AFTER JOB

What about a day like this: wake up-breakfast-go to the office-run back home get the bike ready-take a tour and then continue with the rest of the things, having still much time until the evening.

Well, that’s possible. There’s a short ride around my town which begins with a kilometer in which I climb from 225 meters to 375… That’s only a forest climb in which I don’t have any technical difficulties. Then I take a break pedaling downhill to Almasu Sec.

After crossing that village, only 4 kilometers away from the comfy home where I could have had a break speaking on some cycling forums, starts a climbing that posses some technical problems and a lot of strength.

No wonder how much I sweat on this ride I’m always drooling when thinking of the final descent that will take me town from the 550 meters to the 220 – the altitude of the town, in only 3 kilometers.

I’ll let the pictures of the descent burn your imagination and the profile and the map just for the sake of the statistics…


1 hour ride – 1 hour of pleasure – 1 good day
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Me and Gabee Mcgee

Its 2 years since I met Gabee, a guy who turned into the very compass of my getting to know the mountain bike world.

Off my young timer Italian supermarket steel mountain bike and cycling all the way on my Peugeot Cologne I needed some advice in order to get the maximum off road with little money. Gabee advised, answered all my questions and here I was, pedaling on Giant Terrago which I bought with the help of my Belgian friend, Jean Louis.

Gabee was only a virtual presence trough the Yahoo messenger and we were always planning a ride together. This chance showed up in 29 of December 2007 when he arrived in Romania and we crossed our ways in order to visit Sarmizegetusa, the ancient capital of the Dacian world.

We met on the road and we seemed two colleagues meeting at school after the holiday.

Then it was the adventure of climbing the 20 kilometres road that led to the historical place. There were ice blocks on the road where we could hardly walk.

Robi on his fully, me on my Giant and Gabee on his ssp sewing machine, a nice Kona colored in the most beautiful blue I’ve ever seen, we were all chatting while we get on top of the clouds that darkened the earthling days…

In the altitude, we discovered a winter sunny day, cold enough to turn to ice the drops of sweat on my cap.

I leave the images speak  by themselves and I hope you too can make new friends while riding!

Merry Christmas and a Happy 2010!

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RIDE REPORT AND A LOVE STORY

To test my bike as scientifically as I can I decided to run the same tracks I used to follow witm my poor little 26 wheel. Therefore I chose the following itinerary: Deva-Şoimuş-Boholt-Topliţa Mureşului-Măgura-Certeju de Sus-Nojag-Vărmaga-Banpotoc-Simeria-Săuleşti-Deva…

The test area was mainly a rocky climbing road on the way to Magura. There, the road was divided by water moats and the rocks were moving constantly underneath the wheels. I realized that the main benefit of the 29er wheel is the climbing. Despite of my sports condition, the bike behaved perfectly. The fork flew over the obstacles and the wheels offered me the traction that maintained my speed constant and even increasing… all this time, I didn’t take care too much of my trajectory  because it was very easy to maintain my direction and the lateral slipping f the tyres was easy to keep in control.

I stooped at Magura to tell you the sad story of a pilot named Mirza Ovidiu Nicusor who flew over those high hills back in a 1979 spring in order to see his girlfriend. It is said that the loss of altitude prevented him from redress his plane so that, probably in front of the beloved girl he collapsed. In his memory there’s a small monument pictured below.

After this moment of thinking about the pilot I climbed to a nice lake that I used to know which was called Taul Faerag. I was tempted by a the rocky climbing which I never managed with my prevoius 26er. I had a double surprise: the first regarded the fact that I had no stop with my 29er which, I MUST say, suprised me a lot. I overcame every obstacle and every difficultyof those slipping rocks.

The second surprise regarded the lake. It has drained almost tottaly. You can’t imagine the sadness I felt as I knew this lake since I was a child… Below you’ll see some pictures of it:

Back to our business, after a tiring climb to Varmaga I discovered the pleasure of some flat rocky roads. I felt my bike to be back to its roots while speeding over a road that was used mainly by tractors and which I felt to be like a tarmac alley. I let Mamasita drove me like a scooter to Banpotoc having it fueled with…green apples!

