started off with a visit to a nearby cross track. fabio & fabrizio took turns to focus on cornering (with & without berths), jumps and whoops.
i quite liked the little cross track, with its friendly layout, the nice jumps – none of the scary stuff – and the excellent corners. one of the best tracks i have tried so far, a lot of fun. don’t forget, that the people who enrole for this course are mostly interested in enduro, therefore most of us don’t often practise on a very demanding cross track.
the route there convered again some nice & demanding enduro stretches, with loose round rocks in a river bed, and some nice, steep climbs over huge boulders.
i especially enjoyed the part where fabrizio took us around part of the track and gave us some riding tips. he is a really, really nice guy. there is not a single trace of ‘me big champion’ in him (even though he really is a champion), and he takes every single question very seriousely, and answers patiently.
his participation, and the chance to benefit from his experience, was definitely one of the highlights of the course. i consider myself lucky i had the chance to meet him.
in the afternoon (after a huge lunch) our guides took us on some roads up the mountains. the guy, who lives nearby & know every pebble there, really let it fly, and we were hard pressed to keep up. haven’t had such exciting gravel, uphill, sideways, drifting action in a long time. could not help it: had to go wide open. 😉
we must have climbed a couple of hundred meters, and on the way back we used mainly steep little paths and ravines, with some true tree-hugging (not literally !) action in the woods. this is what enduro is really all about!
again the same remark: splitting the group by level of expertise would have helped, some of the less experienced guys were far too tense, their hands and underarms must have been real sore next day.
unfortunately i don’t have any pictures of this trip (yet hope i get some form the other guys), but this may give you a clue what kind of terrain we were covering.
at the end of the day we went to an enduro-style cross section. no jumps, no berths, hanging corners & tight turns, just as in the enduro races.
the track was really perfectly prepared, and fabio showed us all what an sx 520 was capable of doing in the right hands: he put down the track record (58″).
i was also pretty pleased with myself, despite the fact that i am ususally not one of the faster guys i managed to do rather well (1’04”). 😉
good for my self-confidence.
in the evening we had a … right: huge dinner again. 😉
and a good night’s rest.
was again dedicated to real enduro riding.
this day our group was head by giorgio, who took us to some really demanding stony climbs. we basically stopped every 50 meters or so to help somebody pick up the bike, restart it and lift them over the next rock. i decided to keep at the back of the pack, as i had to wait anyway.
thanks to our experience andy & me could easily climb up everywhere, although i have to admit it was not easy going.
talking about easy going, giorgio really deserves being mentioned. ever heard the saying that somebody could beat somebody else with one hand tied behind his back? in giorgio’s case this is exactly true, he lost his left arm somehow, and still put us all to shame with the ease with which he solved every challenge.
a really amazing guy!
for the afternoon the guys came up with an excellent test: they marked a (30 min) mini enduro course, with special sections for beginners and experts. i was unlucky enough to get a puncture after 10 minutes, and could only do 1 of the 2 laps (after changing the tube back at the service point, no external help, just as in a real race), and the track was actually far from easy, and quite tiring.
congratulations to the fasola team for this effort!
evening … huge dinner. bed. rest.
was a little round-off. the tired guys could go on a an easy tour, the more enterprising took the hard tour (was not so hard after all, pretty much same as we did the previous days).
highlight was a big rock we could practise our climbing skills on. andy went to great pains (!) to show us every aspect of how not to do it. 😉 he is a pretty good rider, and we all watched completely puzzled how he took a series of spirited attempts to do some visible damage to his ktm. it is a compliment to the design of the bike that he failed. 😉
i love my bike. ;-)))))
martin, a fellow austrian, also doing an excellent job.
back to the resort, shower, check out, and then a … guess? … big farewell lunch!
if you are a skilled rider (i.e. with considerable experience, also under difficult conditions) this course gives you a great chance to test yourself on partly rather tough tracks. the fact that you will most probably be in one group with much less skilled riders willl prevent any big leaps forward, rather expect to fine-tune or rehearse your skills.
if you are a novice, or have never had the chance to test yourself under difficult circumstances you will find lots of opportunities here.
one word about coaching: although there is some coaching the real lessons are left to the track. the school relies much more on the proven didactic effects of ‘trial & error’ (you go & try, and get it wrong until you finally manage yourself). don’t expect lenghty sessions doing the same sequence (a corner, a jump, a climb …) over & over again, with strong feedback.
i think the main audience is people who want to ride dirt bikes for fun, and for the company, without the aim of participating in competitions or achieving excellent times. if you belong to this group fasola offers the right mix: fun, good company, good food & accomodation.
if you are planning to improve your racing skills you will need a tougher, more demanding course.
as it was, i was happy with what i got. i had some good fun, and was able to rehearse some techniques i hardly ever use in the netherlands (no hills, no rocks).
in a beautiful place.
and of course you can ask for some special tips. 😉
johan & fabrizio.
fabrizio, fabio & johan.
i enjoyed it.