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.