After this year's VeloToruń I had a lot of bad thoughts. This race was simply dangerous. The first 40 kilometers are a fight for life and the success for most of us was the fact that we managed to get out of it unscathed. Is it possible to organize a large event without a selective route without breaking down the starters for smaller groups? I doubt it. I think that we have to rely only on our own reason ... with which in the flow of emotions it is different. I would like someone to take this post as a complaint. I like racing and take part in them for pleasure, but there are a few things that raise my blood pressure. I do not like:
Guys who have to stand in the front.
At the start my heart rate is growing. Normalka - regardless of whether there are 1000 or 10,000 people in the race, there are always those who have to stand in front of the price. It does not matter that they never stayed with the group in their lives. There are three ways: you can stand in the sector an hour earlier (possibly set up a screen with the word booking the day before the start), jump over the barriers (throwing your bike first to make the crowd part) or just move slowly backwards apologizing to everyone in turn - for the so-called Moses. Do not get me wrong, if someone is strong, and for some reason independent of himself a little late (or does not fit in between the screens), I do not mind. It is in our interest for the stronger to stand in the front and the weaker in the back. I do not see the solution to this problem beyond self-discipline.
When you chase the group in front of you and she slows down
70th kilometer of the race, someone released the wheel, the group begins to divide. In the general hopelessness, you see a group somewhere on the horizon. They ride 200 meters in front of you and you know that either now or never. So you drop everything on one card and chase. This 200-meter difference takes you a few minutes. You see 20 guys all the time in front of you who are riding without pedaling. It carries their string in the tunnel. Your lungs on top, your heart rate 200, the hub heated up to red, but you have arrived. The group slows down, everyone grabs water bottles, you drive for 30 minutes / h for the next 5 minutes. In the back there are a few people who did not chase after all. There is nothing left for you but to rest with a sour face.
When you chase the group in front of you and there are 50 supporters behind you to make it work for you
The same situation as above. You are running as fast as you can, you will go faster and easier. You will not get - you will stay forever in the goods. The difference is that when you turn, you see 40 smiling guys behind you. They travel by bus to the leading group, stowaways. You want to change for a moment, you slow down someone to sit on the driver's seat ... and it turns out that everyone is driving 25km / h. You state that with such <
You get a group, and this is not the group you chased
Sometimes, it's possible to catch the peloton that's been ridden from the front. The pace is right, you drive quickly and honestly, but without leaving your comfort zone. A sip from a water bottle, a candy bar from a pocket, you are looking for a friend who was more fortunate and kept in this group all the time. He's not here. The more you look for him, the more he is not there. There are also a few other people who should be there. You do not want to believe it, but sooner or later you will have to come to terms with this thought: this is not the first group. You caught up with grupetto.
Once you know that it will not work
There is such a wretched moment when you know that it will not work. Another race you can not win. You can get used to it, but the sooner it comes, the worse. People in the front are moving away, they are approaching in the rear, there is no strength in the leg, the lungs are empty. You're looking at yourself and all you have left to do is talk, possibly calculate "what would happen if".
Tour leaders, race directors
A grip, a steering wheel next to the steering wheel, a pedal next to the pedal, you will not press anything ... and suddenly you hear the voice coming from behind "leeewa, leeewa kur% $ #!"- Mr. President, Moses, like the Red Sea, will be ahead, the riders will part. It's the same one who, constantly riding in the tail, screams all the time. "gentlemen, we do not work for kuur ^% $! "," change! change! gentlemen!". The same one who draws everyone's attention not to brake in the peloton, even when there is a cut in front and there is no way to avoid it. It's characteristic: "No, gentlemen, we're not inhibiting. You can not go that way. Well what is it ?!„
The bathrooms never have paper, and the parking space
It's always hard to park, and if you do, you can not leave after that. This is not a problem altogether, because the bike solves the matter of travel anywhere. Worse with the first (second;)) case. I will only leave the situation from Toruń here:
I am standing in the queuing as the first row of people behind me. 4 cabins in front of us. I enter the first one, which slows down, leave disappointed, then to the second and third, with a more and more sad expression. All that remains is to pray. Paweł said that in the second from the right there is still a little bit of hope - I'm coming, he is! With a smile I close the door behind me and somewhere in the distance I can only hear "Buddy, leave a little?". I look at the roll and all I can say is "try" - I see a deep disappointment and disappointment later in the queue. This time I was lucky, I won before the race.
Exit from the start and exit to the finish line
The reunions are cool, but unfortunately also dangerous. At least for 86% of us, who have a little bit of technology. Thinking about the race Jarna Klasika the first scene we remember is usually the beginning of the route, ie the exit. This is evil in its purest form. The organizers have probably misunderstood the statement that "it's good when the beginning is selective". It meant that it was good when the peloton at first stretches or even divides. Not necessarily that the selection consists of throwing cyclists into a ditch. Similarly with the finish. It was exemplary in Sobotka - the hill before the last straight line and slightly higher up. The opposite was in Toruń - slightly downhill. Let's be honest - the lower the speed at the finish, the shorter the cut.
