Desflurane's Romaniacs Blog

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

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Day one “In The Can” or “Down The Tubes”?

Posted by desflurane on July 3, 2013

Neither Mike, my roommate or I could sleep last night, owing to the jitters regarding how things would go on out in the mountains (this is his first time at Romaniacs too).

Now we know.

Mike did quite well in the prologue (because he is a very good rider) and was the sixth guy to go out this morning. I placed around 72nd out of about 125 competitors – and thus, started a little later.

The offroad start was 45 minutes away from the HQ Ramada, and it was a bit cold riding it early in the morning. The start had us climbing a steep slope and making a hard right turn about thirty feet up over a few rocky outcrops. It looked a little intimidating but was pretty easy. Things took a turn for the worse right away for me, however.  We climbed a steep, rutted hill for about half a mile. I was not expecting this (I really cant say why) and failed to give it enough throttle and flailed around on it for a while before charging up the rest of the way.

After winding our way to the hilltop, we began winding our way down. I performed poorly on several of the switchbacks we were descending and ended up heaving the bike around after it had fallen over. Much energy lost. Little did I know that this would turn out to be the theme of the entire day…

Shortly after reaching the bottom of that hill we crossed a stream and began climbing the hill next door. This hill contained a nasty section where slippery stone layers were exposed in the trail. Momentum was the only way to climb these things, but rather unfortunately a large group of riders had crowded into the run-up section blocking everything up so that nobody had any chance at a clean run. They hit the gas, hit the rocks and came to a complete stop, usually sliding backward to the bottom. 

More riders piled up behind the first and the situation got worse and worse.  End result: a large number of riders (100+) sat at the bottom of the hill waiting for the chance to climb it and continue on.

Further result: I and a large number riders were time-barred later in the day.

It was a real downer having to make the “ride of shame” on pavement all the way back to Sibiu, but that is just the way it goes.

Before being instructed to leave the track there was a mixture of fantastic and fun riding as well as absolutely horrible stuff. The nastiness primarily consisted of ridiculously long and steep downhills. Apart from the one already mentioned, the uphills really weren’t a problem, most of them were quite fun in fact. But what goes up…

By the end of the biggest of the downhills I was completely spent, and I’m not entirely sure I wouldn’t have time barred anyway, I was going so slow after that, but fatigue was winning.

Ultimately they have decided not to count today’s time bar against us – normally you have one of the four offroad days that you can “scratch” but if you dont complete a second day you are disqualified. We all still have two chances.

After being time barred I was ready to throw in the towel, but we will see how things go tomorrow.


One Response to “Day one “In The Can” or “Down The Tubes”?”

  1. Keith Wills said

    Dude – Hang in there and do not let off on the gas!!!!!!!!!

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