Valea Jiului MTB trails

Don’t stay home, it’s a trap. After this pandemic period, the weather went crazy, lots of rain, If we ware to listen to the forecast, we should have stayed in home for the last couple of weekends.  But as I say, if you snooze, you lose so to avoid this, we headed to Straja for 3 days ride in the area. We heard some noises that the trails are in perfect conditions and we will have shuttle there so we seize the opportunity.

We ware quite right and the guys from straja extrem park hooked us up with a shuttle for 2 days. It’s a blast to ride the 2 long trails from straja. Baloo trail is nice and flowy and Wolfs trail its a bit more technical but with loads of natural flow. Both are very long and you can feel your whole body worked up by the end of the trail. You don’t need more then 5-6 descents to declare yourself pleased for the day.

But this ain’t all, there is more in the area for you to ride. Don’t miss Valcan trail, this one is without a doubt the funest of them. Again a berm jem and longer then the other 2. You really feel you’re alive. We hit it like 8 times and didn’t got bored :D.

What we want to tel you is that the combinations of the 3 long trails are for sure the receipt for a terrific weekend ;).

For accommodation we went to Allma mountain hut as usual. Nice cosy place where you feel directly @ home. You can cook yourself anything in the kitchen and hang out in the living or on the great view balcony. We always stay here once in Straja, you can see the place in the picture bellow.

Ok, so this article is just a hint for how and where to spend a nice weekend riding with you’re buddies. All trails are on trailforks. More ideas are to follow so just stay tuned 😉 Enjoy and ride safe!

Star Wars on Bahna trails

I had some unfinished businesses in the south, one free weekend and decided to go back again. The weather was very unpredictable, lot of rain all over the country, but as I always say, any weekend away from Bucharest riding my bike is a great weekend.

With this in mind, I loaded my stuff and my battle horse in the car again and headed south. First day I rode the usual trails of Mehedinti Enduro and meet Pufi on the trails. He was on a shovel day as his bike was in service. After a couple of rides, Eugen Kable came and we took another two rides and then call it a day.

In the evening and the next day in the morning I got to explore more the city center of Drobeta Turnu Severin. Man, this city has some good to great concrete, just perfect for some street sessions. I had my roller blades with me but I was just too tired. I have to come back another time to explore more the streets of Turnu Severin.

Second day I headed of with Eugen to Bahna trails, you can look them up on trail forks. What a pleasant surprise! The trails here are so different, so diverse and these ones are just a MTB gem. Technical stuff with some insane view over Bahna village. You have to look up the trails on trail forks, you have a description there, but let me ensure you they are freaking awesome. There are 4 trails, 3 with some black sections and one more of a blue one but don’t underestimate her because she has some nice curves that will make you howl like a wolf 😆😍. You can combine the trails in the area for a couple of days ride and you will have a great vacation. Have in mind that the access is by pushbike or pedal so don’t except any shortcuts… earn your turns!

Here is the link to Bahna trails and bellow you can find some movies with each trail. Enjoy and ride safe!

Shaping the south, Muntii Cernei edition

Shaping the south, Muntii Cernei edition.

This county is just awesome, has so much to offer in terms of enduro mountain biking, all mountain and trail riding. You just have to move your ass from the couch and explore. Any part of this beautiful country has its charms for sure, but I always come back and find joy, peace and thrill in this place in a strange mixture… And yes, people still wear opinci here (traditional sandals) and not for touristic purposes… They are made from recycled rubber but they look the same… a few years back, I was at Isverna and saw an old lady wearing some authentic ones made from pig skin… it’s a free entrance museum of any kind, you just have to pay attention.

This time we got to ride some fresh dirt, or rocks right in the heart of Cernei Mountains. We did one of the gnarliest descents right from the top of peak Vlascu and all the way down to Cernei Valley. In the middle we ran into the trail we did a few years back, you can find it in this article Mehedinti FTW.

The trail is still in pretty good shape because people from the villages use it for commute. You can find some cow shit along the path but it’s ok, makes the ride all more natural :))).

When we reached our tents we were exhausted after 40km with over 1800m elevation and quite some pushbike.

Totally worth it and having the tents at the bottom of the descent was such a joy. We jumped right into the river to revive our bodies and we shared the cold beers to everyone.

