Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Mohican 100 2016 - Put Some Cheese on It!


I like cheese.  A lot.  I mean, I really, really like cheese.  So, when Max brought out some soft, herbed cheese to our cabin after the Mohican 100, I couldn’t help digging in.  So good.  James and Michael had shared the cabin with us, and Paul was hanging out too.  We were all sitting around, drinking beers and snacking, while recovering from the race.  James had veggies, I had some chips.
 

Pretty soon, everyone was into Max’s cheese.  When Max’s crackers ran out, we began smearing it on all the other snacks we had.  After a while, anytime a new snack food was produced, someone would yell “Put some cheese on it!” 

I didn't take many pictures of this event, so I stole a few from quickdirt.com, including this one.
It didn't take long for the phrase to become a mini-meme, and we started answering any question or statement with "put some cheese on it."  For instance:

“My bike is shifting like crap after the race.”

Put some cheese on it.

“My legs hurt.”

Put some cheese on it.

“What time is it?”

Put some cheese on it.

Things degenerated once we discovered that the phrase works pretty well as a rap hook too:

Who’d you think was nothin’ great?

Put some cheese on it, put some cheese on it,

Who snatched the chicken off your plate?

Put some cheese on it, put some cheese on it,

Girls going crazy, fallin’ out,

Put some cheese on it, put some cheese on it,

‘Cause I've been rockin’ it, no doubt,

Put some cheese on it, put some cheese on it,

(I’m just keeping it real – straight out of Clintonville). 

But, I digress.  Let’s get back to cheese.  Have you noticed that when something is overly sentimental or too sappy, it’s called “cheesy”?  Like, for instance, “I liked the movie Field of Dreams, but the ending was too cheesy.”  That’s not fair to cheese.  In my opinion, we should change this.  If something is “cheesy,” it should be fully awesome. 

You may be wondering, what does this have to do with the Mohican 100?  Everything.  This has everything to do with the Mohican 100.  Let me put some cheese on it.


I mean, you didn't really expect a race report from me, did you? I could have provided one, I suppose.  I could tell you about how, last year, this race beat the crap out of me mentally and physically.  How I trained super hard this year.  How I planned the race, like where I would stop and what I would eat.  How I incorporated the lessons I learned last year. 
 
I could tell you about how I knocked four hours and twenty minutes off last year's time. And where I still need to improve.  I could tell you that I will come back next year hoping to finish in less than six hours.

I could tell you about my plan - skip the first and last aid stations, hammer the gravel segments. I could tell you about the miles I spent in training getting my gear and nutrition dialed in. 
 
But is that interesting?  Wouldn't you rather talk about cheese?

For me, the cheese is what the race was all about.  Really, this is what mountain biking is all about.
 
Since I started mountain biking, I have been surrounded by good people.  The vast majority of mountain bikers that I meet are happy, easy-going people, who like to laugh.  This is true even of racers, who train like crazy and show up to win - they manage to compete without being complete dicks.


I can't say the same for the people I have met in other sports.  I mean, distance runners are friendly enough, but most are so introverted that, at parties, they will quietly stare at the floor until 8:00 pm, when they  will excuse themselves and go to bed.  Road cyclists are less introverted, but won't leave the house if there's a chance of rain or their socks don't match their shorts.  Triathletes are even worse; it's amazing to me that people who enjoy suffering so much can also be such whiny little bitches. 
Note: I have signed up for three triathlons this year.  I'm still not sure why.  I really don't want to do them. 
But not so with the mountain bikers I have met. MTBers are an incredibly generous community. Pretty much every trail I ride was built with volunteer labor and maintained by volunteers. The board of my organization, COMBO, is filled with talented, successful people, who give their time and money to build trails and plan events, races, and lessons, simply because of their love of the sport and desire to see it grow. 
Trail day at Alum Creek Beginner Trail the day after the Mohican 100
Indeed, the Mohican 100 wouldn't even exist without the hard work of the Mohican-Malibar club. Big props to them for giving us a trail that is arguably the best in Ohio. 
And without race organizer Ryan O'Dell, we wouldn't have this race or the awesome OMBC series at all. 
One of my favorite sights - indicates that Mohican is good to ride!
And MTBers will teach you to ride too. On my early days riding, I went on COMBO Spring and Fall trips, where the group patiently waited for me at every trail crossing (thanks Pack and Ed). These group trips were invaluable to me, in terms of learning from experienced riders and trailbuilders. But, more importantly, I found a community of people from all walks of life, who bonded over a common experience. My love of MTB culture was cultivated in these trips. 
The same culture permeates the local MTB race community as well. Now, in my second year of racing, I have benefitted so much from the advice and encouragement of other racers. Especially on my team, Breakaway-Quickdirt-Trek.
 
The BQT team at the Mohican 100 - another great photo stolen from quickdirt.com
As my teammate Chris puts it, we push each other in the right ways. 

From training rides, to race day, to travel for races and festivals, the guys on my team continue to crack me up and we always have a good time, even if something goes wrong. 
James's helmet hair is tight!
For me, my time on the Mohican 100 would not have been possible this year without the support and encouragement of those awesome racers around me (too many to list). 
 
So, for me, that's what the Mohican 100 is all about. With cheese. 
 
Be brave, and put some cheese on it.  

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