Many things happened on the White Rim Trail and these are some of the highlights

05.1.2007 | 1:03 pm

A Note from Fatty: Today’s post comes from Dug, who has an alternate take of last weekend’s White Rim ride. I love epic ride stories. I can hardly wait for the video.

By the way, B7 Challengers, it’s now the beginning of May, which means it’s time for you to go to the forum and post your monthly weigh-in and TT. I’ll be doing my TT today after work.

I have quite a bit of video I took of RAWROD 07, but that will take me a few days to edit. I haven’t even watched the raw footage yet, so I don’t know if it will be worth posting. If it is, I’ll get it to Elden this week for your viewing pleasure. Mostly I took the camera as a way to show Elden we missed him and wished he could have been there.

Here’s a quick re-cap of the day—108 miles, 100 of it off-road, about 12 hours, temperatures got over 90 degrees, no clouds, very little wind, 50+ riders, 3 sag wagons, a few casualties, and overall, just a fantastic ride.

Some highlights:

Bry and the Tapeworm
Bry Christensen told a story about a 16 foot long tape worm that involved Spain, rubber gloves, his wife, a tickling sensation in the bum area, and a very, very large mason jar. I simply cannot tell more without gouging my own eyes out with a Pez dispenser.

A Ride with a View
At Potato, um, Bottom, about 20 miles or so into the ride, just after the first nasty climb and subsequent downhill, we passed a campsite where the occupants looked like they were either just arriving or just getting ready to leave. Regardless, the five or six strong female posse in the group gave me and the small group I was riding with a, er, um, a sports-bras-up-salute.

I skidded to a stop and searched my pockets for any spare singles, but couldn’t come up with anything. Probably just as well.

Not for Sale
Turns out, Mike Young is a very nice, sociable person. He arrived Friday night, hung out, accepted good natured ribbing with aplomb, rode his little heart out, hung out after the ride in a tremendously sociable manner, and took his leave.

It also turns out, Mike Young cannot be bought.

Friday night, I offered him $100 to spend the ride at the back of the pack. No dice. And at the halfway point in the ride, during lunch at Murphy’s Hogback, I offered him $500 to ride in the back third of the pack. He just smiled and went about his business. At the front of the pack, where he belongs (Mike is a top ten finisher at Leadville). A doctor, a scholar, an athlete.

The Terrible Lightness of Being Lee Johnson
Lee Johnson is the friendliest person in the world. He is also a good natured stoic. During Leadville last year, Lee flatted 52 times, and still finished the race. During White Rim this year, Lee lent his truck as the caboose sag wagon. The driver of the caboose (not Lee) got lost within a mile of the start, and Lee had to drive another sag wagon back to find his truck, thus missing out on riding the first quarter of the ride.

Lee blew out a tire early in the ride, he bent his derailleur hanger, and he cracked his frame. Undeterred, Lee simply borrowed a bike from someone else roughly his size (which is not an easy size to match, since Lee is an ex-NFL football player (well, a punter anyway)), and finished out the ride.

Serena Warner: Insane, Immortal
Serena Warner, despite being a triath-A-lete, is my hero. We got to Musselman Arch, after roughly 80 miles of some of the roughest riding Southern Utah has to offer, in 90 degree heat, and Serena put her bike on the truck, pulled out her running shoes, and ran the next 10 miles, up the Shafer switchbacks, 1500 feet.

Sometimes I think triath-A-letes are a little funny in the head.

I Suffer
Brad browbeat me into trying to climb the Shafer switchbacks on my single without stopping. I’m not sure why I agreed to the attempt, but about three fourths of the way up, I turned what I thought was the last really hard corner, slipped on a dusty rock, and fell of the bike. I’m pretty sure I blacked out for a minute or two, cuz when Rick S. and BotchedExperiment came around the corner and found me, I was mumbling, wild-eyed, and very dirty. No worries though, I took an IQ test when I got home, and I’m still well above moron.

