Description or photos will not effectively reflect how it is in the Tatras in the winter. We spend a few weeks every year with a bike, so the as-is view is already. Mountains in the winter is something completely different than in the summer, that's why some of the places that I would normally recommend, disappear from this list - usually because of the great chance of ice icing completely. In order to have an idea of how our mountains look like in the period of December-February, I recommend my galleries on fb, because there are so many nice views that I had a serious problem with choosing individual for this entry.
What to know before going to the cold?
- The face cream not only protects the skin but also makes it not so cold.
- Hands-free ski gloves and heated Decathlon insoles help with freezing hands.
- On foot, shoe inserts + neoprene protectors, in cold weather two socks and winter footwear.
- Water bottle for back pocket between the windproof and inner layer.
- Lights always, because the day is short. We skip the pump and tube, because in the winter we will not be far away from home, but the phone is always there. Unless family and friends do not like us, then we take.
- You can take the euro with you in Slovakia, but it will not help anyway, because there is a good chance that we will not find an open store.
- A dryer for shoes and gloves is a useful thing if you want to ride every day.
- Dressing up is simple. If we are sparing, the colder it is, the more layers. If we like spending, we buy decent clothes and fewer layers are enough. We always put something with the windstopper.
- In an emergency situation, which most often touches hands, to the extent that we lose feeling and can not be inhibited, life saves gloves bags from gas stations.
- When you get cold, when you feel bad, speed up the pace, warm yourself up!
- Not everything that has black grip ... more often the grip is white.
Meanwhile, below is a list of places that, in my opinion, should not be missed when laying routes. If you have any suggestions or something I forgot, I invite you to comment on the story.
To be in the Tatras and not to go to Gubałówka is like staying in Zakopane and not standing on Krupówki. For some, an unimaginable faux pas for the other point of honor, to mark at every possible opportunity that it is too mainstream and we do not go to such places - "a real tourist walks in the mountains, Krupówki are for weak individuals". In any case, it is worth entering Gubałówka, especially from the side of Kościelisko. Driveway currently known primarily from the Tatra Road Race: this is the beginning of the race and the first moment in which we give up hopes of being a dark horse of the race. At the top, a local market awaits us, fat and drunk tourists, horse-drawn carriages and amazing view to the Tatras. Really great, although I recommend crossing a kilometer away from most people.
Ratułów is a 10% driveway that can not be found on Google Street View, a shortcut on the way to Zab. If we drive fast enough, there is a good chance that we will not notice its attractiveness. In principle, at any speed it is quite easy to miss, because at the end it gets dark in front of your eyes - hardly anyone can look back, and it's worth it. Panorama of the Tatras, in combination with local villages, an even, narrow and less frequented road is the postcard essence of Podhale.
The entry to Cyrhla is a classic: forest and bends. However, it can be slightly varied and instead of leaving directly from Zakopane, take a route from Zakopianka to Olcza, and then a short way to the left, right in front of the church. This is one of those asphalts that suggest that we are going to enter the yard soon, and yet it keeps going. Apart from the fact that we avoid the main route to Slovakia in this way, we gain a few percent. It is steep, even very. The view of the residents of neighboring houses confirms us in this.
The further path, from Cyrhla to Lysa Polana, is subjectively one of the worst we can choose in the winter. Apparently wide, with the car traffic, black, in the forest, but whoever gets in there on narrow tires, he will understand. It's definitely better to set kilometers and drive Bukovina ... unless we like it, when from time to time a circle slides on a shade hidden in the shade of the ice. This path is a perfect example of the fact that not all asphalt is black.
If we see a photo with an impressive panorama of the Polish Tatra mountains on the net, there is an 86% chance that it was taken on Łapszanka. It's hard to write something more about the meadow with a nice view, but the driveway, regardless of which side, is worth defeating. Especially if you plan to go to the Slovak side.
Driveway, panorama, level asphalt, Niedzica area and lake, down quite quickly. What more could you want?
