Since I had a free day during the week, I decided to use it by going on a recky I had been planning for a long time, but hoped I would not have to do by myself – you never know when something on the bike breaks, and you are in the middle of nowhere with no one to help you. And so, I convinced Mihai of Medias to join me in this ride from Brasov to Busteni (the initial track was to Sinaia, but we were cut short by the aforementioned technical troubles).
Mihai only happened to be in Brasov that Friday, and so he had to use a bike on loan. He also didn’t have any padded bike shorts with him, nor his clip shoes – which did not in any way keep him from breaking a piece of the derailleur. A small but very stubborn piece of wood played an important role in this matter, but we must also praise Mihai for what he’s worth: when it comes to breaking bikes, from the common flat tire to fatally damaging the derailleur, Mihai of Medias has no competition.
I did bring my camera along, plus and extra lens, all in all about 1.5 kilo of gear. And for nothing, as I did not use it at all. The weather was not the best (heat, bad visibility on account of the humidity), but time was also rather short. I illustrated the article with the help of my ole’ buddy Google Earth, to whom I fed the GPS track of the ride.
The first part of the ride we knew by heart: the climb to Poiana Brasov on the trail that goes through Pietrele lui Solomon, and then crossing the ski slopes. It was a good opportunity to observe all the work that is going on with making and improving the ski area in Poiana Brasov. They are widening older slopes and making a new one, installing a new ski lift and making water reservoirs to create artificial snow. The last few winters in Poiana were rather unfortunate, it scarcely snowed, and it was too warm. Let’s hope to a better season next year, on the new slopes.
We continued our ride towards the Rasnoavei Keys, going down through Cheisoare. We were looking for on old trail, marked with blue triangle, which goes by the margin of the woods and ends up at the beginning of the Rasnoavei Keys. To find it we had to go through a sheepfold and were lucky to find the shepherd at home. The trail was barely there anymore, but its great if you’re fond of single trail. Very little push bike sessions, and even those can be avoided, if you know the area well.
We got up to Trei Brazi on a trailed marked with blue triangle. A lot of push bike on this section. Even thought it was shorter then the other climb we usually take, through Valea Tocilita, followed by yellow triangle, it took longer to complete it. It might be better as a descent solution from Trei Brazi to Rasnoave. Technical, steep – plenty of adrenaline.
We continue our ride by combining the yellow band that descends to Trei Brazi towards Predeal with the blue cross that goes down to Paraul Rece. An amazing ride. Short and intense climbs, nicely laid descents, where you can finally let yourself go loose a little. After a short transition on asphalt, we found ourselves on the ascent to Forban / Dihanul militar / Seaua Bailui, and then above the Poiana Izvoarelor hut, also known from other rides. Almost 600m altitude in 8 kilometers, with a few moments of catching your breath.
As the clouds were gathering, we had to give up on our planned lunch stop at Poiana Izvoarelor hut and kept at it, on the single trail towards Sinaia. Unfortunately, it was on this portion, in Busteni, that Mihai broke the derailleur piece, after we had just finished some 10 kilometers of pure two wheeled fun: long descends through the woods, broken down by only a few push bike sections, just to keep you on your toes. We will definitely come back, so we can finish the ride to Sinaia, as initially planned. And also take photos!
We got back to Brasov by train, which was only 30 min late. We made and ate our sandwiches under the critical gaze of the train master. But it really was very relaxing to be able to legally take your bike on the train, and paying only 1.5 Euro for it, instead of bribing the railway employees.
The data from the Google Earth generated profile are not very exact. Closer to the truth is the info provided by the GPS.
Numbers aside, it was a hard but very satisfying ride. We will surely return.