Bike Ride in Autumn

Thanks to my neighbors, who kindly agreed to feed my cats while I am gone, I set out tomorrow for Sárospatak by bike! I expect to get to Tiszafüred by tomorrow evening, to Tokaj by Tuesday evening, and to Sárospatak, then Vajdácska, by midday or mid-afternoon on Wednesday. Then on Thursday I take the train back. I have the bed-and-breakfast reservations all set up, and the weather should be good. The total distance is about 250 kilometers (155 miles) or a little more.

I have been looking forward to this for months. It’s easier to bike long distances in the fall than in the spring or summer, because you can wear long sleeves and avoid sunburn. Zsolt André at Sprint Kerékpár gave my bike a tuneup last week, so everything’s good to go. There’s plenty of flexibility, too; I can change plans at any point if necessary. I chose weekdays because businesses are open–so if for any reason I need to find a bike store, or want to pop into a bookstore, I can do so. (There’s actually a bookstore in Sátoraljaúljhely that I hope to visit on Thursday morning.)

We’re on fall break this whole week, so I’ll still have a few days at home upon returning to Szolnok. That will give me time to translate two poems, finish preparing the autumn issue of Folyosó (it’s almost ready), and rest.

Two of the three legs of the trip are already familiar: from Szolnok to Tiszafüred, and from Tokaj to Sárospatak. It’s just the middle stretch that will be new to me, but most of it is bike path. (On the map above, which was created by a user through Google Maps, the blue parts are bike path, and the red are regular roads (but quiet, easily bikeable ones).

I will add pictures to this post as I go along (maybe at the end of each day).

Day 1: foggy, quiet, autumnal. Except for falling off the bike while still in Szolnok (I turned onto a bike path and hit a slippery spot), I had a terrific day. Lake Tisza has a bike path (recently completed) all the way around it; I took the long way around to Tiszafüred. Along the way: a giant chess set, swans, foliage, bridges. People fishing, camping. In the late afternoon, I arrived at the bed-and-breakfast, the Piros Bicikli Vendégház (Red Bicycle Guesthouse), which I chose on account of its name.

Day 2: made it to Tokaj, biked under the moon, spoke with a shepherd, saw many flocks of geese in the sky. There’s much more to say, but I need sleep

Day 3: a leisurely morning in Tokaj, to be followed by a relatively short (and familiar) ride to Sárospatak, then Vajdácska. A fuller story of this bike trip will come later, in a separate post, after I return home. For now: this has been great.

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  1. Andrew James Chandler

     /  October 25, 2020

    Have a good ride, Diana! I’ll be reading your blog with interest!

  2. I am very impressed. We know that area fairly well because we have a vineyard between Olaszliszka and Erdobennye. Will you visit the Synagogue in Mad. There are also graves of “miracle” rabbis in Olaszliszka and Satoraljaujhely. The protestant college in Saroapatak is also very nice.

    • I am impressed that you have a vineyard in the area! What kind of wine do you make?

      I don’t know whether I’ll make it to Mád, but definitely Olaszliszka and Sátoraljaújhely. The former I have bicycled through twice; the latter I have visited three times. I love Sárospatak too.

      • It is in Tokaj, so one is limited in what is planted. Ours is about 50:50 harslevelu and furmint. When conditions are right we can have asszu. We now rent our grapes to a local producer and get wine in return to drink. Not that we can even finish what we have in our lifetimes, but maybe our daughter can.

  1. Ride of Rides | Take Away the Takeaway

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