Ridehard 2021: new season, new website, new programs, new routes

We expect to finally be awakening from the nightmare caused by the pandemic, and see social activities gain ground once again. We are planning the summer of 2021 with these expectations in mind, including a brand new website, as well as new-fangled programs and routes.

The COVID situation has been unfavourable for the tourism sector: there‘s no need to dwell on this subject. The one positive aspect to the present situation is experiencing a boom in outdoor fitness activities, serving as one of the few distractions during the severe restrictions. Many have jumped on bikes realizing how great it is. Cycling as a sport or a means of touring the lands turned into much more popular and prevalent activity, which can only be a good thing.

Fully complying with state regulations, Ridehard have halted all organized programs since the autumn of 2020. This entailed cancelling cycling camps in Tenerife, as well as postponing eMTB tours to a later date. Happily the pandemic situation is showing improvement both locally and worldwide, thus our country is opening, raising many of the restriction that have been in place. Nevertheless our organization will be acting responsibly, observing the necessary safety protocols.

Capitalizing on the resources freed up the lack of events, Ridehard carried out some sweeping changes. Thanks to this renewal new benefits will be offered in the course of the pandemic. First of all a brand new website structure has been implemented with touring routes taking the main focus. The Balaton Highlands is featured in the first batch of the itineraries, commissioned by Aktív Magyarország (Active Hungary). These routes are included among the travel recommendations of the “Tekerj itthon” (Ride at home) initiative. In the framework of this concept we divided the potential riders in several subgroups, starting with the beginner/family target audience, then toting mountain bike and hard surface routes as well as catering to those interested in e-bike touring.

The classification of the routes within a given subcategory is rather oriented towards the least experienced. Nevertheless we made sure that in the midst of a host of tourist attractions and other motivating breaks, the more experienced riders will also enjoy a great experience cycling with family or friends. When riding it on trails, we always asked the opinion of the local branch of the national park service in order to better protect wildlife. We understand that the growing number of cyclist entail a greater strain on the natural lands. The new surge of cycling can only have positive outcome if we take a different course of action than the typical prohibition and avoidance strategy, shaping the cycling culture through constructive communication.

The recommended touring routes include principal sights, interesting places and catering services that we have visited, tried and reckon to enhance the touring experience. We also make suggestions for the right bike to choose for the given route, however our word is certainly not a holy whit, and so experienced cyclists may choose a different gear. A new feature on the renewed Ridehard.hu website is the availability of GPX files at the end of the route description, moreover the route can be examined in detail on an integrated map function.

There will be no shortage of events this year. In the remainder of the season we’re mainly concentrating on eMTB (e-mountain bike) tours and programs, then hopefully competitive activities will also see a recurrence. On the first weekend of June everyone is invited to test the range of Scott Strike eRide full suspension bikes on a short course throughout the Tour de Gyöngyös event. From the following weekend will see the restart of the traditional Saturday outings from the K2 Bike Shop. This year we’ll be holding these events every second weekend until September, however we’re open to include additional days for the minimum of 5 participants.

Like in previous years we’ll be there at the multi-day festivals. The Művészetek Völgye event will now be held at the end of June and the Kerekdomb festival in Tállya is scheduled for September. The inaugural Örvényeshegy Piknik will take riders across the Zala landscape on e-bikes during the first week of July. The long weekend around August 20 will see an eMTB program in the Balaton Highlands around Köveskál, roaming the wide-ranging Káli Basin on three consecutive days.

We’ll continue to help in planning and organizing teambuilding camps and various cycling tours, and sincerely hope that flying to remote destinations will be possible this winter. Perhaps at the end of the year we’ll be taking a deserved break – or a hard training block – in sunny Tenerife…