Recently I’ve realised that I cannot answer the question: “Why am I doing this trip? Why don’t I simply take the plane to Indonesia?”
Only two years ago I’ve learned to pedal. But, hey, Annie Londonderry learned the way of two wheels only a few days previous to her departure. I’ve never cycled outside my country. Two nights ago I camped for the first time alone, my previous camping experience dating back to high school, and those years of glory ended a while back.
But you know what? There is no doubt in my mind I can do this :).
Today I found out also that the first female traveler to cycle solo around Europe was Romanian! Her name was Gina Burileanu and she was only 18 at the time. She completed the tour between 1935 – 1937 and cycled in 17 countries. Hope to find more info on her.
1935 – 1937
1935 – 1937
Time goes by, time comes along,
All is old and all is new;
What is right and what is wrong,
You must think and ask of you;
Have no hope and have no fear,
Waves that rise can never hold;
If they urge or if they cheer,
You remain aloof and cold.
And this is Nelu, a 26er hardtail bike with V-brakes. It’s not really recommended to go touring with a bike with suspension fork but we do have some history together Nelu and I. With this mudguard set * and proper racks ** I believe we are good to go 😀
* if you have better suggestions, please speak your mind
** We’d love some Old Mountain racks, but they are pricey
„Danube For Youth is a project implemented by the group Cycling Romania and supported by ROI Association, together with the Bulgarian partner – Velo-Ruse Association. The project’s main objectives are to promote the Romanian Danube area, as an integral part of the Danube, an European symbol and the support centered on the sustainable development of the communities along the Oravita-Calarasi sector, especially of the young people confronted with socio-economic difficulties.”
32 volunteers divided in 8 teams, each cycling a different route along the Danube, half starting from the East end, Calarasi, and the other half from the West end, Oravita.
After 7 days of cycling all teams met at the middle of the distance, at Cetate Cultural Port.
Surely this is the highlight of my experience as a volunteer on bicycle, so far. You may wonder why do people fall in love with this type of traveling? If you already cannot imagine yourself without your bike than you know.
On bike you travel at a pace slow enough to allow you to experience what you see, but fast enough to get you somewhere and the greatest thing about it: you can stop whenever wherever. If you want to travel around the world I believe it is the most flexible and cost effective way.
It can take you even where there is no trail 😉
And now I give you Danubian sounds:
Happy cycling wherever your wheels take you!
Let’s get one thing straight from the start: Romania is full of amasing cycling routes for the offroad lovers. There are counties you could spend weeks exploring and Brasov is one of them. More on cycling in Romania from Mircea, a licensed cyclotouring guide thanks to whom I did all of my voluteer work.
He’s a tree hugger and stories tend to stick to him like flies to honey. So he’s a great storryteller too.
In May 2013 we’ve marked together a loop cyclotouring trail surrounding Prod village in Brasov county.
Some of the friends I made along the way.
There were two rainy days of cycling, smiling to the locals and explaining them what were the bicycle signs about, spotting deers, making friends, the usual stuff for a cyclotourist ;-).
We’ve biked the route twice, both-ways and same route seemed totally different second time. Actually same route is different each time. Your mood, the weather, people you cycle with or biking by yourself change the experience.
Happy cycling wherever your wheels take you!
First project I volunteered for was laying the foundation of the first network of cyclotouring offroad routes around Bucharest, in March – April 2013. Main purpose of the project is to connect the rural communities and to create new economic opportunities for the local people.
First route was initiated in the Ciocanesti village and nearby region. It was done mainly with help from local teens and the work involved marking, leveling the ground or widening the trail where it was necessary. Working with local community means that they will mantain the route in the future. Actually if you do happen to visit you’ll always find a local guide available.
What is really fascinating about this route is that in only 25 km you get to cycle along a river, to be greeted by local flock of sheeps while crossing the open plain and to have a “”I’ve-entered-the-realm-of-fairytales” feeling going through the woods.
Have a look at this album on their Facebook page and you’ll get a glimpse of what cycling the route means.
In addition to practical work I also was in charge of the poster.
I am a dreamer by heart and a maker by hands, always wondering, often wandering. And that is why I decided to doodle my trip.
“Photography is an immediate reaction, drawing is a meditation.” Henri Cartier-Brensson
In the summer of 2012 I’ve learned to bike by myself, in the park, with a children bicycle. I’m a mignon (not evil though) and I felt that I’m safe only if I can stop the bike by putting my feet on the ground. Soon after that I was already bate in the hectic traffic of Bucharest.
It was not long and I started to volunteer in cyclotouring projects and marking off road routes for bicycles.
photo courtesy of Les filles Florissantes