Bears along the way

With the road bike in Romania – Patrick Wimmer would do it again. In July, the key account manager for plastics and illuminated advertising discovered exciting routes in this country. Besides 5 friends there was also a support vehicle on the trip. A conversation about horse carriages, the Carpathians and bear alarms.

Through the Carpathians

Several hundred Parallel Passion kilometers were driven in Romania. How does a racing bike enthusiast from Baden even get the idea to travel this country? “A colleague at work had taken a motorcycle tour of the Carpathians last year, which he had organized. From Poland he went all the way to Austria. I liked the pictures that he put into his Whats-App-Status,” Patrick says.

The group was quickly complete

Patrick asked for a one-week racing bike tour through Romania, and three weeks later his friend presented him a draft. If six people came along, he would do it. Therefore both of them started advertising. Patrick did that at RSV Hofweier, a cycling club of which he is a member. Soon the group was complete, flights and hotels were booked. But due to the Corona Virus the tour was temporarily cancelled. Fortunately three weeks before the start it was clear: the trip would take place.

A desire for the unknown

On July 9, the organizer drove the bikes in the support vehicle to Sibiu, and then the cyclists flew from Baden-Baden – a flight connection that is thanks to the numerous harvest workers who work in Baden fields. “I was curious. The pictures had been promising. Untouched nature, horse carriages – we all felt like exploring the unknown,” says Patrick.

Departure in spite of an alarm

Sibiu was both the start and end of the tour. From there the team started the longest distance on the first day. Over 158 km and 1,100 meters of altitude difference we went to Bran, the next day to Corbeni, then the first mountain stage should follow. The evening before, however, there was an official alarm on all cell phones – which did not seem to interest the locals. “Everyone looked at their cell phones, but then put them away and remained calm. So we stayed that way, too.” remembers Patrick. “Because it was a bear alarm, which meant that bears had been sighted in the wider area. This did not stop the group from setting off the next morning and tackling the Transfăgărășan up to the Olt Valley in Transylvania. The road runs between the two highest mountains of the Carpathians. Because of its height, it is also called “road in the clouds”.

Dangerous return

A nice hilly route led into the mountains. After ten kilometers, the first bear could be seen in a bush, and shortly afterwards another one was sitting at the side of the road. Patrick: “This big brown animal sat there and watched the traffic, we drove past it. Then I thought: What a pity, my GoPro hadn’t recorded him at all. So I drove back and passed him again. My friends later asked me if I had thought that this could have been dangerous. I had to say no, I hadn’t thought of that. Hopefully I really got the bear at GoPro, I haven’t even looked at it yet …”.

Click here for Patrick’s Strava and Instagram profile.

First part of Patrick’s little travel documentary:

Watch this video on YouTube.
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