The ride up to Crint, near Sibiu, is a classic, we’ve been doing it for four or five years now – ever since my parents bought a small patch of land in the area, and we slowly started making a summer holiday place out of it. So, whenever there’s a free weekend, we go to the village of Fantanele for some peace and quiet, to admire the beauty of the place and its manifold mountain biking options.
From Fantanele you can reach Paltinis through Gura Raului on the now famous Daneasa valley (who got its reputation thanks to the Geiger mountain biking marathon). But you can also reach Paltinis through Rasinari. Another cycling destination is Magura Cisnadiei and even Cindrel Peak, where we once ventured in an exploring trip, which you can read about, but mostly look at the pictures here.
Crint is however the closest and you can lengthen the ride by going on the Creasta Porumbelului. From Sibiel you can reach Crint either by following the valley, amongst many picnics, or through Poiana Soarelui where there are fewer grills. These were our only two options, until recently. A closer look showed a new alternative which we explored this past weekend. An what have we found?
Not only a new ride to Crint, but also a place time forgot. Cart roads covered in knee high grass, deserted houses and crumbling hay stacks. A few cows, a small herd of sheep and an equally surprised shepherd (“Bikes? Nooo. Only noisy motorcyclists pass through here…”). The place is both enchanting and intimidating – while you are only an hour away from asphalt, you feel lost in a different century at the same time.
From Tilisca you can take a dirt road up the valley, a road which quickly transforms into a cart road. The initial ascent is quite tough, but doable. I like it this way, because it gives you quicker access to the alpine pasture which is where you want to be anyways.
This is a “to be continued” story, as we only got to do a part of the trail we researched. These roads take you to Crint, but also to other places such as Rod and even Creasta Porumbelului. Which is something we hope to do next time, and add to the already busy map of the mountain biking rides in the area near Sibiu.