mohican wilderness - ombc #2 - 6th expert/open - sunny, windy, 50 degrees
This picture pretty much sums up how my race went:
A closer view:
Not so good.
Tim and I drove to Ohio on Friday night. Despite his best efforts to kill us by power sliding around the on and off ramps, we didn't crash or blow up the engine in his little Hyundai Elantra (although it was shaking like an electrocuted chipmunk above 65mph.) We were supposed to race the Mohican Wilderness on Saturday, then head to Big Bear that night, camp, and race Big Bear on Sunday.
It was a great plan. Until it thunder stormed and Mohican was bumped to Sunday.
So I went and watched Colleen's track meet, which was not canceled by the strong winds and threatening clouds.
It looked like this for 25 laps:
No thank you. I'm so glad I started riding bikes.
Tim called while I was at the meet, and after a long council we decided to go camp at Mohican that night.
We did. It rained and the wood was wet.
Once we got the fire blazing everything was swell. Then it rained harder and we had to run for the tents. It was like a repeat of the thunderstorms the night before the Mohican 100 last year. I was terrified that I would drown in mud again.
Sunday morning was cool and breezy. The rain stopped, and it looked like it might turn out to be a nice day. We packed up the tents and headed over to the starting line.
There was only one other single speeder there, so I registered for the Open class. I thought it would be alright. Tim made it sound like the course was nice and flowy.
I went to the port-a-poty one last time, smeared A&D ointment on my crotch, then lined up. "3,2,1 go!"
(I don't know why the guy on the white bike was wearing aero shoe covers in a mountain bike race. But they must have done something because he beat me.)
Everybody went hard through the first field and into the little piece of single track. I was right behind Tim when we popped back onto a field on the other side. The wind was cutting across the empty field like the blast from a jet. I tucked behind line of guys in front of me and everybody slowed way down. Tim jumped out of the pace line and took the lead.
As soon as we hit the first climb I knew I had no chance of placing well. It was so damn steep. I was giving it everything to keep turning the pedals over, and there was a big root in the middle of every switch back. I would lose traction then have to run until it flattened out a little.
The climb was two miles long. By the top the leaders were way out of sight and I couldn't see straight. I tried to make up some time on the down hills, but I wasn't very smooth there either. Didn't ride enough last week.
On the bright side, it was a beautiful day and the trails were in perfect shape. I was having a great time, but I just didn't have the legs to go fast.
Every downhill was the same. Rocks, nice carving bends, then a sharp 180 degree turn at the bottom that pointed right back up the hill. I had to scrub all my speed going into the corner, then start the climb with no momentum. It was about as hard as a course could be on a single speed.
And it went on for three laps. I felt better on lap two, but on the third lap I was totally spent. I had to hike and run most of the steep stuff.
I rolled into the finish, saw Colleen holding a camera, and made the most disgruntled face I could muster:
Tim knew all weekend that he would win, and he did. By a fair amount. He had a great ride. It was a cool race, but I wish we would have gotten to hit Big Bear as well.
The new bike held up well, with no creaks or slips from the Biocentric ebb, so now I feel like I can properly introduce it. Tomorrow.