This trip is one to be repeated, but next time we have to end it up in a hot spring in Băile Herculane, that’s a wish yet not fulfilled for me :))) so stay tuned because it’s gonna happen one of these days X).

Next day the forecast kicked in and we had some fresh rain right in the morning. We gathered our tents and stuff, made a fire and cooked some eggs and potatoes but not after checking out a fresh trail, an easier alternative to the Tesnei descent. Worth the pushbike and it was a great way to end up a beautiful post pandemic trip

You can find the track of the epic trail here Muntii Cernei epic track, and also check out Mehedinti Enduro that we did on Saturday trails on trail forks.

Also check out the videos and pictures bellow and ride safe until next time!

Post lockdown ride in Leaota Mountains

FREEEEDOOOM!

Yes, we really deserved this ride. Please don’t be scared of the number of people in the picture, yes, we did know that we will meet but we were separated groups of 3 persons or less that met there and happened to take the same ride in Leaota mountains, so don’t judge.

It was a well deserved ride, hard, but we enjoyed it very much. Leaota mountains are quite underestimated. They hold a bunch of awesome trails, hard to access because you have to pedal your way up but, let me confirm that you will not regret the climb of a few hours.

The terrain is wild, natural, technical and offers a great view over the horizon and the other mountains in proximity like Bucegi, Iezer or Piatra Craiului.

Only the view is enough for rewording the climb, but if you consider the trails, clearly you are the winner.

Not long after the start we kind of forgot the harsh past 2 months and we gave ourselves to the ride, enjoyed it and made laughs of our rusty bodies …. this is truly a medicine for the heart, mountains are beautiful and bikes are awesome

Until next time, enjoy and ride safe, we sure will!

Link to garmin connect for the ride track here!

What do you take on for the ride?! essential stuff you should not forget at home

What do you take on for the ride?! essential stuff or waste of weight?!

Last year I helped writing an article about adventure bike packing and the things we should carry on a bike ride, depending and the type, place and length of the ride you are about to take.

The thing is that you have to be dynamic in everything you do, in how you ride, what decisions you make and change you’re track if necessary and also in what you take with you on the ride. Yes, is good to have everything with you and don’t miss a thing when you camp but maybe you will not enjoy the trail that much with a 10kg backpack on you or with lots of stuff hanging from the bike. I for one don’t want to sacrifice the descent as much as possible, I like to enjoy every bit of it and ride it in almost normal conditions not being forced to take it to slowly because of the stuff I carry. That’s why I try not to take unnecessary things with me and I am very pleased when everything in my backpack (except first aid kit) is used and I did not carry anything unusefull with me :).

To help organise you’re backpack, you can use this site i find very simple and practical: lighterpack.com

With this in mind, I wold split the bike luggage in 3 groups, super light, light and bike packing.

  1. “Super light” luggage – for half-day or maximum 1-day ride

These are fun rides, for training in the bikepark or on enduro trails. These are rides on routes that you already know and where no significant surprises can occur. These are rides in which you can leave later in the day and which you can finish without worries over a beer in the evening. In such rides the luggage is super minimal, and many of the objects, such as tools, it is recommended not to be taken in duplicates. For example, a pump is enough for everyone or a single multi tool. The recommendation is also valid for the other two types of luggage.

In a “Super light” ride it is enough to have the things below. Luggage should not exceed 1-1.5 kg.

  • Helmet
  • Snacks (2-3 energy bars / chocolate, a sandwich, possibly 1 energy gel)
  • Spare tire tube, self-adhesive patches, levers, pump, multi tool (except for the tube, the others are enough to be in one for the entire group, spread to other friends in the brat pack :)))
  • Water bottle – with water 😉
  • Hip bag (optional), in which you carry tools and snacks
  • Knee pads (armpads are optional or depending on your experience – the smaller the more
  • ptotections needed)

You can check the representation of this type of luggage on lighterpack here.

2. “Light” luggage – for tours of 1 day or maximum 2.

The 1-2 day tours can be characterized as “short adventures”, in search of beautiful alpine trails. These are rides in which we do some exploration with an average level of “surprises”. It is not excluded to reach unknown areas from which we must get out safely. However, it is important to mention that having this luggage with you, rides should not exceed two days.

For safety we will have several items with us, such as a headlamp, first aid kit or change / sleeping clothes. If the ride involves sleeping in a shelter or an mountain refugee, we must also have a “light” sleeping bag. If we stay at a cottage, no.

For such a ride a backpack of 20-25 L is needed, and the weight should not exceed 3 kg (excluding the weight of the backpack). It is also important to say that the weight of the luggage is directly proportional to the comfort. The larger the luggage, the greater the comfort. I always sacrifice a little of the comfort side of the ride to have a lighter and more balanced luggage, to feel more free on the bike.

  • Helmet
  • Snacks – double the “super light” luggage or the same if you can refuel on the route
  • The same tools (it is recommended to be fixed on the bike and not carried in the backpack)
  • Rain jacket
  • First aid kit
  • Sun lotion
  • Photo / video camera (or phone only)
  • Headlamp
  • 1 liter of water (possibly with hidratation powder if you know it helps)
  • Backpack 20-25L
  • knee pads

You can check the representation of the light luggage on lighterpack here.

3. “Bike packing” luggage – for rides that take more then 2 days

This baggage can be more complicated and certainly harder, but it should not be discouraging. It depends a lot on how you evaluate yourself – whether you are colder or not, whether you eat a lot or not, etc. And that’s because you don’t want to take with you things you won’t use, excluding tools, or first aid kits. During the multi-day tours, surprises can appear on the route, from bad weather to dead ends on the route and you have to make a U-turn or get stuck there. These are reasons why luggage gets bigger, with more food, spare clothes and extra equipment. The luggage must contain food for two meals (evening and morning) as well as snacks during the day, if you know that the route does not go near “civilization”. If you go down to the cottage or a mountains hut in the evening, you can lose food because you will eat there. But if the route is only on top, on ridges, then the self-assessment we were talking about matters a lot. As for the food, in the evening you can be satisfied with “gas station” type sandwiches that withstand a day of heat or you can add comfort if you have small burner and some quick cooking food. But keep in mind that luggage can be shared between members of the ride. The burner can stay with someone, the gas can with someone else, and the dishes with the third riding buddy.

Also, if there is an epic trip and you are going to wild camp, you should have more specific equipment like bivouac bag (in addition to sleeping bag), air mattress or tarp under which 3 people can sleep. Survival foil is very effective, put under the mattress, and do not weighed much. In addition, it is very useful in case of an accident. For a warm sleep don’t forget that the surviving foil must be put with he silver part towards you’re body.

  • Helmet
  • Knee pads (optional)
  • Food for two days – it is preferable for the route to pass through areas with villages, cottages from where you can resupply. Otherwise the luggage is a bit bigger
  • Tea or coffee – for relaxation in the evening and in the morning when you look at the mountain tops 😉
  • Tools (to be shared between members, except for the spare room to be present to everyone)
  • First aid kit
  • Sun lotion
  • Photo / video camera (or phone only)
  • External battery – for phone, video camera, gps
  • GPS or cycling computer (preferably with navigation included)
  • Headlamp
  • Small burner (primus – 110-200g) and gas supply (capacity 100 g or more, 230 g if there are several riders in the lap)
  • Drinking cup for each rider
  • Spork (spoon, fork and knife integrated into a single object)
  • Lighter / flint (if you want a campfire or for the burner)
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Wet wipes for intimate care
  • Sleeping bag, bivouac bag, mattress
  • Change clothes, for wet or cold weather – it’s up to you how you can stand the cold
  • 1-2 L of water – depends on whether you still find on the route for resupply (springs, cottages, villages)
  • Tent or tarp. The components of the tent (tent, tarp, sticks, nails) can be divided between ride members. There are also self-supporting tents. They no longer need the inner tent or nails, the upper tent supporting itself using only the sticks.
  • Backpack 25-30 L.

You can check the representation of the bike packing luggage on lighterpack here.

Please find the original article form freerider.ro here.

Also check this clip we made on our last trip to Cindrel mountains bellow or the Tour du Mont Blanc video and article.

Enjoy and ride safe!