The departure goes before I leave.
I never set up well at the start. Regardless of whether I show up there two hours earlier or 15 minutes, I am standing in the same place. Somewhere I talk, someone will ask something, I am looking for a piece of meadow, to check what the wind is currently with a quick peeing. It's nice how the beginning is selective but not from the first seconds. Standing somewhere in the back I'm moving a good half minutes behind the headlines. If the fire goes from the start, I can only wave them. A good and more frequently used solution is the rate controlled by the car in the first kilometers - just like on the Beskid Loop. There, the organizers took to heart the "selective start" and "controlled pace", thanks to which the car disappears from my eyes after 3 minutes of driving.
Barriers with legs inward
A silent killer, fortunately encountered less and less. It's like setting up small children on the road, who are standing on the sidewalks but in spite of everything, as soon as you approach the curb, they put their legs on. How do these legs work, you can easily see them on a jutut - just watch any movie from the category "cycling crash compilation"
Numbers that I can never pin
At Velotoruń, the best possible starting numbers were. Contrary to the opinion I have heard hundreds of times about returnable chips, "because otherwise it does not pay", the fact that the number must be on the back, otherwise the camera will not catch, it turned out that it is possible. Without fastening safety pins, which always pierce t-shirts, without blocking the back pockets, without a fluttering flag on the back. It does not matter, of course, because I can not even stick it to the seatpost anyway. I glue it, put it apart, stick it together, it crumbles it and over and over again. It will be crumpled and crooked, hard.
When everyone is killed for the hundredth place, because they saved their strength
We are attacked from every place on the Internet with the statement that you always have to give everything: everything or nothing. Be fast or die tryin '! Some, unfortunately, take it too much for themselves. There will always be dozens of people who decide to fight for nothing. I probably will not surprise you by saying that most often these are people who rested most of the race in the peloton. And of course, winning in your peloton is always cool, regardless of whether it is 73rd or 178, but overtaking a razor blade and pushing the group to get to the twelfth place (in this peloton)? It is a pity to risk.
Food that has no taste, and yet I stand in the queue for it
Let's be honest, it's rare that a meal after the race is tasty. A delicate critique of pasta with a sauce after the race is usually the first topic at the table. Who is smarter, he pulls out his plastic with dinner. The worst thing is that after the race everything tastes good and no matter what it is made of, I always like it. In the end, we will all end up in Maku on the highway to Warsaw.
Awareness that soils are inevitable
In the case of large races, the question is not "if", but "when" or even "how many" will be accidents. This is inevitable. However much you try, unless you drive in the front, you can not avoid it. Statistically, with thousands of participants there is no chance that everything will go smoothly. Just one bottle, one chain that fell, a pebble, or even a moment of imbalance, and the rest goes back to the chain reaction. The first row brakes slightly, the second row harder, the third row already quite, and the rest is falling. You hear the curses flying from following rows behind you and you already know. You know that they are inevitable. The characteristic sound of a composite hitting the asphalt you know too well and it is easy to judge how many people were lying and what losses they could have suffered. The upside is that the ambulance should appear there in the blink of an eye. You can drive as close as possible, but there are situations you will not leave.
Closed traffic, but not entirely
It is impossible to secure a 100-kilometer route entirely (* not applicable to Italians). Some poor, lost car will unfortunately always end up. It is good if the driver has deep patience and understanding, but most of them do not really know how to behave: slow roadside driving is not a good option.
Buffets where I will not take anything
There were not many races in my life that I managed to catch something on the cafeteria. Last year, there were probably drinking water bottles on Velotorun - a great solution, but expensive. I remember that I stopped drinking at the Tatry Tour - but it was justified. It's hard to bring supplies for 6 hours of driving. I also remember the buffets on Granfondo Stelvio very well. This year I am going back there mainly to eat. Distributing drinking in cups, as it was this year, is a bit of a goal. Everyone who has ever tried to grab such a cup and still have dry pants knows about it. It's one or two times: if we're going to the peloton, as long as the number of volunteers is not two-digit, the chance of grabbing anything is comparable to winning the lottery.
Routes nice but not always adapted to the crowds
Large races have it to themselves that the start and finish are located in the city - this is great. Thanks to this, the fans appear (although they are really just people who try to cross the street, but they can not). The problem is that the race route for several hundred people will never be as spectacular as smaller races (* not applicable to western granfondo). Because while the narrow roads and the "varied" surface in the small peloton are acceptable, like squeezing 300 people from the three-lane road to a narrow road through the forest it is getting a little awkward. Similarly, by letting them out on sandy bends.
However, this does not change the fact that I will definitely go to Velotoruń next year. Just like for a lot of other races, after which we will talk about what we did not like, but in retrospect they will be well remembered. The most important thing is to have fun (and reasonably!).