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Mountain Biking the Polish Way

Written by our new Polish Correspondant:
Tomek ESTOM Skrzypiec

Having been asked by Gareth the editor of MTB Britain to share my experiences of mountain biking in Poland I decided to take up the challenge.

I live in the south of Poland, in a region called the Upper Silesia. It's a highly industrialized area and that's probably why I take every chance to escape from the smog-covered streets and ride my bike off-road. I usually go to the Beskidy mountains which are only around 50 miles away from my home. I always ride with a group of friends. We have different jobs, family status, social backgrounds, and we're not even the same age. What we have in common is our love of bikes. Last year we rode about three thousand miles together, mainly in the areas of Szczyrk, Bielsko, Zywiec, Zwardon and Jordanow. This part of Poland isn't densely populated and has a widespread network of unpaved roads. All the forests have fire roads allowing you to get to their wildest parts without much effort.

More demanding mountain bikers can take advantage of a well organized and clearly marked system of hiking tracks. Since mountain biking is rather new here, we don't have any legal regulations forbidding riding on these trails. 
One of my favorite trips starts in Korbielow (750 m above sea level) from where we ride up along a mountain spring called Buczynka. After a few hundred meters the fire road changes to a technical singletrack, but the picturesque views make up for the difficulty of the climb. Then the road turns to a deeper forest, here you have to cross about a dozen ditches that cut across the path.

 

At this stage you have to be very careful because in wet weather wooden logs securing their edges may be pretty slippery. When you're done with those obstacles you have a short but nasty climb to a shelter on Hala Miziowa where you can have a hot meal and even stay the night. 

 

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