The entry was to start like this: Tatra Road Race is stupid, because I did not win anything in tomboli for the 4th year in a row (draw). Unfortunately, my plan was ruined.
Tatra Road Race is a very nice race, because I won (sounds better than I drew) a voucher for PLN 100 to one of my favorite pizzeria - Villa Toscana. This is important, because apparently around mid-July the consumption of pizzas, pastas and desserts increases in Zakopane a dozen or so times.
Tatra Road Race is also a very simple race, because practically half the distance goes down. More or less, but still down. Besides, here is half of Warsaw, and the other half are friends from different places in Poland, so there is who to work with in the group. Anonymous people from the Internet also say that the long distance is simple, because there is a short fire from the start to the finish line, and on the long people are enchanting. Let's add equal tarmac and, like every year, a great organization - what could go wrong?
Is Tatra Road Race the most difficult race in Poland?
This question has no unambiguous answer. Because how to compare 130 kilometers of a hill race, for example with a race around Poland? Honestly, the hardest race is the one in which we catch the bomb and all we want is to let the air out of the wheels and call for help. However, Tatra has great potential for giving an effective humility lesson and pumping out everyone. This is one of the very few race routes in the country, which the defeat is a serious challenge. That's why we were on each of the 4th edition. Maybe not always as brave cyclists, but we were.
This time, my participation was a combination of more or less happy accidents, which they made for me, because I admit honestly - this weekend we had already reserved a house in the Giant Mountains.
In Zakopane, unchanged.
It is said that this is the most southern district of Warsaw.
I still tell myself in Zakopane that I will never again. It's a bit bad considering the Tatras Tour starts in two weeks. Maciek from the future: do not go there, this journey is too bad.
The national rally of Janusza is still on Krupówki. Plus, in contrast to the northern part of the country, they are in clothes. Well, plus that this is all covered with ubiquitous billboards.
In the further course, the accommodations in the city do not cease to amaze us.
Unfortunately, unfortunately, the area around Zakopane is (not counting the above pathologies) one of the most beautiful scenery for road bike riding. During the Friday ride it looks something like this:
Besides, if you read this blog a bit longer, you can remember other entries from these areas, for example:
and 8 entries about the Slovakian website that you can find on the map of entries, here: https://hopcycling.pl/mapa/
And you? How many drops will you smile?
A Saturday morning is a wall of rain. At 6:30 I was practically sure that I would not take part in the race. If there is something I do not like in cycling, these are winding and steep descents where the number of cyclists exceeds one. I would like to be able to overcome them, but I can not. The fear of descending is a self-winding machine, because the bigger it is, the more likely it is that a human will actually lie down. Last year's car escape before the winner of the race only confirmed me in the belief that only a few down well. Worse, even fewer are aware of this ...
Moments later, the rain stops and I can calmly go to the morning peeing. You're probably wondering what does this have to do with it? Well, the list of non-standard accommodation can be added to the Taterka Apartamens, which from the outside may and did look normal, but in the middle had a train layout. A number of rooms arranged in one line, separated by a sliding door. This means that if you want to go from the terrace to the refrigerator and then to the toilet, pass ~ 30cm away, each of the beds in the house should be used. Add to this the fact that the toilet seat in a straight line was located about 1.5 meters from the bed, the rest add yourself. Everything was beautiful until our friends parked under the house of their camper, destroying my whole plan.
For 2 weeks, I am sitting over the entry named: "why did I stop racing on the road?". The fact that instead of the race I am describing your problems with the morning defecation may help you to figure out your answer a bit. Tatra is great, but I write about her 4th year in a row. Over time, even the best things can get a bit lighter, losing some of their charm. If not for a friend Tomek from Ośko (whom we wish for health) and his accident, after which one of the packages was stray, I probably would not have taken off and went with Panda on a trip. Do I regret the decision? Absolutely not, it was great as usual. Even if the results say that I went like a trumpet.
I was in black places like ... these tenement houses?
Regardless of whether you are a guest from czub and try to snatch Mr. 4. victory in a row, a guest from the inside of the peloton, who fights for the 150th place, start somewhere in the back to improve time from previous years or just want to survive - Tatra can kill both mentally and physically.
At the start I meet a lot of friends. They are strange people, misunderstood by society. People who say with a smile: "old, but I destroyed myself, I thought I would die. Was great". You will not understand this. They do not understand themselves.