CENTRAL BALKANS ENDURO BIKE TRIP THANKS TO OLD MOUNTAIN EPIC BULGARIA

This one os from far back, I think 2 years back. An awesome trip near Sopot and Botev peak, in central Balkans, all thanks to our friends from Old Mountain Epic. It was the most hardcore ride I have taken so far, an all day all out trip! Our neighbors country is beautiful and we have to explore it more. A beautiful ride with a beautiful crew. You can find out more content about this trip in this article we wrote in the past: Old Mountain Epic trip in Veliko Tarnovo and Sopot, or more about Veliko Tarnovo and Old Mountain Epic in the article about our Halloween ride 🙂 VELIKO TARNOVO HALLOWEEN BIKERIDE PARTY

Cheers mates! Stay safe! 

LESPEZI PEAK SPRING SKIING, FAGARAS MOUNTAINS

Probably the last ski day of this season, but we shell see. Not much options left, no lift access, not allowed to ride in larger groups, this kind of post apocaliptic atmosphere its nice but I don’t want to get used to it…

We put a nice patch to a rather bad season, with this last ski touring day. Looking bad, yes, we had bad snow, yes, we had less ski days and almost no powder but it was nice, I for one have good memories and got to ski some new places this year so i m pretty much satisfied. Now ill wait for the next one and hope that bike season will not be to much affected by these uncertain times… Thanks and ride safe y’all!

BALEA LAKE POWDER DAYS

An experience of some weekends ago, probably the only powdered days of the year.
Balea Lac and Fagaras mountains remain one of the coolest back country and freeride areas in RO and probably the only mountains with serious lines. Easy to admire but dangerous to approach 😆😅💪… I m glad we chose to go there. In the first day we skin our way up from Capra cottage to Balea Lac, then ski down to Doamnei valley, skin up again and made a final descent on Balea Valley, just under the cable car. We had fresh snow and was nice to remember how that feels. Then we took the cable car up and parked out skis at Balea Lac.
We sincerely liked to stay at Balea Lac or Balea Lac 2 cottage, clean rooms, clean bathrooms, hot water and good food, we clearly recommend it.
The second day spent at Balea we skin our way up vaiuga , near Vanatoarea lui Buteanu peak, made a descent to Capra lake, skin up again and then chose to go down the south part, in the sun and at a later hour, following a group of austrian skiers that had a guide. I would honestly  recomand to avoid this area on clearer days and with temperatures over 5-6C degrees, especially when there is fresh snow accumulations. I found the snow quite heavy…
Ofcourse, we had to go down anyway because we had our car at Capra and we would either go down now or later…The transfer to the south part during the heating periods is very debatable.
Until next time, ride safe!

VALEA CERBULUI DRIFTING ON AN ICY DAY

SKITOURING TO VALEA CERBULUI ON AN ICY DAY

One of the latest ski touring days and this season gets closer to its end. Hope to get a couple of this days down until the end of this quite shitty winter. Maybe next one will be better and I manage to ski the fat animals next year 🙄.
It was so ice that my dental fillings almost fell down 😅.
But it was nice, a good mission a beautiful adventure in these uncertain times…
Until next time, enjoy and ride safe! 👊

Fagaras mountains on a blizzard weekend

FAGARAS MOUNTAINS BACKCOUNTRY SKIING ON A BLIZZARD WEEKEND 22.02.2020

This is from 2 weeks ago when we did some back country skiing in Fagaras mountains. It was not the perfect conditions but no regrets. Any day on the mountain its a good day, if nothing bad happens…. It was fun, riding in winter conditions on flat light and a blizzard, ingredients for a good adventure 🙂

We skied on the south side of Fagaras mountains, around Transfagarasan mountain road, just above Capra hut and bellow Transfagarasan tunnel. Enjoy!

Metal Enduro Resita, the last for now

We could not pass the final edition of Metal Enduro without some gratitude words… yes you heard it right, they said it was the last edition… for now, but I for one don’t bite this at all :))). Yes, maybe next year will not be held, just for us to miss it so much and to taste it better when it’s coming back.

We said it before, it’s the greatest enduro competition in Romania, the trails, the crew, the city, the time, its perfect. I love it so much because this contest transformed me and showed me why I want to ride my bike so much and made me a better rider each year… hope it comes back soon.

This edition was not second to others, it was in the same format as last year but it felt better. Somehow I think I got more mature as a rider and start treating it better, carefully and looking to have more fun. I like this in a contest, and I m glad I changed my approach to them. I am really looking forward for next year to see if I can keep this state of mind :D.

The trails don’t need no introduction, you’ve seen it in previous post like this one so bellow we leave you some row segments from the contest, some pictures and a trailer from last year cause we liked it so much.

