Finally, after years of empty promises you’ve finally decided to take the weekend off work, jump on a plane, and head to Erzberg from May 31 – June 02. You know it’s the biggest and toughest Hard Enduro event on the calendar, but what else do you need to know?
It’s impossible to second-guess the weather at Erzberg, so be ready for anything. Fingers crossed the weather gods will have slotted in a weekend of glorious sunshine for the 2013 event. But to be on the safe side pack a rain jacket and a pair of wellies in with your shorts, t-shirts and sunnies.
May The Force Be With You
The event is held on an iron-ore quarry. Hence the name Iron Giant and iconic sections like Dynamite. It’s essentially a mountain made out of metal. If you hear thunder put away your umbrella and get off the mountain – fast! You don't want to be standing on Iron Ore when lightning strikes.
Of course you’ll want to check out the pro-pit area, but don’t forget to delve a little deeper into the paddock. The Austrians love Erzberg and pull out all the stops when it comes to setting up camp for the weekend. Everything from hot tubs, garden patios, and mini beer tents can be found in the rider village. And they’ll all gladly welcome you in for a beer. Bonus!
Four Star Pizza
Since you’ll be living in a quarry for the weekend, your options for fine dining are limited. Pizza, pretzels and plenty of beer will be your staple diet for the weekend. Enjoy!
Friday and Saturday are Iron Road Prologue days at Erzberg. It’s a 10-minute blast up the maze of gravel roads that lead to the top of the quarry. Of the 1500 riders entered only the top 500 qualify through to the Red Bull Hare Scramble. The Pros are first away and start at 8am. But with it running all day you’ll have plenty of time to watch everything from converted 1000cc road bikes to scooters and men dressed as swans blasting their way up the mountain.
The lure of the beer tent is unavoidable. That’s purely because it’s so big. Serving food and beer (obviously) all day every day, you can party your sins away into the early hours of the morning, for four consecutive nights. Get there in the evenings and hang out with top riders as they wait for the results from the Prologue to be issued each evening. Don’t forget to buy Paul Bolton a drink!
Lets face it, you’re not going to be able to watch every section of the thirty-plus kilometre long Red Bull Hare Scrambles course. Make a plan. Decide what sections you want to watch and try to stick to. Some of the early climbs are the best places to catch the action. Watch the pros like Jonny Walker, Graham Jarvis and Taddy Blazusiak make the vertical climbs look easy before the last of the stragglers show you how tough they really are. Once that’s done you’ll just have enough time to see the front-runners working their way up Dynamite before they head to the finish line…