Rick Suffers More
Rick Sunderlage (not his real name) thought that rather than climb to the top of Kenny’s new FJ at lunch to get his own energy drink powder, he would just use Kenny’s powder from the back of the vehicle. The moral, as always—NEVER RUB ANOTHER MAN’S RHUBARB!

Well, maybe that’s not it.

The moral might be, don’t change horses mid-stream. At the very least, the moral is, dance with the one what brung ya. Later in the day, Rick’s quads cramped so bad we could see his muscles shift from just above his kneecap to around the back of his leg, like an alien organism fleeing a hot needle. This could be its own sport. (Rick also had some butt blisters, but I don’t want to get into that, because I do not have photographic evidence, alas.)

BotchedExperiment: Liar
BotchedExperiment is a sandbagger, a shark, like Newman in The Hustler. He’ll be lucky if he doesn’t get his hands broken in a pool hall someday. All day Friday he was talking like he was going to die, like he’d never ridden more than 30 miles on a mountain bike, like he was some silly newbie. Then he went out and nailed the damned thing. Made us proud.

And a little mad.

Brad Keyes
looks pretty good in tighty whiteys. Not a lot of guys can sit around post 108-miles off road, drinking a beer, wearing nothing but little tighty whiteys and a cowboy hat. Turns out, Brad is one of those guys.

I took half an Ambien when I went to bed the night before the ride, knowing getting to sleep first was going to be key. I didn’t go to sleep, so I grabbed the other half in a panic. I may have been slightly affected the next morning.

Jilene Mecham does more than just occasionally sing opera during very long mountain bike rides. Turns out she rides hard and fast, is generally just a terrific person. Plus, after 80 miles riding in the hot sun, when you spray Jilene with cold water, she makes a vaguely familiar sound. Where have I heard that before? Oh yeah, I think Madeleine Kahn sounded like that after she met the monster in Young Frankenstein. It’s now a sound I’ll never forget.

 A huge shout-out to Kenny Jones—pro racer, large trip organizer, and all around nice guy. Thanks Kenny. Also, Friday night, Rick S., Dan, and I slept in my tent, and about 10 feet away, Kenny slept out by the fire under the stars. About midnight, Dan and I woke up at almost exactly the same time, and independently blurted to the night air:

“Is that a bear?!”

“Is that a wild animal?!”

On the other hand, Kenny snores good and hard for about 30 min, and then settles down and goes quiet. I do not. Once I’m asleep, you either better be, or you better have ear plugs. One ear plug and your finger just won’t cut it.


  1. Comment by Rick S. | 05.1.2007 | 1:40 pm

    The very next day, I went to IFA and bought a “salt Lick”. I plan to use that and pure water for every endurance ride this year.

    Nicely done Dug.

  2. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 05.1.2007 | 1:45 pm

    Like everything he does, Kenny is a super-human snorer.

    Actually, when I saw you after you collapsed you weren’t saying anything, just kind of staring blankly (I think you were having an Ambien flashback). Oh yeah, and you were breathing really hard.

    Special mention should also be made of Fish, who has an Al Maviva / Big Mike in Oz type build, and finished the ride.

    I’ll e-mail fatty a pic of kenny I took.

  3. Comment by Born 4 Lycra | 05.1.2007 | 2:04 pm

    Again it was just like I was meeting these people in the flesh. Great stuff. Can’t believe you regret not having photo evidence of Rick’s bum but no mention of a thought of photo evidence of the unseemly incident at Potato Bum. Excuse my Oz ignorance but I have missed the point with searching your pockets for spare singles.

  4. Comment by KatieA | 05.1.2007 | 3:35 pm

    Have any of you consdered that Lee may not be the best luck on these rides? I’m sorry, but that many problems – perhaps he should try walking, less things to go wrong. (Unless you can get flat in your shoes.)

