TET HUNGARY 2019-Day 04

“BACK PAIN”

I like the two simple words “Adventure Riding”: “Riding” with a motorcycle is in my opinion the modern incarnation of freedom and the word “Adventure” adds some enjoying small risks into the formula “Adventure Riding”.
This riding day no. 4 showed me well, that sometimes the “Adventure” can be bigger than estimated. In my special case it was a bit too big for my modest riding skills. But fear not, at least I managed the situation …

Route day 04: This day ride started in the woods of northern Hungary. My black beauty and I followed the TET northwards through plains, hills and forests to the Slovakian border, where its end/starting point is located. From there the ride went back to Austria / Vienna.

The morning started blurry. ^^ My trusty pony …

Чернотa was packed quickly, and we started into this nice and …

promising morning. During following the TET, we streaked …

a small …

village before it led us into …

wide open …

plains with …

a great pictorial scenery.

After a few kilometers through some vineyards …

another field, …

and blocked forest tracks, the terrain …

got a bit more technical. A fully fueled and loaded 690ty isn’t that easy to handle, so I cleared a small path between the stones of this creeks bed by hand, before I rode through it to the other side. After a steep section on the opposite side Чернотa and I reached a …

some kind of a plateau. The heavy rains of the last days made the ride very slippery …

*whoops*

up there. About two hours after our ride began …

it was time for a …

short break. A cereal bar later, the ride continued. The terrain now got really challenging. Now …

a steep and …

Such stony baby heads are a real arm fatiguing surface to ride!

long ongoing rocky stone path was requiring all my riding skills. A simple slow downfall in such areas could cause bad leg injury. (Especially when riding this terrain with hard luggage boxes)

The view at the end of the rocky section …

was a real stunner.

Via some freshly milled deluxe gravel …

we went onwards to our next intermediate target, which …

was a Buddhist Temple near the village Tar. The TET also contained …

a few nice and windy tarmac stretches.

Whilst having another brake I recognized that my license plate holder got a hit and the rear reflector was gone. I don’t know what happened exactly. Probably a stick/stone got squeezed between the back wheel and the plate holder, during the rear damping was compressed near to maximum, whilst riding downhill.

No big loss at all. I bent the alloy plate back and the ride continued.

Back in the hills, …

we have seen (and also smelled) a horde of goats. The track now got …

tricky again. Dried out bulbous mud tracks with long parallel ruts aren’t really a pleasure to ride and need a lot of concentration. Luckily the track conditions …

changed after a few kilometers of riding.

This shot is showing a goose farm. The ducks to the right, and their stable was an old cabin of a lorry which was placed on top of the hill to the left.

Another illegal little dump yard later, we went back …

into the woods.

Чернотa and I managed it to pass some …

huge washouts. Some of them have been about 1 meter or 3 feet deep. I was wondering why nobody was repairing this track. After that, along a middle steep hill climb with deep ruts of 4wd vehicles on both sides and plenty of vegetation this fauxpas happened:

The TET showed us its ugly grin between the village Barna to the village Ronabanya.

While riding up this overgrown trail a raspberry branch hooked my left arm/jacket and gave me and my motorcycle a steering impulse to the left. I got it managed to stop the bike from falling head on into this deep track (what surely had been better in hindsight).

Instead, I stopped in the middle lane between the two deep ruts and had still tension on my jacket from the hooked branch. I fell with the bike hill downwards to the left. This way the wheels have been slightly higher than the rest of the bike.

The left handle bar got stuck deep in the sticky clay on the left end of the track. So far not so bad. I haven’t been injured and took a photo of that scene.

But when I recognized that the bike was loosing fuel from the back end tank cap breather, adrenalin was pumped immediately into my veins! Holy shit! I was in the middle of nowhere, and was loosing fuel at the deepest point of the tank! I took all my power to lift Чернотa back up again, but because the handlebar was sticking deep in clay and the left luggage bag was jammed in the deep left 4wd track, I wasn’t able to do so.

My spine disks nearly popped out like disks from a CD changer while I was putting all the power into the try to lift the bike. *holymoly* After the third or fourth try I was exhausted and my back was seriously hurting.

Fuel was still leaking through the still low-lying back end breather … . I put my jacket off and cooled a bit down in the shadow near beneath and quickly made a quick plan:

1.) Take the luggage of,
2.) Get the handlebar out of the clay,
3.) Get the back wheel into the left deep left track,
4.) Hurry up, fuel is leaking, without it, you won’t get back out!!!,
5.) Find a less deep spot further behind to get the bike out of this narrow rut and try to turn it on the trail,
6.) Ride back to less technical areas.

The plan was made and with a helpful hand it wouldn’t have been a big thing to get a heavy 690ty out there. Being alone made the whole thing a bit difficult due to the lack of muscle power. But hey, with a little brain work in advance, things often get solved easily: With a stick I dug the handle bar out of the sticky clay.

I got it managed to put the front wheel inside the deep rut.

