"Those who ride in foul weather - be it cold, wet, or inordinately hot - are a group of people, from the skies, allow a wry smile to spread across their face. "
[Pullquote]Sunday was a beautiful day: again, I remembered that we chose the best hobby.[/ pullquote] Autumn is coming. If you've ever wondered how clothes are put into a long program with a spin to a washing machine with a broken thermostat, and then hung in the wind, I can tell you. If 6th September 2015. in Gdynia a march against immigrants was organized, probably none of us would come home safely. Because imagine such a situation: the port, by the port, several hundred people disbursed in all possible places. Each in a different color: from blue, through purple and red, to snow-white. Each of them shakes as if he spent a month at sea - so they look. The faster are already at the stage of removing socks and pouring water from shoes, the others are still trying to eat pasta or drink warm tea. It is not easy, some people shake so much that the pasta lands everywhere, but not on the fork. Each upraised hand looks like a greeting crowd waving.
It started as usual. The forecast on Guglach speaks about 100% rain starting more or less at the time of our start. I do not remember when it last rained, for the last month the average temperature is probably 25 degrees. Outside the window, the sun, so slightly surprised, we spent the morning on hearing how to dress. Whether leg, sleeves, vest, thermal shirt, cap, sweatshirt, protectors, etc. According to the strategy "will go fire, it will be warm" we went briefly + sleeves. At the beginning some confusion, because in total no one knows where we are going and where it is basically a start. With such a number of participants is quite an important issue, because it happens that before the 47th row of cyclists will move from the place, the headlamp is already divided by cups. Especially that this time the forecast has worked, thanks to which white stripes on asphalt have turned into an ice rink. We are set as one of the first in sector B. The first success.
- You drive well?
- No, but quickly.
It took just a minute for the first two people to check the resistance of the asphalt pants - normal in such large events. I thought about those 300 brave ones behind me. Some of them will end up lying today, the others will be blocked, cursing at the sight of the crowds leaving them. Most people can not ride bicycles. I can not do it either, but I'm aware of it. I know that when I enter the curve slower than the headlamp, I have to get out of it faster than they do to not stay behind. Sometimes one such gap eliminates the whole plan. Some, unfortunately, forget about it. The strategy was only one thing: just ahead. Statistics do not lie: the more you are in the front, the less people will stop you. That day, however, we all went slowly into bends.
"One day it started raining, and it did not quit for four months. We've been through every kind of rain there. Little bitty stingin 'rain ... and big ol' fat rain. Rain that flew in sideways. And sometimes rain even seemed to come straight up from underneath. Shoot, it even rained at night ... "
The rain did not surprise us - the temperature did. I do not know why we did not look at it in the forecast. At the start, in the crowd, it was 18 ° C, at the finish of 9 ° C, and the minimum recorded is 7 ° C. Similarly, the rest of the race surprised us the rest. I was prepared for death on the first climbs leading out of the city. Last year, I thought about them that I would get off the bike, let my air down and wait for the corpse. Time, however, flew and the pace did not grow. 10 minutes, 20, 30 ... sometimes some rant, sometimes a little dragged, but generally was loose. Breakfast lay still in the stomach, in its place, the crowd in the group did not diminish, from time to time someone stayed in the ditch, sometimes on a road pole, sometimes on an island. This group was too big to drive in difficult conditions. It was certain that for some it would end badly. I took bad circles for these conditions. My brakes do not inhibit in such conditions - they slow down, and even with a slight delay. When you see a man running in front of you, you can just keep your fingers crossed to roll on a different direction, or to shout in advance that you apologize for crossing his mind.
The atmosphere was getting heavy. I must admit that sometimes I regret driving without a push-up or even my inseparable selfie-stick. Really, there is a set of standard shouts for which you should get a pump in the spokes. Either in the eye or other place that works like a pump. You are going in the second row, you work so that the tempo does not fall below the level of shame and every few minutes you hear a guy who vegetates somewhere in the middle gathering strength on the last straight and pogania "guys, no k *, go there!". Possibly a guest who, going in the 20th row, on a steep uphill on which the wheel box in place, screams not to brake and that "no one here k * can go, no p *, that's not possible, what it is„.
Although in fact, there were a few completely unnecessary accidents. On the route, the visibility was quite weak, and holes, barriers, islands and surprises popped up suddenly (here a small request to the organizers - the holes were well marked with paint, but this is only a half way.) It's great when a meter or two before such a contoured hole is an exclamation mark - no everyone can jump in the peloton). On one of the holes I hit the rim tight enough that the steering wheel turns me down, and my position becomes more oreo, but I will go further. New tubular, 25mm <3
Somewhere along the way a few people escaped, I slept through the case. The pace was low, I moved forward and thought that it was the moment. This is my day, I will be a hero in my home without visiting Leroy Merlin. No surprise: none of my trips went wrong. A couple of jumps in a few people, one bigger for some 5km in two, nothing went. There was one more escape, probably the last successful (or as I read later on the net "almost successful") - I will remember for a long time what words I said goodbye to: "Piotr Piotrek, it does not make sense, I'm not trying with you anymore". With each successive kilometer on which the guys did not appear on the horizon in front of us, I felt the deer antlers grow. We saw only at the finish line.
In time, people started to lose their lives, somebody was lying somewhere, someone let the wheel run in the wind. There has been a permanent composition of ~ 40 people. We traveled slowly, slowly enough to talk, then jump back to the top places and talk again. I tried to drive away a dozen times in every possible configuration. In retrospect, it seems pointless. It's not like that, but how did I know. I'm not used to having a good leg this year. Instead of hopeless attempts and drawing, for which I probably used half a kilowatt-hour. Such things are done differently: you have to pray (or quietly swear), throw everything on one card and like a ninja, unnoticed go without looking back and keeping your fingers crossed that when 3 minutes look back, there will be only 3 people willing to team work.
The finish is Sodom and Gomorrah. The man who arranged it had to dislike the cyclists very much. The last kilometers are driving down the city, speeds definitely above 60km / h, which could not finish well with slippery lanes. Meta on the cobblestones, behind the corners laid out in, S ': either I will fall in there at the head of the group and fight or let it go a little. As you can easily guess, somewhere in the city I got tangled when it comes to the position in our small peloton and I gave up. It does not matter to me whether I drop 30 or 45, so it's a pity to risk .... ok, it's clear that it makes a difference - I'm just making an ideology - but after the first slip of the wheel on the bend, I gave up all ideas of mass overtaking. There was a chance that I would kill not only myself but someone next to me. I drove to the brand new Bontrager R4 from Mybike.pl, which stick to the asphalt as if they had a thousand small hands trying to grab it, but it does not matter. Everything works the same on the water. Hands can grab water but mainly to spray people in the face with people behind me. I forgot my asshole - I'm sorry.
The races are always heavy and so it should be. I do not belong to people who only win because they manage to drive 120 km - I try to set a minimum and optimal goals. This time the weather decided on the course. It was quite dangerous and nervous, but it was going well. The peloton was not tugged enough to let the lungs stay somewhere in the ditch. I came in the first big group, I fought, I tried, it's OK. We froze on the mat. Organizationally - without comments. Securing the perfect route. The racing season on the road is over. More photos on the Internet. See you on cross-roads !!! (ps. we are looking for a few sellers of cool crossovers;))
A bonus showing what a peloton is going to be like and a fight to avoid being left behind: