Friday, 17 August 2012

Hungary Cycling Tour Review

It was a well organised tour and a good mix of cycling and sight seeing. The hotels and food were good quality and value, the £700 trip cost included all costs except lunch and drinks (visits to pools etc included). The fact that the tour organisers let some of our belongings get stolen was a bit of a blunder, and it seems they weren't insured for this. The scenery by the lakes and rivers with quiet bike tracks was nice, but the flat fields of maize and sunflowers that we cycled through on straight roads were a bit monotonous. What motorised traffic we encountered was used to bikes. Our daily distance was only 30-50 km (3 or 4 hrs cycling) so if you were wanting something more challenging and can't cycle slowly, this is not the cycling holiday for you!
The People:
Tony the manager of Velo Touring (Budapest) is quite an amusing chap who tends to speak non-stop in a mixture of Hungarian, German and English to anyone he meets - only stopping to eat (which he does a lot!) He's a good driver although does spend quite a bit of time on his mobile.
Victor our guide is a nice chap who speaks good English and has a good knowledge of local history. He's also a good driver.
The cyclists just consisted of my wife and I and the German. He was quite a slow cyclist, who had his saddle low and tended to use low gears. So we had to stop every 15 mins for him to catch up, which was ok by us.
The Bikes:
The Merida Classic 200 bikes were ideal for the trip. Although I wasn't sure front suspension was a good idea at the start, there were enough bumps to make them a necessity. The 700 x 35 Kenda tyres with road grips were good. Wearing my "cargo shorts" rather than padded Lycra was good - cooler and handy pockets. I was a bit surprised the bikes weren't fitted with bottle cages, but they fitted one on mine. Nicky's was a ladies bike and didn't have the fittings for a cage, but at least we had the little panniers. Having a big bike trailer meant they could carry several spare bikes and transport us along the busy road sections to/from nice bike roads.

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