Discover Romania by bike - part 1.
Even without a bike, Eastern Europe is still an adventure land. Especially the Romania still undiscovered by package tourism. Actually we wanted to travel Transylvania by bike, but the respect for the unknown stranger let us book a half-organized bike tour through a Romanian travel agency. Bears, wolves, dogs, snakes - for my taste that was enough to get to know country, people and traffic conditions for cyclists for the first time.
If you drive on your own by bike through Romania, you should plan the routes well in advance. Main roads are rather unsuitable for cyclists due to heavy traffic, secondary routes can be much more fun on the bike, but they often turn out to be rather slopes, and there are hardly any bike paths in Romania. On the way you do not meet many cyclists, the car is currently conquering the roads, with all the problems we have known in Germany since 40 years. Even in the larger cities you can hardly see bicycles or other motorized two-wheelers. The parking lot shortage for cars is already growing intolerable.
The exciting thing about this Eastern European travel destination is that Romania has been extremely modernized since its accession to the EU, that there are still big differences in the rural areas of Germany, that many wild bears, wolves and snakes live here, that the roads are in poor condition - or along with bike paths are simply not available and the ticks at any short stop immediately suck the air from the tires tires. Spare parts for modern bicycles? If you better take it with you from home, there are only very few wheelchairs in Romania and only in big cities like Sibiu / Sibiu.
As it turned out during the tour of Transylvania by bicycle, it is the many small details, the tiny cultural differences that make Romania so interesting for travelers - whether with or without a bicycle, every single day of the trip was more exciting than 14 days Menorca. It is 2015 at the beginning of September, and after two hours of flying time we arrive at the very first seat of flight history in Sibiu with Wizzair. The focus of our trip to Romania is cycling. Our travel agency has worked out an 12-day roundtrip in Transylvania for us, roughly divided into seven stations:
Our bike tour in Romania
- Răşinari (living in a village pension with traditional, Romanian food)
- Sibiu (city tour)
- Biertan (living in a restored village guesthouse, eating in the restaurant)
- Schäßburg (sightseeing tour)
- Bran (living in a mountain hotel in Predelut) optional visit of Râşnov & Braşov
- Balea Lac (an overnight stay on the peninsula of the glacier lake in the Bâlea hut)
- Sibiu (one night in pension, the next day return flight)
To these places we and our luggage are driven by car. In roughly planned day trips we explore the environment depending on your condition and taste on your own with the bicycles. There are tour suggestions for cyclists between 12 and 60 km on low-traffic roads. Upon arrival, it turns out that some (copy and paste) mistakes have crept into the tour planning. You will be charmingly corrected by our guide Alex. Many questions remain unanswered. We are surprised. We have no other choice.
Open Rad-Rundreise in Romania in Google Maps
Romanian rental bikes for tourists
At the takeover of our two travel bikes by our driver will be something different: "Unisex" in the internet here in Romania for me and my partner is a heavy ladies bike with suspension fork, spring saddle, hub dynamo and everything dumb, what a Kreidler -Baumarktrad from Far East before 12 years so everything had to carry with itself. I estimate the weight so on very stable 15 to 17 kg - per bike, of course. My "halogen headlight" on hub dynamo first generation works, all the other three bicycle lights do not work, but we do not want to drive in the dark, that would be really dangerous because of the desolate roads, unlit wagons and wildlife. Bare wires hang next to the headlight.
The tires are porous from the sun, the brake Bowden cables are unprofessionally set to stop without any play and thus somewhat toxic. I would like to swap the front and rear brakes analogously to the motorcycle and all my other bikes. But I do not dare to use the unconventionally tight Bowden cable fixation with my tool because I do not know why the brakes are so tight. Certainly there is a reason for it. So that stays that way first. I had sworn on Fuerteventura 2007 after a very bad fall over the handlebar times sworn never again without "correctly exchanged brakes" like the motorcycle to drive. Here I drive so first ...
Both SIS (!) Circuits work except for the non-oiled, chirping chains crashingly reliable. Ok, ok - the level of the rental bikes I had imagined differently as a fervent bicycle freak. But contrary to my assumption, the wheels are better than expected, at least if you do not want to break any records. I am handicapped by a joint injury anyway. The inner attitude is important. To break away from German perfection, we will certainly do the next few days even more! Romania by bike is certainly not for package tourists with all inclusive mentality.