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Two week old stoke...

804 Views 17 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  6thElement
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:

Race Recap:

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:

Side note:
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:

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well done studs. your 100 miler events with training out of nyc inspired me to try the firecracker 50 this july. no friggin way most of us could ride a hundo on fat tires, let alone in 11 hrs.
Sounds tough! Congratulations.
Great work 6th E!

Are you going to be at the Vermont 50?
The VT50 was on my schedule for this year but I forgot to get my name down when registration opened on the Sunday evening, by Monday afternoon it had sold out!

I'm not remotely fast at doing these races, it's just a personal challenge, the pro guys like Shalk and Eatough normally finish in about 60% of the time it takes me.
Just finishing sounds like a huge feat to me, congrats!
Your on-empty is much better than mine. There would have been a beer bottle on the ground and me splayed out on the grass next to it :D Of course I would have been there after about 5 hours not 11. Good report, thanks for sharing the stoke :thumbsup:

What is in the baggies? How many calories do you figure per hour?
turnerbikes said:
What is in the baggies? How many calories do you figure per hour?
Mohican was only my 2nd 100 miler and I learnt a lot about feeding myself from the first a month earlier, Cohutta. I struggled with solids on these long rides unless they're easy to chew/digest, so despite there being Clif bars in the one bag they didn't get touched. I put what food I know I like in them so I don't have to rely too much on the aid stations in case they don't have what I want. For the NUE races there's normally 5 aid stations and you get 3 bags to be dropped at which aid stations you choose.

My bag contents are roughly equal:
spare tube
sachet of chamois butter.
hammer gel bottle which holds ~5 gels. I'm normally taking a slurp from the bottle every 30minutes.
small honey serving, I stock up on these when hotels have them at the breakfast buffet, a nice sweet treat.
Fig Newtons.
extra drink powder mix, so I can refill my bottle and carry a small bag with me to the next aid station if I don't have a drop bag there.

Then at aid stations I'll refill my small 50oz camelbak with water, refill my water bottle with drink mix and maybe grab some fruit or a PB+J. Far from an expert at these things but I seem to get through them, I'm probably burning about 700cals/hr :)
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great stoke :thumbsup:
it must be tough being a mountain biker in the metropolis of NYC ?
i'm in scotland and think it's a rough deal here sometimes !!!
Good report and great job! I wish we had more point-to-point 50s, 75s, or 100s in SoCal. When I'm back in shape, I'd like to do a race like that.
Great job 6th!! Well done :thumbsup: Is that all the 100 milers you gonna do this year?
Congratulations! I doubt I could do 100 on pavement these days!
Excellent post JG:thumbsup:

Yet another post that makes my lungs explode:eekster:

Most importantly: Thanks for contributing to the decline.:D

PS: Let me know if you want me to set you up with some transition lenses.
Great thread. I can't imagine pedaling for 100 miles, the most I've done is maybe 40 (in Telluride when I got lost). I saw your list of nutrition...did you do years of experimenting with long then longer rides to find out what worked to keep you going (and not fack up your stomach). That would be an area that could make or break your ride, regardless of how fit you are.
The_Lecht_Rocks said:
it must be tough being a mountain biker in the metropolis of NYC ?
On the contrary, you'd be surprised at the thriving race scene and the number of great ride locations within an hour of the city.

cruzthepug said:
Great job 6th!! Well done :thumbsup: Is that all the 100 milers you gonna do this year?
I want to do two more, the Wilderness 101 at the start of August and the Shenandoah 100 at the start of September as I need to do 4 for an overall series finish.

S-Works said:
Let me know if you want me to set you up with some transition lenses.
I love my Optic Nerve Banshee's but I've started to look if there are any similar transition lensed riding glasses.

xcguy said:
did you do years of experimenting with long then longer rides to find out what worked to keep you going (and not fack up your stomach).
Nope, I'd not even done a road century before I did these dirty centuries. I soon worked it out during Cohutta when I'd spend 5 minutes chewing a mouth full of cliff bar and still struggle to swallow it.

There's a great vibe at these events, where I am in the field you're not really racing against anyone else, more just racing against the clock and pushing your limits.
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