Here’s my Mohican 100 MTB race story. I got a SS (single speed) MTB off of Jamie in December of 2010 and had a bunch of fun doing some small time trials at Harbin Park. MTB riding was fun again!
I liked it so much I told Jamie that I’d do the Mohican with him, but that I was going to do it on the SS he just hooked me up with. Pretty much everyone I told this to were doubting my ability to finish the race on a SS, especially a 26″ SS. After a bit of research, they were right to an extent, doing the race on a 26″ would be crazy. I wised up a little and sold a bunch of stuff to get a Niner (29″ MTB) fully rigid MTB. I told some people my solution to the race was to ride this fully rigid, which means a no shock, 29″ MTB. Again, lots of doubts and some sprinkles of encouragement.
O.k., enough with the technical geeky stuff.
I’ve been thinking about this race for a long time. Training in the snow, sleet and cold rain early this year. I was going to be prepared.
My good friends were coming in from out west. Jason was flying in from Bozeman to do the 100 mile race with me. Jesse was flying in from Portland to do the 100km and Gary was flying in to supply smiles and plenty of shit talking.
The day before it was obvious I didn’t know what I was doing as I couldn’t figure out what to put in my Aid Station Packets. Furthermore, I couldn’t figure out what Aid Stations to use. I picked 2 and 4 and let that roll. Jason Bourlage wasn’t using any Stations.
I tried to get to sleep early, but the excitement and friends put me to bed a little before midnight. Since I had been hydrating all day, I had to pee a couple times in the night. This didn’t help my sleep. Along with the fact that I was vibrating from excitement for the race. I was thrown awake after hitting a tree in my dream.
So, I got up at 4 for the 7 a.m. start time. I was done trying to sleep and too excited for the days adventure…
I roll up to the start line at 7 with Jason and his Camelbak sprung a new leak and his butt was wet. I felt bad for him, as the race doesn’t wait for people to get things figured out.
7 a.m. – we’re off… I reserve my instinct to sprint off with the lead group and just pedal into a good solid pace. The first hill out of Loudonville starts and it’s a solid road hill…
Finally, we make it off road and I’m holding a solid pace. We get to the first single track section and I’m having a blast! This is what I’ve been training months for, the climbing feels good and the descents are sooooooo fun! Then, BAM – it happens. I grabbed my front brake too hard and I’m fying like superman over the bars. SLAM, i hit the roots and rocks and I see starts and am ready to puke. AHHHHHHHHHH crap… I’m finished at mile 3.
I assess my damages and hop back on my bike. The only thing keeping me moving at this point is my adrenaline. I slammed really hard. I’ve crashed, bailed, slammed about a thousand times on a skateboard and bike over the last 41 years of life and would definitely put this as one of my top 5 most painful slams.
“How am I going to finish?”
“Ouch, this hurts!!!”
Every pedal stroke sends pain from my left hamstring to shoulder.
“Great, I only have 97 miles to go… I didn’t come this far to quit at mile 3.”
I gather myself together and see if I can ride this one off. I remember that Gary and Jesse said they’d be cheering people on at the first hike-a-bike up a 30+% grade hill. Hopefully Gary has the Advil I just gave him earlier that morning…
I see Gary and Jesse and ask them to help me tighten my Camelbak because it’s painfully bouncing all over my lowerback. After the race they said I looked like a ghost and thought I had zero to minimal chance of finishing.
They helped me with my Camelbak + velcro and I hobbled up the hill. Really, really slow… I’m here to challenge myself and now I really have a challenge! The bouncing and jittering of the roots and rocks were taking their toll on me… I’m beginning to question my choice of riding a fully rigid bike right now because it’s beating the crap out of me.
“really, how am I going to finish?”
It was really difficult watching people I normally would be keeping up with just pass me with ease. This was going to be a long, long day…
At aid station 2 Jason B. would roll in and his bike was doing that weird squealing sound that nobody has been able to fix. I told him he better keep going because I’m not stopping and I slammed pretty damn hard. He kept going and kicked ass for his first 100k!
I came to do the race with Jason L. and was hopping that he’d catch me at some point so we could ride together and give each other motivation to finish. Turns out he blew up his rear rim somewhere around mile 30 and had to bail out because it was unrideable… Mohican is no joke.
Aid Station 3 was the 100km / 100mile split point. I contemplated the 100km for a moment and my pride pointed my bike towards the difficult 100m sign. Thanks pride.
In the end, I rode 100 miles with about 11,000 feet of climbing in 90 degree heat. 97 of those miles were an exercise mind over body pain suppression exercises… it was a blast getting to the finish line and seeing your friends smiling faces. Special props to Adam, Jamie, Joe, Shoulders, Jason and Anne for finishing their first big MTB race!
I told them I crashed pretty hard, but I’m not sure any of them grasped the severity of the crash. I think this picture shows a little bit of my pain. Some of my bruises are getting stretch marks…
Special thanks to all my friends, family and team for their support. This is just a little bump in the road. I can’t wait to get back on my bike when the bruises heal.
I can’t wait to *try* the race again next year sans crashing.