And, once again. This is our last day at the Iron Giant.
The only thing to do is to put all our wet stuff into the sun, do our final breakfast , look after the devastations all around and finally pack everthing together and move on. Exact at the time of the HAre Scramble start we sneak out of the camp and leave the area over the rear entrance, avoiding the massed crowed on the hot streets. We speed home, and arrive right in time to see Graham Jarvis winning the race. Congratulations, he is really unbelievable! There is still time to see the enthralling race through Lazy Noon for the following riders, totally worth it not to miss. Why we are not at site, you might ask?
The tribune is already overcrowded, visiting one station means, not seeing others and finally, Junior has to regain lost hours with schools, as he has to prepare for some tests in the following week.
I rise from bed at 7:00, it started to get noisy in the camp after checking with my watch, I decide to do my morning wash and then check the yesterdays ladies results for some analytics. 24 female starters, I managed to finish 14th . Hmmm, with some resonable considerations, I would like to think that a 10th rank should have been possible, so there is nothing to loose, I will start again, today. It’s quite clear, that the chance is only a small one, as the track hasn’t gotten better yesterday, for shure and with the mighty rain from yesterday, all the bumps and wholes are now filled with water, covering everything beneath.
But, despite this only the steep slope counts, if I manage to get there through without any delay, than a real chance exists to improme my result.
So, I mount my starterplatte on front of the bike (which i regularly exchange with the headlight in the afternoon) and fill up the EXC with gas.
The rest goes to the power generator, I do want to boil some water for breakfast. Tea and Müsli bars thats the scarce rest of food we brought with us., but its enough.
Suddenly the Red Bull Unimog lorry arrives and announces that du to a lack on starters the queue is now open for everyone. So, i quickly change my gear and head to the start. As I wasn’t the only one, we now have a quite similar situation to yesterday, with the exception, that numbers are not treated differently anymore.
I sent an SMS to Junior with an update and slowly start to move forward in the queue. Finally, after approx 1 hour, I arrive the prestart area, I start the gps track, but forget the GoPro, and up we go… This time, no start light only the flag shows the start.
Everything works fine, speed looks good from the feeling, and there it is, my slope from yesterday. I manage to find a good track, but as it seems, I had slowed down to much, and as I finally try to shift gear down (i am in 2nd) its to late and the engine stalls. I try to fix the bike there on the slope and to kick start my bike again. Every try, the bike slides down the hill for approx 50cm.. 2 riders later I finally manged to get the engine running again und with 1st. gear I really went the last 3 meters up the hill and I am back into the race.
My next bike must have a bike, definitely 😉
Somewhere after this I remember the Go Pro, and I do switch it on on a flat section, right in time to get my crash recorded in the next wide curve, where I managed to hit the gas to early and therefore drifted to much with my back wheel. Autsch., at least now I know why I carry all this protection gear, as my shirt is only a rag now.
I put the bike back up, it starts with the first kick (fortunately) and on we go. That was the 2nd mistake today.
The rest of the rund is quite uneventfull, I really tried to get more out of it, but at arrival at the finish line its quite clear, its not enough for a really better place.
OK, at least I can enjoy the ride back to the valley, as the back side of the mountain (mainly unknown for others) is really beautiful. I try to wash my bike, but unfortunately the Kärcher place is shut down until 13:00, as they had rund out of water!! As yesterday, there wasn’t enough of it? 😉
So we head back in dirty state and I use the solar shower again for cleaning myself.
Junior has decided not to start, as he is confident his time is enough, yeah in his place I might think the same. :-/
Again wwe travel down to Eisenerz for a meal, again we were not disappointed. The man road is crowed by people, pedestrians, bikers, Enduro RIders, Cars, Bussses, and over all a cloud of dust, as it seems the rain hasn’t left any trace there.
Speaking of rain: Once again there are really black clouds over the mountains, so we start packking unnecessary things and stow them in the Transporter, and, shortly after heavy rain combined with hail swipes over the camp. Everyone tries to cover, the noise on the tents roof is very loud. After some time the rain abite a little bit, so we went to the main tent to view the results. As the internet connection is always bad in the evening , I otherwise would have to wait until morning, to see the final outcome.
