You Can Never Have Too Many Lumens

24 10 2008

I used to hate night riding. The dark, the cold, the 75% reduction in my skill level (bringing me down to about 1.5 skills). I had so many bad night rides, I just gave up on night riding altogether. Then I got an expensive massage. The massage itself was the usual rate, but Nolan told me about how awesome his new very bright, relatively light LED lights were and I managed to convince myself that I just needed to spend a little money to make night riding fun again. I was half right. Night riding is fun again, but  I spent more than a little money. Between the two of us, the only reasonable light we had was an HID bar mount.  So I ended up buying two more helmet mounts and another bar mount (MiNewts and a TriNewt). Hey, someone has to stimulate this economy!

It was totally worth it though. Now that I have the wattage to sear retinas at hundred feet, I can’t wait to ride in the dark. On our first night ride, I had an unremarkable crash at low speed and somehow managed to take the impact on the end of the middle finger on my left hand, cracking it at the middle knuckle. But I went back out as soon as I could ride again (8 days later – on the 5X5 fully with lots of compression tape and no gloves) and I’m still into it.

We had a great ride last night, starting out in Arlington, then working out to the Beddy trails and back. It was 42F when we started and 34F when we finished. When we came out of the Beddy powerline, eveyone’s breath made a big  lit-up steam clouds, and when we passed through the grassy field on the way back – all the grass was already covered in frost and the individual blades refelcted the lights. It was so pretty and erie I almost forget I was freezing to death.  I brought my camera last night, but it was hard to use when I couldn’t feel my fingers and I was afraid I’d turn into a crispy lycra popsicle if I stopped too long. I’ll dress smarter next week (note to self: bring a jacket, wear winter gloves) and try to get some shots.


Wilderness 101 – Sixth Time’s a Charm

29 07 2008

Short story: 11:05 on the SS – fastest finish ever for me.

I lined up at the start line with LUNA teammates Dawn and Anne and managed to stay in the middle of pack for the first couple of very flat miles until the course turned up to the first climb – the “leg test.” I can pretty much tell on the first climb how the day is going to go and I could tell it was going to go well – I could stay seated most of the time without mashing too much and I could stand without spiking my heart rate.

I spent most of the first 40 miles socializing. About a third of the way up the first climb, a guy on an SS asked if I had done this race before and if I minded if he rode along with me (we’ll call him Delaware, because I forgot his name about 3 seconds after he told me what it was). This exact same thing happened at Lumbejack! I’m not complaining – I like having someone to ride with – it’s just funny. We’d get separated here and there, but meet back up again. Midway through the first climb, another woman on an SS passed me (Sinead – I remember unusual names). I just let her go. I know what level of effort I need to maintain to keep from blowing up and I figured either she was much faster than me or I would catch her later. I did catch her later, on a downhill and we ended up riding together off and on until Aid 2. Somewhere in there I also chatted for a couple of miles with a HUP United rider from New Hampshire.

I pulled into Aid 2 with Sinead, and left with Delaware. We chatted our way to the real start of the race – the 5-mile long Greenlee climb – where funtime ends and suffertime begins. I settled in to my energy-conversation mode and stuck with it as Sinead and Delaware pulled ahead. I eventually passed them both and managed to make it to the top, riding alone now, with only one short walking break.

Then it was on to the downhill of thousand pointy rocks. It would have been a lovely downhill if I weren’t so wasted from the climb. At one point, I dabbed in a little rock garden and fell over into the bushes because my right leg refused to hold up my own body weight. I finally bumbled my way to the bottom and got to recover on a nice relaxing downhill – too steep to bother pedalling, but not steep enough to require braking – before the next long climb out of the campground. I walked the initial steep pitch then slowly ground my way to the top. The downhill off this climb was a lot more fun than the previous one, except that in the middle of it, there was a sun-drenched climb. Hot… I could see sweat dripping off my forearms.

After the climb the trail curved down into an open area, flattened out, then went up a short hill. I was off the brakes setting up to let momentum take me up the hill, when I spotted a wheel-eating ditch at the bottom and threw the front end up just in time. I cleared it with both wheels, but skidded off into the weeds and scrubbed every bit of speed. So I had to grind up the hill with no – mentum at all. After that it was an easy cruise down to Aid 3. As the volunteer was refilling my camelbak, I noticed there were cups of coke in front of me. Before I knew what I was doing, I drank three of them. Soooo cold and delicious. I never drink coke. I don’t like it. But I love it during a race. Weird.

I left Aid 3 and rode for 30 seconds until it was time to get off for the long hot slog up Sassafrass – a steep, narrow singletrack . I never check the time in these races, because it’s just depressing to hear something like it’s 1pm and know you have at least 5 hours of riding left, but it must have been somewhere close to the middle of the day, because the sun was baking me through the thick tree cover. When the trail finally leveled out enough to make riding feasible, I found my inner quads started cramping when I pedalled seated. Fine. I pedalled standing up and made a conscious effort to drink more.

After a short road section, the course popped back into the woods and started heading down. It starts out gradual and technical, then gets steeper and ridiculous – a narrow, loose, rocky bench cut with a steep dropoff to the right. Then it gets gradual and fun – flowing along a riverbank, with a few slippery rocks and roots thrown in just in case you have a few watts of energy left. At the start of it all, I flubbed a rock section and pulled over to let the guy in back of me have a shot at it. He flubbed too and yelled “I’m riding like a f*cking moron!!”. I had to laugh – I was riding the same way. I crashed and cramped on the steep part, dabbed all over the place, and balked at things I rode easily in past years, but I didn’t want to waste energy getting upset about it.

After another road climb (legs are still cramping, but not as much) and another technical downhill (riding better now), it was a few miles of easy recovery road riding to Aid 4. As I was getting ready to leave a guy pulled in and we had this conversation:

Him: Hi Reenie!

Me: [blank look]

Him: It’s Paul.

Me: [blank look]

Him: From Cohutta.

Me: [look confused]

Him: We stayed at the same place.

Me: OH!! Hi Paul!

Heh – it was nice to see Paul, even if I didn’t have enough brain cells to recognize him. After that, it was another couple-mile climb on an old fireroad, which I walked half of, a jeep trail downhill, some nice, easy, twisty singletrack and a gradual climb up a gravel double-track. I was gaining on the woman who finished ahead of me here, but then the course turned onto a dirt road downhill and I lost her again. Finally we turned on to the Poe trail, which I love. I love it because it’s rocky and technical, but not too much, and slightly downhill, and mostly because it’s really close to Aid 5, which is really close to the end. On the road between the end of the Poe trail and Aid 5, a car came towards me and suddenly a giant camera appeared out of the passenger’s side window. Cracked me up.

I rode right through Aid 5, spun out on the railroad grade, made it up the last 3-mile climb with only a short walk break, stumbled through the rocky singletrack by the river, spun out some more on the railroad grade, made it through the tunnel and finally, finally rolled into Coburn park at 11:05. That’s 20 minutes faster than my best time, which was on my geared bike the first time I did this race in 2003. Now I can stop. Or try to break 11 hours…

What’s Up?

24 07 2008

I haven’t given up the blog – just lost my will to post for a while, but I’m back on the horse. I haven’t done anything exciting, like move to a new state, race, wreck a car, or travel anywhere outside of New England, so trying to write something is like one of those conversations you have with someone you haven’t seen in while:

“hey, how’s it going?”

“good – how are you”

“great – what have you been up too?”

“not much. How about you?”

“Not much”

“Um. How’s work”

“Not bad. How’s your job going.”

“OK. Hanging in there.”



[Awkward silence]

So, yeah, – not much. Riding a lot, working, hanging out. And we bought another Element. We couldn’t find a green one w/ a stick and 4WD so we got red. It’s red like wine, not a tomato. It’s very much like the old one, but cleaner!

