Prologue:

I wanted to take apart on this race/tour one more time. I wasn’t really happy when I found out that the event will be held in the middle of summer. I had multiple sickness in the spring and May didn’t really have a nice cycling weather. Moreover the heat can be unbearable.

Location and time:

Szentgotthárd

24.06.2022 Friday

 

 

Előkészületek

Basically I want to improve myself in four segments to succesfully complete the distance: bike, equipment, nutrition and rest.

Bike: I made multiple modifications in my bike. I changed the stock alumium seatpost and handlebar to carbon fiber (S-Works, 50-50$, second hand) for improved comfort. I changed the shitty entry-level Shimano brakes to a four pistion brake (SRAM Guide R, 150$, second hand). I wasn’t really satisfied with these brakes. Regulary bleeding is needed, and the dot brake fluid is corrosive. It eats up the sealings and you have to replace them. And I do most of the maintenances and repairs in my bedroom. However the braking power suprised me. I can even lock the rear wheel while braking. The other big improvement was a “new” fork (Fox 32, 2017, 420$, second hand). It greatly improved the control over the bike and made the longer trainings more comfortable. I left the 26T chainring untouched. Unfortunately I don’t have enough power if things get awfully steep.

Equipment: I really missed a big handlebar bag last year. I bought a Revelate Designs Sweetroll for 100$. It can carry my new 1P tent (Campz Tignes 1P, 76$). I have got new, smaller “self inflating” (I always have to blow it up) mattress (Nordisk Vanna 2.5, 68$). I bought a top tube framebag, but it isn’t really worked, my knees always touched it out of the saddle. For small parts I have got a frame bag (Revelate Designs Cutthroat, 70$). It is perfect for my Epic HT (2017, S size) frame. Thus I will use the BBB fork luggage system (DualMount BBC-113, 66€, HaulerMount BBC-111 36€, StackPack+StackRack 32€). So my fork can carry my sleeping stuff and bottles.

Rest/nutrition: The new mattress and tent greatly improved the quality of my rest. I will use sun screen, different lotions and chamois creme. I will take with me i:AM Mineral isotonic drinking powder, Nutriversum protein powder, Squeezy aminoacid tabs, i:AM Mineral salt tabs, daily vitamin and calcium. I bought a Jetboil MiniMo camping stove (130€) and some gas. Unfortunately those things eat up a lot of storage place.

I am really curious about if the above mentioned equipment will be good. The prices are really high nowadays. If you aren’t bikepacking often, you shouldn’t buy expensive bags. In the long run it might worth it. For sure: real accomodation will give you a better rest. Those bags are made out of tough material. You shouldn’t trash them after your first longer trip.

 

F1rst Day: On Home Soil

The first 100 km was tough. I ate a lot of gels and my stomach was not in a good shape. The course was a difficult, not always logical and rather MTB-specific. There were mud, sand, pavement, everything you need. I made a longer break in Zalaegerszeg, where I almost get a heat stroke. I countinued in the evening/at nicht, when the tempratur much better was. I found a cosy place for my tent on a vineyard. Before I fell asleep I heard a boar not far away from my place. Early in the morning I was woken up by a loudly singing bird instead of the cock of the nearby village. My new stove worked very well. It took quite a long time till I folded up everything and got ready for the upcoming day.

 

Second Day: Balaton-like

The cool air in the morning was a pure salvation. Road quality varied from the Austrian gravel to the worst imaginable. Gravel bike owners should be rewarded for their efforts. I had to make a bath pause in the famous lake. My fuse melted again in the late afternoon heat. I ate dinner in a wine bar. And it was an interesting experience. 4 pieces of fried meat with some potato salat costed about 4000 HUF (10$). There was no toilet paper holder in the toilet. The waiters had a strategic discussion about the avaiable tables. If they would bring out more tables, maybe they people would have more places to sit down? I am not an expert, but this would make sense. I got some basic cyclist food from my friend. It was really helpful. The course wasn’t logical neither yesterday nor today. At least I could watch and took a nice photo from the sunset.

 

 

Third Day: Rolling On the Uplands

The day started slowly. One deer looked into my tent. After I folded everything together I continued my journey. After the first ascent I couldn’t see my sleeping bag. I had to go back. I took care of my soul with a coffee and some bananes. The heat was almost unbearable and it was only 9 O’ Clock. I was wondering, how long can I pedal, because reaching Budapest seemed impossible in this weather. I needed every bit of my courage to go through a remote area/mountain. I could find the rhythm on the roads. I fueled myself up in a really cosy restaurant in Nemesvámos. After that I was on my way to the next bigger ascent, when I lost one of my bottles. I had to go back. I took out one of my spare bolts and mounted it, after that I checked the other bolts as well. We went through an unbelievable slippery gravel road to reach the first village in Bakony. Everthing was already closed, but a cofe. I drank wine, soda, and ice coffee to get some energy for the upcoming climb. It went well, but I got lost in the dark and I went through nettles. They were taller than me. I got some nettle rash. I didn’t wanted to ride farther in the night. I found an awesome place not far away from the road. It was a perfect camping place.

