Bystrzyca riverPerhaps you remember this name. Yes, when it was much younger, we saw the dam of this mountain stream :)
The river Bystrzyca is one of the multiple tributary rivers of Lower Silesia converging in the main river of the Odra (Oder) in the outskirts of the city of Wrocław, where I live.
Like the Oława, the Ślęza, the Widawa, the banks are often featured with dykes that we can ride, offering wide open views. Spaces around are usually very green since the terrains are floodable and landowners not too keen in building, which make it pleasant.
The Bystrzyca is even owning a Regional Natural park named after her (Park Krajobrazowy Dolina Bystrzycy), recently enhanced with touristic features that include a well-marked bike-path.
The Bystrzyca lies relatively far in the West side of the city (it goes behind the airport), which gives it a real taste of countryside in some places with fields, cattle, farms seen along the way. People usually cycle the portion of the river located between Kąty Wrocławskie and Leśnica, two small towns neighbouring Wrocław with lots of residential districts, and possibly more north till the estuary in the Odra. Leśnica owns a magnificent palace with a wide park where the Bystrzyca makes the main attraction. Some old water mills such as Jarnotłow or Stabłowice also make points of interest.
The marked bike path alternates between sections on small local asphalted roads (or sometimes pre-war cobbles !) and forest tracks, never too bumpy. They are ideal for familly rides in the green not far from the main city, perfect for a half day. Many playgrounds are situated along the way in villages so youngest children can have fun during regular breaks during the ride.
I have made so far three rides along the Bystrzyca with my son Mikołaj (once with a fellow, and once also during a running race !), each time on a different portion, which allows me now to describe quite well the Bystrzyca bike path. Despite I haven't tried, the forest parts would make excellent XC terrain for training. There is also terrain to explore south from Kąty Wrocławskie, until the Mietków lake (well known for windsurfing), where I have been, but I don't have much photos of it.
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