Bike ride on the ice of Lake Baikal
Over 500 km on the ice of Lake Baikal in five days, five participants in the Listvyanka-Severobaikalsk bike ride overcame. It was held in March this year as part of the International Baikal Festival of Winter Games “Zimniada-2006”. With the exception of one newcomer, the other members of the team are participants in many complex cycling expeditions, such as Bratsk-Moscow, Bratsk-Harbin, Vladivostok-Bratsk.
The team traveled from 35 to 100 km per day, depending on the ice conditions. So, on the second day of the trip, the athletes entered the hummock zone. Cyclists covered the 30-kilometer stretch of the road all day. Meanwhile, it was because of the hummocks that the French traveler Michel Gilles interrupted his walking expedition along Lake Baikal. But neither large fragments of ice, nor one-and-a-half-meter ice hummocks, nor a stormy wind stopped our participants. The athletes planned their daily route based on the location on the shore of Lake Baikal of winter huts and cordons suitable for overnight stays.
By the end of the fifth day, the cycling team overcame 370 km, which amounted to more than half of the planned route, and reached the cape with the grim name “Mortuary”. On average, per day, athletes were able to overcome 60–70 km, and every day, without exception, became a real test of strength for both people and equipment. Despite the fact that the temperature during the bike ride did not drop below 17 degrees, due to the gale it was very cold, as in a 30-degree frost. Masks, sunblock and special tourist hats with slots for the eyes served as protection, including from the sun.
Travelers’ clothes were sewn from fabric that is specifically designed for harsh climates. Bicycles that were specially selected for northern conditions did not fail.
For a successful passage along this route it was necessary that the expedition be carried out at a time when the north of Lake Baikal is not yet covered with snow, and the south of the lake is not covered with hummocks. As the wind moved forward, it seemed only to gain strength. One of the participants, whose mass was more than 100 kg, was knocked over by the wind onto the ice with a bicycle, which also weighed a lot – 20 kg. Other participants did not escape the falls. But, despite all the difficulties, their athletic training and strong-willed character allowed them to continue the campaign in a good mood. In those days when the weather conditions were perfect in the north, cyclists traveled up to 100 km per day. And the most interesting thing is that on the ice of Lake Baikal their path crossed with another team of cyclists, coming from Severobaikalsk.
But even such harsh conditions do not exclude funny situations. In the winter hut, where cyclists spent the night, puppies lived. One of them was very attached to the athletes and did not want to part with them in the morning. The puppy went about 10 km for cyclists and was presented to the rescuers who came for the expedition – because of the heavy snow, the cyclists could no longer complete the route on their own.
100 km from Severobaikalsk, the depth of the snow cover was such that the bicycles had to be carried, which prevented finishing in Severobaikalsk. Nevertheless, the expedition organically blended with the Zimniad, and the fact that the bike has increased the number of winter sports is entirely the merit of the “brotherly” team of extreme sportsmen who have been promoting cycling as a healthy lifestyle for ten years now.
Extraordinary natural abilities or talent, but incredible happened: in a couple of years an unknown young man entered the main team of the country’s cycling team, convincingly winning the USSR Championship among adults.
In 1960, he was already a bronze medalist at the Olympic Games in Rome. A promising racer is noticed in the West, they offer to switch to professionals. Moskvin proudly refuses and decides to experiment: goes from the track to the road race. He knows how to work, and as part of the national team of the Soviet Union twice becomes the winner of the cycling world.
– 1963, continues Stanislav Vasilievich. – World Cup in Italy. Pursuit Team Race. The coach says that you can not compete in the team race, but you must perform in the individual finals. I looked at the guys and thought: how to quit them, they chased so much together, besides, I’m the main one in the team.
In the individual, I lost to the Belgian, although I was stronger. But it so happened that I had to give preference to team racing.
Especially memorable is the absolutely fantastic, incredible win of the race at the 1965 World Cup in Spain. Then the team with difficulty caught in the quarter finals for seventh place. Everyone turned away from us. Even the coach quietly disappeared – he left to “get sick” on the road race. I put together a team, talked about errors. Outlined the tactics of the race. In the final, three laps before the finish, Italians have a second advantage. For two and a half laps to the finish line, as agreed, I take the lead on myself. The Italians are still ahead, they change the leader every half a circle, but their advantage is quickly melting. For a circle to the finish line we caught up.