Mohican MTB 100 – a fucking beast of a ride.

“Just ride your bike till they make you stop.”

That’s what Dirty Biker said to me.

And that’s what I did.

I started out with the 100 milers. The course starts out in the town of Loudonville, going up a very big hill and then turning onto some horse trails. My back wheel fell off as soon as I hit the trail and I almost had a panic attack. Luckily for me, a guy stopped and helped me get it back on.

From there we headed into the most technical singletrack I have ever experienced. Uphill, downhill, and with the 100K racers coming up behind me, I had to pull over to let them pass. I was so fucking scared. Confidence was NILL. I saw lots of my friends pass who were doing the 100k.

It was 20 miles to the first aid station.

That 20 miles was fucking pure hell. All singletrack, up hill, and then up another hill. Rough terrain, and I was beat the fuck up with 3 crashes in the 1st 10 miles. The climbing never stopped. It took me well over 3 hours to get to that first aid station. When I arrived, I ate, drank, and hopped back on my bike.

It was 14 miles to the next aid station. That was goal, just make it to the next aid station.

The next 14 miles were all singletrack with climbs in doses of 350 feet or more. Straight up, vertical fucking climbs that were so hard to walk up, I could hardly dig my cleat in the dirt to hike that shit. I grabbed the stem of my bike and just pushed. The forest was so fucking beautiful though, my spirits stayed high. I caught up to a couple of women from ABQ and rode with them, happy for the company.

We rolled up to aid station 2 and I saw my buddy Kevin from my shop. We were at mile 34. He was cramping bad. I shared my coconut water with him and gave him a banana from my aid bag.

Me and my new friends headed back out and it was only 12 miles to the next aid station. We rode a few miles of singletrack, then some horse trails, and then we were on the road for several miles, all uphill. Some gravel, some dirt, some road. Then back into the woods for more technical singletrack with rocks and roots and downhills with switchbacks that scared me. All I could hear in my head was Dirty Biker’s voice from when we were riding in AZ last winter “GET THAT ASS IN THE AIR AND LEAN BACK!” Once I remembered how to downhill, I got better and better as the miles went on.

We made it to aid station 3 and there was Dominic and Jonathan, a kid from our shop. Dominic was so worried about me since it was 3pm, and I was only at mile 50. This was where the 100K turn off was so I could either go that way, or head uphill again and shoot for the 100 miles. I was feeling great. No issues at all. Legs felt good to keep pedaling, and I was determined to keep going. After some eating and drinking, I kissed Dominic goodbye and left the girls I had been riding with as they turned to finish the last 12 miles of the 100K.

That big ass hill someone mentioned in the comments wasn’t all that bad. I climbed as much as I could before getting off my bike to hike. I had a few miles of singletrack and maybe another 1000 feet of climbing and then relief.

Horsetrails, dirt roads, doubletrack, flat, nice MTB riding terrain. I rode for 25 miles alone. I didn’t see a soul the entire time. I didn’t have cell coverage for the longest time, and after I hit mile 60, my phone rang. It was D2 and Dirty Biker, laughing at me as I screamed into the phone that I was climbing another fucking hill. DB laughed and said “PEDAL and call me when you finish”. It was nice to know they were pulling for me.

I stopped to pee around mile 70, and my ass was on fire. When I sat back down on the saddle, it felt like I was sitting on a thorn bush. That was the only pain I experienced.

I missed aid station 4 and just followed the signs, riding up a country road.

A truck rode up behind me and put on his flashers. I kept pedaling.

Then he drove up along side of me and said “You a “100 miler?”.
I nodded at him and asked, “Am I getting pulled?”
He said “Yep, you missed the cut off by 2 hours”.

He asked me to ride back down the hill so we could wait for the course sweeper to bring in the rest of the riders behind me. I had no idea there was anyone behind me, and the course sweeper never found me either. A woman waiting on her husband (who was on his 3rd year trying to finish the 100 miler), gave me a ride back to camp.

I was perfectly happy to be done. I would have kept riding if they let me, but it wasn’t meant to be.

My bike computer read 76 miles.
I had been on my bike for 12.5 hours.
I climbed over 10,000 feet.

Do I think I am a failure? Fuck no.
Will I attempt it again? Probably not.

Here are some pictures of my adventure.

I made a point of introducing myself to Ryan Odell, the big cheese in charge. He and I have been emailing back and forth for 4 months. He was shocked to find out I didn’t drink, but insisted we hold cases of beer for the picture I said I’d be posting.

The big cheese himself, Ryan Odell.

The big cheese himself, Ryan Odell.

We ended up camping with Amanda Virostko, the female winner of the 100K for the previous 3 years. She and her husband Jacob were super cool. We hung out at the RV with Jeni and Darrin the night before, had dinner, chilled out, talked shit. Amanda came in 3rd this year.

Socializing the the pro's.

Socializing the the pro's.

Special thanks to the folks at Ergon for these awesome grips. I had no issues with numbness once I got the grips in the correct place.

Ergon grips are a fucking GODSEND.

Ergon grips are a fucking GODSEND.

