In 2013 I took a friend from London on a weekend of road cycling around Cracow, or Kraków if you are local. I had visited the city many times with my Polish wife, but it was the first time I had been with my bike. What happened that weekend changed my life quite dramatically.

Text and images by Max Burgess

Eastern Europe had always been a fascinating place for me, the relatively recent political turmoil and the ordeals that countries like Poland, Slovakia and Czech Republic have been through, give the region a very specific nuance. But most intriguing was an idea of ‘Hidden Europe’.

In 2014 I had moved to Kraków and begun my exploration and adventures. Every ride I went on, every new place that my new cycling friends took me, felt like I was exploring – I was on an adventure in a place that others didn’t know about.

While these places don’t have the alpine Cols other countries boast (although the Julian Alps in Slovenia get pretty close) there is another dimension to the cycling here; a sense of exploring something unknown. You might have visited Eastern European cities before, but once you leave the city boundaries things are different.

The Tatra mountains and the Julian Alps are stunningly beautiful places to visit. The cycling can be challenging. Most rides will feature a mix of longer and shorter climbs and the shorter ones can be quite steep.

I still don’t get bored of exploring these places. That is why I thought of starting Roadventures at Podia; fully supported cycling adventures in Eastern Europe.

The key concept is that it is not performance driven. We prefer fun, social rides with the chance to meet new and interesting people and ride in unusual and special locations.

Roadventures are usually run over a long weekend with around 3 and a half days of cycling, with plenty of chance to explore off the bike as well as on it. We offer accommodation, transfers, HB, support vehicle and nutrition during the rides as well as support team and ride guides.

We can also structure different Roadventures, if you want to make it longer, if the dates aren’t quite working for you. Even  an A-B adventure can be arranged where we take care of moving your luggage to the next location – a cycling roadtrip.

If this kind of riding in new environments appeals to you, have a look at the Roadventures pages in Travel section of the Podia website or just drop us a line on roadventures@podia.cc. We would love to show you around Central and Eastern Europe.