This race recap will not be about how epic my race was, how much pain I had and how gnarly some of the sections were, but to let you know that XC mountain bike racing is dope and you should borrow your friend’s bike now and give it a try.
So, yesterday, I headed down to Medford, New Jersey for the first mountain bike race of the year. Anyone racing mountain bikes in the region will be familiar with the H2H series. They have 7 races through the season, mostly in the New Jersey area.
It was my first mountain bike race in the last 2 years and definitely my first local race, so I didn’t know what to expect. The course was setup inside the YMCA Ockanickon Camp. Mayhem Mountain Bike Race (formerly named March Mayhem) was laid mostly on singletrack through the campgrounds with stretch of fire roads connecting each section. It was not a technical course and probably the hardest part was the steep climb that was towards the end of each lap.
This race is as close as a cross country race can get to a cyclocross race except the hill I mentioned before. The race was fast from the get go and we finished the first lap in 25 minutes, and the pace did not go down for the remaining laps. The whole race lasted around an hour fifteen minutes and it basically felt like a time trial. It is a very different feeling then a road race unless you are one of those pain seeker racers who always get in the breaks.
Three main things I learnt in the race:
- Just like a cyclocross race try to get in the best position as fast as possible at the start. You don’t want to get stuck behind people.
- Never give up pedaling, because you don’t know what is going to happen to the racers who just dropped you.
- And, most importantly, pre-ride the course if you can. This way, you will not have any surprises when the race starts.
This race really excited me for the rest of the mountain bike season. Now, I just need to find time to balance road and XC races.
If you are interested, you can see the full H2H schedule on the link below.
I will see at Ringwood Rumble on April 9th.
Please make sure to check out the photoset from Daghan Perker this afternoon.
Photos by Hadley Foss Perker / @hadleydrinks
Daghan Perker is a creative director, photographer, and an athlete. You can see more of his work on his instagram handle @dperker He is also a founding member of tobedetermined.cc