Mountainbike tour: June, 5 - 12, 2016

 

Introduction: After months of preparation and several meetings, the MTB-tour was ready. The tracks were tailor-made for an enthusiastic team, it might  be pretty tough. Everything was checked by Carol Varga, the man who put the whole region on a map: large and small paths, altitude lines, etc.  and he sent us improvements. A piece that was  no longer passable by forest exploitation was replaced by another road, a steep slope was bypassed. Also Alexandru Fodor and his wife Elena presented the track using the up-to-date version of the Banat 2 Epic (ride that is driven in July) at our disposal. The bedrooms were reserved and the menus discussed. A jeep and a camper will ensure the supply and support. After a final meeting in Geel the trip could start . 

The tracks:

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  • 1_Boheemse_dorpen
  • 2_Slatina_Timis-_Berzasca
  • 3_Berzasca_Prigor
  • 4_Prigor_Slatina_Timis
  • 5_Banat_Epic_2016
Sunday June 5th 17 bikers left from Geel and surrounding to Slatina-Timis with Wizzair. Two mountain bikers started already on Saturday with a van filled with bikes, equipment and luggage to Romania. 5 people of Geel were already  in Slatina-Timis. Sunday at 20h the whole group was attending the dinner in pension Roma : 17 mountain bikers, four coaches and three helpers who supported the cooking team of the guesthouse in the preparation of meals. After the local election results were known, Gheorghe Roma can start his third term as mayor, the team was present at the cultural center where they took part in the festivities.
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 Monday, June, 6th: track click here  

The MTB-tour along the Bohemian villages: Weidenthal (Brebu Nou), Wolfsberg (Garana) and Lindenfeld (the abandoned ghost village) started in good weather conditions. In Weidenthal there was a tastfull snack in Pension BN167 (EnduRoMania).
Because it had strongly rained the previous days the trip of 70km with 1771 altimeters was a tough one. Upon arrival the bikes were hosed with high-pressure, the chains etc well lubricated.  After dinner, the local children's dance group "Slatinoara" and orchestra gave an appreciated performance.

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Tuesday, June, 7th :track click here 

It's the first day of a three-day trip to the Danube and back. Slatina-Timis - Berzasca 128 km and 2561 altimeters.The group left Slatina-Timis along the new asphalt road to Trei Ape. There was the first supply. From here they went off road with a steep slope to the Semenic summit. Two brave bikers  drove  by car to the Semenic, they climbed into the top of a dilapidated wind turbine ... From the Semenic summit they drove  downhill, partly along the Nera River to Borlovenii Veche where hot soup was waiting for the bikers, then a few kilometers on asphalt road and through a forest road uphill to Ravensca (a Czech village) then back downhill to Liubcova at the Danube and a few kilometers of asphalt to the pension Ecaterina. First  the bikes were cleaned and then they all jumped into the swimming pool. On the Danube  a fish menu including trout and somn (catfish) was served.

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Wedsnesday, June 8th: track click here  

The second day: Berzasca - Prigor: 117 km and 2273 altimeters
Our Romanian friend, who drew the detailed maps of the entire region advised us to drive along the asphalt road to Eselnita, a trip of 60km with a stop at Decebal. From Eselnita a climb followed over the Almajulii mountains, en route a spaghetti-supply, then they descended to the water mills in Eftimie Murgu along the Rudaria river. Here the last bananas and cakes were distributed. Then along the fields and sheep farms to Prigor where  snacks were already on the table in pension Prigorel.

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Thursday June, 9th: track click here 

The 3rd : Prigor - Slatina-Timis: 72 km and 2090 altimeters
This trip was considered "easy" because it was shorter than the previous ...They started with a climb, on the top of the ridge there were beautiful panoramas of valleys. Then they drove to Verendin where the burned cultural center was established as a supply post. After Verendin up towards Trei Ape and then across the ridge to Sus in Slatina-Timis  who was waiting with a cold beer. After cleaning the bikes they took a fresh dive in the  pool of the guesthouse "Roma".

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 Friday, June,  10th: track click here

 Banat epic 2016: 116 km and 4800 altimeters 

With four long and difficult days in the legs and after the evenings with tuica and beer many participants were on their gums. Yet everybody started this epic ride. One could drop out on the way at various places and return to the guest house along asphalt road. But four of them drove together with the Romanian mountain bikers Alexander, Elena and Dan  the long end of the ride. The view on top of the Canicea ridge over three valleys was the best reward they could imagine. Back in Slatina-Timis the small river through the village changed suddenly in a raging mountain river. A cloudburst in the mountains uprooted trees and tons of heavy rocks were swept away by the stream. The volunteer fire department had to clear the road to Trei Ape. Fortunately the water level began to fall back before  damaging houses. An hour later  the same fire brigade prepared a tasteful BBQ in the garden of the medical center, where the match France-Romania could be followed on a big screen.

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Saturdag June, 11th:

The bikes and luggage were loaded into the van which left for Belgium. The group wandered through the fields to Ilova, an hamlet of Slatina-Timis. Again, they were warmly welcomed with traditional tuica and good food.
In the afternoon a visit  was brought the city of Caransebes.

Sunday, June 12th:

The bus took the group punctually, and brought them to the airport of Timisoara. The journey was over, for all an unforgettable experience. Everyone was very enthusiastic. The tracks were difficult, sometimes through high grass, then again in the mud but the panoramas were exceptional. The people were very friendly. The "dazers" were handy for keeping the sheep dogs at a distance. The farmers working on the corn and potatoes fields,  the hay riders and mites which are on the grasslands everywhere, are pictures we cann't see anymore in our villages. One participant said that sometimes he had the impression that they were in a time machine with all the contrasts that they met on the road.