We like to spend our leisure time actively, usually on bicycles. On a free weekend, we load our bikes on the roof and explore different corners on unicycles. Sometimes to see new places, sometimes to relax, and sometimes we participate in bicycle rallies.
Just this past Saturday we kicked off the 2015 season at the Bike Orient rally in the vicinity of Kamieńsk Mountain (Lodz Province).
Sometimes instead of Ready For Boarding it would be more appropriate to write Ready For Biking :)
This was not our first day on the bikes this year. Previously, we managed to do a few tens of kilometers “as a starter” so as not to sag on the first kilometers, but the weather this year did not spoil on the weekends, so we used to meal such as spinning (or indoor cycling as you prefer :-)).
Bike Orient 2015
The rally was organized on 11. April, and the competition area is the vicinity of Kamieńsk Mountain. Unfortunately, we have already had technical problems with the bikes since Friday…. In the evening we saw that the inner tube in one bike went, and the spare didn’t quite fit, so the fun began :) In the end, we managed to make the bike run, so we went to bed around. 1 a.m. to get up after 5 a.m. A quick packing, a decent breakfast and we set off in the direction of Belchatow. Along the way we passed quite a few cars with bicycles – the number of participants at the first rally exceeded a record 300 people.
Start numbers and small goodies from partners and sponsors awaited us on site. By. 9.30 we embraced and prepared the bikes for the start. The rules of the rally are trivial, and there are three types of routes to choose from: recreational, mega and giga. We start on the mega, where you need to find 10 checkpoints (on the giga there are as many as 20), and the optimal route is 50-60 km (giga: 60-100). Optimal means that you actually make a little more, although this time we managed to fit within that range ;)
What we probably like best about these rallies is that each participant takes the route he or she wants, and the order in which the next points are scored is arbitrary. At first, cyclists ride together in large groups, but very quickly the best ones come to the front :)
At 9:50 am, we were given maps with checkpoints and had 10 minutes to choose the most optimal route. As it was not difficult to guess, some of the points (as many as 3!) were on Kamieńsk Mountain (386 meters above sea level) and two questions remained: whether to take these points at the beginning or at the end, and how to conquer this mountain! We were tempted by the lifts ;)))) In the end, we chose the steepest climb (or rather, approach) – we calculated the distances, the average pace and knew that it would be faster for us to even carry the bikes. At 10:00 a.m., more than 300 cyclists set off on the route. Very many people took the same route as us. Unfortunately, the approach was at a steep angle, the bikes and the whole maypole weren’t the lightest either, so it was quite an effort at the very beginning. Fortunately, the point was easy to find.
The next point on Mount Kamiensk was also easy, although the road was no longer. Along the way, I traditionally had to pass a small mud pit.
Our only regret is that we were in a bit of a hurry, so we admired the views with only one eye. And the weather was great!
Fortunately, the descent down the mountain on the asphalt was so much fun that it was worth the climb and getting a little dirty :) Unfortunately, it later turned out that the descent cost us a broken wheel at Paul’s, making the rest of the ride much more tiring. We had the choice of either replacing the inner tube or pumping it every so often, which brought an improvement for the next 10km. After Friday’s experience, we opted for the second option. The next checkpoints were easy to find (compared to previous rallies). The power lines were very helpful, allowing you to orient yourself more easily (although it turns out that sometimes counting to 5 can cause problems ;) ).
At each rally, the organizers provide a buffet, which is also a checkpoint. Going to this point, we already had half of the PK with a great time. We also passed the best participants who took the route in the other direction. At the buffet, TVN Meteo was waiting, so expect interviews with us :D After a short rest, watered and full, we continued on our way. Subsequent points were not difficult to find either, although it was necessary to wade a bit through bushes, hills, pits, etc., but this is standard at this type of rally. Returning to the finish line without scratched legs is a shame :)
The last two points were agonizing with a broken wheel. The ride was much slower and even despite the asphalts, it was impossible to accelerate. There were also far fewer cyclists at these points, so we had to rely fully on our orientation in the area, which, it turns out, is not so bad :) We may not have knocked down the speed on the route, but finding the points went quite well. After the last point, we set off with all our might to the finish line. Unfortunately, the climbs and the wind did not help. In the end, we managed to reach the finish line after 4 hours and 30 minutes. In the process, we were betting that we could close in four, but it didn’t work out…. The most important thing is that we had a set of points and a lot of excitement :)
As it turned out later, I also had a punctured wheel. Barely after reaching the finish line, there was no air in the front wheel at all. I don’t know how I did it, but we haven’t had such a record yet in our cycling history (3 punctured wheels in 24 hours) :)
At the finish line, you could eat, refresh and finally rest. At the end, the winners were honored and prizes were drawn. We are not professionals, we ride these rallies recreationally and yet those 4.5 hours were tiring. What else should the participants of the giga route say, who take less than 5:45 to complete 20 CPs with more than 100 kilometers on the road? Respect and congratulations to all the winners and participants of the Rally!
We would like to thank the organizers for a great job, the preparation of the rally and all those attractions that awaited us. Great job! We are already looking forward to more rallies, and we invite you all to participate in the next edition! :)
And finally, a few words on TVN Meteo Active about this edition, including our words as well ;)
PS. Exceptionally, not all photos are ours. Some of the photos are from Mr. Maciej’s gallery, the entire gallery is available here.