Dug’s RAWROD ‘06: “Bike Riding Sucks”

05.2.2006 | 6:27 pm

A Note from Fatty: Dug sent his version of the RAWROD ‘06 to some friends; I think it’s good enough that everyone should read it.


I never want to ride my bike again. Turns out, after 2.5 hours of riding on White Rim, I realized I had already surpassed the length of my longest ride of the year (which couldn’t have totaled more than ten rides anyway), and even though I’d done White Rim many times in one day, and many more over three days, I guess I had forgotten—or blocked out—that each time it had hurt, a lot, and that each time I had barely completed it, and that I’d never done it on a singlespeed before. Is this how women have more than one child, by forgetting the pain?

Elden, Brad, and I started together a bit early, to avoid the crush of enthusiasm, and during the group rock throwing party at Hardscrabble, ditched early again to avoid litigation. With local tri guy Mark Warner, we rode together all the way from Hardscrabble to Murphy’s, which was very pleasant, and we kept a solid fast pace all the way to Murphy’s. I couldn’t ride all of Murphy’s, but it turns out that Brad was the only singlespeeder that could, and even most geared folks couldn’t.

I was good to Murphy’s. Really good, actually, and even pretty strong all the way to Gooseberry (about 75 miles in). I was riding along with Lee Johnson (yes, the Lee Johnson who was the punter for the Bengals and calls everybody “bro”) for a while on that east side. Elden had already completely self destructed behind me (though, due to his urgency to find a usable restroom, he rode through Mussleman Arch, and got to camp before me), and Mike Young (yes, Steve Young’s brother, who may be a better athlete than Steve Young) was way way off the front, and Brad was somewhere up there with him, having his best day ever.

Anyway, that east side is the roughest of the whole trail, just brutally rocky, with mile-long patches of washboard slickrock, and as I was riding along with Lee, I just imploded, and had to soft pedal all the way to Mussleman Arch, where we waited for the trucks to fill water bottles for the finish. I had a Diet Coke in the cooler in Kenny’s jeep and I wanted it more than anything else in the world. I laid under a juniper bush for 30 minutes recovering and waiting for my Diet Coke, fully expecting to walk from the Shafer outhouse to the top.

The jeeps arrived, and I started digging through the cooler, looking for my long-fantasized-about Diet Coke.

Somebody had taken it.

I will find that someone someday, just like OJ is hunting the real killers. And I will kill that somebody. This I swear to you.

Kenny was like Fantasy Island’s Mr. Roarke: the ultimate host. He rode a little with everyone, and whenever he wanted, passed whomever he wanted. But you probably already figured that.

I actually rode the first mile of Shafer, but I walked the middle mile of switchbacks before getting back on (the upper switchbacks were more singlespeed friendly).

But you know what I hated more than anything all day? Not the washboard slickrock, not the sun on my neck, not the sores on my butt. Nope. The worst part of the day was the pavement back to camp. You think it’s rolling? No no no. All uphill except for a few tiny downhills.

I had blackness in my heart and bile in my gut for the entire eight miles. At one point, Lee Johnson and a couple of his peeps came by in a small train. I jumped on, but couldn’t hold it for more than a hundred yards, and I dropped off, then pulled over to throw up. At least I had less bile in my gut after that.

I got to camp and said some very mean, very vulgar things before I came out of my dark, dark place. Then, of course, we drove home.

You have six contact points on a bike (two hands, two feet, and two butt cheeks) and all of mine are shot. If Brad hadn’t put my bike on the rack, I would have left it in Moab.

I still might send it back there.


  1. Comment by Unknown | 05.2.2006 | 6:42 pm

    Sorry dug, I just couldn’t resist that Diet Coke.
    Catch me if you can.

  2. Comment by barry1021 | 05.2.2006 | 6:43 pm

    Hey FC, does Dug have a blog? I loved his story!!
    I am a bit confused by this tho….
    Elden had already completely self destructed behind me (though, due to his urgency to find a usable restroom, he rode through Mussleman Arch, and got to camp before me),
    Does that mean in your need for relief you took a…….SHORT CUT????

