Friday, August 2, 2013

Alex's Mammoth Mountain Mountain Bike Adventure - I



Song:  Dreammaker

Artist:  Thomas Bergersen



I had bought special water container daypacks for Alex's and my
Saturday long mountain bike rides on hot days.

Each of us was to carry almost 6 liters of water...
(the 2 quart canteen to use in case of hot weather...
to pour over our heads).

When we got there...
the temperature was very mild...
so we left the cool down canteens in the car.

In preparation for Mammoth Mountain...
I had half frozen all of the water.


These were our day packs (with the packing list that I had Alex write out on top).
We each had our own supply of water...a phone...some snack bars...
and I carried a bike repair kit (multi tool kit with tire patches and tire removal kit)...
and a tire inflator.


We headed out in the morning and we ate a quick breakfast on the way.


Alex having a tuna fish sandwich.


Mammoth Mountain is but 3.5, or so, hours away from home.
This is Lake Topaz...it is a nice lake on the way there.


A lot of the scenery on the way is very nice.
I have always loved mountainous terrain.


This is Mono Lake.


We are just a little ways from Mammoth Mountain at this point.


We have our bikes off the minivan...
and ready for our new adventure.

The temperature at the base was somewhere in the 60s 0r 70s (F)...
However...at the top...big difference!


Our bikes were loaded up in the trailing Gondola...
and we were on our way up the mountain.


Alex was excited to start the bike ride.


There was one big disappointment for me when we got to Mammoth Mountain...
there was a very large forest fire burning somewhere in California...
the smoke of which, had occluded many of the usually crystal clear distant views.



We are almost at the top.


There are three separate bike trails that start at the top...
we took the beginner's route (Off The Top).


We started at the top of the mountain and took the blue route on the right.
We continued to the little lake on the bottom right...and then took the shortcut route 
back to the question mark. 



The temperature at the top (11,000 ft.) was somewhere in the 50s (F).


The ride was initially very gently sloped...
and the breeze was nice...


then...the wind would be gusting to 35 MPH or so.
It was a narrow trail with pumice just off to the side.
It became a chore sometimes...fighting the wind...
which would blow up the mountain...
and kept wanting to blow us off the trail.


As the trail was narrower than I had expected...
I had Alex ride in the front...
so I could have him go at his pace...
and so I could help pace him if he were going too fast.





There was a big mound of snow on the side of the mountain.


Alex kept himself hydrated during our many breaks.


When we finally got to the lower elevations...
trees came into view...
and the temperature became more mild.

I was dressed in a sleeveless thin riding shirt
(I am cold hardy...I love cold weather).

Although I loved the temperature at the top of the mountain...
in 25 to 35 mph winds...it was more chilly than I had anticipated  :)

Still...it had an energizing effect.
I'll take cold weather over hot weather any day.

Alex was fine in his jacket.
A little further down...
we packed away his jacket.

In the next article...
I will conclude our adventure...
and tell of a problem Alex was initially having
(he still faced it as bravely as he could).





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