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.
- 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.