„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.
And now I give you Danubian sounds:
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.
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.