Sand tracks vs. intuition
My stories / 17. January 2021
At the race, the riders navigate with the help of a roadbook – instructions, which are given to them shortly before the start. Competitors only have a moment to prepare – Svitko uses this time also to mark difficult sections to the route.
“I wrote down the dangerous spots and its locations on a piece of paper, and as I approached the place, I checked,” he explains.
With the speed of preparation and the length of the tracks, it would not be possible to remember all the sections.
There is no highway leading through the desert, nevertheless riders can see the tracks of other racers in the sand. However they are not always going the same direction. Svitko himself admits that when he finds himself in such a puzzle his navigational intuition struggles with the instinct to believe the crowd, who nevertheless could have chosen the wrong direction. He already has experience with the riders being wrong, but he admits that he himself also lost his way in the desert, it can happen to anyone:
“Navigation cannot be learned, it can only be improved. Even the best navigator can make a mistake due to fatigue and loss of concentration, ”he explains.
The main enemies of the riders are the ubiquitous stones. Do they even have a chance to notice them or even avoid them at high riding speed? It’s like seeing a needle in a haystack, or as Svitko says “a stone in a sand road”. The stones merge with the surface, and in the end, according to him, is only about luck – some of them bounce off, the dangerous ones are those that would not move. However, such difficult obstacles cannot be avoided, for example when riding in stone streams. Eventually there is nothing left to do but to overcome the difficult terrain.