Mountain Biking in Romania13 March, 2013 0 comments
Mountain biking in Romania.
Some might consider mountain biking an extreme sport but it can also be a recreational one. Mountain-biking is basically riding your bicycle off-road. What you might not know it that mountain biking goes way back to the beginning of the XX.th century and was initially named cyclo-cross. In 1966 the first rough terrain trail was built especially for mountain bicycles in Oregon. By the late 1970's companies started making lightweight mountain-bikes that were more durable and easier to handle during the descending or climbing of rough pats. Nowadays this once obscure sport has gone mainstream.
Certain trails are too rough for a regular bike so if you intend trying it out you will need a specially equipped bicycle that can handle the uneven, rocky and sometimes muddy roads without getting stuck or breaking down. If you decide to ride away in such an adventure make sure you always carry with yourself water, GPS equipment or a map, tools to repair you bike and some dry clothes. If you would like to try out mountain biking without the risk of getting lost or wandering away from the trail there are plenty of recreational parks with built in ramps and mounds of dirt where you can try it out, you can probably find one in your city. However, keep in mind the fact that this is a sport that requires good bicycle riding skills, strength, balance and you have to be willing to get dirty.
- It is important to always use a helmet. Although, it might seem uncomfortable it will keep your head safe from contusions. You can choose from different styles that range from full face helmets to cross-road helmets that are lighter and easier to wear for a longer period of time.
- You should always carry a small first aid kit that should contain antiseptic spray for cuts and wounds and a few band-aids.
- Protective knee and elbow pads and glasses can also save you from injuries and keep your eyes protected of the sun, branches and dirt.
- Your clothing should be comfortable and thicker than the usual biking attires and you should choose protective accessories like gloves that give you a better grip on the handle and keep you safe from blisters and calluses.
- As I previously noted you should be prepared for eventual breakdowns by always having handy repair tools for your bike, a pump for flat tires and a high power led light in case your bike breaks down at night or you find yourself in the unpleasant situation of getting lost .You must learn to be self-reliable.
Mountain biking has a few major categories that you should be familiar with.
- Dirt jumping which means jumping over mounds of dirt and getting airborne
- Cross-country is riding your bike from one point to another
- All mountain which needs stronger built bikes and endurance
- Downhill which is basically riding your bike downhill on steep mountain ridges or forest
trails, however this isn't for those who are faint of heart
Mountain-biking in Romania
Romania is finding its identity as a mountain biking destination. It has amazing potential with its many hills and mountains, with no shortage of dirt roads, trails and amazing pastures that can go up to 2000m.
If you choose to discover Romania's naturally breath-taking sights on bike you should know there are many organized tours through the mountains and countryside that provide you guides and the best trails. You can sign up for different kinds of tours from cross-country to all mountain. The tours are adapted to your skills and range from beginner to expert levels. A tour can last from one weekend to marathon tours that can last up to 10days.
- The most popular trails can be found in: Transylvania, you can sign up for challenging trails across Ciucas mountains, Bucegi mountains and many other.
- Bran County is where you can visit the Bran castle which is a historical monument commonly known as "Dracula's Castle"
- You can also sign up for a marathon across the Carpathian mountains, with trails that will take you through lush forests, challenging steep ridges and sunny fields.
- Brasov is one of the biggest and most modern cities in Romania, situated in the heart of the mountains, surrounded by mountains like Postavaru, Piatra Craiului and Piatra Mare.
Prices range from 85$ for a one weekend tour and range between 500$ and 600$ for 6day tours, which are of course supervised by experienced guides.
Biking across Romania is a unique experience that will take you on a journey across beautiful mountains, forest trails and countryside where time seems to have stopped. You can see little farms with organic crops and animals that graze freely. Farmers in these little villages still use horse driven carriages and still manufacture meat and cheese specialties just as they did hundreds of years ago. The climate is mild, there is sunny weather even in the autumn.
So don’t hesitate visiting Romania, it's a unique country and the best way to explore it is of course by mountain bike.
Have your say: What does mountain biking mean to you? Have you ever been to Romania?