Tag Archives: river


Day 36: Oster, Ukraine to Nizhyn, Ukraine

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Start: Oster, Ukraine
End: Nizhyn, Ukraine
Distance: 95.7km
Elevation Gain: 799ft
Elevation Loss: 687ft
Time: 6h55m
Reading Material:Ukraine: A History, 4th Edition – Orest Subtelny
Audio Material: Russia the Wild East – BBC 4 Series by Martin Sixsmith on 1000 years of Russia history; WTF podcast (Seth Rogen interview); Transom; PRI’s The World in Words; Yeezus – Kanye West (not bad, but not My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy)

Quick morning dip in the water and abbreviated breakfast of oatmeal and coffee due to large amount of mosquitoes (rivers make picturesque camping spots; they also attract bugs). Nearly flat ride all day. Alternating between smooth asphalt, rough road and sticky road (covered with a sealant that I could feel was sticking to my tires as the day heated up). The weather is hot! Routinely hitting 85-90 degrees F and no shade to hide. I feel like Buster Bluth binging on juice at every stop but still thirsty.

Passed a large monastery in Kozelets. Services were ongoing, so in my bike gear I just quickly popped my head in and continued on. Stopped at Nizhyn for the night. Many churches scattered throughout the town. Giant pizza for dinner (unable to finish) and time for sleep.


Day 35: Kiev, Ukraine to Oster, Ukraine

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Start: Kiev, Ukraine
End: Oster, Ukraine
Distance: 83.1km
Elevation Gain: 1038ft
Elevation Loss: 1018ft
Time: 6h20m
Reading Material:Ukraine: A History, 4th Edition – Orest Subtelny
Audio Material: On The Media; EconTalk (Bruce Schneier interview); Stuff You Should Know; Fresh Air Gandolfini remembrance

Turns out Kiev is a pretty late sleeper. Most cafes don’t open until 10am, so I had my own power croissant and pastry breakfast with a pourover coffee and was on my way by 9am. Big thanks to Viktor Zagreba, one of the bicycle enthusiasts in Kiev working on extending the EuroVelo network east, for some routing assistance which made for a pleasant and safe exit from the Kiev metro area.

I crossed the Dnieper into the region of Ukraine historically known as the Left Bank (look at the river from the perspective of a Kievian Russian in the 10th century floating down the river to the Black Sea, and not the “right” side of a modern map). After the destruction of the Kievian Rus empire by the mongols, the Left Bank often fell under control of Moscow whereas the Right Bank was fought over by Russians, Poles and the Austria-Hungary empire.

Peaceful cycling on decent roads ensued. I found the physical instantiation of Sky Mall and passed what I can only describe as a Tatooine Sand Person riding a bicycle in the opposite direction. Arrived in Oster (named for the large Oster River which passes through town) and even though it was only 330pm, decided the river would make too good a camping spot to pass up. Picked up a salmon steak in local market (my fishing skills are horrible, but I’m pretty good in a grocery store) and had a nice dinner and evening by the surprisingly swift (I will swim in any body of water) river.