Sunday, July 29, 2012

Back to the roots: pilgrimage

Our family and friends know the story how Radek went to a pilgrimage just for one day (to visit me on the route) and stayed till the end with only one pair of spare socks and briefs. Ach... good ol' days!

Anyhow, it's been 7 years since that memorable event and we decided to make a small tribute to that this year. We have no time and motivation to go on a full pilgrimage to Częstochowa, so we joined the group just for one day: Szczecin - Stargard (which is 27 km). A lot has changed in this time, but the pilgrimage spirit is definitely the same!

This year we were lucky or unlucky with the weather... It rained and it rained pretty heavily. OK, let's face it - it rained cats and dogs! This is unlucky, because there is no worse thing than rain when you have to march. One gets soaked, demotivated, cold... But then you think: "I'm doing it for a reason, so it's even better if it's tough". And in this sense it's a positive thing.

Here are some photos from the day... We started as always at 7.00 o'clock with the mass in the sanctuary of Mother from Fatima. Then two groups formed and set out to Stargard -first through the housing estates, then through the forest. The first stop was after 10 km and this is when it started to rain.

Then we marched another ~10 km in the rain. Gosh, that was extreme. It took us twice as long to get to the lunch stop which was in Kobylanka. Fortunately, when we reached the village, it stopped raining. That was really good news because there is no sense in having pauses when it rains. In Kobylanka we had some time to change clothes to the dry ones and use the hospitality of the parishioners who prepared food and drinks.

Last leg of the route was Kobylanka - Stargard and came rather quick. All in all we did the distance of 27.02 km in a 6-hour-march (pauses excluded). Here is the route tracked by Endomondo application.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

4th wedding anniversary

As every year, we celebrated our wedding anniversary together with the closest family.

4 years ago:


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Przyjezierze - Bike Marathon 2012

This year we are biking considerably more often than in the previous years and the biking marathon is a sign of this fact. I came across an advertisement of the venue on the local bike trip and decided to give it a try almost immediately. We encouraged our close friends to join us and so, the fun began.

Przyjezierze is a small town 80 km from Szczecin. We set off early, with four bikes on our indefatigable Fiat Punto (this car has gone through so much with us). It was our first time in a race so everyone was a bit nervous. Especially guys, who like to compete.

We were one of the firsts at the registration desk so we had quite some time for us to prepare to the race.  We were lucky, because the weather that day was perfect for a bike ride. Not too hot, no sign of rain. At first we made a short tour around the venue place. There was surprisngly a lot to see! The organizers made a good job.

At first we had a look at home made food by the farmer's wives association. In the end... a biker needs some calories before the start (but not too much, so we all agreed that we will come back to the stalls after the race for a proper treat).

Then we had a look at the exhibition of cars - with Ferrari being the most popular. Wow, that really is a super looking car!

Then we moved on to see the show given by the bike jumpers (I don't even know how they are profesionally called, but the animator said they were one of the best in Poland). This looked really cool and a bit dangerous. Respect!

When we finished the tour we still had some time before the start (which was planned at 15.00), so we decided to have a warm-up ride around the area. We followed the official trail of the contest for a while and then took an opposite turn to visit the Moryń lake. Poland is really beautiful.
We didn't want to be too tired before the start so we came back quite fast, full of excitement while waiting at the "zero hour". There were really a lot of pro bikers around us, so we felt a bit overwhelmed, yet full of hope and desire to have fun.

Some photos from the start...
From the route...
And from the finish...
That's correct - my "finish" happened to occur in the middle of nowhere when my bike broke after an ominously looking (but fortunately victimless) accident. I was a bit disappointed not to finish the race but that's OK, I had some lovely time walking my bike to the finishing line. Poland is really beautiful and I wouldn't have taken these pictures if it hadn't been for the accident. So in the end, there is always the good side of the coin. I'll beat them the next year!

Radek came at a very good 35th place. He was the best from us and I think he was very proud of the result. All in all the race was very exhausting but real fun! We stayed for the award ceremony and got the medals ourselves. Nice souvenir. We will definitely come next year.
To give you a better understanding of how the event looked like here's the video summary done by the organizers.