27 Apr

At this very minute Kenny, Adam and Bart are getting ready to start the White Rim.  They will be doing it twice, once today and again tomorrow with the RAWROD gang.  I’m a little jealous that I’m not starting it with them.  Since I’m not there I hope it’s really windy and they have a couple flats, nothing serious as long they don’t set a blazing record time.  Not really, OK, maybe a little really.

I wrote the above paragraph on Friday morning but never got around to posting anything.  Since I wished them wind I guess it’s only karmic that we got wind on Saturday.  In spades.  I take complete responsibility.  So much wind that I am still getting sand under my fingernails when I scratch my head.  Maybe I should shower.

I’ve ridden around the White Rim at least a dozen times probably more like 15 times over the years and this year just might have been the most difficult and the most crowded.  I think we had over 70 riders.

The day started out nice enough with donuts mooched from dug, Vietnamese coffee and a cocoa pistachio Probar for breakfast.  After descending Shaeffer we were greeted with a nasty head wind all the way to White Crack at mile 55.  At White Crack we waited for the sag wagons so we could refill our empty water bottles.  We waited.  Waited some more,  got cold, blasted by sand, waited and then got sandblasted again.  The sag wagons finally showed up and the group, actually, mob or crowd better describes it, quickly drained somewhere between 20-30 gallons of water.

Next stop, Murphy’s Hogback. The 10 miles to Murphy’s may have been the only time we had the wind at our backs but we were then greeted with more gusts of wind, cold and rain.  Nobody was in any mood for the traditional group photo and it quickly became every person for themselves as people began heading for home in hopes of beating the storm.

I rode with Rick S, Jonathan James and Steve Wasmund for the next 20 or so miles to Hardscrabble.  Ouch!  The hardest section of the day.  Huge wind, no time to fuel for fear of dropping off the back of the train, and false corner after false corner.  “Yeah, everyone, that’s Hardscrabble over there.”  I was sure of it.  Many, many false hills and corners later we hit Hardscrabble where Rick S. showed me exactly what he thought of my navigational skills with a one finger salute.

Once you’ve made it to Hardscrabble you know you’ve made it.  A nice little downhill and a few rolling miles puts you at the bottom of Horsethief where you could walk or crawl to the finish.

RAWROD 09 totally kicked my corn.  It hurt in more  ways and in more places than I thought possible.  At least I learned a few things.

Lessons learned:

  • Don’t forget camera
  • Never invite anyone as they all show up anyway
  • Get a prescription for Ambien
  • Get some new shorts, no pair should ever go around White Rim more than once
  • Don’t disturb Elden after he’s taken Ambien
  • Never say, “we’re almost there”
  • Don’t forget the CarboRocket
  • Stock up on cocoa pistachio Probars
  • There’s no shame in walking
  • Always send the Sunderlages ahead to Rays to order burgers for everyone
  • Hug your spouse, you could be married to Jilene.  I’m just kidding Jilene, really.

19 Responses to “RAWROD 09”

  1. grizzly adam at 7:26 am #

    I am totally blown.

    • brkeyes7 at 7:31 am #

      I was sooo glad I missed out on Friday’s ride. Nice work, I can’t believe you guys did it twice this year in all the wind.

      • Grizzly Adam at 8:47 am #

        Don’t let me do it twice in 2 days again. Even if you need to slash my tires…

  2. KanyonKris at 8:00 am #

    Your Jilene comment at the top of Murphy Hogback was priceless. I’m still chucking about it. Allow me to set it up for those who weren’t there:

    Around 30 people milling around atop Murphy Hogback as the wind blows and we’re waiting for the support vehicles. Jilene is being her usual extra extrovert self, commenting loudly in her unmistakable voice about the weather and this and that. Brad pipes up with:

    “Hey guys, you could be married to that. So give your wife a big hug when you get home.”

    I busted up.

    Jilene responds with an indignant “ahhh” and Brad reassures her he’s just teasing. Brad can pull that off because there’s not the mean type and he’s friends with Jilene.

    That was the comedy highlight of the ride for me. Thanks Brad. And thanks Jilene for being your high-energy enthusiastic self.

    P.S. I did give my wife a big hug 🙂

    • Grizzly Adam at 8:05 am #

      “commenting loudly in her unmistakable voice about the weather and this and that.”

      I am not sure that is how I would describe that noise she made. 😛

  3. fish at 9:33 am #

    BK – Great write-up. I’m glad to hear that there was extra-suffering for everyone (in a misery loves company soft of way). When you passed me on the way to White Crack, I’d already been out of water for nearly an hour and was limping along until the sag wagons caught up, which they did after I crawled into White Crack. I completely bottomed out at mile 50 and never recovered.

    Kris – thanks for the chuckle. Having been there (despite not having heard it), made it even funnier since the conditions at that point were nothing less than abysmal. I was laughing out loud in my office.

    • brkeyes7 at 10:00 am #

      Fish, you were talking fine and still moving in a straight line, I had no idea you were out of water and in trouble. I assumed with the monster pack you had that there must be over a 100 oz in there. How much water had you drunk when I passed? Sorry, man.

  4. grannygear at 9:39 am #

    Wow. WRIAD is on my short list of things to ride. Excellent.


  5. Rick S at 9:45 am #

    …and don’t leave your tent up during the ride. When we got back to camp, it looked like a hurricane came through the site. I had to hike 2 miles to find my camping chair.

    As Elden would say “Let us be thankful for the wind, for it makes us stronger”. Yeah, Elden can suck it.

    • Grizzly Adam at 10:12 am #


      At least you didn’t find your camp chair at the bottom of Horsethief. Although that may have been nice…just sit down right there.

  6. Nick - Seattle at 9:57 am #

    Nice write up.

    Wish I was there – already working on getting down there next year.

  7. Brad Mullen at 10:14 am #

    We said Brad – great report. It’s always good to have your smiling face on an epic ride like that. Can’t wait for next year – but leave out the wind, please.

  8. Brandon S. at 10:34 am #

    I think next time I am going to put a nice cooler of Coke at the bottom of Horse Thief to refuel before making the climb out.

    • KanyonKris at 11:13 am #

      Better hide that cooler real good.

      And stuff it full as you could easily sell each of those cold Cokes for $50 each.

  9. Brandon S. at 11:12 am #

    I think i may stash a cooler of Coke at the bottom of Horse Thief next time. I really could have used a little pick me up for the Horse Thief climb.

  10. fish at 11:31 am #

    I had already been through 150 oz. of water an hour before you passed me. I’d underestimated the effects of the wind, both in terms of extra effort and how much it slowed me.

  11. Flyin' Ute at 12:56 pm #

    Classic quote from that Gallan kid sitting at White Crack (in response to my smart alec question “Does anyone here weigh over 240?”)

    He pipes up ” Does anyone here weigh under 135? That’s what I thought…You are all over eating and under training!!!!”

    I’m beat. I felt worse than at Leadville last year. It felt like 130 miles. at least!!

    • brkeyes7 at 2:18 pm #

      I forgot about that skinny guy, that was pretty funny. I bet he got trashed good by the wind.

  12. KP at 8:05 pm #

    Great writing and even better riding! The wind made that the most epic ride I have done, I was glad just to finish. Good times. Brandon – I’ll stash one on Murphy’s and we need someone to cover Hardscrabble.

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