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.