a very rawrod
April 27, 2009
It was hard. I have written about this before, and I don’t really have much more to say about it. Except every time I do it, I wonder why I’m doing it.
I think this was the 15th time I’ve been around White Rim, including the several times I’ve done it as pleasant multi-day excursions with Kim. The first time I did White Rim, we got 20 miles in and camped in the rain all night, and had to turn around and walk out, because the mud was too thick to ride.
So, you know, in comparison to that, every time since, including the time Bob and I did it in 110 degree heat on the Summer Solstice, was no big deal.
This year we had a 25-50 mph headwind for about 80% of the ride, because as you head clockwise around the rim, the wind shifts with the day, especially if there is a front coming in. We had wind, then cold, then hot sun, then wind, then more wind, then rain, more wind, hail, more wind, hot sun, and then more wind. The weird thing is, given all that, I totally enjoyed myself. I loved it. I hope we do this every year for the rest of Kenny’s life (I don’t want to do it after Kenny’s dead.)
On the backside of Murphy, I hooked up with Bry, Kenny, Jilene, Lee, Lee’s friend, Mark, and Mark’s brother Steve (and others came and went), and we chugged along for about 20 miles into the teeth of the wind. The pace was clearly higher than I could sustain, except I was so terrified of losing this train and being left to negotiate 20 miles into this headwind alone, that I ate two of my own fingers while we rode to replenish my energy so I could stay tucked in. Lee finally said what we were all thinking. “Hey, why the hell are we going so fast?”
Thanks Lee. You saved my life, man.
The final 3 mile, 1500 vertical feet climb back to the car was the best weather of the day. Except when I got to camp, the fast guys quickly told me that my big springbar tent had blown over and broken a pole. Which I guess is better than Jason’s tent, which broke TWO poles the night before while he was trying to set it up in the wind.
I didn’t bring a camera and I forgot my earphones, but I had my iPhone and I’ve stolen several pictures from fellow riders.
Stole this from Heather. My tent in the pre-dawn, before the wind got crazy. Looks all idyllic, doesn’t it?
Elden and Kenny in the most awkward man-hug ever recorded:
Rick just has to get into the shot, even if it’s the back of his head.
Elden at some random location. He’s being coy, acting like he doesn’t want to be in the picture. You know he loves the camera.
Hanging at White Crack thinking about rolling on to Murphy’s.
Just so you know, it really IS called White Crack. One way you can tell who’s been here before and who hasn’t–if it’s your first time, you still make White Crack jokes.
It’s all downhill after this, I swear.
Elden rows the singlespeed boat:
And Adam rows the singlespeed boat, but it looks like he’s running like a 34X12 or something.
And, Tyler preps for the final climb out. (Hi Mike!)
Kenny, I know it’s getting big, but don’t let it go. RAWROD is what gets me to put the skis away and get the bike out every Spring. I need it man. I NEED it.