Of all the rides I’ve been on so far, this has by far one the most interesting climb sections. It is quite varied: you start in Sinaia with a few kilometers of asphalt to warm up, then you take the dirt road through the woods, follow the macadam in the alpine pasture, till you reach the end of the cable car at Babele (elevation 2206m). The ride has technical portions where you need to be able to control your bike, as well as flat areas where you can catch your breath and admire the gorgeous alpine scenery laying ahead of you for miles.
I really only started to feel the flow after the second half of the climb. Till then, I found it rather hard to find my rhythm, trying to keep up with my brother in law and his girlfriend, who were riding quite relaxed, a few meters in front. But, when I found myself at the half of the climb, and I realized I had more then enough resources for the other half, I was finally able to give in to the joy of the ride and catch up with the rest of the troupe. I climbed really well, better then on previous rides, and only started to feel exhausted during the very last kilometer, when I had to deal with muscle cramps.
For me, the most difficult part for any new ride is the fact that it is new. I’m like the Donkey from Shrek, who keeps on asking „are we there yet.” I annoy everyone asking them how much longer we’ve got, how difficult it is, what lies ahead and so on and so forth. Anyways, this time I was able to let go of all this, and just enjoy the climb and my new found resources.
Unfortunately what comes up must go down and after the euphoria of the climb wore out, I realized I was facing a long, unknown and difficult descent. Then we saw the black menacing clouds gathering above our heads. Whatever happened to the crystal clear skies? And so, instead of taking the different route down, we decided to go back the same way we came, since the macadam road was easier to deal with in the heavy rain that had started. We got back to the car around 5PM, drenched and covered in mud, but quite content. I was feeling that type of fatigue that you only feel after an active day in the outdoors, and I relished it.
The photos from below are from on older ride to Babele, a few years back, when I had to stay home with my newborn daughter.