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Training for Iron Bike Oradea 2011

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“Must have been tough on that bike, wouldn’t it have been better had I given you a scythe to help me?” The man was sharpening his scythe in a field on the outskirts of the Magura village, near the cart road that goes up from Moeciu de Jos. The afternoon was hot, the man was surrounded by long lanes of freshly cut luscious grass, while I was already leaving behind 90 km of bike trails and a 3.000 m elevation. The time was right for some wise banter. And so I answered him “it might have been, but I don’t know much about cutting the hay, now do I”. “All for the better then”, the man merrily replied and we both went our separate ways. Mine was about to end, after the climb to Magura, all there was left was the descent to Zarnesti and the day would come to an end.

And a long day it had been, started at 6AM in Brasov, with the hope that the tour would end early in the afternoon, so as to avoid the rain. We finished late, but the rain didn’t come either. We knew the route, since last year, when I went with Mihai and Paul from Brasov to Rasnov in 100 km, as practice for the Iron Bike Oradea 2010. Our motivation was pretty much the same this year as well, since Mihai was looking forward to another round of suffering in 2011. So, I took advantage of the situation and decided to take the group on some detours (besides the man with the iron bike, we were also joined by Christi, Mihai from Medias and Andrei). And my detours proved to be all of them quite interesting. Through dewy high grass, and across wide clearings dotted with old oak, down on steep and fun single trails, fit for any “king of the mountain” competitions. The entire tour is in fact very intense, only here and there interrupted by easier parts.

Our plan once in Zarnesti was to take the train back to Brasov. It turned out that the train left 5 minutes before we arrived and we had to wait for more then an hour for the next! But what’s 26 km more, when you’ve already done over 100? On asphalt, slightly descending, wind pushing us from the back (now that’s a miracle). And so Christi took the train and kept us at a steady 35km/h. He even impressed a train mechanic, who honked the horn as the train passed us pay. The next day, while Christi and Mihai were so hipped up that they took the bikes to Poiana Brasov, we were left to lick our wounds, while Mihai was wisely pondering the IBO of next weekend. Happy trails to him!

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