Halfway between Zurich and Lucerne lies a small town in the rolling country side. There are a couple of restaurants, a store, and a Kawasaki dealership. Leading into town is a road coming down one of the rolling hills. From the top of the hill you can see the entire town.
The course begins at the top of the hill, has three hard hairpins. The second hairpin has a chicane immediately before the hairpin, makes it hard to set up for it. The third hairpin is close enough to the second that it usually doesn't require breaking. Following the hairpins, it is a high speed run tot he finish.
Thursday, July 14
For the first time in like forever, at an event, I woke up to clear skies and a dry ground. We drove up to the
which is located across from a sports field from a sports hall.
The sports hall had showers and toilets that the campers were allowed to use, unfortunately it was quite a hike from the campground. On our wait out of the campground, we spotted a monstrosity.
Apparently someone brought the wrong poles. I am amazed they managed to get it partially erected.
After we got registered, and picked up our tshirt, we found out it was going to be a late start, sometime after 11 AM. We got two or three runs in before breaking for lunch. We had the best chase truck. It is a large semi, but doesn't have walls.
Ok, so a big greyhound style bus with air is nicer, but if you are going to have a truck, this is it. It has a roof, so its a little shaded, but the air can circulate freely. A few of the kids
from town were asking for our autographs on their shirt.
There was lunch at the sports hall. Sandwiches for cheap,
and free soup. We were able to hang out in the air conditioned sports hall for lunch.
After lunch we proceeded to ride. And Ride. And Ride. The truck would pick us up near the water fountain,
drive up the course and drop us at the top. Since the course is always closed, we would start riding almost as soon as we got off the truck. Since the lugers went first, I barely had time to get my gloves and helmet on before we were going. As we went down the course, the truck would drive around the alternative route and wait for us at the bottom. Most of the riders would be at the bottom by the time that truck got to the bottom. We would climb aboard, and head back to the top. The truck driver said we got 19 runs in!
We went to our hotel for diner, but dinner was also served in the sports hall. Dinner and breakfast was included in the entry fee. Most everyone was hanging out at the sports hall.
The bar was open after a short riders meeting.
Friday, July 15
Today was another nice day. We got started earlier than yesterday. Usually we beat the truck to the bottom.
I lost count of how many rides we got in, in the morning. There was a race in France going on, so there weren't as many riders here as normal.
After lunch, we got a few practice runs in, before we start qualifying. But the day continue to heat up. Thankfully the water in the fountain was fairly cool.
They had a timing system set up for qualifying.
Light beam at the top,
and a clock at the bottom that you could see as you crossed the finish line.
We spent a lot of time waiting at the bottom, for everyone to finish.
Thankfully the people who lived at the bottom didn't mind us being there.
The standup, dirt surfers, and gravity bikes qualified first.
Buttboards and luges qualified last.
It was a long hot day. And it wasn't over. They wanted to do a couple of film runs,
and I wanted to get some pics of me. It wasn't until late in the evening before I finally peeled off my leathers. It was pretty late by the time we ate diner and got back to the sports hall.
Saturday, July 16
I woke up in the middle of the night to what I thought was a machine gun. Turns out it was raining pretty hard on the tin roof outside. It didn't sound good for race day. Of course the road was damp, and the sky overcast. Some people were making rain tires.
But the road dried fairly quickly, and was dry for morning practice. Racing would begin after lunch.
The weather was still iffy, so standup went first. I went up to the hairpins to watch the standup. They were selling drinks.
Before each race there was one warm up run. Standup, gravity bikes and women's standup raced at the same time
We went up with the standup finals for our final buttboard warm up run. Buttboard was run as a 3 heat GP format. At the end of each run we lined up in the order we finished.
It had been threatening rain all afternoon, several times drops fell, but not enough to wet the road. As we rode up for the buttboard finals it started to rain, by the time we got to the top the road was wet. Three of us almost slid out in the first turn. Robert had easily won the first two heats, but he thought the format was by points, and took it easy in the rain. He thought he needed third or better to win, so took third. GP format is only the last race counts, so he ended up in third. And the road was dry by the time we got to the bottom.
We ran street luge next, also in the GP format.
Coming out of the first hairpin, about four wide, someone managed to flip their luge. Something got hung up in the crowd. Then entering the second hairpin, Yogi took the corner wide and slammed into the hay. His board continued on down the course! Yogi ended up being rushed to the hospital, it was thought he broke his arm. The dirt surfers were run along with the lugers.
After the last race, Sammy came down the course in the all together!
It was time for the after party.
Before the prize giving, a hip hop band played. The trophies
and prizes were handed out. Everyone stayed up on stage, made it hard to take podium shots.
Siegrest, Schneider, Tellenbach
Luginbühl, Vogler, Bucherler
Weber, Weigl, Lämmlein
Lämmlein, Marx, De Witt
Gut, Uysal, Hutter
After the prize giving, a punk rock bad came into play.
Ear plugs were provided, as the bad was very loud. It was a very nice
night out, and it was hot inside, most people just hung out outside. Yogi made it back from the hospital.
I don't know exactly what happened, fortunately it wasn't a broken arm, some sort of really bad bruising.
Altburon has a nice course, there are very few things to run into. Many people consider it a safe course. Yet we had two serious accidents. One was a dislocated shoulder, and the other was suspected to be a broken arm, but was just some bad bruising. Just goes to show that people can get hurt on any course. We got a tremendous amount of riding, but its too bad the French Championship was the same weekend.