Me, somewhere between Airport and Gooseberry.
Bill Dark at Camp Element.
Beer soaked Brats. Don't look at 'em, just eat!
The Shafer Trail switchbacks.
Murphy's Hogback climb. It's really steep!
Hardscrabble. If you look real hard you can see cyclists under the dark brown band.
The top of Hardscrabble. Several guys made the climb. Wow!
Much to my surprise, I finished the RAWROD (Ride Around he White Rim in One Day) in fine fashion - on my bike. Before I start, a special thanks goes out to Kenny Jones and Eldon Nelson for getting a great group of riders together for this non-event. You guys create a lot of good memories for a lot of people.
Enough about them, what about me? The RAWROD was divided in to 2 days. The faster Rabbits went out on Friday, self-supported, and the slower Turtle group, of which I was a part, rode on Saturday. Let me tell you, if those guys/gals are Turtles, I'm a snail. My ride time was around 8:45 which seemed quick to me, and I was in the middle of the group. Heather Gilbert did 160 miles between the 2 days, on her Single Speed, and Jileen rode both days! I got to ride with Vets Larry Tucker and Tim Fisher as well as Bill Dark and Canyon Kris Nosac. What a pleasure it is to hang with them.
The day went pretty much as planned; I drank & ate less than I needed and I suffered just the right amount. But I did not cramp and did not walk the climbs I was capable of riding. That means I walked Murphy's and Hardscrabble.
Cleaning Horse Thief was one of my goals. That doesn't seem like a big deal, and typically it's not. But, last fall when I rode with Dwight Hibdon, I bonked at the start of the climb, cramped half way up and had to hobble like I was walking on stilts back to my car. Pathetic! This time I fueled up about 30 minutes before the climb and made it up without an issue. I was tired, but happy because beer and salty potatoes chips welcomed my arrival. Just sitting in my cushy chair, staring at anything and everything was one of life's simple and fulfilling pleasures. I started the day with Bill Dark and Canyon Kris, and that's how it ended - together. Thanks guys.
The only downer on the day was the battery on my new Garmin 705 crapped out at 7:50 riding time and 92.5 miles! It was fun riding with a gps, and playing with it took my mind off what was sometimes monotonous riding. That stretch between Airport and White Crack always tests my commitment and fortitude. It seems to go on forever! The gps was a nice diversion. Don't get me wrong, I love this trail, but the gps mades it more loveable :-)
This was interesting. While I did not check the angle of all the climbs, I did look down on one section of Hardscrabble and it said 27%! Needless to say, I was walking at that point, but others were riding it! Wowzers! Next time I'll have to see what the angle dude says about Murphy's Hogback. I'd love to ride that one, but I think it's out of my league. Maybe Hardscrabble.
I also liked looking at the map to see what was ahead. That provided additional relief and helped pass the time. At one point I said to Bill the Green River was just on the other side of the clif and within seconds, it appeared. Cool!
My other goal was to keep my HR in the 135-140 bpm range. Before the ride I looked at my average HR from past endurance races and it seems to average about 138 (my XC average is 163-165). And my typical race starts out way too fast and ends with my a-- dragging big time. This time I stayed in my prescribed range and actually ended up averaging only 131 bpm. That didn't include the last 45-50 minutes and the Horse Thief climb, so it may have been a beat or 2 higher. I must say though that I'm not real fit right now and my effort was probably the best I could do. But now I'm hopeful for the Point 2 Point race in September. With LW's help, I'll kill it.
The ride ended the way it started. Bill, Canyon Kris and I finished together, the sky was sunny and clear, there was no wind, and everything was still working - both body & bike.
On the way home Bill and I were planning our fall RAWROD, unsupported with Dwight. Life is good!
9 months ago