Your ultimate challenge as a gravel and mountain biker in Europe!
You ride in a self-supported race from Bayreuth to the Black Sea.
– Markus Weinberg –
So far we have only had the dream – but never the time. To once ride the whole TransOst from Bayreuth to the Black Sea – in one piece. Now it's time! The "Unsupported Bikepaking Race – TransOst Challenge" starts for the first time on July 1st in Bayreuth, in front of the world-famous Festival Theatre.
Not so long ago, the borders for our adventure were still closed. Now we pass old border paths, bunkers, UNESCO World Cultural Sites, 27 breathtaking small and large mountains, cycle through European primeval forests where shy bears, wolves and lynxes live and catch a glimpse of the legendary Eastern European charm.
On the given TransOst-Route we start on our Gravel- and Mountainbikes from the country of origin of the Danube, up to its estuary in Romania. Not relaxed along the cycle path, but across the long chain of mountain ranges through Germany, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine and Romania to the destination of Konstanza on the Black Sea.
Behind the "Unsupported Bikepacking Race" stands the guiding company TransOst, which offers guided, supported and individual mountain bike tours. Especially for the Challenge, will be completed with luggage and also with Gravelbikes, the track has been optimized. Less difficult mountain bike trails, more gravel, forest and forest trails as well as small roads.
The challenge is addressed for riders who love adventure, have an idea of bike-packing, feel comfortable off the beaten track, have the courage to tackle an average of 85 km a day in the five weeks and have a passport for the Ukraine – where almost every kiosk has the best WiFi.
In your personal speed?
Or in sections?
An "unsupported bikepacking race" is not a bicycle race in the classical sense. From a technical point of view, the TransOst Challenge is a training ride or a completely normal bike tour on an unmarked or closed off track. It's about creating the route within a certain maximum time (five weeks) on gravel or mountain bikes. All participants start together in front of the Festival Theatre in Bayreuth (Germany) on 1 July. On 5 August there will be a finisher's party in the Romanian town of Constanta.
The pre-defined route is given as a GPS track for the participants and can be followed in real time via live tracking online at www.transost-challenge.de Participants are responsible for themselves all the time and must take care of themselves. Bags are used to transport the most necessary items such as stoves, tents, food etc.
Drivers should abide by the "Code of Ethics". This means that the route must be completed with your own muscle power on a given GPS track. Any pre-planning (hotels, etc.) is prohibited and equipment must be transported by yourself. External help is only allowed if it is spontaneous. The principle of "commercial service only" applies.
It is also noted that the road traffic regulations also apply in the forest (lighting system, etc.).
Any interested person, male or female, over an age of 18 years can participate. However, you should be aware of what you are getting involved with. The requirements are demanding and require experience and physical fitness.
The "unsupported bikepacking race" TransOst Challenge takes place on many sections of the TransOst guide company and is normally runs in weekly intervals. However, covering the entire stretch from Bayreuth to the Black Sea in one piece is a very special challenge. A challenge that has to be mastered – your personal challenge.
The route of the TransOst has never been ridden in once peace before. We risk to take the adventure of conquering the whole mountain range of the Fichtelgebirge, the Ore Mountains, the Sudeten (among others the Giant Mountains / Altvatergebirge), the Beskydy Mountains, the High Tatras and the Carpathians. When you open the atlas and look at the topographic map, you can see the long mountain range.
The route is originally explored as a mountain bike tour. Especially for the Challenge the track has been optimized. There are less difficult mountain bike trails, but there are more gravel, forest and forest trails as well as small roads. However, the track retains its off-road character. Every participant should be trained in cyckubg technique and also off-road riding.
Most of the route leads along paths, forest and forest paths as well as small roads. However, there are still some trails available. Sometimes even a part of a large main street cannot be avoided. Please exercise caution.
Registration for teams is not possible. However, it is entirely up to you to manage the route, or only parts of it, together.
The TOC takes place as an un- or self-supported race. The participant is responsible for all aspects of the trip. Accommodation, rest and refreshment areas are not provided. Participants are responsible for their own arrival and departure.
Support points are not set up. However, the participants must pass three checkpoints and register in a list.