After Lumberjack, we indulged in some rocky NE singletrack on the geared bikes out in Petersham MA. They have some seriously awesome trails out there. We did a marked loop during the EFTA fun ride, but word is, there’s a lot more we didn’t touch.

This was the last full day for Tom’s Gary Fisher. It had a terminal crack that went fatal last weekend. Good thing he already had a new Igleheart almost done!

Other than that ride, it’s been all SS all the time to get ready for Wilderness 101. 4th of July weekend we tortured ourselves with the Vermont 50 climbs in Ascutney, then headed up to Kingdom Trails to meet up with Michelle and Keith for two days of singletrack awesomeness. We didn’t take any pictures because a) anyone who has been there knows how awesome it is b) they all start to look the same after a while – blue sky, flowers, green fields, flowing singletrack… you’d be bored.

A few weeks ago, we joined Andy, along with Chris and Kerry, for his shakedown equipment ride for his Colorado Trail tour. We were yakking away on top of a nice open field when it started thunder and we finally headed off.

Uh oh.

I even rode SS on the Luna Chix road ride July 12. I rode the 1-speed CrossCheck 10 miles to North Station, 30 miles on the ride, then 10 miles to Kerry’s house. I loved it. I’m seriously thinking about putting a wheel with an ENO hub on my road bike. The LC ride was a lot of fun. When I road ride, I tend to just pick a distance and ride it as fast as possible. This ride went along the coast of Cape Ann and had some fabulous scenery, which we stopped to take in.

We stopped for lunch in Rockport. I had ice cream.

Sometimes you have to stop whether you want to or not.

I was supposed to lead a Luna ride at Horn Pond Aug 2, which was supposed to be followed by a clinic at a bike shop nearby, but the bike shop had scheduling issues, so we moved the ride to Great Brook just this week. In the meantime, I did a couple of rides there to get to know the trails. It’s a tiny little parcel, but there are nine million little trails that dead-end or loop back on each other. I made four trips and would have had to make at least one more to get a loop suitable for a mixed-level ride. Horn Pond “mountain” (heh – that’s what they call it – it’s not even a very big hill) has some nice stuff off the top (bad pic, but you get the idea).

And wildlife. Though these swans were hanging next to a heavily used paved path, with people (like me taking the picture) less than 6 feet away, so I guess it’s like kindawildlife.

The ladies’ ride has been at Bedford almost every week. Sometimes we let the guys come too. It’s amazing what kind of critters we see on the powerlines. They’re right off a major highway, but we’ve seen deer (a buck and a doe), coyotes, and wild turkeys.

(no turkeys here!)

Last week, we saw blueberries.

Love the SS, but after Saturday, it’s all about technical trails and rocks for a while. I promise, I’ll blog all about them!

Back at the ‘Jack

19 06 2008

Well Lumberjack 100 has come and gone. I suffered more than I did at Mohican, but I came in 7th out of the 13 women finishers, which is a pretty good result for me.

The Manistee area had 9 inches of rain the night before we got there, causing flooding that shut down roads and power outages near the lake, but we were lucky to miss the flooded road and to have a hotel room out of the no-power zone. We flew into Grand Rapids Friday (yet another 6am flight) and made it up to Wellston by 2pm. Kerry and Karen were staying right next door to us in the same hotel and they were nice enough to drive our bikes out and back for us, so we got to chill on the porch instead of putting bikes together.

The race started with a slightly downhill 2-mile stretch of road. I did what I could to keep the entire pack from passing me, but it had thinned out a lot by the time we turned into the Big M parking lot.

The course is 4, 25- mile loops of rolling singletrack and the lap starts with a long sandy climb that get steeper towards the end. There was the predictable bottleneck as the climb got steeper, and the predictable conga line after that, but after a couple of miles, I had settled in with my posse. I swear I passed and got passed by the same 12 people the whole race. Somewhere in there I picked up a shadow – Duke from – who decided I was going to pace him. This was a little disconcerting at first, but once I got over the sensation that I wasn’t going fast enough, I just relaxed and enjoyed the company.

Me and my shadow

I’m glad someone was happy with my pace, because I wasn’t. I did a 45-minute preride the day before (first MTB ride since Mohican, due to the Element’s untimely demise), but I felt like I hadn’t ridden my SS in about a year. My right tricep hurt when I stood and pulled on the bars, and my right inner quad and left hamstring wanted to cramp when I pushed hard seated. I managed to work around the crampy pains with lots of position changes, but I was seriously wondering how I was going to survive three more laps. And then there was the this.

This crap went on for 50 yards or so. Since I had no shifting to worry about, I just plowed through and around it on the first lap. The storm also laid down a couple of logs, which I insisted on jumping. It was probably a total waste of energy, but a girl has to have her fun!

Miraculously, the leg cramps went away at the start of the second lap, (though the hurty tricep stayed with me for the duration). I tried to clear the mud pit in that lap, but it had gotten thicker, and I bogged down halfway through. Then Duke bogged down and fell over on top of me. It would have made a pretty funny video… I landed on my ass on top of a couple of branches and I struggled like a cockroach on it’s back to get up from under the bikes without breaking the branches and plunking my butt into the muddy swamp. I finally extricated myself with Duke’s help and decided it was better to walk through after that.

Lap three was a mental struggle as I started to fade physically. Towards the end, I started berating myself for being slow and not training enough, then I decided the problem wasn’t me – the problem was that 100 mile races were stupid, and this race was extra stupid because riding more than two laps of this course was stupid. Stupid!!! This race has a really high DNF rate and now I know why. If you start having the Bad Attitude 70 miles in, and your car, food, and beer are at mile 75, that fourth lap starts looking pointless.

Fortunately, I lost the Bad Attitude during the Insanely Awesome Downhill at the end of the lap and headed into the fourth lap feeling pretty trashed physically, but a lot better mentally, and made the last push into the finish at 11:21.

Huge thanks to Paula for not only letting us put our coolers in the perfectly located Dark Horse pit, but also helping me refill and refuel and providing a much-needed mental break. And thanks again to Kerry for transporting our bikes. That made our trip a lot easier. And while I’m at the shoutouts, congrats to Karen Potter on her 2nd place finish.

The awards ceremony was lots of fun. Founders brewery is the race sponsor and they make some seriously good beer. I had an IPA and a porter that were both fantastic. Because Laura moved to VA and Namrita got injured, I got a neat trophy for winning the women’s SS class (i.e., being the only woman on an SS to finish).

An Inconvenient Weekend

11 06 2008

Al Gore jinxed me – I increased my carbon footprint and paid the price. Last Friday, it was raining in the am, so I decided to drive in and stop at the grocery store on the way home, because I had so many fun plans, I knew I would not have time over the weekend. I was just driving along down Third street when some young yoyohead blew the stop sign at Spring street and t-boned me . (I am fine.)

I saw him approaching the intersection at full speed as I went through, so I wasn’t surprised when he hit me. I was surprised when the car started to roll, but when the car finally settled on the roof, I knew exactly where I was and how I’d gotten there. I couldn’t quite figure out how to get out without cutting myself on the glass left in window, but a bystander opened the door for me by the time I got my seatbelt undone (it’s a lot harder upside down!). As I was yelling to the general population that the guy ran the stop sign, he ran up to me and said “That was me, I’m so sorry!” Then I was completely not mad any more and just sat down to wait for the cops to show up.

The crash took place in front of the Cambridge courthouse and two blocks from a fire station, so they were there in about a minute and had me in a neck brace in 90 seconds. My elbow landed in glass from the driver’s side window when the car went over, and it was bleeding a lot, but nothing else hurt. However, if you’re in a rollover, they will backboard you and take you to the hospital for a highly-intensive protocol to check for cervical or internal injuries no matter how much you insist that only your elbow hurts. I snuck in a call to Tom on a borrowed cell phone while they were taping up my elbow, then I was off to Mass General.

