It was still dark when Adam came out of the house. He took a pickaxe and a shovel, put them into the trunk of his car and drove six miles out of the city. He turned off the engine at the outskirts of the forest, grabbed the tools and disappeared in a cold haze amongst the old Spruces. It was a bleak February morning, at the crack of dawn. The rain-drenched forest was quietly waking up until the brittle sound of iron smashing into granite rocks began to cut the silence.
Adam was digging relentlessly. Beads of sweat rolled down his cheek but his eyes showed that he longed to be somewhere else. Somewhere warm and dry — somewhere by the sea, listening to the ceaseless murmur of the waves and blithely pedaling his bike against the muggy morning breeze.
He never talked much, but his car could often be seen there. In winter, when the ground was not entirely frozen, Adam dug a trail in the forest, so he had a place to ride his bike. He was training for the World cup downhill racing. Once, his biggest dream was to make a living from riding bikes and traveling the world. But now, he has entirely lost sense of time and was late to work.
There were no voices to be heard in a car repair shop anymore. Concrete walls saturated with the smell of old motor oil echoed only the clanking of tools and the droning of an electric grinder. Adam was all alone, finishing work at 5:30 pm. He had to saw off a rusty old exhaust pipe. He was in a hurry — something was on his mind and he was eager to try it today.
Until he closed his eyes and imagined being somewhere else.
The warm breeze was scattering the dust off the steeps and Adam was totally flying down the hill — like it was for real, not just his made-up dream.
written by Peter Lengyel
photography: Peter Turek and Peter Lengyel
rider: Adam Rojček
A few weeks later, at the first round of the UCI Downhill World Cup in Maribor, Adam finished 12th in the qualifiers and 18th in the big finals. Unfortunately, luck wasn’t on his side for the rest of the season, with crashes and injuries coming at him like tongues of consuming lava. But he is only 21, a bit wiser now, and eager to show his best in the coming season of World Cup racing.