Amy and I happened past the Pittsburgh Public at Arsenal art show last week. My favorite Somali buddy had some art up. STOKED.
After last year's debacle, I headed back to the Mohican 100 to try again to win the 100 kilometer race.
Rob and I rolled out Friday with our mountain and road bikes, with the intention of racing a circuit race in Ohio on Sunday. On the way we hit sun, rain, hail, wind. Things did not look good. We arrived at Mohican campground and put up our tents while watching the clouds roll in again. Don, Montana, Rob and I all had to work to hold the canopy down as the wind picked up and the driving rain pelted us. Then the town's TORNADO SIREN went off. Awesome.
The flame was not burning for the race the next day. No flame. No stoke. No burn or want. Just bleh. The only feeling I had about the race the next day was utter indifference.
Woke up at 5. The sky was gnarly, it was drizzling, there was thunder and lightning all night, and screaming kids. It was going to be messy. I put more A&D ointment on my tender spots than I thought was humanly possible (too much info?)...
I talked to Gunnar Friday night about where the town limit sign was. There is a 200 dollar preme at the town limit sign (like 4 minutes into the race, up a big hill)...
A few things I am good at:
- starting a race too hard
- going hard for 3 or 4 minutes at a time up hill
They start the race, I figured that I am too far back, as there are clearly 4 rows of people in front of me. My super mediocre road skills put me like 3rd wheel at the bottom of the hill. I got the $200, but attached is the stipulation that YOU HAVE TO FINISH THE RACE.
I rode 4th wheel for the first 10 miles or so. Jeff Schalk, Mike Simonson, and Steve Twining were in front of me and were racing like it was a short track race. It was ridiculous. I didnt "back off," I just could not keep up. One of the three was doing the 100k. At mile 9 or so I gave up on thinking that I could win. Brad Wilhelm came up on me, and I followed him for while. Got dropped. Chased back on. He was also in the 100k and would be who I raced against most of the day.
Caught Steve Twining, who was riding with the leaders, passed him. This means I went into aid #1 at mile 16 in 3rd overall, 1st 100k. Got 20 seconds past it and realized I had a flat. Mistake #1 was not putting a tube in it at the aid station. I just put air in it and kept rolling. It was flat again in less than 20 minutes. Ugh. I went Gerry Pflug on it and hid in the woods to change my tire. He does this so people dont know that they passed him. It worked.
At one point I passed the brightest orange wild mushroom on a tree. It was phenomenal. It is rare that in the middle of a bike race I notice anything, even course markings, but this mushroom was probably a foot in diameter and was the only color in the woods besides mud and green.
Got to aid #2 at mile 35 or so, and saw Brad again. It blew his mind when I was behind him! He was chasing a ghost. Attacked him a bit and got into a group of guys AND FLATTED AGAIN.
Unfortunately keeping air in your bike tires is apparently a huge part of racing bikes. Got passed by a bunch of people.
Rolled out of aid station # 3 at mile 46 (this is where the 100k and 100m separate) and I think young Robert told me that I was still in third, and only a minute off of 2nd. I caught second plac and attacked him on one of the hardest climbs.
I cracked super hard in the last 6 miles and lost like 8 minutes to Brad from what I can gather. It would have been a really good race had I not flatted. I think he would have passed me in the final single track, or would have come really close.
Oh well, second is good too.
Mad props to anybody who finished Saturday. It was really really gnarly.
Cycling News Coverage
Pic on Cyclingnews. So messy.