This 500-Bike Hare Scramble Up a Mine is the Most Bonkers Race Ever

The battle at the front of the race is excruciatingly close as the rocks and near vertical sections slow the leaders down. This makes for some of the most fun racing to watch, as any small mistake or poorly chosen line through the rough stuff can make the difference. The riders come from all over the world, and the race is the Erzberg Rodeo, an incredible enduro event that runs twenty miles up the face of Austria’s Iron Mountain.

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Over the course of four days the giant field of 1800 riders is whittled down to an elite group of 500 starters for the final full hare scramble to the top. The final start is split into ten groups of 50 riders, each released in massive drag race to the first corner. That’s when the real difficulty begins, as the second segment of the race is a huge dirt wall to climb.

With dirt, craggy rocks, wide open flats, and muddy forest segments, the racers face more adversity than in any other event. This race looks as if the sprint from Paris to Dakar were condensed down into 20 miles of wildly varied terrain, and it takes nearly the same level of perseverance to make it through. The winner of this race takes away a trophy made from a rock picked off the mountain, the respect of his fellow riders, and some bragging rights. If you don’t think it’s awesome, then I don’t know what to tell you.

Jalopnik contributor with a love for everything sketchy and eclectic.

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DISCUSSION

deeeeznutz
Sylvester McMonkey McBean

I like the part at about 24 minutes where one guy is stuck in a steep rut trying to walk his bike up when another guy comes up hard behind him and has to ride into the bushes on the side and gets stopped. Does he get pissed at the guy in front who was blocking his line and forced him to dump the bike? Nope, he gets off and helps the dude pull his bike up the hill. Of course two guys come up behind them while they’re teamworking that bike up the hill and pass by, but then the original guy who got helped out comes back to help the guy who helped. Fantastic sportsmanship on display (by two of the guys, at least).

Edit: and a little farther on in the video (~35 minutes), you see the dude who first stopped to offer help (Billy Bolt) is still stuck in that same spot, having fallen back down hill a bit after getting help pulling his bike up. When another competitor comes up again to pass him and gets stuck, he FUCKING HELPS OUT AGAIN! That dude is paying it forward, I hope it comes back to him at some point.