As we rode up from Bucharest my heart akipped and my mind raced, full of memories of previous encounters and battles with mountain passes. From riding the Grossglockner Strasse in Austria, through to my first Himalayan High Road - riding from Siliguri up to Darjeeling, and then on to more and more high passes around the world, I think there is little to rival the excitement that builds in the ride to the foot of a world classic climb.
These roads are world renowned. These roads are beautiful beyond compare. These roads have been crafted by skilled engineers and by suffering and hardy workers. But for us, the best of these roads offer names to conjure with, and the promise of more endorphines than an Ironman could want for.
The road from Bucharest is pan flat, not too busy, and we work together. As is common when riding beneath a range of mountains, there is a prevailing wind that repels us ... but luckily our team of 8 are a good bunch... and we rotate the lead, each taking our turn.. The sun shines and a huge blue sky arches overhead, as we whizz by village folk watching our dayglo colours streak past. The children wave, the adults slightly aloof, but still interested. As the road climbs and we leave the city of Pitesti behind, there is an air of reaching tourist country, as the houses smarten up, and people around about seem in jovial mood.
We ride up to the small village of Capateni slightly unsure of how high we have to climb, but we roll into Pension Dracula in goos time, ready for a good hearty Transylvanian meal...