Endurotip Romania

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Endurotip Romania

Endurotip Romania

No driving bans, no road closures, demanding slopes – with these arguments, EnduRoMania attracts off-road fans to Romania.

Josef Seitz


Simply mount coarse knobby tires on the rims of the Enduro, get into your cross boots, buckle up your protectors, kick through the kick starter and let it crash over muddy dirt roads and rocky mountain slopes where there has never been a prohibition sign. Up to lonely mountain peaks, down into narrow valleys, a total of more than 30,000 square kilometers of space for enduro riding. And should the police ever be around, they’ll stand curiously at the side of the road and smile friendly. When the bones are really shaken in the evening, a team is already waiting for you with a good meal. Unthinkable in Germany, but there really is such a thing in Romania. Enduro holidays in Romania? In a country that mainly makes a name for itself because of its ailing economy, numerous aid transports and high crime rate than because of its scenic attractions? But recently a very special offer has been attracting some motorcycle enthusiasts, above all Sergiu Morariu, who, with the support of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, oversees economic projects in Romania, which also includes tourism promotion. One day Sergiu came up with an idea: The many unpaved roads as well as lots of field and meadow paths in his home country and an army of enduro riders who come across blocked paths almost everywhere in Western Europe with their coarse bikes – something should turn out to be something Last year, the EnduRoMania project celebrated its debut: a combination of motorcycle meeting and enduro event. Enduro riders can really let off steam for four days three times a year in the terrain that stretches from the western foothills of the Southern Carpathians down to the Danube. The start and end point of the enduro tours is a camp on the summit of the Muntele Mic. The EndoRoMania competitions run according to the following system: The drivers must reach as many of the checkpoints as possible at the individual stages, which is feasible on routes of varying difficulty, which can be freely selected depending on the requirements of the drivers. Touring riders who want to venture out on gravel roads will get their money’s worth as well as sporty enduro riders who, as long as they stay away from the public roads, do not need to have a driver’s license or road approval for their motorcycle. The routes are marked accordingly in a road book that each participant receives at the start. However, the organizers attach great importance to the fact that the rides should primarily be fun and not misunderstood as a racing event. For the first EnduRoMania, the information for the map material that is made available to the participants had to be painstakingly pioneered by the organizers collected and finally recorded, as most of the routes have not yet been registered. There are no detailed maps of this region. This fact still requires a strong sense of orientation from the drivers. Anyone who finds new ways to get to the destination and additionally documents them in the form of a simple road book will be rewarded with special points. At the individual checkpoints, some of which are remote, there is a stamp in the list given, which has a certain point value depending on the difficulty of the journey. The driver with the most points will then be crowned the winner at the obligatory final party on the Muntele Mic and will receive a trophy that was as unusual at the first EnduRoMania as the whole event: a female torso carved out of wood by a well-known Romanian artist from Timisoara. Given an average monthly income of around 200 marks, the sportsmanship of the organizers and the Romanian participants can only really be measured. Only a few can afford a simple motorcycle, and a great deal of imagination is required when it comes to purchasing spare parts, as there is no dealer network. Bikers like Dan quickly learn to improvise and sometimes build a piston from a Dacia or the ignition from a Russian Minsk into a 250cc Yamaha. Or Girlisteanu, who has been building a motocross trailer for a long time. He wants to be finished by the next EnduRoMania, in order to then compete with the foreign visitors on a specially marked course. Despite the supply bottlenecks, technical problems should be resolved quickly on site during the runs, as the organizers emphasize. A motorcycle mechanic from Germany will be available for all participants, who will have the most important spare parts and tires ready on the basis of the type information provided by the participants in the registration form. You would take care of the often difficult fuel supply yourself. The participation fee for EndurRoMania is 100 marks and includes the cost of a visa. Then there are the costs for gasoline, accommodation and food. In addition to the fun of digging around in the dirt again, according to the organizers, the drivers also have time to get to know Romania and its people during this event. A country that is reminiscent of the yellowed pictures from grandfather’s photo album. Everywhere on the streets there are teams of horses and oxen, and cackling geese and fat pigs share many a mud hole with the enduro riders. But the EnduRoMania team sees this as the special charm of Romania, and it hopes to be a pioneer in boosting tourism in the country. “Especially now, when economic conditions are getting worse and worse,” explains Sergiu, “the country is urgently dependent on foreign exchange. Anyone who joins EnduRoMania now might come back next year and spend their vacation here. «He knows that the financial support of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia for his project cannot be permanent. That is why he hopes to create a platform with his work that will enable EnduRoMania to continue to be held under private guidance in the future. But at the moment Sergiu is again deep in the mud with both wheels – looking for new ways for the next EnduRoMania, which will take place in August.

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