Desflurane's Romaniacs Blog

Chronicle of My Participation in the World's Toughest Enduro Rally – Again…

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Watching the prologue being built

Posted by desflurane on July 15, 2011

We arrived in Sibiu and got to our hotel – cranked the A/C (because it was ridiculously hot) and took a short nap (slept about an hour last night, thanks to the Hungary and Romania’s finest…)

Then we went down to the closed off street where the prologue course was being set up. These guys were going to town on it with chainsaws and front-end loaders in the blazing sun. It was something to behold.

To be completely honest, after seeing what these guys were putting together, I was more than a little bit freaked out! I was really glad I had a SOLID excuse not to go anywhere near those things.

But having watched the guys ride the course, I realized that everybody was able to do it. Nobody went to the hospital. And I think I am a better rider than some – definitely not all, or even most – of the guys out there! I could totally do this! I wouldn’t win, but I could do it!

Well here is how it’s laid out this year:

We start off with the de rigueur log hop. A big mamma this time! Fortunately some launch ramps are included.

Having bested the log, it was on to the wild V-shaped thing. You had to ride up one of the ramps and along the board and down a ramp on the other side. All well and good! Mmm-hmmm…

The next of Andy’s crazy inventions was this cage full of tire swings. The tires are situated at just the right height to catch your handlebar, head, or appendages while going through. As each rider goes by they bump into any number of tires, settin’ ’em to swingin’ and creating a new and completely random challenge for the next rider. Some guys would slip right through. Others would catch a bar and nearly eat it.

The picture doesn’t really do justice to the log ramp. It is pretty darn tall. And slick too, as it turns out. Guys walking the course before the training sessions were having a hard time walking up this thing. After cresting the logs, a sketchy uneven descent awaits down – you guessed it – more logs!

Then came a big box of tree branches. Ahh, pine fresh scent!

If the big, fat log didn’t break your spirit, perhaps a nice bit of concrete pipe will do the job!

Now the rock pile! This thing looked really mean at first! There were a few really good lines however. Some riders would really nail them and sail through like it was a four-lane highway. Others, not so much…

A nice metal freestyle ramp allows the courageous to fly up onto the top of the shipping container, dropping lightly down into the sand hill on the back-side.

It appeared that the logs in the log-pile were not attached to each other yet, and the log pile was fenced off during training runs.

And last, but not least! We have a flatbed trailer parked across the road – with only two planks serving as ramps to get over it. That should prevent any three-way ties!

And during the training session I caught a picture of Chris Birch talking to Andreas Lettenbichler and a few others.


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