Friday, May 09, 2008

Daniel Ray

To see Dan and I separately, you'd see few similarities apart from our balding heads. Dan's thin build reflect his fitness. I don't any think body has ever used the term 'thin' when talking about me. The disparities don't stop there - Dan's considerably more moderate (read liberal here in Utah) than I am. Yet Dan is one of my best friends. And it was cycling that brought us together.

Dan and I first met in a computer seminar during law school orientation. He had a screen saver with the profiles of the stages of the former race, currently a rolling disaster, known as the Tour. I struck up a conversation based on this. I found out that his carrel was near B's, and we've been hanging out since.

I have survived more epics with Dan than everybody else combined. I've tested his willingness to adhere to our riding motto of "dance with the one what brung ya" on nearly every occasion, and he's never let me down. Well, he did once, kind of, when he and either Bryan or Doug took off the front on a Timpanooke Loop. The two of them ended up riding a Tibble Fork loop while the rest of us waited at the car. For a long time, Dan and I rode together doing short to medium length rides. Each year we focused on making the most of the fall riding. Those were good times, that included Dan crashing on Tibble Fork and breaking a rib and the two of us giving a good wide berth to a big bull moose and his two cows during the rut on S. Fork.

And then we started getting our epic on. The first epic was the Trail of Tears part 1. It involved Dan, Doug (Larsen), Tom, and myself. It involved a late start, a forgotten map, tales of previous epics, dehydration, darkness, a long stumble, and salvation from a hunter on horseback named Beau Hunter. You can't make this stuff up.

We didn't learn our lesson and the next year started off on the Trail of Tears part 2. This time Yury came along and he should be credited with naming the ride. That ride involved an early start, the deepest bonk I've ever seen, peanut butter and jam burritos, a downhill hike-a-bike, and a well earned descent.

Next came my first RAWROD. Poor equipment selection was the order of the day. I brought a greased carbon seatpost, drop bars, and 42C tires to the party while Dan showed up with soft-soled shoes.

Neither Dan nor I wanted to do it the nextyear, but Aaron talked me into it last year. Dan rejoined the fray this year. Dan was done 35 miles in, but mushed on past four rest stops. His display of mental energy to keep pushing for nearly six hours of saddle time after he was tapped comes only second in my first hand experience to Nails' finish at the LT100 last year. The pic above is Dan and I riding DFL down Murphy's Hogback.

We've suffered a lot on the saddle, and regroup every year for Fall Perfection. Hopefully this year, we can get in some epic riding in the fall that doesn't involve a rescue. Here's to hoping.

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