As the forum is "in decline" I figured I'd post up the write up I did a couple of weeks ago from the Mohican 100, the 2nd race in the NUE Series. Two of us left NYC on Thursday May 28th for the race on the 30th, driving home the next day.
If I feel energetic I might write up a similar thread from the Stoopid 50 this past weekend
Loading up the faithful HHR rental:
While watching others head for work:
We head for the Lincoln and make a break for the NY border:
Objects in mirror are closer than they appear:
After crossing off NJ and PA, the weather in Ohio wasn't so welcoming:
But luckily the residents of Loudonville were very accomodating:
But due to a complete lack of cell coverage some of us had to work out how to use old tech to call home:
But our camp spot was great:
Which meant there was time to sit back and enjoy the afternoon:
Before race prep began:
With the bike all set to go:
Just a few snacks to last the day:
But a very early start with a very heavy dew upset focus:
It's amazing how quickly time goes in the morning before a big race. First alarm goes at 4:55AM, a second alarm goes 5 minutes later. Before you know it all the time is gone and you need to head to the start line. When the only tasks you've had in the previous 90 minutes are to eat breakfast and get dressed.
After learning from the rush to the start line for Cohutta, at least we rolled out of camp on time for this one. A 1.5 mile leisurely pedal on a paved bike path into Loudonville from the Mohican Adventures campground, where the race would eventually finish much later on in the day. Arriving at the start with a few minutes to spare was much nicer than having to sprint to the start and having the gun go off straight away. With the heavy overnight dew and fog lifting I changed from my clear lenses to shaded, afterall it was going to be a bright sunny day.
As the clock approached 7AM all of the 100 mile and 100KM racers lined up at the same time (more on this shortly) under the banner covering Main St. At stake was a $200 preem for the first rider to reach the hill climb at the top of Main St before turning into the singletrack. The only caveat was they also needed to finish the race to claim their prize. With sirens and lights going, local law enforcement started the race acting as a lead car up the street as the racers started hard.
I settled into the pace I wanted to follow as I knew I'd got a long day ahead of me. No point hitting a high heart rate on the first hill climb with a full day of riding still to go. Upon reaching the singletrack there was a traffic jam of riders waiting to get into it. The problem with starting all of the racers at once had reared its head. Things continued in this first run of 30 miles of singletrack, lots of very slow decenders blocking the trail and simple log piles causing queues. But minor delays aside the trails were great, fast, techy and very challenging. I found myself in a group of riders all going at a good pace and really enjoyed this first third of the race.
Then the tight right hamstring decided it wasn't going to ease, and minor cramps reared their head and after aid station 2 I knew it wasn't going to be an easy day. From aid 3 to aid 4 was 26 miles, with trying to keep up my fluid intake to keep the cramps at bay I ran dry. Luckily most of this section was an old railway bed, the tracks long gone, but the easy grade meant I could crank the big gears and the miles whistled by (a relative term).
At Cohutta my target had been 12 hours, I did it in 11. Knowing that Mohican was supposedly slower I'd left my target at 12. But as the miles wound down I started to think I could beat the 11 hour mark. The second visit back to aid 3 then onto aid 5 came fast with few miles between them. After aid 5 it there were less than 6 miles to go to the finish line. I decided to finally swap back to my clear lenses, something I should have done several hours early, rather than struggling in the shaded singletrack. So into the singletrack above the State Campground I really put the hurt on myself trying to break that 11 hour mark. Trying as hard as I could up the climbs and pedaling down the decents. But then the heartbreaker for me as there was for many. Upon entering Mohican Adventures there was no finish line, but another 1.5 miles of trail with some tough climbs. By chance my road trip companion, Nate, was outside our tents as I climbed past. He had finished a couple of hours earlier, cheating on some sort of single geared, non-suspension bike which makes you much faster. I shouted for him to get to the finish line to take photos and struggled on for those final few climbs. The clock clicked past 11 hours and I decended into the finish, exhausted, spent, thoroughly worn out. Nate then arrived late to take photos of me crossing the line, but captured me running on empty.
Thankfully he'd driven the half mile down to the finish, I don't think I could have ridden back up to our tents. But after a shower and change of clothes the Mongolian barbeque beckoned and we headed back down to the finish area so I could dine. Before finishing the camping experience with the ubiquitous campfire and peanuts under a starry sky as the next day meant the long drive home.
Here's a few of his photos, he's a professional so his stuff puts mine to shame:
See his full set here:
Animals in PA seem to play chicken with vehicles on the interstates. With the large quantities of roadkill they seem to be losing at the game. Our rental blue Chevrolet HHR seemed to be particularly attractive to birds. As I had two decide to bounce off me on the drive home, then nearly gained a pigeon passenger driving up 6th Ave in the city.
A small queue to get through the Holland Tunnel into NYC took 2 HOURS
to negotiate!! Not what you want after driving for 9 hours.
Objects in mirror may be many: