Monday, June 3, 2013

Mohican 100 Pre Race Issues

This was my 5th go at the Mohican 100 and it seems I would get most of my bad luck out of the way on the trip out. This is my all time favorite race course and I couldn't wait to get there and get my head in the right spot and be ready to throw down race day. My travel partner backed out last minute so I was doing the drive solo - which isn't necessarily a bad thing - but it's great to break up the driving. So I drove the 6.5 hours west and stopped just shy of Akron for a good night's sleep in a cheap hotel, leaving only 1.5 hours to drive the next morning. I checked in, ran my bags to the room, and went out to get my bike off the car and proceeded to lock my keys in the car. Really...

I just caught the back door before it fully slammed shut but it latched and there was no way to pry it me. So I gave in and asked the front desk for the local police number. No luck, it was a liability and they wouldn't do it. I then asked them for a coat hanger to try and pull some magic. They had none. The worst part is there were no metal coat hangers in the rooms - only ones attached to the rack that you couldn't steal. I asked a few passers by if they had any and no luck. I even went so far as to roam around the hotel grounds and check the garbage and nothing. I was screwed. The whole time I kept myself calm knowing stress would not bode well for race day coming up. At worst I would have to either shatter my window or call a locksmith. I wasn't looking forward to either knowing those A-hole crooks that stole all of my belongings had the satisfaction of breaking one of my window's not too long ago.

My only glimmer of hope was that i had about a half inch space that I could get something into the edge of the driver's side back door. The problem being that I couldn't hook the door lock and the keys were lying on the driver's side front seat. Great. Plus I had no coat hanger to even try to fish them out. At this point I went back to the hotel to look for anything I could cannibalize in order to try to fish my keys out. It would be a longshot but I was so pissed off at this point I was willing to try anything to get those keys out. I stared at the back of the mini-fridge thinking if I could rip the coils off the back to use but I'd probably have to pay for that one. Same thought went through my head with a mattress coil. It would be satisfying but a little too expensive to replace. Something had to work...

Then came my moment of genius - I'm proud of this one. I dumped out my gear bag and my backpack that I had with me. Nothing looked like it would work. Then I looked a little harder. I had a spiral bound planner with me. Lets just say it's not so spiral bound any more. I ripped out the metal binding and proceeded to straighten it out and use that to fish for my keys. It took about 3 different configurations to finally snake it from the back door, over the front seat, and finally hook the lanyard on my keys. Thank goodness for that lanyard. I gently dragged it over the seat, get closer to the door, and then have it fall off the hook. Really? It took over an hour to get to that point. Since it was closer I had to rework my wire and finally get the lanyard out the crack in the door and yank on it with everything I had to get it out of that small opening in the door. Totally psyched and amazed that it worked I couldn't get to

So after finally falling asleep at 12:30 - I checked in at 10 - I got that rest I finally wanted. That is until the hotel alarm went off at 7 am and the hotel had to be evacuated. It was just a fitting end to a lovely stay my first night in Ohio. Of course when I could go back in I couldn't go back to sleep so I loaded up the car and headed out for Loudonville. At least I would get there early and be able to relax and nap a bit to rest for the race the following day.

I headed out on my preride and went into the opening singletrack in the Mohican State Forest. I love that place. It has some of the sweetest flowing trails of anywhere I've ever ridden. I was just so happy to be there and riding. That was until I had a bee fly into my helmet and sting me right in the middle of my forehead. Wonderful. I was still sticking with the theme of getting all the crap out of the way before the race actually began. Ignoring the sting, I kept on and did my warmups and checked out any changes to the start and finish of the course. Everything made sense and was a little smoother so I was happy knowing what lie ahead. All I needed was to chill, check in, and throw down the next morning. The fun was yet to come...

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