Crawling under the bike allowed me to dismount the saddlebags. With less force I was able to get the back wheel nearly into the deep left track of this part of the trail. As a consequence of the new position fuel stopped leaking and now the time wasn’t working against me. *phew*

So I went back in the shadow and took a huge slug of water (I drank 1 liter at once because it was really moist and I was heavily sweating). After 10 minutes and 2 chocolate bars later I went on in fulfilling my plan.

With thus less force I got the handle bar a bit raised. Now I was able to push the front wheel into the left rut of the track. The back wheel now fell itself inside the rut. Yeah! Чернотa was again on its wheels. Good girl!

I put my jacket on for protection against the raspberry branches and walk-rolled the motorcycle backwards, always following the deep rut, til a less deep spot in the wood was reached.

There I got it managed to turn the motorcycle. It was very slippery and I nearly fell over again with the bike like the same way before. Luckily I was somehow able to hold it upright and it didn’t fell over.

I repacked my black dirt princess and rode carefully and total exhausted back. My back was hurting seriously and because of that I didn`t want to do the last few km of the west section of TET Hungary.

Whilst being alone on such tracks, you always have to overthink how much risk you can take. My conclusion was, that this day was already risky enough for me … .

So: Instead of riding the few last km of the TET further I rode back to tarmac and bypassed the last few km (about 20 to 25km) to the northern entrance of the TET Hungary, which is located close to the Slovakian border.

With a now ongoing and annoying hurting back I continued the ride. Some muddy backtracking was on the schedule before …

we reached the paved roads, which led us along some nice greens landscape, close to …

Slovakia. There I met this two Hungarians. They rode a compact self-made …

tractor. The engine was an old eastern made …

motorcycle engine. It has four gears. The engine is mounted to an additional shifting box with 3 forward gears and 1 reverse. So this construct has in total 12 forward gears and 3 reverse gears. Loool! The chassis is self welded out of a few random steel beams. Everything on that thing was unique. I like such things! *cool*

I changed a few words with them about their monster on four wheels, and they asked me about Чернотa. When I told them that Чернотa has close to 70hp the older one tapped his forehead and showed me with his pointing fingers, that the engine on his vehicle only has about 20hp. We all laughed and wished farewell. I made a last …

Bye bye TET Hungary …

photo there, at the northern entrance point of the Hungarian Trans Euro Trail. The castle in the background is “Hrad Somoska“. It lies just behind the border in Slovakia.

The former border crossing point between Hungary and Slovakia.

I continued my ride, which went straight to Slovakia.

After the border, we went westwards through …

calm hills and and endles plains. In the distance …

some parts of the “Polana Mountain Range” showed up.

About two hundred kilometers before reaching Austria, I checked the rear brake pads. They’ve been worn out. I also recognized that the gear shift lever was lose. So I tightened the bolt of the lever with my toolset aboard and then continued the ride.

After a for me in hindsight unknown classy eastern city we finally reached …

Bratislava, Slovakias capital city. I quickly rode through it and …

missed the first exit of the motorway. So Чернотa brought us to the next exit, which led us to the border station “Kittsee” instead of the first intended border crossing point with Austria which is called “Nickelsdorf”. About another 40ty minutes of riding we …

finally reached the start/ending point of this journey – Vienna.

Covered distance on riding day number four: 490 km or 305 mi.
Covered distance along this four day journey in total: 2050 km or 1270 mi.

Last but not least a few words about the losses:

A damaged windscreen.

The left side panel of the Rally Raid Auxiliary Tank got some cracks and the upper mounting bracket was ripped.

A fried left rear indicator. That’s a common problem of the 690ty Enduro.

The rear brake pads were worn to the max due real muddy conditions.

The Mitas E10 Dakar back tire suffered a deep thread cutting in the middle of its running surface and had an impressive rest thread of …

about 5mm left.

Last but not least the rider: My back pain took about two weeks till it was gone. But hey! We are all getting old somehow… .

A SHORT Resume ABOUT TET HUNGARY

This ride along Hungarys Trans Euro Trail was a great escape out of my daily business. This Trail is a real nice mixture between muddy trails in the east, sandy tracks in the south and some technical terrain in its north.

In my opinion is a loaded KTM 690 (175 kg / 385 lbs) with at least fresh 60/40 off-road/street tires the upper maximum combination of weight/mobility for rides along this part of the TET. Especially in the muddy east and when riding alone, a heavier bike could be a real problem to dig out or to get it back on its wheels in case of a fall down.

According to the responsible TET Linesman the month June is the month in Hungary with most of the rain over the year. So If you want to ride it, may any other time would be good.

Also, I have to say: “Don’t underestimate the heat!” On my second day I drank during the ride in the “swamps” close to 4 liters water. The moisture was unbelievable. As you have seen in this ride report, you should also be aware of thousands of spiders, webbing their webs across the narrow trails in the woods.

I know a few people which will have one panic attack after another due to that interesting aspect of the Hungarian TET. ^^

I hope you liked this report of my little adventure in Hungary!

Servus, Tom

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