We didn’t make an edit yet but we have the material for it. Maybe we will make it when the contest comes back to life 😆😅.

We wold like to send our many thanks tot the crew from Bike Attack Resita for holding this beautiful contest and the hole Romanian Enduro Cup! I bet it was a great journey and we loved being a small part of it! Cheers mates and cant wait to see you guys again on the trails or on the race office 🤣👊💪.

As a reminder, the effects of this year Enduro Cup ware:

  • New riding spots and all trails uploaded to trailforks;
  • Lots of young guns on the trails. The future looks great!
  • New teams;
  • Know how exchange between organizers;
  • many others…

The calendar for next year Romanian Enduro Cup it’s already up and we have 2 new stages at Sinaia and Bacau. Cant wait for this season, my hands and feet are aching already! 🤩

Piatra Craiului backcountry ski day first attempt

Probably the worst ski day so far, ever.
20 km ride, 19km ski carry, 1km of effective “ski” …
However, the mountain goats and the ridge of the mountain have somehow repaired the mistake.
This valley is very nice to ski and we plan to return. Eventually we sleep in the Grind refuge and at the first glimpse of light we climb La Om peak and descend. I think that would be great.
I hope to return this year and ski it in a more elegant way, or at least ski it from the top of La Om peak, that would be super awesome!
Until then, ride safe!

CIUCAS MOUNTAINS BACKCOUNTRY SKIING DAY

Make Heaven from what you have … or as they say …
If you want to ski you can, quite a lot. Maybe from a quality point of view it is more sad, but we will certainly ski until April at least…
You just have to know where to go skiing, not to expect much out of it and to know how to avoid traffic 😀 these are some key factors for a satisfying ski day.
I predict that we will have a few more days like this and declare ourselves satisfied. This does not mean that we must remain blind to the things that change around us and we must be passive.
Probably the governments must take the problem of global warming and climate change more seriously, and probably technology will play a key role in solving this, but our ways of leaving must change and that is soon…
Until then, ride safe!

Ski touring and romanian mountain hut, Barcaciu, Fagaras mountains

Ok, this country has some faults, nothing is perfect, but if you come to live with them and you love nature, you will find happiness here. We have traveled some and we liked what we sow over our borders, but somehow, I for one am always drown back here, to Romanian mountains. not the tallest, not the steepest, not the most beautiful, but they resemble us… complex, complicated :))

One thing I like about romanian mountains are the mountain huts. Basic, old, rugged but in a cozy kind of way. One place in particular that I’ve always come back to with pleasure is Barcaciu hut in Fagaras mountains.

Here I found knowledge, friendship, beauty, and will. The will to do something in the area, to develop and to offer free know how and that pleased me a lot.

This place is nice, Mihai, the guy in charge of the hut, along with his parents are making a great job on keeping the old hut alive.

This place is just great and if I would have lived closer in the area, I would visit it a lot more, along side with the other huts in the north west part of Fagras mountains.

This part of Fagaras is the greatest, lots of trails, great amazing ridge, lots of snow in the winter and great people!

And don’t forget the food, they know how to cook a great meal! Mrs. Mariana, Mihai’s mom it’s a terrific cook and half of the reason I go to Barcaciu is for the meals i get :))), no lie here :D. The other half wold be the trails and the snow in the winter. There are some spots there where you cold have some great ski touring days if the weather and the mountain allows it.

We’ve been there already this winter and we got half lucky. Great day, not to cold and not to windy, and with decent snow conditions. We had some bad visibility, flat light on Puha descent but we had to deal with it. You can not have it all, and you have to learn how to be grateful for what you received.

If on Saturday we had a bit o luck and we had a full ski touring day, on Sunday the snow came and we had to stay near the hut because of the bad visibility and unstable snow. But Mihai didn’t let us to rest, he made sure we remembered how to use our avalanche safety and rescue equipment and had some avalanche rescue drills near the hut. We tried also to ski some of the fresh pow but the visibility was just to bad so we called it a day. Not bad for the fist ski touring weekend of the season.

If you want to discover the area in terms of ski tourin, the event held by Mihai each spring its a good start, just check out Schi de tura la Barcaciu in first weekend of spring :D. And here, another beautyful weekend spend here!

Thanks Barcaciu for alt the good times! Cheers mate!