Thursday, August 20, 2009

More Mountain Biking!

Sorry I've been a bit tardy in updating the Blog.
I've been trying to get enough "content"!

Last weekend I was joined by Jim T. for some splendid riding in the Mammoth area.
Here's a shot of Jim with his ever present smile.
Tuesday evening I headed up to Mammoth for the Village Championship Series cross country races. That's me in the back left still in the sun (click to enlarge). They had us do a "rolling" start so I wasn't to worried about being on the front.
I felt pretty darn good for my first race of the season. I'm not sure of my placing, but I battled pretty well and ended up about three minutes behind the winner - who happened to be this dude on a single speed 29er. I was totally spent at the end and did the usual coughing/wheezing thing until I got hold of a beer (free!) and felt much better.
This morning I went for a nice cruise at the base of the Inyo Mountains east of Lone Pine. The sunrise on Mt. Whitney was grand.
I couldn't resist this shot.
After I rode, I took a couple minutes for a little photo shoot of my cross country racing rig.
It's a Salsa Moto Rapido hardtail Scandium frame with carbon seatstays.
A Rock Shox SID Race handles the suspension up front.
The carbon seatstays are purdy and seem to be effective at taking a little edge off.
SRAM bits all around with Grip Shift 9.0 shifters, 9.0 V-brakes, and a 7.o derailleur.
An old school Syncros crankset with a square taper BB gets the job done. I like the little 20 tooth granny for those really steeeeep hills!
It's a great bike for XC racing and general riding too as long as the trail isn't real rough.
It's light, responsive, and looks great too.
I love it!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

More Riding at Mammoth Mountain

Since I have my pedal pass, I decide to head up to Mammoth Mountain and have some more fun. This time around I wanted to explore some of the terrain near treeline.

I started at mom's condo and rode to Little Eagle, where the initial climb is pretty stout and somewhat technical. After that initial effort, the grades eased up for the most part and the riding was super pleasant.

About an hour into the ride I ended up above the trees and enjoyed the sweeping views and the alpine terrain.
I cruised over to McCoy station and refilled my water bottles and headed east to the Chair 5 area. Much of the route was on service roads which proved to be incredibly steep. My legs, lungs and head felt like they were about to explode when I arrived at this fine vista of the Mammoth Lakes Basin.
A bit further on I enjoyed this view of the Lakes Basin and Mammoth Crest.
The trail took me under Chair 9, now called Cloud Nine Express, which appears to be rising straight out of the town of Mammoth!
From here it was all downhill on super fun twisty trails.
By the time I got back to Mom's condo I was completely knackered.
Couch time!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Mammoth Mountain Bike Park

This last weekend I decided to take the plunge and bought a "pedal pass" for the Mammoth Mountain Bike Park. The pass allows me to ride all of the trails, but does not allow me to use the lifts, gondola, or bike shuttle.

I had visions of hordes of armored downhill riders blasting by me, but instead I found miles of solitude on fantastic trails. Most of the "intermediate" trails have a relatively gentle gradient, so they aren't appealing to the extreme crowd, but provide plenty of fun for us cross country types. The climbs are mostly middle ring with a few short, steep sections and the descents are fun and twisty, with a few drops and obstacles here and there.

Most of the trails I rode winded through the beautiful forests on the lower flanks of the mountain.

I rode from my Mom's condo to Little Eagle, then on up to this fine vista of Long Valley and the Mammoth Crest.

I then rode around to the west side of the mountain to Red's Lake. This trail is appropriately named "Beach Cruiser."
I headed back to the east side of Mammoth and down to Twin Lakes, where I had to stop and take this iconic shot.
And finally I rode over to the Mammoth Rock trail, which is not in the Mountain Bike Park, but is a fine trail back into town.

This is Mammoth Rock.
And this is the Mammoth Rock Trail.
The trails were a blast. The crowds were nonexistant. The weather was perfect.
Four hours of pure fun!