The organizers really did their best, and I can safely write that this was the most difficult rally for us so far – both in terms of the route itself and the layout of the checkpoints. Enjoy the coverage!
Bike Orient Przysucha 2015
The rally took place near the town of Przysucha, with checkpoints stretching toward the border with the Swietokrzyskie province. We hadn’t had the opportunity to drive in these areas before, so the terrain was completely unfamiliar. We also didn’t pay much attention to the word ‘Mountains’ in the title of the rally, which later proved to be quite crucial…. The terrain is mountainous, and the constant climbs were very tiring.
This was the first time we decided to come to the rally a day early, and we do not regret it! As a rule, we got up around. 5 a.m. to leave by car at 6-7 a.m. for the rally’s starting point. This time we could finally sleep and prepare in peace. We spent the night at a resort at Topornia Res ervoir near Przysucha. The resort does not knock you out, but it is enough to stay overnight, have breakfast and leave your belongings until the end of the rally.
Around 9 o’clock we went to the start line, where we saw a long queue for the registration itself. We, fortunately, had arranged everything the day before, so we were left waiting for the distribution of maps. In between, the organizers consoled us that this is one of the more difficult editions and this time there are 11 points to collect on the mega route, not 10 as before, and the optimal route is 50 kilometers.
At 9:55 a.m. we finally received the long-awaited maps and just 5 minutes later we heard the whistle marking the start of the rally. We chose 11 points that seemed optimal to us and set off with most of the cyclists towards PK 2.
The very first point showed us that this was not going to be an easy rally. Poorly marked trails, overgrown trails in the woods effectively made riding difficult. PK 2 was relatively easy to find, but this is probably due to the number of cyclists who went there (there was a queue at the point!), although the approach itself (not the climb) was sharp. We then drove towards PK 4, very much around the road, but at least on a dirt road (these are always more reliable in terms of quality). Many bikes suffered on PK 4, numerous branches and roots effectively impeded the route. There we modified our route and decided to go to PK 16, which was also reached by a hard road where we could accelerate. After a short bushwhacking in the woods, the point was found, and what we liked most were the cheers of another team with whom we passed in the first half of the rally :)
Continue to PK 13, which turned out to be unlucky for us…. on the way we lost 3 out of 4 fenders ;) Unfortunately the verdant, uneven roads do their job, although we never had problems with them before. The point itself: the guerrilla memorial plaque, already sounded easy from the name, but we did not expect such a trivial one :) From PK 13 we set off to PK 17, abandoning the fenders in the forest, hoping to come for them in the evening. PK 17 was hidden on the site of a former mine. Here, too, we made another decision to change the route and headed to PK 8 – the bank of the stream on the east side.
It was real hardcore as they say ;) The access itself was hard, and the route was only helped by finding tire tracks on the grass that had been driven out. We left the bikes and looked for a point on foot from which it came out almost 1 km on foot and 20 minutes in the back. Walking along the stream was not without the standard adventures like falling into the water (how could it be otherwise, if Kamila had not fallen up to her knees! and that twice ;) ) as well as those completely unique: 20 meters from us ran a herd of beautiful deer! Eventually, a point was found. Those who drove from the other side had a much easier task….
We then drove to PK 5 (pond), which we found without too much trouble, and only lost time looking for my glasses, which flew off in one of the many ditches. A quick return along the same route and we took the long straight to PK 1, or buffet. Here, fruits were waiting for us as always (we ran out of watermelons, which we thought about all the way :( ), homemade cakes and drinks. It was good, we only had 3 points left, so it was left to choose the order.
We drove to PK 3, which we feared the most – the intersection of ditches (I would say that the name intersection of ditches/bikes would be more appropriate ;-)). Initially, we wanted to take the black trail, but due to the numerous roots, ditches and mud, we let it go and took the asphalt from the top. We turned off into the woods, measured the length and spiralled (that’s how it is when you have three forks of a forest clearing every 50 meters), until by some miracle we managed to find the point. This was probably the biggest success, it took us only about 5 minutes at the most :) It was actually the only point in the area where we did not see any other competitor….
After this point, we jumped onto the dirt road again and flew to PK 20 “The Bottom.” Of course, there was a pit at the bottom in the area, but we managed to find the one with the lantern. We returned to the asphalt and rode with all our might to PK 9, which was trivial, but the view we saw at the top of Krakowa Gora was breathtaking!
We had a set! 11 points, the time admittedly poor, but we had the strength to still accelerate. Last time, we covered the route in 4:30, and now it was already 5:40 and we were still on the road, but we knew that PKs were more important than time. We were left with one last decision to make, i.e. which way to go back: the longer asphalt road or the “bike road” through the woods? Unfortunately, we were tempted by the “bike path”, which at first looked nice, but then turned into a forest with endless overgrowth and paths….
This short piece took us over 20min! At times Kamila already felt like throwing the bike and running, because the hardest part was just carrying the bike through mud, grass and bushes…. When we finally saw the fences we accelerated to cross the finish line as quickly as possible. After more than six hours!
What was the surprise at the end when it turned out that Kamila was the second woman on the Mega route with a set of points :) This only proves how difficult the route was.
The forest was very dense, most of even the dirt roads were difficult to traverse, and the seeps through the forest were practically invisible (knee-high grass, mud, byres, roots…). It was definitely our slowest over 60 km in the Bike Orient rallies…. but we did it! :)
After completing the route, light gymnastics and stretching to not die the next day :)
We stayed until the end. The organizers provided a warm (tasty!) meal and a bonfire with sausages. It was possible to talk with other participants, exchange experiences and experiences :)
This was followed by the presentation of medals and prize drawings, although luck did not smile on us this time…. We were also unable to find fenders…. Nevertheless, we return as happy as ever, despite our fatigue and muddy and battered legs.
The route was extremely tough, but the weather was almost perfect for riding. If it had been nicer we probably would have stayed even until Sunday to relax a bit in nature.
Once again, we thank the organizers for a huge dose of excitement and fun, until we fear what you will come up with at the next edition! And congratulations to all the participants!
Finally, still our route (64 km) and the “optimal” variant (50 km). We took a slightly different option, but in our opinion easier nonetheless :)
PS. Some of the photos are from Mr. Maciej’s gallery, the entire gallery is available here.