First, let me preface this article by saying that roll's A:1 Adventure bike was never designed or intended be ridden on the terrain that makes up the Mohican 100 kilometer race.....But we took them on it any ways, and both finished!
the Mohican 100 is the most grueling endurance mountain bike race in Ohio. Racers choose between a 100 kilometer and 100 mile race course. roll: had a total of 6 racers total in the race, all of us opting for the slight more sane 100k route. only Stuart and I opted for the slight less sane A:1 bikes. The race started in downtown Loudenville with a long climb on the pavement to spread the riders out before we hit the single-track. I pushed my way up to the front of the pack because I knew this would be one of my only opportunities to attack because I was rocking 700X40 Kenda Flintridges that come stock on the A:1.
We hit single track and were flying! I was up there with some of the fastest riders in Ohio, and I felt more confident in my bike handling skills then ever before. The trail was pristine and dry, perfect for my small block skinny tires. But then a corner turned greasy, too greasy for my tiny tires and BAM! I was one the ground, face in the mud, every rider I passed on the pavement rushed by me, probably chuckling to themselves as they passed by. I quickly remounted and nudged my way back into the line...crash 1, there will be 4 more throughout this article.
The rest of the first section of single-track was mostly playing cat and mouse with a few different riders, most of them gawking over the bike (vintage racing Porsche gulf blue), then confusion at what the hell someone was doing in the Mohican 100 on a straight bar cross bike. Right before we had our first aid station I hit another greasy corner and went down, crash number 2.
After Aid 1 we had a couple miles of gravel road and I was able to catch back up to everyone who laughed at me after crash number 1. We returned to single-track and I remained in a fairly consistent position for the remainder of the race. That is until we hit the rocky, pine tree rooted forest known as the Mohican wilderness or, as I called it that day, hell. This section of trail is some of the best single-track in Ohio and pushes rider and their bike to the limit. I had crashes 3-5 over the course of 4 miles. Twice I hit a drop off too slowly and buried my front wheel in mud, then proceeded to bury my face in the mud as well. Then I took a corner too tight on a downhill section and caught my handlebars on a tree. I got bucked off then both my bike and me tumbled down to the bottom of the hill.
The wilderness ended but then spat us right into some brutal gravel roads. At the top of one of a hill that seemed to last forever I found my saving grace. It was a ragtag bunch of guys, outfitted with short jean shorts, mullets and a cooler full of PBR. They handed me one and I downed it. I am a firm believer in beer strength and think that my sub 6 hour time is a testament to that. All that was left was the 5 mile, moderate loop in the state park. Beer strength was in full effect and I was passing people on the trail left and right. I head the announcer at the finish line and gave every last bit of effort to finish strong. My final time was 5:56 the announcer said. I could not have been happier with my time, so I celebrated with many pints from Great Lakes Brewing Company. I was not the only finisher on an A:1, Stuart also finished the race with a time of 8:29.
Once all was said and done I took two things away from the ride. First, that my A:1 punches above it's weight. It was by no means a good bike to take into the race, but it finished next to bikes that were in the $3,500-6$6,000 range. Second, that beer solves everything, except a flat tire....sorry Stuart.