My elbow hurt like hell in the ambulance. I know now that it was full of little glass pebbles (like sand – Iooked at them after the doctor picked them out) and the tight dressing was pushing them into the joint, but at the time I was convinced it was broken and I spent the ride over to MGH watching my riding season flash before my eyes. But five hours, 3 X-rays, an abdominal ultrasound, a CAT scan and a tetanus shot later, I walked out of there with seven stitches, no shirt (good thing Tom had a jacket…), and, um, no car.

My original plans for the weekend were:

Sat: LUNA chic MTB ride and bbq with Jimena Florit at her house in CT, which I was insanely psyched about.

Sun: 100K Ride for the Cure in Gloucester with Sue in the morning, BBQ w/ our mtb friends in the afternoon

Instead, it was:

Sat: Ride our commuters (BOB trailer on Tom’s, basket on mine) back to East Cambridge to get our belongings out of the car, 3-hour nap (I had to make myself get up at 6:30pm), ride the commuters to grocery store

Sun: Ride for the Cure, 3-hour nap, pizza in front of the TV. I couldn’t bear the thought of going back out in the 95-degree heat to ride to the BBQ.

Not the awesome weekend I had planned, but I wasn’t too depressed about it. I was really happy not have a broken elbow, I had fun at the ride for the cure and it was pleasant tooling around Cambridge and Somerville without the weekday traffic.

The kid that hit me got cited for failure to stop at a stop sign and there were two witnesses quoted on the police report, so I don’t have to worry too much about paying out a deductible and points and all that. We’re just waiting now for word from the insurance co. on what’s going to happen to the Element. I’m pretty sure they will total it, but we have to wait to find out for sure (adjustor, estimate, repair, blah blah blah). We rented a Kia Rondo in the meantime. Sorry Al.

Now a Thousand Words About the Mohican

4 06 2008

Short version: I was only 7 minutes faster than last year (12:21), but raced a lot smarter and enjoyed the riding a lot more. Tom insists the course was harder and I choose to believe him. Ran 32X19 again and that was just right. Also, I was the oldest woman to finish the race. That has nothing to do with anything, but if I can’t be fast, at least I can be old.

It was a whirlwind trip. As we did last year, we flew at to Pittsburg at the crack of dawn and rented a car for the three -hour drive to someplace so deep in the middle of nowhere Ohio that even they guy from Ohio that I work with who has Buckeyes posters plastered all over his cube has never heard of it.

We got to the Mohican Lodge too early to get into our room, so we put the bikes together under a shady tree (by this I mean “Tom put the bikes together while I ate Subway leftovers and talked to Kerry and Karen). After we checked in, we rode down to the registration at Camp Nuhop, rode back to the lodge, filled our drop bags and rode back down to Camp Nuhop to drop our drop bags, then rode back to the lodge just to make sure the bikes were working. We watched the Weather Channel constantly hoping the forecast for thunderstorms would magically change between reports, but it didn’t and there were still flashes of lighting and rumbles of thunder when I woke up. It was receding though, and the weather got better as the morning went on.

Last year, the race started and ended at Camp Nuhop, which is just half mile from the lodge, but this year, the race started 13 miles away in Loudenville and ended at camp Nuhop. The race promoters had a shuttle van from the camp to the race start so racers could retrieve their cars. This turned out to be a giant pain in the ass.

The first few miles of the race were fine. It’s started out in an SS-unfriendly downhill, then quickly started up again. I was able to climb and keep my heartrate reasonable at the same time. Then we went off into a muddy field and it immediately started to suck. I was smack in the middle of a long conga line in tight trails with ankle-deep mud and there was no way I could ride the climbs at the same speed as the geared riders. I quickly stopped trying and just walked up every hill. It was annoying to watch some girls on geared bikes pass me, but I knew I needed to save my knees and energy for later. I thought to myself that if the MTB trails were this muddy after we got into the Mohican wilderness, I was bailing at Aid 1.

