Desflurane's Romaniacs Blog

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

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On the road again

Posted by desflurane on July 7, 2013

I just finished writing a rather lengthy post and the blogging app I have been using lately managed to delete the whole thing for me. I am SICK of that garbage! Every app I have tried does it at some point or another. All your work just vanishes…

I had started writing just after the plane lifted off from Sibiu. Graham Jarvis was in the seat immediately behind me and Mike was in the row ahead, across the aisle.

I’m not going to recreate the whole essay I wrote earlier, so here are the salient points:

– I didn’t ride on race day four, right now I regret that choice.

– At the end of day three I was so demoralized, battered and tired that it just didn’t seem worthwhile to go out and try my luck again. I feel differently now after some rest and relaxation.

– I had a fantastic time at Romaniacs and I don’t regret having gone in the slightest degree. Though it didn’t work out the way I had envisioned, I am not leaving Romania feeling disappointed or defeated.

– I have heard it said before, but until you have ridden in Romaniacs you have no idea what it is like. I now understand this fully. I heard others say this and like everybody, said to myself “yeah, yeah, sure… it’s hard… I get it…” I had no idea.

– I want to come back and ride the hobby single class again. This time with a team mate. Nathan Rafferty might be interested in doing this with me.

– I know exactly what to train for now, to maximize the chances of finishing Romaniacs. Certainly you need to train for “everything” because Romaniacs will draw upon every bike skill you have, but IN PARTICULAR: learning to ride downhill confidently and smoothly is the definite list topper. Before Romaniacs I thought I knew how to ride downhill, and I did. But not the kind of insane, demon-hills you are faced with in Romania. Everyone I talked to about the downhilling on day one said the same thing: “I’ve never seen anything like it.” It was absolutely brutal. If your skills are weak in this department (as mine were/are) you waste excessive time and energy getting down the mountain and you end up being too tired/injured/slow to carry on. So this means: get comfortable riding down extended slopes of forty five plus degrees. Learn to ride around tight switchbacks on this kind of hill. It seems insane, but the fast guys flowed right through this stuff – I watched them do it as I fought my own bike down every painful inch of the way. At the bottom, I’m sure they were tired too, but I was completely wrecked and barely able to continue. It’s not any accident that the race began with this sort of challenge. Indeed I’m confident that this is ENTIRELY intentional. The track managers deliberately put this near the beginning of the first day to try to intimidate you right off the bat. I assure you – it is VERY EFFECTIVE! I can definitely say that my choice to abandon day four began half-way through the morning of day one.


One Response to “On the road again”

  1. Mike Kay said

    Great write up Brendan, i think your experiences where the same for everyone at one stage i know i related to them.
    Great to meet you and i hope your journey home wasn’t too bad.

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