Edition 01 – #CAR_01
21 August 2021
“Carpathian Arch Race” named #CAR is a road bike race starting from the city of Bratislava in Slovakia, following the Carpathian Mountains thru Ukraine, entering in Romania, crossing the greatest passes and finishing in Cluj – Napoca, Romania.
The finish is in Apuseni mountains, Transylvania, which belong to the Western Romanian Carpathians, also called Occidentali in Romanian. We are pedaling more than 2,500 km, thru a great landscape, checking few breathtaking points. The race is an unsupported one, all the participants must to follow the route, passing the check points, planning the luggage, the sleeping time, the power and strength.
That being said, the #CAR was designed as an unsupported bike race which implies you have to be self-reliant regardless of the situation you are in.
The challenge is to ride in 3 countries, passing the fixed checking segments and be the fastest to the finish line. For safety reasons and to give you the opportunity to visit the places of your choices, we have decided the route should be free and road planning left entirely up to you. Except for the start / checking segments and finish. This freedom does not mean there will not be any rules to follow; they are neither numerous nor restrictive but we will enforce them.
Race starts: 21 August 2021 at from Bratislava (Slovakia).
Finish line: Cluj – Napoca Romania
Race closes on September 2021
A finisher’s party will be held in Cluj – Napoca, Romania. Exact location will be provided (if the COVID sanitary measures allow it).
There will be three categories: SOLO, PAIR & SPECIAL
We want you to have fun, to discover places where you have not been before and that includes a journey to the limits of your own boundaries. But for that to take place and the memories to be built, we need you to ride safe.
Since we have an open start line, we have decided not to limit the number of participants. We think you will be spread out right from the start.
Deadline to sign up: 21 June 2021.
Registration is completed only when payment is received (see below). The payment must be done in maximum 10 days from the registration.
The CAR is prepared and sustained by a nongovernmental organization and the fee is actually a DONATION, we can accept and discuss punctually any situation like late payment approval.
If you are Type one diabetic you have 50% discount for the entry fee (medical confirmation needed).
After the deadline, any subscription will still be considered but might not be accepted.
SOLO: 180 euro (plus a refundable deposit of 50 euros for the tracker, which will be refunded after returning the tracker)
PAIRS: 300 euro (both riders have to register and indicate the name of the partner & team, and will have only a tracking device). (plus a refundable deposit of 50 euros for the tracker, which will be refunded after returning the tracker)
SPECIAL: 50% discount for diabetic persons (medical letter need).
We will be following you using online tracking, with the goal to catch up with most of you on the road.
The fee is nonrefundable, with the exception of force majeure which entitles you to a NEXT YEAR participation (copy of medical certificate requested).
#CAR, does not have a fixed route. As mentioned in the introduction, we have decided to give you as much freedom as possible. After registration you will receive the Komoot link for all fixed check segments. Also, you will have all the checking segments coordinates printed on the race manual. The participant must upload the track provided on a GPS device and follow it from start to finish.
Race validation/proof of passage
1.Start line: Bratislava castle
You can decide to leave later but the final time will be adjusted to the official starting time.
2. Proof of riding through a checking segment: because our race is a bit different and because we did not want you to be completely “mobile phone dependent”, we came with the idea of combining a ‘brevet card’ with a ‘proof of passage’ in the form of 9 postcards.
You will be given 9 pre-stamped postcards, one for each check sector.
– The front features the segment you must validate.
– On the back, you will have to fill in the blanks: number # (team number#), location, time and day + a couple of lines to share your feelings (not mandatory).
– All you have to do is find our mail box in the provided check point coordinates, located mostly in the yard of a hotel or pension on the checking segment and place the postcards there.
Equipment / Bike recommendations
Depending on your route, you can be riding as high as 2500m where the weather can be unpredictable and quickly changing. Although we have asked for nice and warm weather, we have absolutely no guarantee you will not have to ride through storms and rain. So be prepared.
We will do a complete bike check before the start, there is a mandatory equipment that we try to keep as short as possible.
You will be asked to send us a picture of your setup (bike, lights, brakes) before the race starts:
- A Helmet which conforms to current regulations, is the correct size and securely fastened and worn at all times.
- Two independent* white front lights available for use (i.e. attached to the bicycle or carried) at all times. The light must conform to current EC regulations.
- Two independent* red rear lights available for use (i.e. attached to the bicycle or carried) at all times. The light must conform to current EC regulations.
