If you have never traveled in a cycling race, I will tell you how it is.


With a stick for tanks.


The road is like the war of the XXII century. The staff of analysts sits in front of the screen and plans, calculates, analyzes - watts, resistances, strategies, aerodynamics, numbers, FTP, VAM, VO2max, LT, IF, TSS, charts and stuff. Like Tom Clancy's: 6 perfectly trained counter-terrorists have one goal to work with their staff on.

MTB is like a war in HUMVEE. You're pushing gas to the top and you're hoping you'll drive through the middle of the front. Whether you survive, lies somewhere between how good you are technically and how reliable and advanced your vehicle is. You're heating with the speed of light (or at least that's what you think, because Seicento Sporting overtakes you on the public road) and you're praying, looking like a bullet from your cannon on the roof.

Cross-country race. Cross-country .... Coming CXem you are like the hero of the Prehistorik game: with one hand you hold the arrow forward, regardless of what is happening, the other one walesz non-stop in a space to make a club, hoping that you will kill everyone in your way. Sometimes you click the arrow up to jump something, but if it fails, it's difficult. You will die, but you have several lives. If someone lends you, you play with a joystick - once you used your own, but every two weeks they fell apart from vibrations and beats. It's like throwing a dinosaur with that club. The race on which MTB is allowed and cross is like defending your mud hut with sticks and stones in front of the democratic western armies - only a specially shaped terrain can give you any advantage. But that does not matter, BO HARDKOR KNIGHTS FIGHT TO RESIST!

... because cross it is such a fight club. You pay to beat you. You pay to see how they beat others. Everyone hurts, everyone is happy. Weird.




YOLO, he said and died. On death


I never planned to compete in cross-country competitions. For me it is a bike for tourism and communication. On Saturday, the day after Independence Run, who left an indecent amount of lactic acid in my legs and 2 hours after Legia MTB Marathon at Kazurka, where I was running with the camera for the riders, Paul called me. On Sunday, I had to go to Wesola for a race, look at how people suffer, bumping my butt on the roots, but a few words were enough to change my approach. They started like this: "On Friday at the forts (Bema Forts, CX competition) I got such an insight that ...". I envied him, I would also like to.

Here is a short calculation: if I can pay PLN 55 for the start (PLN 20 for the start and PLN 25 for Legia), get rid of and spoil your freshly picked up bike, get this famous "wpi" and spend half of it on it, pulling Panda that will stand two hours in the middle of a snowy forest with frozen limbs, I can not miss this opportunity! And all this for 40 minutes of racing, because since I crossed the M30 threshold, the races shortened for 10 minutes for unknown reasons. The day started better than we thought, because we got the first shot in the face under the block, trying to enter with crossroads on the roof to the underground car park, like the famous bus driver Orica team. The handles with the bikes moved, dropping not too gently on the trunk lid, the saddle pulled free from the seatpost and in general the atmosphere became joyful. The plus is that within 10 minutes you managed to restore everything to a "broken but driving" condition and use the borrowed Morgaw saddle, which I think is one of the best saddles I've ever sat in my life. I will not throw reviews, of course, because I get a lot of sentences about myself on the saddle, which is simply sitting above my strength, but cushioning (because it somehow bends magically from side to side) and shape extremely fit my demanding backside. But let's start from the beginning, you have to clothe something before leaving the house.


First the onion, then the stick




The trail is somewhere between running and road cycling. The perfect clothing comes down to the minimum amount of assets, which of course does not matter, because we'll freeze at the start (this is the only moment in life where you could agree to hug another guy, but it's not something to suggest) and when driving We bring to a boil. The priority is, of course, driving, so you have to accept the freezing in anticipation of the starting shot. After that, nothing matters anymore ... maybe except that the long sleeve and leg protect against branches that attack us from every direction. Of course, if you choose to cut the skin and tear your pants, the choice is simple, because the skin grows together, and the material needs to be bought new. When it comes to shoes and gloves, I normally ride in typical winter Rose equipment, and in the middle I put up the Decathlon heating inserts, the problem is that it will not pass the race - that's what weight matters, not comfort. At least I thought, until the second lap, when trying to throw the table, it turned out that my frozen fingers did not allow it. Carbon soles also do not protect it especially against cold snow.

So if you do not know what to wear, dress up so that it looks nice in the pictures, because only after the first start you will know what and when you freeze ... In addition, it will go through the war! No one asks the soldier if he is comfortable. You have to push forward and drink!


We are in the forest with cross-country cycling.


If you've ever watched on TV (or, more precisely, on the intenet, because of where it's supposed to go on TV), reports from Belgium, you know this sport. You know about thousands of fans, their roar that lifts you over obstacles and lets you forget about pain, routes reminiscent of those in the cap (bends, obstacles), aggressive overtaking, spectacular soils, and glory and praise. 13th letter in Wesoła was almost the same ... just the opposite. The route is so narrow that overtaking is possible only if you are 3 times faster and twice as capable than the person in front of you. In the middle of the forest, it does not resemble what you have seen so far. In fact, it is exactly the same as you know from MTB racing, only the loop is 30x shorter. It would be a shame, however, would like some longer sandy sections, lying obstacles in the number greater than 1, wide belts, on which you can pass faster in peace.

There is a joke about the skier:

- You drive well?
- no, but quickly

I try to stick to this motto. Of course, my elite quickly lies in the elite somewhere between "I'm going with a bike to start," and "hold my bike, I'm going to piss," but subjectively I still have death in my eyes as I'm going. Because it is something like this: you drive faster than you can, because the guest behind you is stressed ... and this is also in front of you, because on the normal surface you always overtook him. Every now and then you miss a small stump, which, hit by a front wheel, turns you into Malysz. For the rest of the time, you try to stop in the sand, get into the bend, avoid the trees and minimize the wheel hits in the roots. You ride a bicycle picked up from the website and you hear money falling out of your pocket, because the drive is rubbing and the wheel works like a hammer. But all in all, it's all the same, because the brakes do not inhibit, so you have no choice. Falls do not hurt ... unless you hope for a root.



At the finish line I come with a smile (let's say), because I did not get a shot and fit in this faster half of the stake - probably because everyone is at that time at the competition in Koziegłowy. An hour later I am like a new one - the advantages of short races.


He will pass this sport for the madmen. If you do not have a good technique, you must have legs. Especially when people who do not know this sport and who look at us think about "those guests who drive on the highway". When we think we look like this:


They see us like this:



Video report here: