I’m hanging out in Jelenia Gora, Poland this week. Maja Wloszczowska (yes still having trouble pronouncing that one) has invited me to a race she organized in her home town, which also happens to be the hometown of our Luna team manager Waldek.
I love doing these smaller races because you actually get to know other racers on the world cup circuit. Staying at Maja’s home, meeting her family and hanging out has been a lot of fun. She is a pretty big star here after her Olympic medal. We have driven by several billboards with her picture on them got stopped more than once at the grocery store by strangers who want to meet her or get their picture with her and since we got here Monday she has done at least 4 interviews. She is a master of multi tasking, always carrying her cell phone to finish the organization of her race this weekend while meeting other sponsor commitments.
The weather has been grey and rainy, but I’ve done some great road rides. One was flat, skirting lakes and towns and the others sent me through the base of several mountains with at least 4 long climbs. Riding on a quiet road here I could easily believe I was riding through the rolling hills of New England.
I was able to go for lunch at Waldek’s parents house and try a typical meal of soup, perogies, salad, a meat dish and of course homemade pastries filled with jam. Maria his mother showed me old photo albums and i managed to take a picture of Waldek as an 18 year old cyclist. Will hopefully post pictures soon!
Yesterday i got to be a tourist and went up to a popular mountain town called karpach. I went to an old Norwegian church, 1 of 30 still in existence, that was created completely of wood without nails. the church was filled with intricately carved wood and had an amazing back drop of mountains. My guide for the day Krystof also took me for a ride through the country side and to downtown where we got to enjoy a fantastic cappucino surrounded by the old town centre of Jelenia Gora. The downtowns of european cities are so great. All cobble stones and beautiful old buildings. The buildings were narrow and each colourfully painted in greens, yellows and pinks. Again I’ll try to put some pictures up.
Today the sun is shinning and we’re off to check out the course. Racing is tomorrow at 1:30 and then i’m off to Prague and flying to Zurich the next morning where i will meet up with my husband keith for a week of training and exploration in Italy before heading to the World cup in madrid.