Vistula Bicycle Route and VeloDunajec (for Road Cyclists)

VeloDunajec w Falsztynie
A special entry for ‘road purists’, i.e., my proposal to ride on road bikes along all the already-completed sections of Vistula Bicycle Route and VeloDunajec in the Małopolska region. By the way, I’m leaving this as inspiration for an ultra-marathon bike ride across the Małopolska.

This is a special proposal for narrow tyres, as in both cases the route is basically 99% asphalt, and the tracks avoid practically all sections that are only planned / under construction / renovation and those with gravel or poor asphalt surface or having other obstacles such as missing access sections leading onto / from the bridges. The tracks bypass the above-mentioned sections along local roads, with car traffic (sometimes quite heavy) and considerable elevations in some places. They will also be updated on an ongoing basis if any of the currently ongoing constructions are commissioned (last update 30.12.2020).

This is, of course, just my subjective suggestion of mixing the fanciest and finished sections of VeloMałopolska with the regular roads. I tried to map it out taking into account my experience and knowledge of both routes, choosing sections with traffic as light as possible and sticking as much as possible to the track of the target route, but also in such a way to avoid cycling on anything like the surface on the following pictures....Po tym te ślady nie prowadzą

I can guarantee a ride on the best possible surfaces and with nature all around you. I’ve tested it all with my wheels, sometimes ‘wearing’ even 23 mm tyres. 


VeloDunajec w Waksmundzie

But let's get to the point, because what really counts is the true content, i.e., the maps and gpx.

 

VISTULA BICYCLE ROUTE (touring, for road cyclists)

(download GPX track)

 

What finished sections of the Vistula Bicycle Route (WTR) are missing from this track?

  • gravel section through the ponds in Brzeszcze
  • section on the ramparts in Kopanka
  • section of poor-quality asphalt in Pozowice

For the rest, the track practically coincides with the proposed bypass for tourist bicycles on the Vistula Cycle Routea

VELO DUNAJEC (touring, for road cyclists)

(download GPX track)

The surface is 99% asphalt, and the only gravel section is at the bridge in Zgłobice, where you have to cross it somehow, and I’ve no other idea how to avoid the national road (in the future, as part of the VeloDunajec/EV11 construction, the bridge will be adapted for cyclists)

Note! There is a considerable modification of the route at its start, because from Zakopane to Nowy Targ, I propose to cycle through Gubałówka and then through the branches and the main route of the Route Around the Tatras. As this proposition is dedicated to road cyclists, extra ascents won’t scare anyone, will they?

What finished sections of VeloDunajec are missing from this track?

  • Zakopane – Ludźmierz (21 km), i.e., the usual roads running along to the so-called Zakopianka.
  • A couple of small passages between Sromowce Wyżne and Niżne.
  • The entire Slovak and gravel part of the Pieniny Route through the Dunajec Gorge (10 km).
  • A couple of kilometres of embankment between Filipowice and Zakliczyn (to bypass the not-yet finished ford crossing of the Rudzianka stream).

For the rest, the track practically coincides with the proposed bypass for trekking bicycles, which you can find on the VeloDunajec subpage. 
Note! In the event that the tourist borders with Slovakia are closed, I would suggest one of these modifications  (w100% suitable for road bikes):

  • detour in Dębno to the new section of VeloCzorsztyn on the northern shores of the lake, and then a ride through Czorsztyn to Krościenko on DW969 or cycling bypasses through Krośnica and Grywałd (gpx here),
  • not leaving VeloDunajec at the dam in Sromowce Wyżne, but instead ascending through the Osice Pass and descending through Haluszowa to Krościenko n/D (both of the above examples practically coincide with proposals for trips around Lake Czorsztyn),
  • departure from VeloDunajec at the bridge in Knurów and a picturesque ascent up the Knurowska Pass with a subsequent descent through Ochotnica to Tylmanowa.

 

Practical tips

The two trails can also be combined into a single mega road trip through the Małopolska region, as the route joins up in Wietrzychowice, near the mouth of the Dunajec River to the Vistula, right about here....Styk WTR / VeloDunajec w Wietrzychowicach

Roughly 460 km, from Zakopane via Nowy Sącz, Tarnów and on to Kraków and Oświęcim. During the holiday season, when the trains to Zakopane finally start operating, I recommend this mode of transport. At the moment (April 2020), only substitute transport is running due to track repairs. You can also try to get to the Podhale region by bus; transporting a bicycle is possible, among others, in Flixbus vehicles. When mixing with the train, the trip can also be shortened by boarding a train in, for example, Nowy Sącz or Bogumiłowice near Tarnów, or by using it as a return transport from the Oświęcim or Jawiszowice Brzeszcze station. Just check the availability of the trains in advance, because due to the aforementioned omnipresent repairs they often use busses as substitute transportation, and there’s no way to take a bike on the bus.


There are plenty of shops along both routes, although on the ‘embankment’ sections between Tarnów and Kraków, I advise you to use any place where the routes leave the embankments (Wietrzychowice, Kopacz Wielkie, Uście Solne, Górka) to recharge your energy. The easiest way to do this is to launch Google Maps (you can use a layer with all the Velo Małopolska routes plotted: bit.ly/velomaps), find your location and enter ‘shop’ – or restaurant, accommodation, café, whatever you’re looking for – in the application search engine. Whatever it is you need can be found this way.

As an incentive, I'm adding a couple of photos from many of our road trips on the trails and wish you smoothness and great views on your way.


Jarek Tarański

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