The worst day biking is still better than the best day of work!


      The Guide is meant to help cyclists who have decided to explore or cross Bulgaria by bike. Routes and maps are shown, a lot of photos of my bicycle tours are posted as well. The page will be helpful to touring bicyclists in their first steps of designing a tour in Bulgaria. The guide book does not claim to be complete, it is based ONLY on my own many years of experience.


INTRODUCTION


      My name is Borislav Borisov, or simply Bob, let me first  introduce myself and write several nice words about me.

      I was born at September, 26, 1956 in Pernik town – 20 miles southwest of Sofia.  After completing secondary school in my native town, I was 2 years in the Bulgarian Army, where I learned survival skills.  I returned to school to study engineering, and ultimately received a doctorate degree in engineering in the field of machine dynamics from the University of Sofia.  I have 2 children – my son, Stoyan (1980), and my daughter, Maya (1985).  I have a sister - psychiatric physician. 

       And I am truly a bike maniac.  I ride my bike whenever I have an opportunity, and have done so for more than 40 years.  Each year I do more than 3,000 miles, but I am really not a “mile killer” or a racer.  I usually average 7 - 9 miles/hour, pedaling no more than 55 - 60 miles a day. I love to bicycle slowly enjoying of the scenery, coffee places, and often spend time near swimming pools of thermal mineral water - we do have here a lot of them. Bicycling keeps me in very good shape.  I always feel my best after riding.

      During all these years I have gained a significant experience exploring Bulgaria by bicycle, and I want to share this knowledge with you. Many times I have consulted cyclists from different countries, some who have decided to spend their holiday in Bulgaria, some simply to cross through our country; all that suggests to  me, that if I do a guide book for bicyclists, maybe it would be helpful for them.

         In the guide book I have posted information concerning the most frequently asked questions about roads, routes, passes in the mountains, sights, and possibilities to use trains while touring in Bulgaria, etc. I hope what I write here will be useful. I have avoided giving information which is available in Google maps or tourist guide sites.

 

       http://www.visitbulgaria.net/en/ - nice Site for overnight accommodation in BG.

 

       http://www.bulgariatravel.org/  - very useful info site for Bulgaria, but using of it is a little hard.

          I can always be asked additional questions – please do not hesitate to ask me, my available E-mail is:

bgbybike@yahoo.com

jsm +359 887 954686

                  

  

      I have illustrated description further with many photos I have taken in my bicycle tours. Looking it over, I was surprised that I have not so many of the photos are of the countryside, most are of me and my friends I have bicycled with me. So, I hope the users of the site will forgive me. I intended to illustrate exactly the area under description, so I am replacing with photos of my last tours. I have noticed that I posted photos having a high emotional value for me, but I think it is understandable, I do this page for my own pleasure as well.

      The page size is 1024x768, so in monitors having other resolutions, some displacement of the text and photos may appeared. But … these are my top web design abilities :).

 

      I also am open for suggestions to improve both the content and form of this Guide book.

 

       In the end, I hope you will forgive my imperfect English as well as want to say THANK to CHUCK ATKINSON: If you see text paragraphs written in a nice English - it is because of the great Chuck's help. Thank you Chuck one more time! I believe that with your help my Page is much better.         


Several words about Bulgaria

      - Bulgaria is a peaceful country – for over  40 years I traveled different types of journeys - in mountains, along the seaside, bike tours, all without any troubles or accidents.

      - Bulgarians enjoy visitors from other countries and welcome them; we have many visitors from western Europe and recently from  the Americas;  the country is 97% Bulgarian Orthodox Christian and  we have no religious discord.

      - We have sunny summers – with very little rain.

      - Our country has different kinds of terrain – mountains, fields, forests,  gorges, and valleys.

      - The Black Sea is a wonderful seaside.

      - There is very little traffic on the roads (but last years, some of roads would be better to be avoided - the traffic is increasing more and more).

      - There is great food, perfect red & white wines and many types beer all at reasonable prices.

      - Bulgaria is still an inexpensive destination.

      - And the most important !!! Bulgarians turn their head from side to side when they say "Yes"  and make their head go up and down when they say "No"!

      Further I will give much more info about the country and all that information is based ONLY on my own experience.


CONTENT

Frequently asked questions by cyclists

(Updated each April)

 

          I.       Passes in Balkan      

 

          II.      Crossing Bulgaria from west to east (from Serbia to Turkey & Greece)    

 

          III.     Crossing Bulgaria from north to south (from Romania to Turkey & Greece)     

 

          IV.     Bicycling along Black sea side     

 

          V.      Bicycling along Danube river        

 

         VI.      Routes: A. Sofia – Burgas  and B. Sofia – Varna 

 

         VII.     Nice routes in mountains:

 

                    - RODOPE Mountains    

 

                    -  RILA Mountains    

 

                    -  PIRIN Mountains  

 

         VIII.    Roads and trains in Bulgaria. Healthcare services in Bulgaria   

 

          IX.     How to enter/leave Sofia by bicycle   

 

          X.    Guided Bicycle Tours in Bulgaria   

    

 

         I will be glad if somebody shears the experience of touring in Bulgaria. I will be glad to publish here the routes, photos and stories of your tours in Bulgaria. I believe it will make this Site much more exciting !!!


      One of the greatest problems I have met doing all that was to find Google map, where sights are by Latin alphabet. How I succeeded in the end, I do not know. Because Cyrillic is a problem, when you investigate our region, use the following link:

      www.google.bg/maps/@42.7253401,25.5432723,7z?hl=en

      One more useful link, I am sure bicyclists know it:

      https://ridewithgps.com/routes/new


      In the end: I know, very often bicyclists dehydrate pedaling in the hot sunny summer days. My receipt against it is to mix in a bigger bottle both 1/2 kilo yogurt and half a liter soda (in each small village in BG you can buy both). If you have not problems with your blood pressure, you may add a little salt to it (it will join the water to the body fat). Each warm day I have a bottle of this magic liquid and never have problems with dehydration.


      Well .... dealing with this site, from time to time Bob needs to refresh, to reconfigurate & calibrate his brain or recharge batteries ... so either coffe & coca cola, gin & tonic or dinner would work respectively ... if you find this Site was helpful for you, you may encourage him to go on pushing some of the buttons below ... THANKS !!! .... :)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

 

coffe & coca cola

$ 3 USA

gin & tonic

$ 6 USA

dinner

$ 12 USA


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