How the road cycling adventure began (Campina – Paltinu, Romania)

March 2019. Saturday at noon. Here I was, in a beautiful park in Campina, at the base of the first hill I was going to climb on a road cycle. Equipped with a rented bike, a borrowed helmet and an improvised cycling kit (only the bibs were designed with that purpose in mind), but also with a lot of enthusiasm and a bit of anxiety.

Two and a half hours later, after 32 km and 350 m elevation gain, I was tired but happy about my achievement. A new hobby had just kindled!

Route in a nutshell

Distance: 32 km | Elevation gain: 350 m (max. elevation: 590 m)

Start: Campina (Muscel park) | Turnaround: Paltinu dam

Muscel Paltinu road cycling out and about

Strava link here

The trail has mixed characteristics. It starts off with a fairly steep climb for a rookie (6-7% avg. gradient, with short banks up to ~10%), and after a well-deserved descend it eases off into a long false flat area (you’ll love it on the way back). 

The trail winds along a quiet river, through small villages. There is not much traffic, and you’re likely to meet other cyclists on the route during the weekend.

If you fancy a selfie at the top of the dam, you can opt to climb the 100m elevation difference (avg. gradient 6-7%). Next time I’ll give it a try! 🙂

The view of the dam. This is where I stopped, before the climb to the top

The bike

Model: Scott Speedster, size S. The size was too large for me (my height is 167 cm), I needed an XS to feel comfortable in the saddle. The bike was in good (not excellent) condition, adding to my already existing first-climb anxiety.

The bike was rented from Zebra Bike for the weekend. We took the bike from them on Friday evening and returned it on Monday morning.

! Tip: they offer a discounted price when booking for the whole weekend

Ride on!


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