As expected I only slightly improve my time for approx 2 minutes, but this result only manged to keep me on 14th place in the overal ladies ranking. This means, Junior got ahead approx 80 places in the overall ranking, and the family challenge is won by him.
As I do consider beeing a guide next year, this should have been the last chance to show some uprush in our enduro relationship, where Junior is slowly outpacing me. So, now you understand my efforts and disappointment?
Half of the night I lay in my bed, thinking, shall I, shall I not, shall I… … 😉
Again, bed rise at 9:00. First a good and long breakfast, then start the preparations for the prolog race.
As the sun stings from above, its really hot, every move results in sweating, so we fill our camel backs completely full with water. At least we will not get dehydrated, or so. And up we go, entering the queue , as we thoght, BUT this year everything is different. The security guys are striktly controlling the start numbers, so queing upfront isn’t possible anymore. Furthermore, they are still in the 400 range, so we have to return to our tent. to wait for another hour, at least. So, 11:30 it is.
Back at the tent, we remove our Gear as fast as possible and hide in the shadow of the tent. I really pity the medival knights, with there armor, it must have been even hoter. Profis do drive without protectiong ear sometimes, but I have to confess, that I am to frightend and not experienced enought to drive high speed between all this huge rocks, without gear. 😉
Ok, letzts wait the hour, then put the gear back on and back to the queue. This thime we are allowed to enter the queue, but, lower numbers are still ariving and they are allowed to head to the front, so nothing really moves yet. Finally, after a long hour in the sun, we are allowed to proceed on. I pity the higer numbers (from 7 to 8 hundred) which are also waiting there already, as they have to wait, still. SLowly we move forward, drinking water, the urge to use a WC is rising, but there isn’t one,. Lucky the guys, they are simple using the border bushes and ditch for their business, no wonder so few women are joining the club :-/
But, finally we arrive to the start area, now its only a few moments to the start. GPS Track startet, Go Pro startet – check) and, at approx 12:15 i am at the start. Junior has left the start approx. 5 min earlier, so I do not have someone to compete with.
After the start, there are the two long tracks with long curves, along visitors and spectators. So easy, trying to look good there. 😉 after this the first obstacles in the track, followed by some double bends and narrow bends. As it seems, the track gets harder and harder every year. The mix of fine stone dust and large stones in the track mounts to surprises in every bend and twist. An there it is, my hated slope, it starts in a parabolic curve, so it would be fine, but after 1500 already crossed dirt bikes, the lower part – hadn’t been fine at the begining – now looks like a moon desert, waves and curbs within the main track, to the left the chasm, to the right the rocks.
To choose the right track, and to carry your momentum over the waves is key. And, besides I already know this and have trained for it, I got stuck on the right side in the middle of the slope.
So I have to turn around and head down again. Everytime checking for other riders , to avoid them get stuck too. Down, turn and gas, and aarrggghhh I lost my track after multiple waves and got to close to the chasm, so I willingly let go of the bike.
And once again…. sweating!!
3th try, and this time everyting worked perfect, so why not the first time???
The next part of the track ist filled with shit, shit, shit….. you can forget this run, … shit…, no wonder, that I did make further mistakes. But slowly I return to a good rhytm and further up it goes. After approx 20 min I arrive at the finish line, Junior is alredy there, totally relaxed, as it seems he arrived with approx 17 min driving. If I wasn’t covered in iron dust all over I would put ash on my head for this, unbelievable. 🙁
Only a short time to get my breath back because we are already heading down the mountain again. There we clean our bikes from the dust, and back to the tent we do the same with us. As it is noon now, we decide to head for Eisenerz to visit the Bräustüberl, we found last year and once again, we are not disappointed again. The food is very well and the price is moderate too. An additional benefit is to sponsor the local restaurants and people, as this is, more or less, the only highlight off the year.
