Sunday, October 9, 2011

Mohican Race Wrap Up!

Saturday morning came early for me as I could not sleep.  I was stoked about the opportunity to race Mohican and I couldn't wait to get going.   My bike had already been loaded up so I cooked myself a little breakfast and  got on my way.  Registration was at 10 am and I had about an hour fifteen minute ride, so I left about 8:30 to make sure I got there on time.  Additionally, there were multiple festivals going on near Mohican so I expected to get slowed up a bit.  Zimmer and Kade bailed on my, so I was on my own for this one!
The day was beautiful and the drive was uneventful.  At least until I got to the hills, where I ran into some festival traffic, but nothing major.  I found the parking lot after missing the turn (should have realized this would be a trend) and parked the truck.  I hiked down hill to get registered and was back at truck doing "race prep" for the next hour or so.  Race prep for me was some servicing of the bike, eating some energy food, and basically chilling out in the sun listening to lithium on XM!
Right before the race was to start, I had to hit the head and ran into Montana Miller, who races many of the races in PA, W VA and Ohio.  He also just completed  in and won the Pigsah Stage race in North Carolina.  Not only does this guy entertain me with his unique blogging style (I am easily entertained), he also can ride pretty damn well.  Although he didn't do as well on Saturday as I thought he was going to do.   To his credit,  there was some damn top talent racing! 
12:00 and it was time for the race.  We had a little late start because the festival was causing some havoc on the rest of the field and there were a few stragglers rolling in.  Unlike some other races I have done, they sent the experts (pros) off first and these guys took off like someone was breaking into their houses.  Flat out flying! The Sport guys and gals went next in various groupings, and then finally us "novice" riders were allowed on the course.  The experts and the sports were going to do the full loop or roughly 26 miles.  The novice riders were going to do a couple short laps of hills then back to start for a total of about 12 miles.  More than enough if you ask me, especially when there are hills involved.
They called my group and we were off.  My goal was to be near the front when we hit the trails.  The last race I allowed people to get out in front, and I spent entire race trying to get back through the field.  This time, I was on the leaders rear tire as we hit the woods and the first vertical climb.  Let's just say he didn't make the climb and therefore I didn't either.  We were both pushing/hiking our bikes and I actually mounted up before him and got started again..Yeah....the lead....It lasted about a minutes and he caught me like I was going the other way! Although we are grouped by age, weight is not factored in.  This guy weighed about a buck ten and I go about 220.  A hell of a difference when you are climbing.  Oh by the way, I also realized quickly, I was still having derailluer issues.  Big and little were working for me, but middle ring caused my rear deralluer to skip and jump around like crazy.  Not good when you need the ring for racing!
Still not to bad, in second place, no wait, someone else just passed me.  Now third.    Stayed in third for about another mile or two, then started to drop more positions.  I could hang with any of them on the flat sections, rock gardens and the downhills, but these guys destroyed me on the climbs.  A few more riders got me some from my group and some of the high school guys who seem to have all of the energy in the world.
Made the turn to do the second loop and I was miserable.  I had caught a chest cold earlier in the week so I had no lungs.  My hamstring was tight and I had no energy to to anything but bitch!  I struggled mightily with the next few miles, at times having major challenges breathing.  Finally, I saw the mile marker which said I should have been a mile or so away from the finish.  Unfortunately, somehow, I made a wrong turn somehow.  I was riding all alone, and had no idea of where I missed the turn.  My navigation skills cost me an extra mile or so until I figured out my mistake.
I finally found the finish line, and cruised across to a sweet 6th place finish.  Not sure how the hell that happened, but I will take it considering just how miserable I felt.  I parked the bike, grabbed a few Great Lakes brews and got the hell out of dodge before they arrested me for stinking up the joint so bad.  To make my effort more clear, I finished in about and hour and a half for 12 miles or so.  The winning expert did 26 miles in just less than 2 hours!
I learned a lot of lessons on this ride.  First, I am not good on hills.  Second, I don't like hills.  Third, without a working derailluer, hills suck.  Fourth, a chest cold can cause major issues when climbing.  And finally, fat guys cannot climb with little birds, not even sure why we try!
At least the beer was cold!  and free!
Click here for race results!

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