race on fatbikes, which means that it fulfills its role. link.
the best-read foreign language site
Known mainly for the rules that most of us took a little too much to heart. The guys regularly put short notes, which, for unknown reasons, read perfectly. Most of them could easily be on paper, framed and hung on the wall. link
the best comment
From reading online comments, cancer and leukemia get concurrently. I wanted to choose the worst commentary on the internet cycling for a moment, but when I started to prepare the list and had dozens of texts in front of me: "why do you need a bike like this? It's the legs that spin, not the equipment "," why do you go to the doctor, I do not go and live there after accidents "and my favorite, commentary under the photo from the winter-holiday bicycle trip:" is it right now to drive like that? What will happen in the season? " And among all the magnificences that I see every day, this one appeared:
the most boring blogger's discoveries:
Life is not just a bike, and a bike is not just a workout
This observation has appeared on every blog and every fanpage that has anything to do with cycling. Everyone discovers, during their deprivation, that life is beautiful, that there is something outside of the bike and that they would like it to last forever. WTF ?!
the biggest surprise:
On the Slovak side of the Tatras (meaning the better one) we are several times a year. We visit the Tatry Tour and Jarna Klasica, which are obligatory points of the season, we go there cross-country skiing in the snow and in the summer fall into the Slovak Paradise. I have always considered this region to be extinct, because after crossing the border, the number of tourists drops 100 times. This year we discovered why. It turns out that everyone is doing what they should do - they walk in the mountains. We also started gently. Next year, in addition to riding, we will definitely do a walking day there, which will finish our legs, but it will also be worth it ;-)