But the MTB trails were much better. They ate more energy than they would have dry, but there was still some traction. Last year I rode this section hard and blew up before Aid 1. This year I was more careful. I didn’t wear a heart rate monitor, but I could tell when I was redlining and started walking when I did. My back was sore for a while, and my right foot cramped for a while, but I eventually got in a nice groove and even started having some fun and enjoying the excellent singletrack. I caught up with Paula a few mile before Aid 1 and we pulled in at the same time.

I re-Heeded my camelbak, ate a Hammer bar and took a picture, then headed out right behind Paula into more singletrack. The first couple of miles were dry and flowy and smooth and I was having fun just following Paula until she got taken down by a hidden log and I went off ahead. The ST got steeper and more technical for a while, then the course turned into a series of bridle trails that were a muddy mess and included a few long slippery hike-a-bikes. This was where I developed my mantra for the day – “it could be worse.” I kept telling myself “it’s not raining!” “it’s not really hot!” “the flowers are pretty!” “you don’t have to worry about shifting problems!”. That worked really well. I just went into bulldozer mode and kept moving forward without letting my brain think anything negative.

The muck eventually popped out into the road. By this time the skies had cleared and it was sunny and pretty. After a few grinding dirt-road climbs then some rolling road Aid 2 appeared. As I approached I heard somebody yell my number and before I even got off my bike a volunteer was standing there with my drop bag. I drank down my first Starbucks double-shot of the day, ate a bar, and took a few pics. There were hoses for washing off the bikes, but two guys using them were apparently detailing their bikes. I finally just headed off to a shady spot and pulled the worst of the mud off with my hands.

After a couple of miles on rolling logging roads, we were on the road for a while. This section was super scenic and hilly enough so I could stay on top of the gear, but not so much that it was a grind (the road pics are from this section). Then we turned right onto Big Hill Road. It was a big hill, but not long or steep, so I felt pretty good when we turned off into the Big Hill trail. This trail was big pile of fun – tight, rolling singletrack and a few technical bits, minus the hair-raising, slippery rock descents from last year. (I did not miss them.) This section is a little weird, because you can see Aid 3 about 5 miles before you get to it.

At Aid 3 one volunteer cleaned and lubed my chain and another filled my camelbak while I wandered around with the camera. Then it was off up a grassy climb through a field to some more singletrack with some fun log jumps at the top. After that was some fairly flat road that I was undergeared for, so I just cruised and enjoyed the scenery.

Then the course turned on to a mucky jeep road climb. I had been alone since I left Aid 3, and finally caught up to a guy from Virginia having a snack break here. We played leapfrog for a while and caught up to Indiana on a long hike-a-bike (we rode together for a while in W101 and Cohutta – he has a name, but he calls me Massachusetts and that seems to work). I rode with Virginia and Indiana on the next section of road until the railroad grade. Along the way, we picked up Sandra and Richard and a guy on a Klein and headed off into the 8ish mile railroad grade together. I thought for sure everyone would just gear up and ride away from me here, but we all rode together until everyone eventually dropped back about 2/3 through.I hated the RR grade last year, but it went by fast this time with the help of my new friends.

The RR grade finally popped out onto pavement in a tiny little town and it was less than a mile to Aid 4. When I pulled in, the volunteer told me I had to be out of the Aid in 10 minutes because you had to leave there by 4:30 to make the next Aid before the cutoff at 6:30. This seemed weird to me, because I thought the cutoff for Aid 5 was 8pm. I didn’t plan on spending more than 10 minutes there anyway, so I just downed my second Starbucks Doubleshot. By the time I finished one volunteer had my bike lubed and another was holding my fully re-Heeded camelbak for me to slip my arms into. When I commented on how awesome that was, the volunteer said “it’s an AID station” and I said “well, that was excellent aid!”