    I bow down to Serena – that’s insane. But sounds fun nonetheless. :)

    And lastly – no photoshopped Fatty into the group shot?

  5. Comment by Big Mike In Oz | 05.1.2007 | 3:40 pm

    It’s a shame I’m 7500 miles from the action because if I was 7000 miles closer I would have sold my first-born to be on a trip like that. It sounds like a sweatier version of what will one day be know as an epic road trip movie, Wild Hogs.

  6. Comment by LanterneRouge | 05.1.2007 | 4:09 pm

    Wild Hogs? Epic?

  7. Comment by dkirkavitch | 05.1.2007 | 4:16 pm

    Hey dug,
    Great write up.
    You know Ambien can cause retrograde amnesia (not remembering events that occur before you take the medication). Which begs the question: what were you doing the night before for you to get the sportsbra salute?

  8. Comment by Boz | 05.1.2007 | 5:26 pm

    B4L – singles – as $1.00 bills dug tucks into the g-strings of the “exotic dancers” at the local LDS men’s night social. Fine young ladies of outstanding moral character, I’m sure.
    Sounds like another classic RAWROD. Maybe next year I’ll be in good enough form ( other than my normal rotund ) to make the roadie from DulMin to participate in the festivities. You guys both suck and rule at the same time. In a good way, of course.

  9. Comment by Al Maviva | 05.1.2007 | 5:44 pm

    >>>Regardless, the five or six strong female posse in the group gave me and the small group I was riding with a, er, um, a sports-bras-up-salute.

    I don’t know if you have any military experience, but a 12-Gun Salute is ordinarily reserved for Brigadier Generals or Rear Admirals, so this was a tremendous show of respect.

    Ordinarily, you don’t find an even number of guns fired in such a salute, because even numbers of guns are considered unlucky in this context. Given the performance limitations of the ordnance and the nature of the shots fired, I’d say 12 was *plenty* lucky. Well done, General. Please, Sir, may I have another?

  10. Comment by Mocougfan | 05.1.2007 | 5:46 pm

    Dug, well written. I’m jealous I don’t live in Utah anymore. I’d love to ride some of these rides with you guys. A side note about Mike Young; when I was a freshman in Dental School we came home for Christmas. My 18 month old little girl became very sick and we had no money or insurance. Mike lived 3 doors down from my in-laws. Dad called him and he came down at 7:30 am and looked at her. Told us what was up and what to do about it. You never forget the good folks that help you. Thanks a bunch Mike if your reading.


  11. Comment by Willy | 05.1.2007 | 6:17 pm

    I don’t wanna complain,
    but can we have less pictures of males and more pics of the trail?

  12. Comment by Born4Lycra | 05.1.2007 | 7:24 pm

    Boz thanks for the singles explanation. Al M the reference to the 12 gun salute is brilliant.

  13. Comment by poweredbywaffles | 05.1.2007 | 7:54 pm

    lee johnson??? wow. so he didnt pick a fight w/ young, huh, workin the whole Niners/bengals thing?? none of that? not even a whiff? :-) well thats very mature.

    16 ft tape worm? good lord. had it developed language yet?? did it poke its head out every once in a while asking for the remote??

    passing that sucker out he must have looked like a big macy’s day balloon. lol. ewww.

  14. Comment by Big Mike In Oz | 05.2.2007 | 5:19 am

    LanterneRouge – it’s not epic yet. I think it will be one of those movies that just seeps into epic category in the long term.

    Then again, “epic” is a strong term and open to varying opinions and personal preferences so maybe “classic” (but not cult classic) is more in line with its future status.

  15. Comment by MAJ Mike | 05.2.2007 | 8:51 am

    Yeah well I rode 33 miles on the road…

    …damn, never mind.

  16. Comment by LMouse | 05.2.2007 | 4:47 pm

    So the Utah girls are baring it all for strange men out in the middle of nowhere? Things have definitely changed in the Beehive state!

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