This last weekend, 14 May 2011, we just finished the longest mountain biking tour ever :-). We started in August 2010 in Simon village and finished it in May 2011 further 20 kilometers away, near Zarnesti. You’d say quite a short ride for such a long time and you’d be right. The plan was to do the tour over one weekend last summer, but after a gorgeous Saturday the rain came. We weren’t able to reschedule the second part of the tour until this May, so voila, mystery revealed.
Steve and Robbie wanted to go on some more technical trails – they both live in Bucharest for quite some time now, and they had the chances to try the obvious forestry roads around Valea Prahovei, the Sinaia descent on the „Drumul de vara“ ski slope, etc. They called us and we prepared for them two days of mountain biking bonanza on hills and mountains in the Bran area.
The first day we went up to Poiana Gutanu (moderate ascent on forestry road with push bike sections at the end) then down to Simon village along some quite challenging mountain trails, following the crest of the hills overlooking the Simon valley from South-East. It was a warm August day, the locals where working the hay, and asked us to trade equipment, one bike for one scythe (something we wisely declined). At one point we had to sneak around a ferocious looking bull who was standing just in the middle of the trail, it was the third time I met that gorgeous animal that summer and I suspect we’ll meet again this year.
For the second day we scheduled a tour in Piatra Craiului and we stuck to the original plan. Just the group was bigger, with Andreea, Lenuta and Mihai joining the group. This May the weather was cooler, less sunny, but very suitable for mountain biking. A few drops of rain along the route, nice and quiet places (just a few other trekkers and about 20 other bikers, the flocks of sheep and the herds of cows with their famous dogs weren’t up in the mountains yet). The route wass quite varied, moving from the scenic forestry road in the Zarnesti gorges to the mountain trails in Poiana Vladusca, Poiana Joaca, Curmatura Groapelor, La Table, Poiana Grind. The final descent through Pestera and Magura villages ended on a high an already exquisite day.
Steve and Robbie were more than pleased with our mountain biking day. The route was very varied, quite challenging technically and physically. The landscape is, most probably, the best in Romania. Towards the end of the final descent on the narrow trails of Măgura village, Steve said “this might be my best ride ever”….
Enjoy the photos Horia took during this trip.