Aid 4 to Aid 5 started out with some easy rolling road that turned into road climbs so steep I just walked them. There was one guy ahead of me in a Vassago jersey, who was also on an SS and I went exactly the same speed for 4 or 5 miles. I finally caught him when the course turned onto a muddy trail next to a streambed. That muddy trail turned into a muddy hike-a-bike, then a rolling jeep trail with a steep downhill that ended at a footbridge. From there, it was flat to rolling roads to Aid 5, where I was greeted by the same volunteer from Aid 4. I got another camelbak topoff just out of habit. I was simultaneously hungry and nauseated (my bloodstream was probably 50% Heed at this point) and while I tried to find something to eat that wouldn’t make me gag, a volunteer mentioned they had Starbucks Doubleshots on ice. What are the chances of that happeneing? I can’t even find them in the kwiki mart half the time!

So I downed SD #3 and headed out towards the arrow pointing into a singltetrack. This arrow should have said “Reenie, we made this trail just for you.” It was the perfect momentum-having SS trail with enough fun rocks, bridges and logs to make me forget that I had already ridden 93 miles. There were a few unridable sections further on, but they were short and I knew I was making good progress on the 7 miles between Aid 5 and the finish. I also knew there was a huge hike up the side of dam at the end of the trail, and I was psyched to finally see it. As I approached, I saw a guy starting the climb. As I got closer, I realized the jersey looked familiar – it was Tom. Turns out the muddy condition of his shorts caused a catastrophic failure of the butt/chamois interface and he could only stand (on an SS) for the last half of the race. So we ended up finishing together, which is definitely a first!

While it was nice riding the last few mile with best buddy, it complicated the logistics of retrieving the car and getting our bikes packed up (which we had to do after the race because our 2:30 flight was cancelled and we now had to get to Pittsburg for 10:30 flight – screw you Jet Blue!). The original plan was that Tom would finish two hours ahead of me as usual, pack up his bike, go get the car, then pack up my bike when I got done. Plan B was for me to ride back to the lodge, Tom would pack both bikes while I walked back to the finish and took the shuttle to the car. By the time the bikes were hosed and we got back to the lodge, it was almost 8pm and I was shaking from lack of food. Then an angel knocked on the door. It was really Kerry, but she offered to go get our car for us, which pretty much puts her at saint level in my book.

The trip home went smoothly, (the people-watching at JFK is the best anywhere). When we pulled into the garage at 5pm, it was like the whole weekend had never happened (until I walked up the cellar stairs).

Mohican 100 Pictures

2 06 2008

I had a good race – only slightly faster than last year, but I suffered a lot less and even managed to take pictures along the way. I’m working on the thousand words, but I’ll post the pictures now, because there are lot of them and it would take me three years to integrate them with the text.


We got to the Mohican Lodge early, so we put the bikes together while we waited for our room to be ready.

Carey and other members of the Kudzu Mafia on the porch at Camp Nuhop.

The inevitable portapottie line

Folks lining up at the start

Paula and Anne (? – also from Michigan) at Aid 1

Aid 2 was in someone’s garage (which was also apparently a kitchen)

The sportsmister!

I swear I was carrying a few pounds of mud on my bike

And a few on myself

The barn is not crooked. I was shooting while riding.

I traded places with this guy about 19 times.

Took this one over my shoulder

Sweet singletrack before Aid 3. These purple flowers were everywhere.

The aid at the aid stations was top notch. The guy in the green shirt on the left is hosing off my bike. After that he lubed the chain. Someone else was filling my camelbak.

The volunteers will even take your picture. That thing on the right strap of my camelbak (in the pic, on my left in real life) is where I kept the camera.

Bridge of Dreams about railroad grades that never seem to end

They gave excellent aid at Aid 4

This footbridge was a hoot to ride over

The bike is finally clean

I am not