Winter is too cold, summer is too hot, and it rains in the autumn, so the best time to hop on your bike at Lake Balaton is the spring. Spring cycling events in abundance on various distances, followed by surfing, dining out or flying in a helicopter.
There is an abundance of bike-related events at Lake Balaton in the spring, so fish out your beloved bicyle from the storage room and head down to the Lake.
As its name suggests, you have to ride around the water (the Lake that is) in the frame of the BRM 200 - Au bord de l'eau race. The 200-km, Balaton leg of the international long-distance cycling series is held on Saturday, 26 April. Advance registration is a must in both the individual and team categories. Start and finish in Siófok.
If you prefer dirt roads and shorter distances, the 22nd Kishegy Cup marathon race might just be perfect for you. The event is traditionally held on the weekend nearest to St George's and St Michael's Day, the day to mark this year is Sunday, 27 April. Distances range from 5 to 60 km, and kids can compete in a skills race. The Kishegy of Balatonlelle is best known for its wineries, so be sure to roll over to any of the local wine cellars after the race and/or dine on the terrace of the Majthényi Press House.
There is an opportunity to ride around Lake Balaton on 3 May. The 206-km-long Bringamánia BalatonRound is not a race, rather a tour with all the fun of a team ride. Those, who are not in their best shape can choose the 85-km Kiskör, while families and kids might try the 25-km Családi Kör, or the 5-km Köröcske.
The Balaton Bike Fest in Balatonfüred - which was originally planned to take place on the first weekend of May - has been postponed to July, so you can spend the rest of the extended weekend on the south shore. The start and finish of the Bringamánia BalatonRound is at theeatsern dbo beach of Balatonföldvár, where you can try surfing, or sailing a boat or a catamaran at the Viharsarok Sailing Centre - particpants of the BalatonRound are entitled to 10% discount.
The 21st Bakony 200 long-distance road cycling tour is held on Sunday, 11 May on 7 distances. Between the start and finish in Veszprém, the routes of 200, 182, 101, 93,64, 62 and 28 km wind along the roads of the Balaton-felvidék and the region of Bakony. The elevation is tough, but the view is outstanding.
The amateur and professional cyclists of the 13th Tour de Pelso set out from Siófok on 31 May. The event also includes several minor races and a bike tour. Roadies compete in the CUBE Pelso Cup (204 km), while mountain bikers push their limits in the SHIMANO Balaton Marathon (204 km); the 76-km-long distance of the Tihany Tour is ideal for an average day's ride, while the 25 and 40-km distances of the Panoráma Tour could be the right for a family outing.
On the last day of May and first of June, devoted cyclists can also check out the Eplény Bike Fest. There are the three distances (34, 65 and 101 km) to complete in the frame of the Nyugat Mountain Bike Marathon Cup's 1st Eplény leg. The Bikemag Eplény Cup olympic cross competition is held in the BringAréna, and anyone looking for exercise can join the 55- and 84-km distance of the BikeSafe BRM bike tour. There will also be non-bike side programmes, like going on a helicopter flight.
There are discount accomodation offers on spot at most of the above events, but be sure to to check out the special 2=3 accomodation offers of the Open Balaton programme series for sports, gastronomy and music fans between 1 and 11 May as well. By the way, have you seen the bike-related and miscellaneous programmes of Open Balaton?