San Ysidro Dirty Century: Race Review

First of all, everyone must thank Lenny Goodell and Big Wheel Racing for putting on the San Ysidro Dirty Century. These races just don’t fall out of the sky. We all owe Lenny and the crew a big one. A big what? I don’t know. A big beer. How about that!
As predicted, the San Ysidro Dirty Century the was biggest test yet for this Back of the Pack racer. What? Why? The B.P.R. fan may ask. Well young neophyte, there is more to life than 24 hour races, I promise. The SYDC is a long distance cross country race and it was one hell of a test. As stated in the previous posting, there was no camp, no breaks, no lawn chair, no fire, no shelter, no stopping for a brew and NO BREAKFAST BURRITOS. It was all or nothing. Life or death.
So, BRUTAL is the best word to describe the SYDC. I finished the 123.1 mile course in 12hrs and 25min. The data says I was off the bike for a total of 29 minutes. It was clear, it was cloudy AND IT WAS WINDY. So windy I was almost blown off the Dragon’s Back at White Mesa. I paced myself well. I knew the sun set at 7:30 PM. A pace of 10 mph would get me back to the finish prior to sundown. Well, I was a bit slower. My pace was 9.9 mph and I arrived at 7:25 pm. (Not bad for the accuracy. As an engineer by day, fashion designer by night, I demand accuracy to 5 decimal places. I have some work to do, obviously.)
What can I say about the ride? It was intense. I busted up my knee skiing (I think) and the pain grew and grew as the day went on. Then at mile 65 I felt something pop in the knee during on short and steep climb. So, the next 58 miles were tough. But I survived. What’s a little pain?Once my knees get trashed I can go for the titanium knee replacements – just like my dad.
Here is a short summary of the ride:
Rio Rancho to NGCS: windy
Loop #1: windy, scenic, scary
Loop# 2: windy, clear, cloudy, snowy, cold and windy
NGCS to Rio Rancho: warmer but windy
Tedd parked at the Natural Gas Compressor Station (NGCS) and met me on Cabezon Rd. He did a 12 mile ‘warmup loop’ and then the 41 miles of Loop #2. It was nice to have a riding partner. The far side of Cabezon seems like a million miles away from civilization, at least for a 210 lbs single speeder. It’s always comforting to know you will not be left for dead if something happens.
I arrived at NGCS 10 minutes ahead of Tedd. (Tedd was a victim of a flat 2 miles from the end of Loop #2.)  After I replenished my supplies Tedd and I hashed out a ‘rescue’ plan – just in case I didn’t make it to the finish. We also made plans for beer at Turtle Mtn brewery, the most important part of the conversation. After the 16 minute ‘rest’ I turned south, headed downwind. Well, it turns out I left NGCS with Tedd’s keys in my pocket. Tedd didn’t realize the keys were missing until I was long gone. Somehow Tedd was able to acquire a cell signal and by a stroke of luck able to contact his wife Denise. (Can you hear me know? Tedd obviously has Verizon service, My AT&T iPhone is dead as a door knob right outside of Rio Rancho.) So, Tedd made it in to Rio Rancho by 8PM. We had a few brews and then called it a night.  Due to my stupidity, Tedd and I had a nice 4 hour round trip to the boondocks Sunday morning. So much fun.
Anyway, all I can say is that SYDC provided me with added confidence that I can survive brutal conditions. Would I suffer like that again? Probably. I have nothing better to do. But it is truly amazing what you can accomplish when you put your mind to it. OK. That is a boat load of crap. Everyone involved in ultra endurance activities knows that your mind is out there to screw with you every hour / every minute of the event. So. Just fight off the demons. That is all you can do.
Check out the stellar views at White Mesa. (This video was taken during my SYDC preride on March 21st. The video is a week old but I like messing with video. And go easy on me. The video quality sucks, the track is rough, I’m an amateur on a rigid single speed, but video is fun.) Ok, not many things in life scare me. Well, a few things scare me. I’m scared of the dark and the monsters that lurk in the dark. The sidehills and cliffs at White Mesa freak me out.  I don’t know why, they just do. Add in some wicked gusts of wind and the White Mesa terrain is ‘extra special’.

White Mesa = Scary, V3 from Judd Rohwer on Vimeo.
Just some cool views with some bumpy video action

To skip directly to the data follow the link to my race / data webpage. The link is below.


Judd prior to 12 hours of pain.
The data. Check my race data / picture website for the data on each section of the ride

The 123.1 mile course


Judd hurts! 97 miles down, 26 miles to go!

What the Hell? Who is this? A dude in the “Meadow of the Witch”?
The dangers on the SYDC course.
A cow with cactus stuck in the nose. Saw this dude during our 4 hour truck retrieval trip.

Next B.P.R design. Skull and Crossbones.
How does one celebrate survival? Cheetos burrito. Obviously.

Next year? I’ll be there. Maybe I’ll break 12 hours. Maybe not.

2 thoughts on “San Ysidro Dirty Century: Race Review

  1. congrats on this ride judd. i guess my subscription was not pulling your blog updates, because I missed a couple posts!
    you really need the crew for upcoming rides and celebratory meals. I cant let you eat another cheetos burrito!
    im thinking that the leadville or Sage races in colorado in august would be a possibility. we will be in san diego then. the tickets would be pretty cheap! $50 a piece???
    good luck with the training. i hope lt col will be involved! love to see the whole BPR team again!


  2. You let us know. We will make it happen. Life just isn't the same without the Lt Col around. Maybe we can plan for a B.P.R summer convention at 24 Hours in the Sage. I know Michelle stated that there was a conflict that weekend. Maybe we can upgrade the event to the 'B.P.R. Annual Convention' and then all involved will make it a priority. Either way, 24 Hours in the Sage would be one wicked race for B.P.R. I think you two should plan on racing.


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