1&1 @ Mountain Biking
October 6th, 2012, 10:00 o’clock in the morning, great turmoil in the parking lot in front of the Police Academy Bucharest, hundreds of people and bikes, great weather…, but this might tell you nothing.
Let me put it in other words: on October 6th, 2012, Corporate Sports organized the first cross-country competition called MTB Corporate Sports 2012. The competition was open to all those who wished to compete on an easy forest track. In order to sign up for the competition, one had to be employed in a company or organization (it was under the company’s name that one competed), it was required to have a team partner and a minimum of experience in off-road cycling.
As in the last few years cycling has increased a lot in our country, and has been winning new fans every day, no wonder that all the 500 competition numbers the organizers provided were given away. That was the reason for the turmoil in the parking lot of the Academy since the early hours of the morning. Cyclists of all ages came to compete in the Baneasa forest on the track that Razvan Juganaru, cycle-cross national champion and MTB marathon vice-champion had prepared. The track was of 12.7 km and had to be covered 3 times in order to finally have the 38 competition km. There was a special rule set by the organizers so that the team spirit prevailed, and not the individual; according to this rule the time distance between the 2 team members at the end of each lap could not exceed 2 minutes, otherwise the team would have been disqualified.
As soon as we got the invitation some of the 1&1 employees wished to participate in this competition, therefore, step by step we built 6 teams of 2 members each: there were 5 boys teams and 1 mixed. It was us: Andrei R., Alexandru M., Monica L., Catalin M., Gabriel T., Gheorghe C., Dragos C., Andrei I., Adrian P., Calin A., Vlad C. and me, who decided to measure our strengths and knowledge about cross-country. Unfortunately, on the competition day we only had 5 teams at the start line, but that was a challenge we accepted and I consider that we faced it very well.
The competition started at 11:00 AM, rather fast and simultaneously. The first part of the track was on asphalt, so it was easier and everyone tried to get as further ahead as possible. Overtaking was either on the right or on the left side, each one as he could. Though it seemed a chaotic start, there were no serious incidents. About 300 – 400 m further the asphalt ended and the track continued in the forest; from here started the real track that caused a lot of trouble and abandonment until the finish. Troublesome were the technical issues that obliged some of the competitors to abandon just a few meters after entering the forest.
Once this tricky part passed, one had to adapt to the competition rhythm and force oneself, overtake every time one had the chance, without disturbing the others, and yet keep paying attention to the track not to get flat tires, or destroy the bike. Very dangerous were the fallen tree branches and the roots above the ground, as well as other unexpected obstacles that could get on the way. Flat tires already appeared at the half of the first lap. Many teams were on the side repairing their broken bicycle tubes. Fortunately, the 1&1 crew successfully ended the first lap without any incident.
The second and third laps were covered faster, but one started to feel tired already. There were less competitors together, so it was not a problem to keep in tandem with the team partner. The real fight was with oneself: muscle cramps, back and joints aches made one feel less concentrated on the track and such a second of inattention would have been enough to throw one from the saddle. Many teams had accidents during the laps, some being knocked down by the track that was tricky from place to place, or by other competitors. The rule to wear the helmet saved many from visiting the ambulance or the hospital.
The 1&1 teams also had a little trouble, but the team spirit helped us get through. Finally, none of us abandoned the competition, and that was the most important.
All in one, it was a successful competition; the 1&1 teams crossed the finish line without major problems. The general opinion was a positive one; everyone expressed their wish to participate again at such competitions.