Beverages and food can be bought anywhere along the road. The route passes through small villages and towns. However, it is always advisable to have a reserve of water with you. Especially in the Ukrainian and Romanian Carpathians, the population is getting thinner and you should have an emergency supply and use the available possibilities to fill up your food supply. One week before the start we will send you an updated race manual. In this we will also include the information where the longest "unpopulated" section of the route awaits you and how long it is.
In the smaller towns there are mostly bicycle shops. But please remember, the more special (modern) your bike is, the less likely it is that there will be spare parts. Replacement for e. g. thru-axles, 12-speed gears, special spokes or bottom bracket bearings etc. are difficult to obtain.
With a passport (valid for at least six months) every German citizen can enter Ukraine visa-free for 90 days. However, each participant must inform himself/herself about entry formalities or regulations. Crossing the border into Ukraine is normally uncomplicated and can be done by simply showing your passport.
The Foreign Office has issued a travel warning for the eastern part of Ukraine (Donetsk and Luhansk region). Our route is 1,500 kilometers from the conflict zone in the east. There is currently no travel warning for the West, the Carpathian region. However, we recommend that each participant should inform himself/herself at the Federal Foreign Office before the race.
The 149 EUR registration fee includes the route data as a GPS track and a borrowed GPS tracker, which must be returned to Constanta. The entire organisation and support is included in the registration fee. If you cancel, you must return the tracker to usp-management UG (haftungsbeschränkt), Schillerstraße 1, 01326 Dresden, Germany within one week. There are no further costs to participate in the race.
If you have your own GPS tracker (preferably SPOT) you pay only 99 EUR registration fee.
Since the TransOst Challenge is not an official race in the classical sense and does not take place on closed and specially marked tracks, there are no official prizes or rankings. The task is to complete the route in five weeks. However, we do have live tracking and a finisher's list at www.transost-challenge.de, which lists the travel times. Bike24.de gives away a shopping voucher worth 250 EUR as recognition for the rider, who reaches Constanza first.
We recommend mountain bikes. Gravel bikes with wide tyres are also possible.
Every participant has to register in Bayreuth (Germany) on 30 June between 1 and 10 pm. The exact location will be announced.
There will be a reception for all participants and the public at 7 pm. The participants have the opportunity to get to know each other. The appointment serves as a briefing for the participants. We present the route and answer last questions. The location will be announced.
The destination is in Constanta. The exact location will be announced. When you arrive you have to unsubscribe in a list and we would like to take a finisher photo of you. We're trying to get someone from the team on site. If this is not the case, please let us know. On 5 August there will be a finisher party starting at 7 pm. We expect the first rider in Constanta after three and a half weeks.
We can't give you the ONE tip. BUT we kindly ask you to make a good estimate as to whether you will be able to cover an average of 85 km of mountain or gravel bike kilometres per day over a period of five weeks. (You can also cycle 100 km every day and take a day break in between). Others of you will cycle every day in one stretch.
Three participants will be equipped by us and our partners with bike-packing equipment: a gravel bike, navigation system, complete equipment of bicycle clothing, tyres etc. (These three participants are called Sponsored Challenger. You can keep this complete equipment after the TOC. To do this, they have to report from their journey along the road – via social media, in text, images and video. Sponsored Challenger will be who wins the public online voting. In a small video you convince creatively, what makes you a real Challenger. Restriction of access: You must have at least 3,000 followers on your social media platforms (facebook, instagram, twitter, youtube, snapchat and others) and be able to master the course in five weeks. A second chance to become a Sponsored Challenger: Our partners select two more participants from the pool of applicants – but you have to have about 5,000 followers.
We expect the sponsored challengers to test our partners' products, shortly write about them and use their hashtags. This also applies to the TransOst hashtags. We would also like to use your video and photo material for our film and blog. You should also allow our partners to post some of your content (e. g. photos). Of course you will be linked back accordingly.
On the way we expect regular (at least twice a week) coverage with photos, short texts and short videos. It would be great if you could share your experiences after the Challenge. Then e. g. gladly with detailed product tests, blog posts, articles in magazines etc.
During the TransOst Challenge, an outdoor adventure movie is created for the big screen. A camera team will meet the Sponsored Challenger again and again on their journey. From the authentic video material of the Sponsored Challenger and the material of the professional camera team, a feature film is created. The camera team will also meet the other participants of the Challenge from time to time.