Day 01, Tour08, Budapest to Kesckemet, HU

Why I only rode 90 km today

My first day on Tour08 should have been easy. I went south from Budapest out onto the Great Hungarian Plain. I didn't measure my climbing today, but I doubt I climbed 100 feet. What I did do, was to ride south-east into a south-east wind all day. It wasn't a long day, in either distance - 90 km - or time - five hours of actual riding, but it sure tired me out!

I left the IDA Panzio in Buda about 9 AM. Before I left, I spoke with the owner of the Panzio about my route down to the river. He said it was 'dangerous' but he didn't suggest an alternate route. I said it was 'urban; but not especially dangerous. If you ride bike paths rather than city streets, it would be a dangerous ride, but if you regularly ride in city traffic, it will be pretty mundane. It was also easier this morning - lighter traffic - than it was yesterday when I first rode it.

My 'new' setup with my handlebar bag in my Tripper rear pannier
and my compass mounted on a fender extension
Without he bag, I can see the compass as I ride

When I went to finish loading my bike just before leaving, I discovered a new problem. I don't have the handlebar mount for my handlebar bag. I remember tapping it to the bike when I was packing the bike, but it wasn't in the box when the bike got to Budapest. Given the severe blows the bikebox took in transit, I'm assuming my tapping job was strong enough ;-{.

So how do you carry a handlebar bag without a handlebar mount? The Nashbar Tripper pannier is just about perfect for this application ;-}. I stuck my handlebar bag in the Trpper and ran a bungee cord - alway carry a few of these! - to make sure the bag stayed there. It works like a charm and, although I miss the easy access to stuff, especially my camera, the bike handles better with the handlebar bag in the Tripper. The other problem with this setup will be that I don't have as much space for supplies in the Tripper, but I did discover today that a 1,5 liter water bottle still fits fine.

It took ten miles of riding just to get out of Budapest

The ride out of Budapest, especially the first part on HU-5 where it goes under a railroad bridge and has only two lanes and no shoulder, was a bit tense, but I had no real problems with the traffic.

When I got across the river, I used a bike path along the river to avoid the first part of HU-5

Most of the time, in Budapest, HU-5 had a Bus lane - Busz in Hungarian - that I had pretty much to myself. The farther south I went, in the city, the easier the riding was except for the frequent overpasses which had only two lanes and dirty, bumpy, narrow shoulders. I was relieved when I reached the rural part of HU-5, but, since this is Hungary and HU-5 is really pretty good for bicycling, there are frequent no bicycling signs. When in Hungary, you have to ignore the no bicycling signs! Near Kesckemet, I passed a parked police car. He didn't react to my law breaking ;-}.

Most of rural HU-5 looks like this
but the last 11 km I rode today has four lanes

There were several interesting small towns along the way and a couple of moderate sized ones. I stopped for an excellent lunch a restaurant near Dabas, the biggest town between Budapest and Kesckemet. I stopped two other times to rest and once to buy an icecream bar and some more water. I really wanted to have coffee - espresso - after lunch and to buy coke rather than water, but I'm trying to be a good guy and avoid caffeine. It sure is hard to tour without caffeine!

There is a bike path along part - ten miles? - of HU-5
this part of that path was actually better riding than the edge of the highway at that point
An earlier section was too rough to ride above about 8 mph

Red poppies and grass blowing in the wind
An image from the Great Hungarian Plain

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