I am starting from the fourth sector - the last one. It does not matter much to me. Maybe it's even better because:
And this is not a classic, road joint start. This is a Tatra murderer and taking on the fight from the start is like sticking with Kenyan at the Warsaw Marathon, hoping that it will be somehow. On Salamander (driveway to Butorowy Wierch) the line between "damn, but I'm strong", and "damn, the reserve has already lit up at the start ?!" is very thin. There is such a twofold saying in the IT world, used in youth films about hackers: "Mess with the best, die like the rest". It's exactly the same here. There is no magic - if you're going with the head and the head is not, sooner or later you will meet those who knew that they are not the leaders at the start. A miraculous increase in FTP by 30% from day to day is unknown even to the best Russian doctors.
The plan is simple: I drive my own. In front of me from 200 people (among them a few, which I would like to catch up with), probably behind me also from 200. The neighborhood of the 6th kilometer is a place where I already know that I will not magically multiply watts. This only confirms me in the belief that sticking to any group forcibly does not make sense. I do not know many routes on which there is no flat fragment like here. If there is no flat, I do not need this company. At least it seemed to me until the wind started blowing.
I saw things
The description of the race itself is very simple. Sometimes up, sometimes down. It hurts at Bachledówka, but it's quite short on Pitoniówce, but a little longer and more. Some will say that because it is longer and steeper, others that it is through the forest and lack of reference points, I know that the reason is the lack of buns at its top. Bachledówka with the vision of a free highball and a water bottle that makes a person wait for her.
Because the buffets were faultless as usual. Water and izo in cups, izo in a water bottle, mugs with Red Bull, after which it is reflected for several minutes, yeast, bananas and things that I did not notice. It's all served by people who, asked, could probably run past us half a route, holding this banana. This year I was clever and gels in pockets I've already put half-open. I did not think that during the drive-in marinas, they would open themselves to the end all by themselves. Do you know someone who's got everything on his drive, including the front gel brake? You already know it. That day I did not need gloves, my hands were sticking so that the adhesion of the best wraps around the world was hiding.
In addition, the same (probably) children are still on the roads. "give a water bottle". Funny texts are painted on asphalts, and when a man with an eye glued to the asphalt with the rest of his strength decodes the inscription "look left", he looks to the left, and there is a view that "I dare" thinks that it's even fun and despite a lot of fatigue, it's cool.
That day I also saw things that I have not seen for a long time and have been in places where I have not been since spring visits to the trainer. These are places where it gets dark before your eyes, it gets full in the throat and it gets empty in your head. With a 36/28 ratio (which I treat here as a reasonable minimum), you either drive smoothly or lie down. I would like to say that as a reward you get views that take your breath away, but this breath is gone. You will see the views on a different day.
Applause for brave cyclists
Arranging cyclists around mid-stakes is unparalleled in road racing. Much more often than groups, you can see individual cyclists at a distance of several dozen meters from each other. The closer to the finish, the stranger the poses they take. Pain in the legs, pain in the back - we wonder how to pedal with the most efficiency, but after some time they even ache. This is a strange kind of fatigue that we do not encounter very often. The lungs say that there is a slack and you can push, but your legs do not have much of anything anymore. They are sour, however strange it sounds. It's such a state that they kind of spin pedals, but at any moment they can catch them cramps and then start to live their own lives. When they decide to straighten out - they will straighten up, no matter how bad the moment is.
During these unfortunate 130 kilometers, I travel with someone many times. It turns out that in the near or distant past, I have had some contact with most people. It's a bit embarrassing, because a man would like to talk a little (there is never any time in the town, because we eat or we applaud, or keep our fingers crossed to be drawn for the prize), but it can not. My body does not have enough blood to supply muscles and the brain at the same time. At least not on such steep climbs. I apologize to everyone with whom I wanted to maintain the conversation with intelligent statements that "it's good that it does not rain because it would be slippery" or "as it blows in a sound, it's hard to go alone, huh?" And that was windy that day and I'm overjoyed to drive on low, aluminum wheels.
That day a miracle happened. The wall of rain over Zakopane was morning and evening. During the day we saw dark blue clouds that acted like a shower somewhere on a nearby horizon. Even so, during the day, not a single drop fell on me. The headlamp is not so lucky - good for them, why did they drive so fast?
If it were not for the post, it would not have been for the bar
At the finish line I am reporting with time in the vicinity of 4:40 in a hundredth place. It is about 3x worse than in previous years. Maybe people who say that the riders do not run are right? And maybe it is confirmed what I have said for a long time - the level of road amateurs in the country is climbing up incredibly fast.