  3. Comment by Zed | 05.2.2006 | 6:56 pm

    Wow. Bummer, dug. Betchya can’t wait for the season to actually start.

  4. Comment by Unknown | 05.2.2006 | 7:05 pm

    i think the one thing we can GLEEN (i love that
    word but don’t know what it means) from this
    trip is that a suitable restroom type facility is
    key to a happy co-existsance with our fellow
    good story dug, you SOUND just like eldon
    when you write. huh, go figure.
    also remember, that which does not kill us,
    makes us wish we were dead.

  5. Comment by Fat Cyclist | 05.2.2006 | 7:27 pm

    boz - he actually doesn’t have to catch you. just get you in his scope.
    b21 – nope, no shortcut. dug (and just about everyone else) got to musselman arch before i did, where he rested and waited for the sag wagons to arrive with water and blessed diet coke. while he rested and before the sag wagons got there, i arrived at musselman arch, then kept on going — i didn’t need to wait for water; i had plenty for the rest of the ride and had more important needs to take care of anyway. in this way, i passed a lot of people. before the end of the ride, most of them would pass me again.

  6. Comment by Unknown | 05.2.2006 | 7:50 pm

    I must re-assert my assertion from yesterday–that I am glad that I was not there, without having actually been there for once.  I feel you pain because I hated my bike the week before after about 60 miles of very hard riding.  I haven’t touched it since.  In fact, it is for sale.  It is a very nice Large Titus Switchblade with a brand new RP3 rear shock, crossmax xl wheels, a Fox Vanilla RLC front shock, Race Face Type X cranks, and many other desireable, high-end tidbits.  I will even wash the sweat from it if you want it.

  7. Comment by Unknown | 05.2.2006 | 7:56 pm

    I remember feeling this way on local rides up AF Canyon when Dug first got me into mtb.  Just when I was on the edge of losing my lunch, Dug would pull a plastic bag out of his jersey pocket and feed his dog cut up hot dogs while I fought to hold everything in.
    I can’t eat a hot dog without thinking of this image.
    Good times….

  8. Comment by Unknown | 05.2.2006 | 8:10 pm

    Nice writeup, Dug.  I like your suffering style and can relate.  Do you ever ride up a hill dropping audible F-bombs in between breaths?  Does it frighten the good natured riders around you?  Do you ride road much?  You sound like a roadie.  Most of the better ones are in it for the suffering, and perhaps the leg shaving. 

  9. Comment by rich | 05.2.2006 | 8:21 pm

    Apparently words just can not express the complete and utter joy fatty and dug have achieved through mountain biking. They are, and always will be, my heros.

  10. Comment by BIg Mike In Oz | 05.2.2006 | 8:57 pm

    I don’t think anyone truly suffered on this ride.  There’s been no mention of people singing to themselves to avoid talking to the trees.
    The worst of it is not stopping at a designated rest stop while seeking the toilet mirage and daydreaming about the diet-coke mirage.
    True suffering involves obtaining water from the chest cavity of a decomposing elk and searching in the corners of your jersey pockets for month old calories to fuel the final 5 miles.

  11. Comment by Robert | 05.2.2006 | 9:14 pm

    Nice writeup, Dug. As always, I wish I’d been there.

  12. Comment by Christina | 05.2.2006 | 10:03 pm

    Hi FC,
    Just wanted to say thanks for the nice comment today.  Hope you are enjoying your new digs.  I’ve been riding a lot this spring as well as watching my son race on his new-used Redline BMX bike.  He got his name in BMX magazine for placing in the novice class for 6 yr olds.  Pretty cool.  Cycling is cool.  Is Floyd Landis going to grand slam this year or what?  He’s on a roll…Is there such a thing as a grand slam in cycling like there is in tennis where you win all the biggies in one calendar yr?
    -beast mom

  13. Comment by Unknown | 05.2.2006 | 10:27 pm

    What’s the obsession with restrooms?  Sounds unnatural.  I thought one of the beauties of riding/hiking/etc out in the desert/woods was being able to perform natural functions without a lot of man-made amenities (and no cars driving by to cause embarassment..).  You can always put the paper in a ziploc and tale it home, or burn it, to cover the environmental aspect properly…  Seems consistent with not camping (willingly) and being incapable of performing a Farmer Blow, though.  I must conclude that FC is a city buy at heart…  Incidentally, I was on a road ride Friday with a guy who kept using a handkerchief – first time I’ve seen that.