I do not know, if the statistic is still correct, but years ago, Eisenerz had been the city with the oldest population age average of all Austrian cities. As it seems, young people only try to leave fromt here. :-/
After this we head back to the tent, to replace lost screws (and, yes, I did check all of them upfront to the race, as I was close to loose my front break caliper in 2014) and to tighten all other ones. Unbelievable what 13 km of an rattle track can do. Some statistics out of the GPS: Run time approx. 20 min (certainly there is room for improvement), approx. 760m high climbed up, track lenght 13,5 km, highest speed 102 km/h
To calm down and for relaxation we do read in our books again (Robert Sawyers new: Quantum Night – highly recommendable, as most of his books are page turners) but the view over the mountain shows an interesting picture: :
Bad weather is coming. 1 hour later hell breaks loose water from above, water from beneath, as it seems the major stream out off the artificial plateau is right beneath our tent. the whole bottom is floating atop, so we head to the front tent and start digging ditches around the tent to regulate the stream otherwise. Our italien neighbors are helping us with there spade Grazie Mille guys! After some digging we regain control of the situation, right in time and the weather stops, as fast as it had started.
And right in time, as the Storm to Eisenerz is to commence.
This year, I haven’t forgot my disguise, so I quickly change my clothes to :
Additionally I have mounted a lon dark pink scarf on my helmets GoPro socket:
The scarf flutters with the wind and as the rain has stopped, I have no need to dress with the additional rain suit (transparent one, especially bought for this occasion)
Ans so we head after the column, already down in EIsenerz.
There is smoke and engine noise everywhere – as its supposed . I try a wheelie – I trained that the whole year, but the road is wet and greasy after the rain, so I stop it fast , and stay with noise and smoke 😉
This time, there is no assembly of the riders after the storm to Eisenerz , so we head back to the tent and try to regain further controll of the mess there.
We put some things on the dry line, enlarge the ditches, put on warmer clothes, etc…
After this we drive to the Main tent to look for the results and the party, The result is so depressing, I should knock my self out with alcohol, but unfortunately I do not drink one… , so the party went short and we try to get back to the tent and went to sleep.
In the night there is rain again, but I trust in our ditches and sleep on.
Its thursday, it was a long night and so we get up not to early. but, at 9:00 its already busting all around the tent, so we went out to inspect our neighbors. ,still, there are new participants with their crew and/or family are arriving, space is a scarce thing in the meantime, so the tents are errected along the main street tot. Thank god, we arrived yesterday and have claimed our ground. 🙂
Our combinated tent and transporter configuration does fit very well in the available part of iron ore gravel we had conquered last day. 😉
The view is a little bit restricted, but nonetheless still stimmulating
Oposite the “street” there is a participant from Lans (Its the tyrolian village were I bought my SX long time ago Lans ich komme ) he is busy with his box crew working on his EXC, aside from us, there is a family from germany with their camper, behind us is a bunch of italians, some of them arrived by motorcycle yetserday in the evening.
Multikulti, as it seems.
We do our braekfast with the bought food, and then start for a tour to the EBR main place up the hill. As always, we visit the Erzberg Merchandising, to fetch our rider shirts. Sabine (our neighbor, back in Vienna) is already busy with customers, all of them triing to buy some shirts, caps, etc.. as souvenir. After a short talk and shopping round we proceed to the race office to inquire about this strange new rule, forbidding motorcycles after 8pm. As expected, it was a misunderstanding of the security guy, so hmpf my feet are still hurting from the night walk through stones …, but after all we did clarify it now, so hopefully this will be the last walk uphill. So, we are heading back to the mainplace to visit our booths too, as well as the new Enduro Cross arena with the new bleachers there Not only the mountain is changing every year…
Its amazing how this lot of people (alone approx. 4000-6000 participants, incl. crew and families) gets entertained and feed day by day. Even, if there is the slight impression, that some of the participants will nourish themselves only with barley, malt and water over the next days. So really biologic and vegetarian at the same time 😉 The overall impression is, that the Rodeo lost some of his wild , adventures side step by step, but I will not miss the the old mixed mobile WC for sure. And yet, there are still a lot of lunatics at the Rodeo. 🙂
After this we did a short exploration tour through the other camp, if we can spot someone we already know, but its hart to spot someone amongst all this tents and transporters. At least, close to our tent is the the german family from last year, they will aprticipate this year too.
