At the Sunday August 9th there were cross-country bicycles competitions Grand Rock 2015 were held in Upper Ufaley city. There were many distances options for riders : 2 laps x 40 km or 1 lap for men; 2 laps x 30 km or 1 lap x 40 km for women; and Fun mini-marathon with 1 lap x 30 km. Race started at 11 o’clock and were held in warm and dry weather, only closer to finish of the competitions there was small rain. Around 100 athletes from different cities of Russia participated in event. There were lots of road areas with big stones on it, fast downhills with length around 1 km, cross-country uphills on rocks on forest path on the way to Grand Rock, wetlands with little wood bridges in the most muddy areas and grand uphills ( the most memorable is the uphill to Wolfs’ Hill, on which only few sportsmen were able to ride on their bikes, the rest moved on feet with bike nearby ). Cars movement was limited on the roads, because of that they were mostly free and those cars, that moved through them, did that with slow speed. On the key points there were police officers and marshals, who showed right way for the riders. Track was marked very good and there was no feeling of movement “in the wrong way”; with thank to that there was ability to move fast and do not turn in wrong directions. Competitions were concluded with awards ceremony and prizes drawing among competitions participants.
I rode 40 km on competition; there was wish to ride 80 km, but, taking into account forthcoming 60 – 80 km of way home, I rode only 40 km. Road from Upper Ufaley to Polevskoy sometimes looks like westerns scene : with sandy and stony roads, quarries and abandoned industrial and living buildings; sometimes like Soviet times park with posters from Soviet Union times; at some areas road is so broken, that bicycle rider can move much faster, than cars with powerful engines; but mostly it is the road through beautiful forest with small villages, that are located on its length ( most memorable is the Selki village, in which there are only 5 – 6 homes on the bank of small half-boggy waters ). First around 20 km there was warm and dry weather and it was pleasure to ride on this road; then intense rain started and fell till Itkul lake, it ended with beautiful rainbow over Itkul lake and with magnificient views of sunset above wet road and forest, that mirrored its light, and humid atmosphere, that scattered it. There were lots of steep uphils with long and fast downhills after them. From Upper Ufaley till Itkul lake road is relatively good; then along its coast and to border of Sverdlovsk and Chelyabinsk regions there is very broken part of road. Then from border of Sverdlosk region there is excellent road surface, on which it is pleasure to ride fast. After sunset fog descended on land and there was need to be careful in low altitude areas, especially when cars moved from behind or from frontal direction.
After Poldnevaya village it was so dark, that road signs was not distinguishable and there was need to pedal, while orienting on white road marks and light of sky, that mirrored from wet road surface. In 10 – 8 km from Polevskoy its lights on the sky appeared and it was much easier to pedal on the bike. After entrance into city there were additional 6 – 10 km of ride on its lighted roads with cars, that moved from behind and from frontal direction, and in 11 – 12 o’clock I at last came to home. Then : eat and sleep. See you on the next bicycles event!
You can see rest of photos here.