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 …
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.