You know such a statement heard from time to time at work: "I'm doing a longer weekend - I'm going to rest in the mountains. I will relax a little, recharge the batteries (...) "? Once again, we tried to do this and we did not succeed again. Recently, we do not get away with it every week, whether mountains or the sea. I sit down to work with "in the end you can work and relax after these 3 days of the weekend"
(okay, I've exaggerated this work a little bit.) I end up at the CDG airport in Paris, on my way to the Tour de France, but I imagine that I would just be sitting in the office). You together, once again quoting the classic: "Zaje * ali weakened, strong chasing".



Tatra Road Race - a new quality leader in our yard.

Thinking about racing in the Tatras, only Jarna Klasik and the Tatry Tour come to mind, both in Slovakia. The bar suspended very high, because these are my key points of the season. I was very skeptical about the Tatra Mountains. Open traffic on roads full of tuned Seats with KTT registration, relatively high buy-in, loop on the route and narrow, winding descents did not fill with optimism. In addition, Zakopane, or the mountain center of everything in the high season and highlanders, for whom the organization of anything, which requires the consent of more than one of them, can be embarrassing. I sleep my head with ashes, for I was cruelly wrong. We got one of the best races of the season and after the first edition, I reserve the date for the next one. Chapeau bass!




Zakopane is great. The fun is great. Everything is great if you are a 4-year-old and you have parents who buy something at a stand: a hatchet, a pop-pin, a glowing baton, a barking dog, to choose, to color. It is also great if you are a pickpocket or a pervert, because when walking through Krupówki, I remember a joke:
- I think I'm pregnant
- With who?
- I do not know, I can not turn around.
It should also appeal to those who have a nice car and like to spend a lot of time in it ... or to walk between parking lots - often organized in the wild, in the forest. And do not get me wrong, Zakopane is OK, but in the period when oscypek costs PLN 1, not PLN 2.50. I've been spending Christmas for 8 years in it and I like this place, but even though I felt this festive atmosphere during my stay, thanks to wooden legs like a Christmas tree and various colored baubles while riding, the season is bad there. 




We can be heroes, just for one day!

~ David Bowie


And it would be so much from the negative side of the weekend, because the race itself compensated for everything. From organization to route. You can see that the organizers know what's going on and they made sure that everyone, regardless of where they come, was pampered. I am against the idea of ​​running, that "Everyone is the winner" but actually, in this case it was. Every person who managed to finish this race deserves credit, because the route profile looked like a comb.

During the ride, some theories explaining how it could be traced came to my head. Maybe someone who did not like it started. Maybe they've bet with someone that they can connect all the steepest roads in the area with a dash ... some twice. Sadness, because in pictures you never see if it is steep. And it was, really. These derelict heads are not aero position, they just pressed the front wheel.





It hurts? It was to hurt!

The race itself ran, at least for me, quite standard. At around 3 or 4 kilometers my lungs were already touching my tonsils and I remembered the words of the announcer just before the start:

"This is a horribly difficult race, spread your strength"

I was reminded of the Principle of Silence, saying that when your breathing becomes so loud that it starts to disturb the joy of driving other people you should leave the group. For sure, half of them slept and meet somewhere in the driveway ... we met at the finish line, when they ate my cakes. In retrospect, it was an obvious mistake. I'm afraid that some of them have not even raced yet. I spent a while in 5-8 people, but most of the time I spent on an individual time trial. At the finishing line, I checked in half of the rate, so as for this year's form it is tolerable, but I'm still not satisfied.




If I had to count how many times this year we said "oh how nice here!" Then some unbelievably indecent number would come out. It must be admitted, however, that it was one of the best races I saw in our country. In principle, this should not come as a surprise. If every now and then you enter the highest hill in the area, it's hard for the views to be bad. Local supporters, empty roads and wonderful panoramas have done their job.


The upper tooth hurts me, madam.

There were a lot of doubts during the 4 hours of driving. Because imagine the situation that you are struggling on the route for two hours now, there is a driveway on which the minimum, stable speed is maintained, thanks to which the bike stands vertically, and from behind the bend emerges the further part of the hill, stretching to the horizon. You look ahead - emptiness, backward - emptiness. An elderly lady from a mountain hut asks if there will be any riders going on ... and before you another loop, on which this desperate driveway will be again. Two hours to the finish line. Weekend. Happiness.

