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The Grind: An ER doc at Wild Horse Gravel

A story involving rider and doctor Kathryn Eastley Krughoff reminds Ben Delaney how to live with good humor and grace during these nervous times.

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Last year I was working for the sportive company Roll Massif, and we put on a new event called Wild Horse Gravel out on the Western Slope of Colorado. A number of new and old friends camped out at The High Lonesome Ranch for the event, which was rad.

But I want to tell you about Kathryn Eastley Krughoff, though, who turned a situation upside down in a way that still has me smiling and shaking my head.

After a neutral roll-out away from the ranch, and a gentle climb up to a 7,000-foot-elevation overlook, the course bombs down a heavily-rutted jeep road. Taken at speed in a big group, it can get a little hairy. At some point, someone’s bottle popped out. Kathryn tried to dodge it, but went down.

By the time my boss Chandler Smith came along in a sweep vehicle, Kathryn had self-diagnosed the broken collarbone, including an assessment of the displacement in centimeters.

Who does that? Well, an emergency room doctor, that’s who.

Kathryn in Colorado
Wild Horse Gravel in western Colorado. Photo: Justin Balog | Roll Massif

Catching a ride back to the ranch with Chandler, Kathryn took a couple ibuprofen and pleasantly chatted away, apologizing for causing the trouble.

Who does that?

Kathryn was sitting on the grass at the finish line when a few of us rolled up. She waved and asked how the race went. I started to blab on before realizing her arm was in a sling and she had an ice pack on her shoulder.

Who asks about other people when they, themself, are hurt?

After I got some more ice for her shoulder, she thanked me and apologized for causing the trouble.

Excuse the pun, but give me a break! Who does that?

Fast forward to the early fall of 2019, and Kathryn and her husband Allen came to another Roll Massif event, the Copper Triangle, which she proceeded to crush, winning the women’s event with the fastest cumulative times over three mountain passes.

Kathryn Eastley Krughoff
Kathryn riding near her childhood home in Old Snowmass, Colorado. Photo: Allen Krughoff

So, that 2019 season did have had a happy ending.

Now it’s a whole new world, and the coronavirus is upon us. While many of us cyclists are now working from home, busy setting up our indoor riding spaces or enjoying long, solo rides outside, Kathryn is at work in the ER, doing her thing.

We are all eagerly looking forward to returning to riding together outside, whenever that may be. In the meantime, I am trying to keep Kathryn in mind as an example of how to live with good humor and grace.