My beautiful Voodoo. I love this bike. It’s served me well. I got a shit ton of compliments on it.

Race ready

Race ready

The start of the race. Madness. I arrived about 2 minutes before my start time.

500+

500+

This was the beautiful forest of Mohican. The scenery was breathtaking.

Surrounded by this for hours.

Surrounded by this for hours.

The climbs just never stopped. This was me and my 2 friends, in between aid stations 2 and 3. It was hot as hell.

Climbing gravel roads.

Climbing gravel roads.

Me and Dominic, having a moment. He is always so fucking proud of me when I race. I have the best husband in the world.

At aid station 3 mile 50.

At aid station 3 mile 50.

The trail was marked well. Sometimes I’d freak out, wondering if I was going in the right direction, and then I’d see a sign. Ryan did a good job making sure we didn’t get lost.

Yet another hill.

Yet another hill.

I’d been alone for a while when I stopped to take this picture. I tried to send it to Dirty but had no cell coverage. It was about 10 minutes before my phone rang, and it was him, laughing because I actually picked it up. I needed to hear someone’s voice cuz I was lonely!

Mile 61

Mile 61

This is my buddy James. He finished the 100 miler on a fucking rigid SS. That’s a goddamn baller for you.

James finished the 100M on a rigid SS.

James finished the 100M on a rigid SS.

Dirty legs. DC socks and Gnomie’s eggbeater pedals brought me good luck.

I can't race without DC socks

I can't race without DC socks

I know you’re probably sick of hearing about it, and so am I. It’s over with now, and I am happy with how it all turned out. I have NO regrets. And amazingly enough, I don’t feel too sore, my body is recovering well.

Thanks for all of your comments, inspiration and support.

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About Judi

Bicycles are my salvation. They are my way of life. If you don't like it, then you can go straight to hell. Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

21 thoughts on “Mohican MTB 100 – a fucking beast of a ride.

  1. I for one am not tired of hearing about this. I love it. Give me more struggling against the odds, hills, heat, dogs, the man, whatever. It’s all good to me. Sounds like a great time; this mountain bike racing. I must try it sometime.

  2. Looks a whole lot drier than last year, when those rooty steep hills were foot-deep mud and we were dodging tornadoes. What a great place

  3. “The climbs just never stopped. This was me and my 2 friends, in between aid stations 2 and 3. It was hot as hell.”

    -looks flat. ;)

    Good on you. the 100km woulda ate me up. 100 miles on a road bike would kick my ass, let alone on dirt. good for you, sister.

  4. Judi,

    You KICK-ASS! Here I sit at 4:30 am, getting ready to go on a “training” ride and now I’m all freaked out. If a hard-ass like you didn’t finish the Mohican how the hell am I gonna finish the top secret 200 mile Gravel Grinder in two weeks? Oh well…

    I like the fact you said “probably not” regarding if you’ll do it again…so you’re saying there’s a chance. Give it a week. You’ll wanna do it again.

  5. Woot!!!
    Congrats. Well done, babe. So happy for you.

    ps – you should have blogged about your morning after with the dogs, the cops, AAA and traffic. hahaaha

  6. Judi, Great job and effort in getting that far. I saw you at aid 3. You looked me in the eye and said “I’ll guess I’ll just keep riding until they pull me.” I think it was getting on 4 PM and there were still 100m riders coming into aid 3. I had just completed the extra loop for the 100 mile distance and only had 1.5 hours left until I finished. I’m sorry you felt overwhelmed by the first 25-30 miles of singletrack. I think it is the best singletrack in the state and ride it frequently. Where else can you get 25 miles of uninterrupted singletrack and lots of climbs to get you in shape?

    You should keep trying. My first 100K 8 years ago took 10 hours. Slowly I worked that down to 6-7 hours. Last year my first Mohican 100 mile took me nearly 14 hours, because the weather and trails were so wet. This year I cut over 3 hours off that time. So, I think you should keep trying. It takes years to build that kind on endurance. Go up to Mohican and practice the trail several times a year until you get used to rocks, roots, mud and short steep climbs. The trails in the Appalachian mountains and these bordering areas are REALLY technical. The Mohican forest trail you raced on is actually pretty tame!

    Jeremy

  7. Judi: badass enough to answer her phone. On a climb. To talk to me and dirty as we sat drinking Mickey’s in a bike shop on the other side of the country.

    We laughed pretty good about that one. Nice work, Judi. Way to kick ass.

  8. Glad you made it through the technical course with relative safety, and realised your goal of “pedaling until they pull me”.

    Thanks for the report and photos!

  9. If that was your experience, I would’ve had my ass handed to me sooner. Keep killin’ it, you’re in better shape than me.

  10. Congratulations on a supreme effort. As I lined up at my short-track race last night I thought of you and took inspiration. You’re a TOTAL FREAKIN’ MONSTAH and I wish you and I lived nearer each other so we could go for a ride. Yes, you’d school my middle-aged butt but the honor would be all mine.
    Enjoy the recovery with your insane blue-haired beau. You’ve more than earned it. Hugs –bh