Saturday morning. After an early wake-up at 6:30 and the 2h drive from Bucharest we arrived at Sinaia – a popular local mountain resort situated at the foot of Bucegi Mountains.
However, we were not there for the city, but for TransBucegi – the road that starts in Sinaia and crosses the Bucegi Mountains. It is one of the most beautiful and scenic roads in Romania, going up to almost 2,000 m within 20 km.
Note: “Trans” means “through” in Latin, the mother-language of Romanian. We also have TransAlpina and TransFagarasan, for instance.
Route in a nutshell
Distance: 50 km | Elevation gain: 1.250 m (max elevation 1.900 m)
Route: Sinaia – TransBucegi and back
The ride is an out-an-back endeavor that gets you through the Bucegi Mountains. It is a diverse ride, offering rolling hills, hairpins, areas with forest and areas hill-tops with no trees at all. You won’t get bored on this ride!
The road per-se is quite narrow – approx. 60% of its length is a wide one-lane road. We went there on a Saturday and unfortunately it was quite crowded with cars, as the area is also a popular place for local tourists. And oh boy, some drivers from Romania are so impatient … Good thing that the scenery was serene enough to calm the spirits. However, it might be best to go on the TransBucegi ride on Monday-Friday and avoid the weekend, if possible.
The up-hill ride has 2 important turning points, so I will use them as milestones and break the climb into 3 segments. Each segment has approx. 8 km and climbs of approx. 300-400 m.
The first segment of the ride goes through a nice forest. The road is somewhat shaded, with two lanes on the road. You can already see the Bucegi Mountains in the background 🙂
The second segment has a more serious climb through the mountains. The one-lane road begins here, and the temperature drops slowly. You might not feel it while you’re fighting the hills on the bike, but you’ll certainly feel the chills during the breaks.
Despite the more difficult climb, the second segment also brings beautiful scenic views. The picture below was taken during the descent, when we took our time to enjoy the views 🙂
The third and last segment is less crowded with cars, but very windy and cold. The top part reaches almost 2,000 m altitude, so you’ll definitely need at least a wind jacket. It was also quite cloudy, fortunately it did not rain at all.
However, the views from here were stunning! I am already convinced that exploring the world by bike is an enriching experience and gets you very close to nature, closer to the simple things that we do not usually appreciate as much as we should.
The final segment is also called “the roller coaster”. That is an interesting aspect, as on the way to the top there are downhill parts (amazing feeling!), but during the descent there are some short climbs. However, during the descent it got so cold and windy that I was actually looking forward to a climb to get a bit warmer!
During almost every ride we take we meet some (wild) animals – this time it was sheep and cows. There were many animals at the beginning of the third segment, some even crossing the street and slowing down the Speedy Gonzales drivers 🙂
Related to animals and the beauty of nature, on the way back I took a lovely shot of a bumblebee on a flower. Ever since I read the book “The History of Bees” by Maja Lunde (reviews on my book blog) I started to appreciate so much more these small insects and the great job they’re doing for our planet.
To conclude, the ride on TransBucegi is a beautiful and challenging journey. In my case it is also the biggest climb I’ve done so far. Despite the crowded roads and the cold winds at the top, I did enjoy every single minute of it – Mother Nature did a terrific job in the Bucegi Mountains!
I used my own bike – Canyon Endurace CF SL Disc.
‘Till next time … happy riding!