A place of legend. A long driveway with a view of the mountains. In winter, I recommend it especially towards Slovakia, because curves are quite often icy, and the lower speed you lose with pampersem, the less it hurts. If we have a little more luck, instead of ice there will be a lot of snow (example) and then much harder for an unexpected dump. There is nothing worse than the moment when we realize that the black road on which we are driving is not necessarily asphalt - it is good that ice dump trucks are more pleasant.
I divide the driveway to Ostróda in two parts. Upper, in which it usually lacks a bit in the legs and because of the high altitude is extremely cold and lower, which goes through the forest, along the creek and looks like in the picture below. A bit further is the opportunity to do the so-called "golden shot" and shooting photos that we will send later the whole family.
Velka Frankowa is an endless Slovak driveway with a good panorama. Below, we can see the whole road we came and small towns where the last man was probably seen around the 18th century. Besides, almost all places in this area look like this.
When it comes to the Magura Spike, my feelings are mixed. We overcome the hill obligatory from the north and this is one of the saddest driveways in the area. A steady, small hill that does not end up for 10 kilometers. However, it rewards the congress. Probably the fastest in the area - at least for people who, like me, can not do well in corners. 70km / h on thick tires can be broken there with closed eyes even in winter. On the left, flatness to the horizon stretching along our winding road. The view each time is different and unique, depending on the weather. Sometimes the fog as in the picture, sometimes white to the horizon like here.
A place that I have never found in good visibility, but everyone recommends it. Necessarily from the south to the north, because in the opposite direction the driveway becomes depressed by its monotony.
Castle, lake, dam, one of the places regularly visited by IC Podhale. A charming, scenic place with a persistent uphill that does not particularly impress.
A smaller equivalent of the Magurski Sedla. Cool, fast descent on level asphalt, great panorama, this time on the right. Good for neck alignment.
Szczawnica - Dunajec
The route is short and has potential for congestion like Krupówki or the pier in Sopot. This is probably the season. Using a little less traffic, it's worth kicking exceptionally along the bike path, because it runs along the Dunajec River between huge rocks. In the area everything is huge, nothing more impressive in the pictures, but the ride itself is very pleasant. Well, it is worth to dip your foot in the river and remember that Leonardo in Titanic fell into the ocean at a similar temperature.
This point should not be here technically, but everybody needs a break from the bike sometimes. Okay ... not everyone, and we've proven it many times, but sometimes it's worth it. Instead of going like thousands of other people for whom walking is an extraordinary effort of will to the Sea Eye, it is worth going for a slightly more empty road leading to the Three Crowns. 1.5 hours in the woods on the stairs with a ravine along the way and we are on one of the best possible 360-degree panoramas available in the country ... and the surrounding area. Shawl.
You can read more about the Slovak Paradise here in the winter version, and here in the summer version. If you are staying on the Polish side, it will be necessary to transport yourself by car, but it is worth it. Hills, empty and perfectly level roads, minute signs of civilization, sometimes some Gypsies.
There is no segment in Vyborn, in Dobszyn as well. There is a rumor that no rider left these places with a phone or a garmin in his place. Local running culture with a stick and stones or in a premium version with an ax is a characteristic sign of youth. The more laundry and carpets drying on fences, whatever the weather you see, the closer you are. A place only for the brave and thoughtless but worth seeing. It allows us to look at the problem of assimilation of national minorities in our southern neighbors from a completely new side.
Probably the best place during the tour of the Slovak Paradise. Nice driveway, great view, a few serpentines, viewpoint at the top.
The driveway to Strbski Plesa is a lottery. We can go in 15 degrees and in the sun, and there we can meet ice anyway. The main road, with cars and a Slovak sprinkling consisting of small pebbles hitting the carbons. Is it worth trying then? In my opinion - not too much risk at the exit. In all other conditions, however, the view from the Kempiński hotel on one side and the fabulous lake with a ski jump in the background are recommended to go there.
Slovakian cross-country trails
In Slovakia there are many cycling routes prepared for trekking bikes. They are run with both bad asphalts, as well as dirt roads and forestry so I do not recommend them to the road. However, with a tire thicker than 30mm, it is worth checking them, they often lead to places that we would not suspect of being passable, let alone having tourist assets. We will find out what the colorful letters "C" on the roads mean (cyclocross).