Sunday, April 26, 2009

It was a marathon day for Ride Around White Rim in One Day (RAWROD) 09. Chris and I could not leave as early on Friday as we hoped. We discussed it and opted to not camp down there, but instead sleep in our own bed. So we got everything packed up in the car, except for our bikes—the forecast was calling for rain. We set the alarm for 2 am and went to bed.

The alarm went off and we got dressed, grabbed our breakfast food, threw the bikes on the car, and took off. I had the normal duty of spotting deer up the canyon. It was uneventful. Chris then told me I could go to sleep. I closed my eyes but never really slept.

We arrived at camp around 6 am as planned. On the out there jack rabbits kept racing the car and crossing over the road right in front of us. Psycho rabbits. Upon our arrival, we got the bikes off, gathered equipment and were ready to go in no time.

The gathering for the 6:30 a.m. (6:55) departure

RAWROD is always fun because it brings everyone together. It is a great opportunity to catch up with those we don’t see so often. This year the group traveled clockwise again. So we took off the dirt road, went through the pay booth and then down Shaffers.

A top Shaffer's Hill before the descent

More switchbacks to go down.

My goal was to take pictures, but try for different shots than I did in the past. There are set places we always regroup—Musselman’s Arch, White Crack, Murphy’s, Hard Scrabble, etc. After the first regrouping, I found myself alone. The wind was picking up and Chris left me to take advantage of a tail wind. Since I was by myself it was easy to stop to take some pictures during this time.

Jesse, Phil, Keith, and Rick at a small regathering before White Crack

We waited for the sag wagons at White Crack so we could eat. It was delicious. We made it to Murphy’s really quickly. The weather seemed ominous so we (Chris, Jesse, Keith, and I) stopped for a quick moment, let some people know we were going to keep going and took off. Luckily we had packed our pocket full of extra food after lunch just in case. It was all business from here, not time to stop for pictures.

The theory was after Murphy’s the wind would turn from foe to friend. It really didn’t. There were a few sections where it helped out for a bit, but it was still at least against us 50% of the time. It was really gusting though. There were times I thought for sure I was going down simply because of the wind. It sprinkled a few time too in the afternoon. It was just little stuff. The wind was most frightening on Hard Scrabble. It forced me to dismount and I was not sure I would be able to even push my bike it was so strong. I made it though.

In the end it was definitely fun, but it took more energy than I had anticipated it would because of the wind. I was really grateful that Chris had opted for gears over single speed. I think that would have compounded the difficulty. Kudos to all the single speeders who did it with the wind.

We got back home safely at 11:30 pm. It was a long day of driving and riding and I am tired.


dug said...

you guys are tuff. as in, hard core. nice one.

MtbAllDay said...

We saw you guys drive up, but didn't want to get home at 11:30 at night, so we just rode it instead of waiting for the group.

Glad you didn't get drenched. It was pretty wet driving back and we wondered about you all...

Clarrisa said...

Wow Kace, that looks amazing! P.S. I started a blog! I hope I can be entertaining!

Grizzly Adam said...

I asked Chris about his superfly as we started off on Mineral Bottom, I think he nearly started crying again. But some Jim Gaffigan references pulled him out of it.

Next year I am just going to do the loop once so I can keep up with you and the gang.