One of my favorite parts of my job is getting to meet and interact with people that share their incredible experiences and accomplishments. It’s always such an inspiration to get out and do something, and after every story from a Montague bike rider, I feel ready to conquer from my bike saddle.
I’d like to share the latest of inspirational Montague bike riders-Hernani Cardoso. (You may recognize his name from our Facebook page!) Hernani recently rode his Montague Paratrooper from Salzburg, Austria to Varna, Bulgaria. He explained that he decided to start in Salzburg because he saw the movie The Sound of Music when he was ten and fell in love with the city, which may just be my favorite part of the entire story! (Confession: I love musicals.)
I had the pleasure of doing an online interview with Hernani about his trip.
1. What made you choose that tour from Austria to Bulgaria?
I got a really cheap flight from Lisbon to Salzburg on Air Berlin, so I started to figure a tour from Salzburg all the way down to the Black Sea following the Eurovelo 6, and started in France on the Atlantic coast. So I was going to ride a little bit from Salzburg to Passau and then follow the Danube river.
2. What kind of gear did you use to equip your bike for the long trip? (We love the camo around the top tube!)
My Montague Paratrooper was almost as it came from factory, just changed my factory handlebar for a touring one and added a trailer. Of course changed tires. Never did I have a mechanical problem neither a puncture.
3. What was your average length of time on the bike per day?
Usually I would wake up at 8am pack everything together and ride for the next stop. I would ride almost 5 hours so that at 3-4pm I was already camped and with time remaining to visit the surroundings. My longest day was from Beograd to Goluback. I left Beograd at 6am and got to Goluback almost 10 hours later, with stops for lunch, ferry and visiting some villages.
4. What was your most difficult experience on the trip?
I had 2 difficult experience and I can’t tell which one is THE MOST difficult.
Mentally speaking, the road through the 21 tunnels in the Djerdap Park, along the Danube and Serbian border with Romania, was just hell because they didn’t have any light so you couldn’t see the road you’re riding. Besides that the views were great.
Physically speaking, the worst experience was near the Serbian/Bulgarian border were the track lead to a very steep single track up a mountain. It was hot, it was a huge climb and a very difficult downhill and since I was riding with a trailer it got more difficult.
5. …and the most fulfilling?
Riding in and around Salzburg it is a very unique experience. The views are wonderful and you can visit all the Sound Of Music sites on a bike. Salzburg was a surprise to me and I will be glad to go back there.
6. Do you have plans for your next tour?
Next tour? The original one: ICELAND.
Flight from Lisbon to Keflavik, cycle all the southern shores until Seydisfjordur, take a ferry there to the Faroe Islands and then Bergen (Norway) cycle all the way to Amsterdam trough Sweden, Denmark and Germany.
7. What’s your favorite song from The Sound of Music?
Definitely the opening: The Hills Are Alive
Photos courtesy of Hernani Cardoso
Have an adventure you’d like to share? Let us know!