Hristo Nikolov – Icho was born at the foot of the Balkan mountain. Since his childhood he has spent a lot of time in his native mountain, touching every detail of it. Later on he leaves to Sofia where he graduated urban and regional planning. Still a student he joins the “Bikearea” association, which has been developing the mountain biking in Bulgaria for more than 10 years, focusing on route marking, travel guides and maps, exploring tours and bike expeditions. Being an active guide, Icho keeps on discovering new routes across the mountains in Bulgaria and neighboring countries. He also biked in the Nepali Himalayas, Atlas Mountains in Morocco and the Canary Island La Palma, Liguria, South Tyrol and Bavarian Alps. Next to mountain biking he enjoys kayaking, rock climbing, mountaneering and sailing.
With Balkanche he shares his guiding experience and love for Bulgarian mountains.
He just… „never stop exploring“
Manuela is a native Bulgarian and has been living in Germany since 2001. She successfully graduated in Printing and Media Technologies. Her passion for the mountaineering and biking turned to be stronger than the common sense of the stable office work. So she started working as a mountain bike guide and trainer. Her small backpack carries experience from long distance ridings like Transalp or Super Marathon Kom-Emine. She started mountain biking in Let Get’s, France. And downhill riding and racing are still her favourites. Being known for her addiction to new locations and trails she landed on the Canary Island La Palma. It was love at first sight and now there is a strong connection between her and every single trail on that magic island.
For Balkanche Manuela is the founder and the motor, that brings people and mountains together.
“Safety and truly unique vacation for you, as our customers are my priority and motivation.”
Ivan Penchev was born and raised in Sofia. Nevertheless, the seek for unknown places and mountains, thrills of nomad activities and the joy of biking characterize his way of life and inspired him in the last 15 years as a mountain guide. While looking for new challenges he traveled with his bike to the Alps, Morocco, Ladakh, Pamir, Nepali Himalaya and the mountains of Greece and Macedonia. During the last years he has been taking part in developing and reopening old mountain paths in the Bulgarian mountains.
Christoph was born in Munich, Germany. If he doesn’t guide you through technical trails, you can usually meet him on the downhill tracks, racing or training. With his background from the Mountain Bike World Cup as a professional mechanic he has academic understanding on bike technologies and can tell you all about the insiders’ tips and tricks for the perfect set-up on your bike. Racing since 2002 he can show you how to ride fast and also how to handle rock or root gardens and big drops. Moreover, ambitious beginners or even experienced riders can check with him about training plans and techniques. Nowadays he is also a passionate rock climber with ambitions in the eight grades up.
“Mountain biking is a physical challenge, an experience on the edge and beyond. The key part of it is to have fun.”