Darkness was descending upon the trail, blanketing the root lined single track with an eerie facade of mischief. Slipping and sliding, I picked my way in the dark, feeling slightly reassured by the headlights of camp vehicles off to my left.
With the storm continuing to blow in, if I could not see, at least I knew I could roll down the hill towards the campers if things got a little out of control.
While picking my way through these final, Mohican miles, my mind gravitated to the thought that this was the very experience I love so much about taking my bicycle on adventures.
I've always been a lover of books, the tales they tell and the friends you perceive you made through devoring written words captivate me, but there's always been something missing at the end of the story (for me).
It was a craving for the real time experience and adventure.
To satisfy this craving, I needed to figure out the recipe.
And as it turns out, the key ingredient = a bicycle.
My focus for this summer is to enjoy new trails, new challenges and to try new adventures.
Mohican checked the box on all of these wishlist items and I couldn't be happier with the experience.
Not only did I get to travel with awesome friends (thank you to Dan and Sarah for toting me around and helping me pack up my gear while I was slap happy and food deprived!), but I also saw new trail, camped in all my carefully picked out gear from Steep and Cheap, plus I earned the coveted 100 mile finishers growler!
While I worried about ticks attacking me while preparing for this event, I'm happy to report that not one joined me on the journey.
My heels have recovered from the unexpected hike a biking that occured periodically (if you had the opportunity to enjoy the course, you know what I'm talking about).
Whats left of my brake pads are soon to be replaced (a couple of those down hill sections left me locked out and praying I wouldn't slip in the road apples.
Less then two weeks have passed since the event and I've forgotten all the negative parts of the ride and replaced them with dreams of completing the next adventure.
However, before I move on to that next excursion, I want to document the highlights of my hundred mile journey through the Mohican Forest.
There was a brief glimpse of the coveted "Tree with Gnomes".
I was blinded by thousand watt smiles at every aide station. The dedicated NUE Series volunteers treated me with such attentiveness and good humor that I felt like a pro racer.
It became apparent that my mouth can expand like a hamster's in the presence of watermelon. I spent a few dedicated seconds at each aide station studiously shoving chunks of watermelon into my gullet as the day wore on.
Just the mere thought that Swedish Fish were in my drop bags brought me great comfort, even though I never ate them.
When torrential rains drench you to the bone, chamois creme transforms your saddle into a slip and slide.
This being said, the young man that slapped me in the ass as I shot through a road crossing received a satisfyingly sloppy surprise upon contact with the said chamois.
And, when it's been a long day in the saddle, sometimes the only song you'll remember is a short but sweet one by the Ramones.
"Twenty, twenty, twenty four hours to go...I wanna to be sedated..."
"Nothing to do, nowhere to go o...I wanna be sedated"
Leaving you only one choice of entertainment while winding between trees and seeking your grand finish.
I would like to say the frogs were appreciative of my voice as I belted these lyrics, over and over for those last six to eight miles.
Perhaps an audition for "The Voice" is in my future?
With all that being said, I want to roll some credits for those that made this journey possible!
Thank you to my husband for making my bike awesome and sending me good luck thoughts all day long (however, I'm still holding you to your promise of a back rub for finishing).
Big thanks to Rochester Bike Shop for being awesome and getting me all the bike parts necessary for this event! #rochesterbikeshop #bestbikeshopever
Dan and Sarah - you guys are awesome! Thank you again and again for helping me make it there and back without incident!
Ron the "Cat-man" - thank you for bringing my drop bags back to the Mitten!
And last but not least, huge Congrats to my fellow Vanderkitten VIP Linda Shin for taking the win!
You are my hero Shinder-kitten!