Day 3 of my bike ride from Krakow, Poland to Cadca, Slovakia was easily one of the most difficult days of bicycle touring I have ever experienced. The distance was a short 52 kilometers, but the roads were uphill most of the way and were usually covered in an inch or more of ice and snow. Only a few rare streets had been cleared of the thick winter slush and this made the riding slow, slippery and difficult.
While there were hundreds of beautiful photo opportunities along the way, I didn’t stop to take many pictures. I knew after the first few hours of riding that reaching Cadca was either going to be impossible or extremely difficult. So rather than wasting time with photos, I just put my head down and kept moving forward. I didn’t take a break all day long. I just kept going and going and going. It was exhausting work and I knew that I was nearing my mental and physical limit as it started to get dark, snow began to fall and vehicle traffic increased. If I had had to go for another hour or more, I don’t think I would have made it. But I reached my hotel in Cadca just minutes before I reached my end.
After checking into the hotel, I opened up my window to look outside. The sky was white with falling snow while at the same time being black from the lack of sun. I had arrived just in time. I had made it! And now it was time to go to sleep. Cadca, Slovakia would be my home for the next few days.