 

Fourth Day: SandNegyedik nap: Homokolás

I didn’t sleep well due to the nettle rash. The resting place had a nice location, but it was really cold. I had to take on every layers I had. I made a royal breakfast in the village and I went through some unpleasant sandy parts to reach the the valley of Cuha. It was astonishing. Unfortunately I had to take off my jersey, because my skin couldn’t get enough fresh air. Somewhere – before the next big & hot ascent – I lost my wallet. Of course I noticed it on the top of the mountain… I went back, but too much time has passed and someone found it. Based on my experience, it is not really possible to do more than 100 km in the heat. I and a collague reached Isztimér, where we could find accomodation. I had to wash my bike, because the sand was killing the drivetrain. The former guestes were Ukrainen refugees and they left there a lot of mirelit food. The pub and shop were already closed, so we were really happy for this dinner. The night cost 10$, but we almost got back this money from the food.

 

Fifth Day: Heatwave

I woke up in the morning with rumbling stomach. My body absorbed every calories from the dinner. There was a storm at night and the hot air went away. At a Hike-A-Bike section I broke one of my fork luggage, so I had to solve some logistical problems. The Vértes is a really nice mountain in Hungary. It is a remote area and you can’t really find water on every corner. You have to pay attention to the fluid intake and you have to cool down your body. I noticed that my tracker isn’t tracker anymore. Too bad that I lost his cable. After that I gained some more meaningless elevation. I rode/walked up and got back down. I meet with Kuzma again. His charging didn’t really charged, so I remained in stealth mode. I made an another mistake here. I locked down my bike and once I heard its clicking noise, I was in trouble. The key of the lock was in my wallet. So I had to ask a couple of people, if they might cut my bike free. It was succesful. I didn’t really wanted to continue the day, so I had a discussion with Kuzma about whatthehellarewedoinghere and I tried to get some sleep.

 

 

Sixth Day: Last Piece

I couldn’t really get much sleep at night. The refrigerator was too loud. I didn’t have such problem in the previous nights… I ate my two hot dogs from yesterday and I checked out. It was an bad start of the day. The recepcionist told me that I have to pay 5000 Ft, because he only paid for one person. All right, I had 3000 Ft for a whole day in 104 °F… Without any plan went back to the course. After many boring up and downhills I reached the main road, where my electronical devices stopped working. My body was really suffering on the sun till I reached the trainstation and bought a ticket to Budapest. I realized that my friends in Budapest aren’t at home. And I had zero money. Fortunately I can meet a friend outside of the city. One passenger listened to my call and spent me some money, so I was able to buy a second train ticket. I got dinner, accomodation, clean clothes… It was dreamful.

 

 

Conclusion:

I have mixed feelings about the event. I looked around in Europe for similar events. One course in Switzerland contains less elevation change. That’s ridiculous. I think the goal of a bikepacking event should not be this. Why we were climbing so much with a bike full of luggage? The quality of roads were often so bad that I might buy a fully. I really liked the feeling of sleeping in a tent. On a tour like this you want a really lightweight bike and you can only carry the most important itemps (spare tubes, food, and some waterproof clothes).

You will feel every gramm on the ascents.

Recommendation:

I can’t recommand this event for hobby cyclists. Maybe ultracyclists with a comfy bike and without any luggage can find it interesting. It is a big challange. If you want to make a tour on your own, you can make a better course with the help of turistautak.hu. The pavement quality of your course will be better, I can guarantee it.

Vadása-Lake

Nearby of Hársas-Lake

Zalalövő

We are very early

A special building

How I looked like during the tour?

Our best friend is the water tap

Hot, hot, and hot

The tour also included some panoramas

About the rural arts…

Fehérvárcsurgó-reservoir

Gravel-paradise

Losses:

  • 1 BBB dual mount adapter
  • 1 bottle holder
  • 1 BBB Hauler mount adapter
  • 1 bottle holder bolt
  • 1 wallet with documents (I got it after the tour)
  • 1 toenail (I hit something in one of the accomodation)
  • 1 Garmin speed sensor
  • 1 rear tire (worn out)

 

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