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  1. This is the story of a bicycle tour we took back in 2012, in the region of the Apuseni Mountains. It was our first bicycle tour and it was mostly off-road. May 25th - Day 1: Getting there Somewhere in October 2011, an idea started to form within our group. That of a bicycle tour. None of us experienced a longer tour before, and we were thinking about visiting the old fortified churches of Transylvania. But, in the end, we ended up adding the Apuseni Mountains to our list. Or at least a part of them. Finally, after tons of hours spent documenting and reading maps, we had a plan and a date: May 25th, 2012. Along the way, we were about to find out that this was the most rainy period in that region. In the end, it became adventurous, partly because of all the rain and mud we had to go through. But it was memorable! And beautiful! The fortified churches were eventuallypostponed, since we became tired and the weather was clearly not friendly. But, let's take it from the start, shall we? Our plan is to get from Bucharest to Bratca (Bihor county) using a night train. From there, we'll be heading out towards Bulz and Remeti, where a stay has been arranged beforehand. Given that we'll be riding on a night train without a sleeping coach, this will come in handy. It's great to have a place to lay down, sleep properly and have a hot meal before you embark on a harder ride. May 24th, evening. Final preparations. The usual double checks. The next day, hours passed by at an infernal slow rate as we wait for our departure. We meet up at the train station around 18:45. The trains is already here, preparing. One nasty surprise: the coach where we had the tickets was reversed. We specifically bought the tickets so that we'll be placed right in the first coach, towards the engine. This way, we could use the blocked doors to place our bikes, since the train itself does not have a bicycle storage space. We'll manage anyway. The front wheels were removed from each bike, thus making it easier to tie them in the hallway. Eventually, the train leaves and we are full with enthusiasm. It starts to rain again. A lot! Doesn't matter anymore. After Sighisoara, we began napping in turns. By Medias, we were all asleep. I was dreaming we were riding somewhere along a trail, in the full summer sun. At some point, a rocky section makes me more cautious, but still I hear a huge "bang!". What could it be?.... ..only to wake up and see that we are in Cluj and the bikes fell over in the hallway, one of them hitting the compartment door. No biggy! The locomotive is replaced and a new train master (a quite big and chubby guy) gets aboard. He sees the bikes and we argue a little, even though we were sleepy as hell. After explaining the whole situation, we are charged with 10 RON for each bike (~2.5 Euro). With no ticket. Apparently, that's how it goes. We leave it like that, because we have a journey ahead and nothing can stop that :) The train will arrive in Bratca at about 5:54 AM. We ask for the train to wait a couple of minutes until we unload the bikes and our luggage. Bratca is a small town and the train usually stops briefly here, for ~1 minute. Absolutely no problem. We reach Bratca, finally. The fresh early morning air is invigorating. We assemble the bikes as the sun rises from behind the hills, take some photos and get on moving towards Remeti. We can hardly wait for a shower and a nice breakfast! Marius reminds us that he brought palinca, and that will prove to be very, very useful! Thus, our trip begins!