However, I do not get off the bike. As they say: the pain is temporary, and taking a walk of shame with a bicycle, pushing it up, drags on a man for the rest of his life - regardless of the gears. I prefer to go 0km / ki to roll over - then one of the fans could pick me up and push me towards the balloons. At least for a moment, my speed would be positive.




"My lungs feel like they might explode, which is puzzling because I can not seem to get enough air into them. My feet burn to the point of numbness. I can hardly hold it up. I can hardly hold it up. Even my eyelids and jaw seem weighty; the former want to fall and the latter insists on dangling at half past six. It goes without saying, then, that is shaping up to be my best ever rides "

~ "The Rules" Velominati

Ząb is one of the highest located places in Poland. Great, 98th kilometer of the route, I can not remember till the end of the 12th route profile, but since I'm almost at the top, it's only luxury. Moments later, I'm 150 meters higher. The concept of the moment, however, was redefined that day because it takes me over 20 minutes to cover 5 km, which is slower than running. Distances were similarly disturbed - numerous signs that 500m remained to the mountain bonus. they had to lie. 500 meters never lasts so long - regardless of which side of the Toi-Toi door you are on.




It never gets easier

There is a nice time in cycling when the driveway ends, a tear appears in the eye ... and you do not know. It can simply be a tear from the momentum of the air, or perhaps from the fact that the driveway is over and there is full happiness. That day such a tear appeared more than once. During descents around 80km / h (which is probably in the top of the circle) you count that every second down is about 10 seconds up, and the downhill runs and continues. Because at the weekend it was not flat. I do not know how it happened, but I did not notice that, for at least a bit of the 110km, I was riding in Mazovia.




I tried to find an element to which one could attach. Nothing is sold as well on the internet as het, but despite my efforts - I did not succeed. The traffic, although open, was perfectly limited by firefighters on the route. I did not meet any car that would cause me to slow down ... and I remind you that I was driving an individual time trial. There was also no time when I would have to use my precious energy to look for arrows. [pullquote] Tombola was so good that even the girl pulling the numbers was called Marysia [/ pullquote] The atmosphere as it happens in the mountain races: better than perfect. Even so rarely found in road racing (where the winner is one, then there are two not-to-be-losers and the rest) tombola, it worked better than on mass MTB races. Because if there are weekends in Zakopane hotels, what can you say? My sadness that I did not win anything, I ate the appropriate number of fresh buns and pastries, great noodles, non-alcoholic beer and fruit.




Do you know how do you feel the man who arrives at the end of the stake? I do not know either ;-) (note, it was a joke)
However, quite unexpectedly, exactly the same meal was waiting for the finish for everyone. There is nothing worse when you dream about watermelon for 6 hours, and when you pass the line you see someone eating the last piece of it. Similarly, with doping, which seemed stronger, the more someone fought for life. He played exemplary - the word "played" is here on the spot, as one of the mountain bonuses was waiting for a small brass band. I mean supposedly, because I did not see anything there, did not hear or feel. However, looking at the pictures, I passed them. At the end, however, the most common exclamation was "Daaaaj bidooona!", The local kids were cleverly positioned on the final kilometers and managed to build an atmosphere similar to the Slovak one ;-)




I hope that such races will come. In the context of the Amateur Tournament, not far from the Tour de Pologne, the one organized by Mr Lang is really pale. Even more than pale. Even treating him as a family party for Sunday cyclists, he falls like a parody of mountain racing. Written in the legend of Gliczarów, which is being won every year by thousands of brave knights, it would become just one of many on the Tatra Road Race.




It's hard to write something about a race that is simply good and where you rode alone. I wish you the best Tatra Road Race and see you next year! On my list of mandatory races, he lands right next to Jarna, Tatry Tour, Beskid Loop and CykloGdynia, creating the top 5.

The weekend ended up exactly the same as every week:




But for all the reasons unknown to me, everyone was happy. As always.




 ... although in two weeks waiting for them 193km in the Tatras, during which there will surely be heat, downpour, storm, hail, Gypsy children, Huta and all the worst :-)