Reflection from Mohican

This weekend was my first Mohican 100 mile mtb race.  Also it was my first mtb race and I have got to say it was a blast.  The start of the race was nothing like I had seen before.  There were hundred of people waiting around for a horn to go off.  The PA system that they had at the start was impossible to hear the only way I could tell the race was about to begin was from the lady in the back of a pick-up truck with a horn in the air and everyone started clipping in one foot.  Then we were off.

The start did not disappoint with climbing straight out of the gate.  It was a pretty fast start just to get to the the start of the trail and have to wait for everyone to file down to single file.  After this bottle neck though it was pretty smooth.  From here we went to the 24 mile Mohican State park single track section.  This section took a lot of focus and I was a little nervous going into this section.  I was riding a little ridged tension and was not very loose.  This caused me to have a few minor spills but after these I did loosen up and I was good to go.
About 6 miles into the single track section a guy slipped off the trail in front of me and I tripoded off my bike to avoid him and stopped to make sure he was okay, which he was.  When he went to go pick up his bike and set it back down on the trail his rear wheel popped out and started rolling down the hill.  It was mildly amusing and comical.  All along the single track people were having mechanicals and it was great to see people stopping to help each other out or at least asking if they were okay.
At aid station 1 I ran back into Starr and Jamie.  Once we had gotten some food and filled back up we were off for the last section of the 24 mile single track.  This section went really smooth until you got to a hill that was so steep.  If I had to guess I would say it was between 25-30%.  It was impressive.  The whole time we are walking up the guys around me kept saying “do you think the pro’s ride this?” and I pretty sure it would be impossible.  After this was horse trails with a wicked descent over railroad ties which was super sketchy.  Then after another hike a bike and some road riding we made it to aid station 2.  Once I got here I was feeling alright and the ice cold Coke really hit the spot.  Once again I ate up and then it was off to aid station 3.
This was mostly riding on gravel roads til you go to some single track which felt like it was super technical.  It probably wasn’t I was just on the verge of a bonking.  I made it through the single track which was probably 2 miles long to aid station 3 were I took the most time at any aid station.  I ate and tried to get my energy back for the next section which was going to be a long section to station 4.
This for sure was the hardest section for me.  Leaving station 3 was a climb which I did not have the energy to do.  So, I ended up walking the majority of it.  Then at the top I ate some more and continued on to a small water fill up at the top of this long gravel climb at a youth camp.  After this it was a lot of road riding with rails to trails.  When I left the water fill up I had met up with Starr and we road most of this next section together.  It was nice to be with some one for this section because this was the roughest part both mentally and physically for me.  I had not eaten enough to this point so I was really playing catch up with getting calories.
Once Starr and I got on the bike path we got to the covered bridge, which a lot of people had problems with, because there was a wedding going on at the bridge.  A guy asked us to walk our bikes through and we complied.  Later we found out there might have been a fight that happened and James said he was forced by the wedding party to turn around and take another route which is crazy.
Starr on the bike path was on a mission I was having a hard time keeping up with him and after a while I slowed down to get a breather and some more food.  After this point I was pretty good the rest of the race mentally because I new I was almost done.  Once I got to aid station 4 I had caught back up with Starr and Jamie.  Jamie left shortly after I had arrived and Starr had just gotten there shortly before me.  We were both wondering what laid ahead and it did not sound to bad which I think helped with our moral.  Once we were loaded up we were off.
When Starr and I had gotten to the first long gravel climb I was not up for climbing it on the bike.  I walked and Starr road it.  Looking back I think the only reason I decided to walk that climb was I saw a guy up the road walking it so I felt I should do the same.  I wish I would have not done that, but that is how it goes.  After this I road mostly alone the rest of the race.  This was mostly gravel roads with a section of single track with a suspension bridge at the end of it.  Then it was to aid station 5 with 5 miles to go.
This last part was single track back to the adventure center were the cabin was.  On the single track I caught back up with Starr and he pulled offer to let my group pass.  Everyone that was around us were unsure were we were going at this point.  The trail did not feel well marked but it started to feeling right and finally I found a sign saying 1 mile to go.  This felt like the longest mile ever, but I finally crossed under the finish banner.  I am so glad I did this race it was so much fun and I can’t wait for next year.