A sip o fresh spring source mineral water in Banpotoc and then I ran directly to Saulesti. There, I met a friend, we enjoyed a glass of home made raspberry syrup and I launched myself back home on a road just nearby the aerodrome.

I might have been looking like Carry Grant in “North by Northwest” while I was sprinting away from two dogs which flee from the ships they were guarding to hount me in the violet light of the sunset… Meanwhile, the planes were sleeping in their hangars with their propellers dreaming of a summer clear sky…

Here you have the map and the GPS track of the ride(viewable also in Google Earth):

The altitude profile:

A link to download the track in case you should visit Romania:

Bike route 329469 – powered by Bikemap

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BANAT MOUNTAIN BIKE MARATHON – THE STORY OF A VICTORY

Together with three friends (three camarades) also dedicated to the two wheels revolution I got to the start line of the Garana mountian bike marathon, a few minutes before the beginning of the race. Being the last to fix the numbers on the hadlebars, we didn’t take a moment to wish each other good luck. I was never to meet them again in the following 5 hours …

Start

Listening to music with an MP 3 player, isolated from the sound of changing gears and the roaring wind on the top of the hills, I got into the candence quite fast, a tonic cadence, a little aggressive, taking into account that I had been awake from 4 o’clock in the morning. I was overcoming some riders who were passing in front of me on the dusty, extremely rapid downhill sections.

Untill getting to Semenic peak (1446 meters) I was nearly to fall down somewhere in the Three Crosses area. This scared me a bit but made me concentrate more. I didn’t let myself carried away by the beauty of the Trei Ape Lake even tough, from a distance, a family in a boat were waving their hands. I knew that beyond this appearance there must be something tough. And it was!

I started a climbing in a forrest and it was steeper and steeper… I realised that the organizers gave me a wrong number as for the 50 kilomteres ride. I let them know the error and I went on. The forrest seemed eternal and of course that I was very happy getting to the rocky field at the bottom of Semenic Peak.

The crews of some eolian generators stood still there, with the rust colouring their white, immaculate paint.

I walked the last meters to Semenic, in the zoom of the photographers there, dreaming of a 29er wheel which could have helped me to surpass the little obsacles wich made me get down of the seat. The downhill section that followed ment a prayer for the sloping invetor. That sloping frame, was for me – as a less techincal cyclyst and too tall for the 18 inches Giant I rode – a revelation. Through the forrest, over roots, on singletrails, sometimes with my head down, I was flying without fear, more and more certain that I won’t fall over the handlebar. Finnnaly I went on a tough and tyring descent that followed a large rough road and then… all of a sudden, the second round!

At this poit the direction was similar to the first round but, at a certain place, at the lakeside the indicators pointed me other way. Here, alone in the forrest, on a road which was becoming more and more aggressive and muddy, I passed by huge fallen threes and I met the psychological barrier. The banana and the water at the last check point could hardly enter my stomach. I felt like vommiting fom all my body but I didn’t offered me any supplementary rest. Even tough the road wasn’t as tough as before, I still felt the fatigue into my shaking thighs and I slowed down a bit.

Undexpectedly, I noticed I cyclyst overcoming me. He smiled at me, probably fed up with so much solitude, but he went forwards ruthlessly, on his full suspention bike. I didn’t even notice that I would have liked to keep my pace when an explosion occurred: “I’M IN A COMPETITION!!!”. Then I launched myself after him. The distance between us became shorter and the fatigue became dispair as I wanted to overcome him untill the last descent to the finish line, where the single trail throgh threes would have made any overcoming impossible…

There followed a climbing and the other stepped town of the bicyle. This gave me a powerful bust. I increased the frequency at all costs because the advanteage gain with such ocasions is like winning the lottery. In my ears, Queen – “Hammer of fall”. Like a fugitive, I left in my back the organisers who were pointing the drection. The dusty single trail, roots, short bents as in a slalom, all these passed as in a fast farward movie.

I had crossed the finish line when I realised that the advantage I gain ment more than 10 minutes. Those minutes brought me a medal, a prize and a victory.

PODIUM

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