As it turns out, maybe not a lot. If you’re taking a pipe wrench to your bike, it’s probably out of anger and your bike might end up as a junk heap or at a minimum, scarred, very scarred.
But, if you’ve ridden your bike somewhere in the realm of 100 miles through mud and rocks and grass and cow pies in an insanely challenging race where at times you have to run while shouldering your bike, well, maybe, just maybe you’re as tough and as hard as a pipe wrench.
Turns out, two Niner riders might be as tough and as hard as a pipe wrench.
On February 12, 2017, SDG Factory Team’s Amanda Nauman and her trusty BSB 9 RDO and Team Clif Bar’s Menso de Jong on his race-ready RLT 9, lined up at the starting line of a race called the Rock Cobbler somewhere in the vicinity of Bakersfield, California for quite a slog that started at 8 a.m.
The Rock Cobbler, as explained by the race promoter, is a “Gravel grinder, sorta. It’s a stupidly hard ride bordering on a race. It was conceived by Mad Men…on barstools in the dark hours of the night. We are passionate and driven to showcase roads, trails and a VERY challenging route not yet ridden, not yet tamed. It is 90-100ish miles consisting of county asphalt roads, trails, private land, a river, a creek and a brewery. It is very hard but will be sickeningly fun.” It also turns out that the race course is not shared until just a week or so before the race.
So how did Nauman and de Jong fare? They won and those pipe wrenches raised in victory are their trophies.
And after hearing about the cow pies, we hope one of the prizes for the champs was a bike wash.
Interested in next year’s installment? Visit The Rock Cobbler’s Facebook page. We’re pretty sure they’ll get around to posting something for next year at some point. Plus, there’s some fun video from this year’s ride.