  14. Comment by Jsun | 05.2.2006 | 10:36 pm

    Two write~ups about one of my favorite rides, – (in the same day)-; woohoo!  { Double the pain \ Double the pleasure }
    "endurance’ cycling makes it sound so legit’, who’d want to do suffer-cycling

  15. Comment by Sue | 05.3.2006 | 12:05 am

    dug, I always used to think you were kidding when you would write things like, "I got to camp and said some very mean, very vulgar things. . .". Then I met you and said "Hog’s Hollow". Yikes.
    P.S. What’s up with *diet* coke? You were in the middle of a 100 miler, have the real thing!

  16. Comment by Unknown | 05.3.2006 | 12:54 am

    FC – These two posts just make me want to ride more.Rupert – in much of the desert southwest it is bad form to relieve yourself in the wild using the typical "cathole" approach.  It destroys the cryptobiotic soil.  So, unless you are prepare to carry out everything, not just the TP, FC set the good example…

  17. Comment by Fat Cyclist | 05.3.2006 | 6:17 am

    geekcyclist – exactly.
    botched – i think i can answer for dug on the diet (vs. non-diet) coke, since he and i have similar soft drink preferences (ie, we both like a lot of it, and we both think diet coke with lime is the best thing ever, although i’m also happy to drink diet pepsi and dug is not): diet coke is better than corn syrup coke. the texture is better (lighter, crisper, not so thick) and the sweetener is better (corn syrup has an opaque flavor of its own that gets in the way of the cola taste). by the way, botched: i think you should come next year.
    big mike – ew.
    jsun – "endurance" does lend the sound of nobility to long rides, doesn’t it? A stoic aesthetic, as it were. when in reality, we’re just creepy masochists.
    rocky – i don’t buy your argument at all. there were times when i hated doing it, but it was still an intense experience and i’m glad i did it. aren’t you glad you and i did all those kokopelli trips? the moments you stare into the abyss are the moments you remember. like kodak moments, but in stereo, and with the likelihood of barfing.
    rick – man, i wish you could’ve come.
    rich – you finished that ride no more than 10 minutes behind me. you are ready to do the lt100. you rule, man.

  18. Comment by BIg Mike In Oz | 05.3.2006 | 8:27 am

    Fatty – Ew is right.  The true definition of suffering is when the bonk hits so hard that you suck the remnants of an old Mars Bar out of the seams of your jersey pocket while hallucinating about finding the elk. 
    Of course that never happens to roadies.  They have an ample supply of road kill to nourish themselves with.  Equally, it never happens to trackies.  We ride round in circles and are therefore never more than 200 yards from the cafeteria.

  19. Comment by Unknown | 05.3.2006 | 4:09 pm

    re. GeekCyclist
    Gotcha.  Hiking in Utah (canyons) we were most concerned with not fouling the creek.  Anyplace I’ve seen cryptobiotic soil they didn’t even want you leaving the trail – just walking on it is bad.

  20. Comment by Jsun | 05.3.2006 | 4:12 pm

    Do they have Wapiti (elk) in OZ?

  21. Comment by Unknown | 05.3.2006 | 4:18 pm

    Thanks for the invite, Fatty, you and dug make it sound *very* appealing. Given my gastro-intestinal tendencies, my going along will only increase the competition for that last toilet.

  22. Comment by Unknown | 05.3.2006 | 7:51 pm

    Great write-up! 

  23. Comment by BIg Mike In Oz | 05.3.2006 | 8:09 pm

    No Elk.  But there’s plenty of equivalent monsters decomposing along our trails.  And they all look very similar 10 days after they die.

  24. Comment by Tyler | 05.3.2006 | 9:33 pm

    Repeat after me: Mountain bikes, bad.
    Even more freudian than RAWROD, of course, is RAMROD.
    Fatty, you doing it this year?

  25. Comment by Dodger | 05.5.2006 | 4:58 am

    it really sucks that you had to suffer through that.


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