- One of each front and rear light must be fixed to the bicycle or to a secure accessory (eg a rack or saddle bag). At low light, in poor visibility and at night at least one front light and one rear light must be illuminated.
- A rear red reflector must be permanently fixed to the bicycle. Note that the rear reflector may be part of a rear light.
- A fluorescent and retroreflective upper-body garment (most commonly a vest) must be worn at low light, in poor visibility and at night. The reflective garment must be worn over the top of all garments. The retroreflective component should be significant and placed across the front and back of the garment. Reflective piping alone is not considered sufficient.
* Independent means that both front or rear lights cannot be powered from the same source. The same source can power one front light and one rear light.
- Basic first aid kit – this includes bandages, antiseptic/sterile wipes, medication as well as first aid kit for your bike!
- Suitable sleeping system if you choose to sleep outdoors. We won’t be enforcing a specific temperature rating for each piece of equipment, but rather, you should have with your equipment to be comfortable sleeping at relatively cold temperatures.
- Clothing to face any given conditions that will be thrown at you.
- A mobile phone with internet access. We know some of you might be reluctant to it but it is a good way to communicate in case of emergency and depending on the method we opt for; it might be required for GPS tracking.
- A battery pack/charger (power bank) is often the easiest way to keep your electronic devices up and going but it is not a mandatory equipment.
There are plenty of bike options that could be considered for this race but in the end, it will be up to you, mainly based on the route you have chosen.
With that being said, most of the roads are asphalt and/or very smooth or compact gravel ones.
The ideal bike is something fast and light and more road oriented but more importantly, it has to be a bike you are comfortable with, accustomed to riding.
In order to qualify as a finisher and to be listed in the general classification, you must complete the challenge AND follow all the rules of an unsupported bike race listed below.
The rules are set to ensure fairness and must be observed in order to be recorded as finisher. In case of doubt, please, collect evidence using your phone or camera and inform us using the official email address.
1. Ride from start line to the designated finish via the route of your choice but following the checking segments.
2. No 3rd party support, private lodgings or resupply. All food, drink and equipment must be carried with you or acquired at commercially available services.
3. Riders must not solicit any form of private resupply from locals on the race route, any such interaction must be freely offered and unplanned.
4. No drafting (other than pairs with their partners).
5. All forward travel overland must be human powered.
6. All riders must maintain evidence of their ride.
7. Accident, rescue and liability insurances, cycle helmets, lights and equipment in the required equipment list are mandatory, we may be checking.
8. Riders must know and observe all local traffic laws.
9. Ride in the spirit of self-reliance and equal opportunity.
Categories / Scratching
Regardless of the category you decide to sign up for it remains an unsupported bike race there are 3 categories: Make sure you select the right category upon registration.
SOLO (female / male): follow the rules above-listed, especially the one saying ‘no drafting’ at all time, finish before noon on the 6th and you will be awarded the finisher’s title.
PAIRS: riding in pairs allows you to draft (only your partner!). You must both follow the same route and finish together. We will follow your progress on the map. In case of issues, we might ask for your gpx data. Pairs can share information, food and shelter but cannot get any outside assistance.
SPECIAL: for diabetic persons. This is our cause, our fight, so we encourage you to enjoy this race.
In one of the riders needs to scratch from the race, the other is allowed and encouraged to carry on to the finish line but will not be listed in the general classification, be it as a pair or solo.
Scratching: we hope you will not have to resort to scratching from the race and strongly advice you not to take such decision after a long day on the saddle. Mike Hall used to say ‘Don’t scratch at night, sleep over it’. In case your mind is still set in the morning, inform the organizers immediately via the email: firstname.lastname@example.org / sms or whatsapp.
Please note you will be responsible for arranging travel back home. We will not help you nor provide any assistance with booking tickets or hotel accommodations.
Awards: All finishers will receive their finisher medal upon crossing the finish line. There is no formal awards ceremony but finishers are encouraged to stay around the finish line and participate in the finishers’ party.
Insurance: You are responsible for your own accident and liability insurance, costs of emergency evacuation, etc. International riders should verify that their insurances are applied in all 3 countries: Slovakia, Ukraine and Romania. Please note that Ukraine is not EU member, please check the conditions for passing the country.
Race cancellation: The organizers reserve the right to cancel the race for safety reasons, for example if bad weather conditions prevail. Should the race be cancelled, the entry fee will not be refunded and the organizers will be released from performing their obligations.
Photographic rights: The organizers have the exclusive rights to use pictures which are taken during, and after the event. Participants waive their right to disallow their images, voices and video to be published.