On Wednesday, February 9, the organizers of the annual Rock Cobbler gravel race down in Bakersfield posed a series of photographs from the race course, showing a cool deer and some nice single-track trails, raising an eyebrow at 84-degree February temperatures, and asking, “What could go wrong?” On Saturday, they got their answer: a big bull.
The rider getting lit up here is Tony Inderbitzin, who told Cowboy State Daily that he’s (a) not seriously injured, and (b) one of four victims of the house-sized bull’s anti-cyclist agenda. The Rock Cobbler is a well-regarded race on the North American gravel scene, one known for both its demanding racing course as well as its flair for silly nonsense. Riders have to run through a ball pit on the course, and race organizer Sam Ames, who refers to himself as the Chief Entertainment Officer, revels in hosting a notably “kooky,” “unclassifiable” bike race. My point here is, cattle on the course wreaking havoc is not exactly out of character for such a competition.
Thankfully, none of the bull’s victims sustained serious injuries, and Ames said that two of them even finished the 84-mile race. Presumably next year’s race manual will include advice such as, “Ride around the hulking cattle, do not attempt to go through them.”