During the whole time the Kärcher Rocket ride race takes place, as we do have a good view from the tent on the finish part of the track, we can stay with our cool drinks and watch from there. The only unpleasant thing, as it seems, is our power generator. For some reason the 12V Outlet doesn’t work, so we had to switch to 230V power to keep our electronic devices up and running. GoPro, Mobiles, Tablet, Camera, Loudspeaker, Fridge, etc.. should be loaded all the time. Counting all this items I remember my wild and adventures sermon…. 😉 Next year I will take the solar panel with me, I bet, quite certainly it will rain or snow then …
Ah, weather: Its hot, very hot no wind, no cloud is there, so whats the deal, we fetch some pizza from the main place and dispatch it right at the spot. Shortly after, its time to prepare for the prolog test exploration. As we already know, its a long and slow procedure, and under this weather conditions hot too. We didn’t hurry, yet we did arrive for the start even right in time. From there its 13km uphill, very slowly and hot, and then the same way return (i do not understand why, as after the races we do leave the mountain on the beutiful back site, so the track is ruined by 1600 bikes, two times…) Finally, 1 1/2 hours later we are back in camp and glad to have prepared our solar shower. Thus allowing us to remove the dust from the face and the sweat from the skin.
After this we take our sun umbrella, folding chairs and the camera and head to the border wall of our drivers paddock, from where we do have a nice few over the start and the track of the Rocket Ride. In the meantime its the final rounds, so they start in groups, not making it easier to climp this monstros hills. .
In the meantime ts getting dark and so we head to the main tent for the winners celebration and riders briefing. The winners are awarded the traditional stone as price. Breaks are filled with red bull sports clips, every time facinating the perfection of this movies..
After this the party starts!
As junior and me do not drink any alcohol, the situation very soon gets uncomforting, so we head back to our tent.
My new headlight really improves the driving experience back down the mountain, so we arrive safely back at the tent. As expected, this night isn’t a silent,a s the last, but none the less, this has to be expected. 😉
At 2 pm I started loading the transporter, a long list of 165 items were at my packing list.
Everything had to be stowed secure and right in place, the first challenge for the days to come.
At approx 3:30 I was ready to fetch Junior from school and up we went to the highway.
On the way there we filled our canisters and the tank of the transporter, and bought some food and something to drink too.
And up we went…
After a few construction sites along the road ,and 200 km later, we arrived at Eisenerz at 7pm. Big advantage of the late arrival, we hadn’t to queue at the cash counter, disadvantage: Only a few spaces left within the familiy paddock??
We managed to cuddle between some italian and German transporters and tents and started building our camp.
Unpacking the transporter and the tent, we did have an unpleasant surprise: there are no side sheets with the tent, as it seems we did left them at home?!! OMG!!
A telephone call home verified the fact, the sheets are still at home. My older boy will bring them to us within the next 2 hours, how kind of him! In the meantime we did prepare the bottom of the tent and then head for the registration desk and the technical check of our bike. Only 4 minutes before closure (at 8 pm) we managed to finally finish this procedure.
So we return to our “tent”, thus reminding us on the mediocre state its still in.
A short check with junior reveals, it still will last approx. 1 1/2 hour until he arrives. So we proceed with our preparation of the inner tent. Finally a call from junior arrives, he had left the highway. We did start our machines to drive to the city border of Eisenerz to meet him there.
I fix the head light on the EXC so we can be on the way even in the dark, but the next unpleasant surprise: Without license plate there is no allowance to leave the camp after 8 pm, wtf?! We had some discussion with the security guy, but he wasn’t willing to give in. So we returned the bikes to the tent and started our walk the hill up and down to Eisenerz. There we finally met with junior. As he and we haven’t eaten yet, we enter the Eisenerzer Stüberl for a meal of Wiener Schnitzel and Gulasch, which wasn’t to bad at all.