I do not enter the finish line as a fighter nor a winner. About 1.5 hours earlier I met a friend whom I had not seen for years. On the one hand, we try to cushion all the outstanding topics on the other hand, on the other I know that I would go much slower. We enter the dash in the style of "gay" - in parallel. In the cycling world, it would be appropriate to comment on the text "it's probably pretty good considering that ..." and here are various explanations. It happened to me too, but I know it's super weak. That was exactly what I was able to do that day. You have to face the truth:
We are too weak to race in Tatra Road Race.
This is not a route where the average person can race. We can only go through it minimizing losses. It is a route that teaches intelligent driving in the mountains, regeneration at every possible moment, proper nutrition, reasonable descent and economical uphill ride. Our power in our legs did not go hand in hand with our lung function - it's the best proof that something was not halo.
In life you have to answer one very important question: do you like to eat cakes more or to win road races. Unfortunately, I like to eat cakes more.
I go where I'm going
On Sunday, we went to check how many of those were actually the 3000 meters vertically that we did the day before. Unfortunately, we do not have adequate legs to check it out quickly enough to be able to check in at work on Monday morning. So we do half this, but in a slightly shorter version - 18km. After 18km from a shoe in the mountains, our legs can go on a well-deserved rest on an infinitely long journey from Zakopane to Warsaw. We start from Kuźnice, through Czerwone Wierchy, to the Kościeliska Valley. The weather is very changeable, and our equipment is somewhat unsuitable, so I will not describe it. I will just say that running shoes are not the best choice for walking on stones over 2000 meters above sea level. The route tires, but the views compensate, at least as the Internet claims. We see mainly fog for 97% of the time and we have to use our lush imagination.
It's very cold on the tops, it's very windy and you can not see anything very much. It's good that we're weird because an ordinary person could say that it was stupid.
There are no photos, because the card is also Hop
The remaining 3% are moments in which temporally great panoramas are exposed. I immortalized them with my camera, but no one will ever see it. The entry is patted in the car and I thought I would do a review of the photos right away. Do you know how to make a Micro SD card snapped with your finger in the camera? He makes "siuuuup, clat, hit" and lands somewhere on the floor. If it were not for the fact that we are traveling by car, which can accommodate a medium-sized Mexican town, illegally migrating just beyond the northern border, I would probably find it. But I did not find it, pictures from the camera were lost, there were a few of GoPro. It is so funny that after this card we went especially to Zakopane RTV, because the previous one in unexplained circumstances broke in my travels.
Wikipedia says that: "These areas are relatively easily accessible and do not create technical problems for the tourist during the summer season. Eugeniusz Janota already recommended Czerwone Wierchy as the right destination for trips for inexperienced or physically weak people. " It only confirms me in the belief that as a person is limited to practicing one sport, usually in all others he belongs to the group grandfathers.
As far as Tatra's, my legs were like logs of wood, so on the walk consistency resembled more jelly. Man can run, take part in Karkonoszmenachno matter - the mountains pull everything out. Once again, we are reminded that it is not the sport alone that man lives and it is necessary to start organizing such strollers more often.
We spend the Sunday getting up before 7 in the morning. We take a walk, we go to the capital with a stopover for dinner somewhere near Krakow in the Kojot restaurant. I admit that I did not know that in the standard menu there are burgers that would be able to beat me - here it was close. Fortunately, it worked and the last free space was jammed with the rest of the pork Panda. Fairly tasteful, decently priced, very good in quantity - just right after such a weekend. At home, we check in somehow before 23, which is 8 hours before the start of work. Did I mention that Zakopane is too far away, especially during the holidays?
I would recommend. Socially, cycling, tourism.
Tatra Road Race is cool, even if you do not like racing. I have the impression that racing a road bike some time ago got boring for me. This event reminded me, however, that with the right attitude, in the right company and with a properly prepared and demanding route, you can still find pleasure. Even if the route is changed minimally, and the whole race rolled so that I could copy one of the entries from previous years. Well, damn it - can there be something better than a cycling festival connected with a ride on a (almost) closed for traffic route with views that are suitable for spreads in cycling magazines? Probably not ... well, maybe yes. But the free buns and cakes and fruits in endless amounts were at the finish line.
There is not much about Tatra Road itself, but it's mainly because there are 3 entries on the blog and it's still cool. This event is organized so well that even going to Toi-Toi you can be sure that there will be paper inside. There is a reason why it is the only road race in which I took part this year. The big thumb of the command stays as usual in Zakopane ...