Frequently Asked Questions

What is an "unsupported bikepacking race" and what are the rules?

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 (four weeks) on gravel or mountain bikes. All participants start together in front of the Festival Theatre in Bayreuth (Germany) on 12 July.

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.

Riders 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.).

Can anyone join in?

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.

Why is the race called "Challenge"?

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.

Why this route?

We risk to take the adventure of conquering the whole mountain range of the Fichtel Mountains, 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.

How hard is the track?

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.

Track condition?

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.

Can you ride in a group?

Registration for teams is not possible. However, it is entirely up to you to manage the route, or only parts of it, together.

Do I have to organise my own accommodation, meals, travel and return journey?

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.

Are there support points along the way?

Support points are not set up. However, the participants must pass three checkpoints and register in a list.

How often can I fill up my food and water?

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.

Are there bicycle shops on the way for any repairs?

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.

Do I need a visa for Ukraine?

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.

Is there a travel warning and security policy for Ukraine?

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.

What do I get for my registration fee?

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.

Are there any prizes to win?

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.

What type of bike do you recommend?

We recommend mountain bikes. Gravel bikes with wide tyres are also possible.

Will there be an opening ceremony?

Every participant has to register in Bayreuth (Germany) on 11 July between 6 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.

Where is the destination and what should I do when I get there?

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 expect the first rider in Constanta after two weeks.

Tips for preparation?

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.

How to navigate?

You will receive the track data in GPX format. To process this data you need either a stand-alone navigation device or a smartphone with navigation app. Bicycle navigation systems are available for example from Tahuna/Teasi, Garmin and Polar. Smartphone apps are for example Komoot, Naviki, Locus, Oruxmaps. For the TransOst Challenge we recommend a stand-alone navigation device, so that you still have the smartphone as a backup. You should take a powerbank with you to be able to navigate for a longer period of time. Most devices last about 8 hours without external power supply.