After this, Junior brought us back to the back entrance of the Rodeo site, which provides us with a shorter way back. Still, the sheets are heavy and I am glad to be back at our tent. As it is 11:30 pm now, we silently start to finish our tent, then do some cat wash, and went to sleep. At 1:30 am Junior sends an SMS that he had arrived back home safely. The night is fresh but relatively silent, so we fall asleep fast and unspoiled.
We did a fork service on the Husaberg last week. On saturday, Junior did experience a very hard fork and so he skipped our training in wöllersdorf completely. 🙁 In the meantime we did rebalance the fork and today I fetched him from school and we hurried to Wöllersdorf. 20min up to closing of the track, we arrived at the site, quickly unloaded the Husky and he did 5 fast rounds to check the setting. .-/
Luckily he was very satisfied with the actual setting, so we stopped right in time to load up the bike and leave the site before closing. 😉
it wasn’t planned like that, surely it wasn’t. The idea was, to do kind of an alternative training. Speeding over some dirt roads. Something like that. As this isn’t possible within Vienna or the near vicinity, we had to use the transporter to get the bikes to the dirt roads. At least that was the idea. Unfortunately it stayed with the idea. What happened? We found an oil leakage beneath the Husaberg. The source was easily found. It was the right fork of the Husaberg. 🙁
So, instead the whole program: Unload the bike, remove the fork, repair the leakage and replace the fork oil. After this we mounted the fork back in place, and, what happened? It started raining. Merde….
The IFRD, the international female riding day, is a yearly reoccuring event on the first saturday of may.
This year, it was the 10th anniversary of this event, and, naturally, I did participate too 🙂
I met with Su at 9 in the morning, and we started our Versys W4-Trip (W4 stands for Weinviertel – wine quarter; the NO-Part of Lower Austria, where wine is produced).
We started with the lower parts, also called Marchfeld, and proceeded northward, along the Slovakian border, then further on along the Czech border,
At Hohenau an der March, at the first roundabout, it then happened. A small oil spot and my back wheel decided to slide away. After a 180° turn we were briefly sliding over the concrete tarmac
Only my pride was really hurt, thank god, nothing else was really damaged. So we went on after a short break,
where we did cross the border to Valtice ->
and from there on to Lednice, our target for todays ride.
Lednice castle and the surounding park are an real beauty
It was really hard to find a place to park the bikes, as it seems whole Lednice is a no drive, no parking zone 😉 But we did find a gap, large enough for the bikes.
We then did a short foot walk around the castle, as there were still a few km to go.
We then headed on to Mikoluv close to the Autrian border.
It does have a beautiful city centre, beeing renovated now for decades it looks like a beauty.
But, we traveled on
And crossed the border back to Austria on a short dirt road passage back to W4 where we very soon found a most beautiful scenery beneath a linden tree.
Its a hill full of vine cellars, surounded by vine yards, called Galgenberg (Mountain of the gallow 😉 )
But we travelled on, no vine drinking with driving a bike. 😉
We now drove back south, through the hilly countryside and yellow rapeseed field
Until we did met the Danube again.
We crossed there the Danube river by ferry
A whole ferry for two Versys alone.
After the crossing we did went on along the northern Wienerwald where we were stopped by a young Biker, who did had a bike accident due to ballast on the street. Fortunately he wasn’t hurt, but in light shock.
We gave him some water and helped him to recover his bike out of the ditch.
But it was heavily damaged, the rim broken, the brake fluid reservoir gone,
the fairing broken, etc…
We did organise a towing firm and brought him to the next inn, so he could wait there for them to arrive.
Only a few kilometres after, back in Vienna, we finished our IFRD Tour after 11 hours on the way.
It was a pleasant trip, in nice company, perfect weather nothing more to wish for. 🙂