The unforgettable Stage 10th of Red Bull Trans Siberian Extreme
Stage 10th of Red Bull Trans Siberian Extreme is from Krasnoyarsk to Irkutsk. It is 1054 km long with an elevation gain of 5500 meters. The stage comes after 11 days in the race and 4200 km already done in the race. It is the longest stage so far in the race. We were given around 54 hours to finish the race.
The stage starts from Krasnoyarsk. A very modern city. The stage started at 12 noon from the central park area of the city with many cyclists joining in. Just outside the city you come across some very long hills, really steep ones. I thought of taking it easy because the stage is 1054 km long. I just made some mental calculations and told myself that it is a job of around 42 to 43 hours to reach the Irkutsk. I also told myself that after this stage there is a very long break of almost more than 24 hours. So ride till Irkutsk and rest as much you can and eat as much as you can and ride the last 4000 km which are unknown to you.
Your limits will get expanded after this stage and you will experience what only a few have experienced in their life. After a few hours of riding suddenly it became very cloudy and I could see very dark clouds coming from behind and the wind also picked up. After a few minutes, it started raining and I had to stop to wear my rain gear. It was not raining very heavily but the raindrops were cold so it was better to keep riding in rain gear. I knew we are a little way behind the leading group but I kept my patience with my own speed. In the late evening, we reached one small town and took a wrong turn to end up in a dead end. It took us some time to figure out the right way but all this meant that we were falling more and more behind the leading riders. It was still raining on and off. The weather was very heavy and I could make out it is going to be one tough night.
In the night we were riding on this one big highway and around 2 AM in the night it became extremely windy and started raining heavily. There was wind coming from all sides and through the forest making that typical howling sound. The highway was lonely and so was I right in the front. The howling sound of the wind coming through the Siberian forest and the typical sound made by the trucks on the wet roads is still very well recorded in my mind. It is just unforgettable. After some time we had Red Bull media coming and shooting some footage of me riding in the rain. One of them said to me Hope you reach alive, all the best. And we were both laughing like anything. It was a crazy situation to be in. I was all wet and shivering as the cold water to seeping inside my clothes. I kept on riding till morning 8 AM and was looking for a place along the highway to change my clothes.
It was still raining and wind was super cold. I came across this bus stop right by the side of the road. I took that critical stop and somehow managed to change my clothes in those super windy cold conditions. Chetan helped me change clothes and gave me coffee to drink. We kept on moving ahead. After some time the rain stopped and the weather was still heavy I could make out that it can start raining anytime again. At many places, we had to stop due to traffic jams and also railway crossings. We kept on riding till around 800 km with no sleep break so far. The next night at around 1 AM, it was still drizzling on and off. I felt very sleepy. My mental orientation was not that great. At one place I took a wrong turn and went after a big 18-wheeler truck. My team got panicked, I stopped and told them it is time to sleep for an hour. I slept for an hour and at around 2 AM in the night I had to start cycling again. To get on to the bike in that super cold rainy conditions was to me one of the hardest moments of the race. It was again raining and I was shivering like anything on the bike. It took me some time to get warmed up. I was around 200 km from Irkutsk but it still meant 8 hours of riding in the rain.
As we approached Irkutsk the road became flatter and I could see some very large agricultural fields and some big factories. Irkutsk was around 50 km away and it started raining very heavy. When I thought that all the hardships are over, there was something more to happen. Near Irkutsk, there were really tall hills. Last 10 km it was all climbing into the city in heavy rain. We took some 45 hours to complete the stage. I remember I had to give an interview in heavy rain. I was happy to be alive. The weather looks frightening. It looked as if it is going to rain all through the next 10 days of the race. The stage was over and Ghostrider was Born..!
Dr. Amit Samarth
Miles N Milers
Be your Own Hero..!