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Mittwoch, 31. August 2011

Zee Aylienz: HagenerMountainbike Race in Hagen: Pics-a lot of them

On Sunday-as advertised;-)-there was the race of my club in Hagen. I did not help to organize anything, for lack of motivation, but did some security staff work which meant sitting on a stump for 7 hours and watching sweating and grunting people on mountainbikes pass by. Now, they all had quite a reason to sweat and grunt, for I actually DID help with course designing. There were 2, 3 and 6 hour races, and the six-hour racers deserve the greatest of respect for their achievement.

By the way, NO THANKS whatsoever to the city management. The bureau of environmental affairs did a great job-hindering any efforts from the part of our club, that is. We all are environmentally sensitive people. Many of our club´s members do not even own a car and do most of their commuting by bike. They buy regional products and are politically active to achieve a better world. Each year we plant trees and help with trailcaring and forest maintenance work.

But it seems, next year there will be no race. Okay, there are some hundred people racing their bikes around a circuit, which means, there IS erosion. We have offered to repair it with muscle and shovel afterwards, years ago. This effort was not welcomed. Then it was the birds breeding (we are talking a city forest, almost a park, here). Okay, so we chose another time of year. And, finally, the argument led to the grotesque: Mountainbikes (some of them) now use hydraulic disk brakes. What, if one rider gets to fall, the hydraulic line breaks, and the oil is spilled onto the forest floor (some 2 ml)? OILSPILL CATASTROPHE! That the place is surrounded by industry and a highway and several well-travelled city-roads
does not matter a bit. But when a hydraulic brake line breaks (pun intended;-)), and if it belongs to a mountainbike, it´s quite different to a Russian truck bleeding its grease and oil every which way some 200 m uphill away. I understand. So we were ordered to carry a small paper cup with us. Should one rider fall, we were ordered to sprint to him. No first aid here, to catch the brake fluid was first on the list. Let him bleed to death, but clean up afterwards! Most important was that no brake fluid whatsoever, the very essence of evil in itself, spilled on the ground. Unfortunately, it did not stress us out the way it was presumably intended, and we organized the thing nonetheless. More chicanes soon will follow, I´d say, for Hagen is best known for its place in the criminal statistics, and that´s an achievement to be proud of, not some bloody mountainbike event with racers from the Netherlands and even Australia and South Africa coming to start, a race that started a trend among regional events... Bad news, it bothered us, but we did it, and we were well-manered, too, and cleaned up. With the chicanes we had to live.

So we carried a paper cup, and had a chuckle, and fortunately, no rider hurt himself where I was stumpsitting. I made some photos instead. If you were present, I permit you to download it, copy it and do with it whatever you please, provided you give me some nice credit to it;-).

Riders were going uphill on singletrails and a steep fireroad. I was sitting in a bend where the course went uphill.
I was busy taking photos, but also had time to listen to the birds...beautiful setting, and good foraging around the place. Have to get there again for rowan berry and walnut and maroons;-).
There was quite a paraphernalia of different material the riders were using. Glinting carbon frames, aluminum, full-suspension rigs, hardtails, 29ers and every expensive part one could imagine. There were even some Enduro bikes, for the course is reckoned one of the harder ones in the NRW Cup Series. Most bikes, though, were suspended up front and rigid at the rear.
The riders were different, too. Some smiled all along, some had looks that could have killed, some made some black humoured jokes to me. I offered my encouragement, but most suffered alone. Few gave up, and for good reasons. Chains broken, gashes in shins and elbows, one supposedly broken jaw, some got the shivers from dehydration or hunger bonk. Some were most seriously focused, some were just hanging on and having fun. But most of them gritted their teeth and hammered through it.
They all deserve a mention, but I can´t do this, for most of them I do not know.
Also props to Jaykay, who organized the security staff, Maik and Karo and Dirk and all the others from the staff who did a great and arduous job and helped to stick out a sticky finger at the relevant places in the city management by putting out a great atmosphere and making for an event worth remembering.




































Cuppa tea while watching....;-) and I carved a wood spirit while stump-sitting there, it was that busy;-).

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