October 17 2014
At the October 10-12, 2014 Paunsaugunt XP endurance ride (also know as the Bryce Canyon XP), the accomplishments of AERC's newest highest-mileage rider at 60,580 miles, the incomparable Dave Rabe, were celebrated.
A party followed Saturday night's dinner, where fellow riders shared their comments about Dave around the campfire, and Annie Nicholson read Garrett Ford's tribute, "The Man With The +". "We all had a lump in our throat and tears in our eyes," Carla Richardson wrote afterwards. "Annie read it with a quivering voice."
Photographer Steve Bradley, who's been photographing Dave Rabe on endurance rides since at least 2007, presented Dave with a digital photo album of his rides (some are seen at the link below).
Informally known among many endurance riders as "The Ambassador of endurance riding", Dave is one of the most erudite, helpful, and selfless riders you can ever hope to share a mile of trail with, or have come to one of your rides, as he'll help you mark trails before the ride and unmark trails after the ride; and he'll stop at any time in the middle of a ride to help a fellow rider in need. He'll even jump your truck in ridecamp if you run the battery down, or help fix a flat, or he'll glue your Easyboots on.
He's most recognizable for his tradition of wearing shorts, no matter the weather. He's usually got a tank top on, though if it's snowing, he'll throw on a windbreaker and maybe a pair of gloves. He was elected to the AERC Hall of Fame in 2009, and was National Mileage Champion in 2010.
Overcoming a serious traumatic brain injury in December of 2012 when coming off a bucking horse, after surgery, a long hospitalization, and rehab, he returned to the endurance saddle (on the same horse that bucked him off) in June of 2013, with a helmet, and he hasn't looked back.
And Dave Rabe still has many more miles to go.
Steve Bradley Photos:
or slide show: