Mammoth Mountain / Lower Rock Creek – July 2009

Well the trip up to Mammoth, July 8th – 12th went off without a hitch.

Lori and I in one car, and Brian and Perry in another, caravanning up the 395. First stop was Mojave for breakfast, and then a few miles up the road, Jawbone Canyon visitor center. Brian picked up a new t-shirt. A little further up the road we stopped in Pearsonville for a few photos in the abandoned park next to the Personville Auto Wrecking & Hubcaps yard. I photographed here last year.

After that we shot up the road for a couple of hours, stopping in Lone Pine to pick up some drinks and food at the supermarket. Next stop was Bishop for fuel and beef jerky.

We arrived in Mammoth about 3:30pm and checked into the ever lovely Motel 6. After a half dozen trips up and down the stairs, we got all our goodies into our two rooms.
The Ventana gang was arriving tomorrow, Thursday afternoon, and would be looking for a ride.

Thursday arrived and we grabbed some breakfast and then hung around the rooms. The 6 from NCal pulled in right about 12:30. Aaron, Sherwood, Miles, Steve, Kevin, and Dustin are a few of the guys we met last year up in the Sacramento area on our NCal trip. Once they got stuff into their rooms, we all geared up and road over to the Adventure Center. There we bought three day passes and loaded up on the tram. The tram drives you from town to the mountain. Normally this is a quick 5 minute ride, but just luck us, our tram ran out of gas! Another was dispatched and we all jumped out, moved our bikes to the replacement tram and off we went.

Once up at the mountain, it was off the tram and onto the gondola and a quick ride to 11,000 feet. With a few patches of snow still on the ground, and the wind whipping, we started down the mountain. Off-The-Top was really the only trail available right off the top. Super long switch backs above tree line and a feeling of exposure. With the wind whipping, no one was feeling like hitting any of the little bumps and kickers too hard. We got in a couple of runs that afternoon, and there was some slight carnage. Sherwood tasted some dirt, thankfully not too bad, coming of a second small jump at speed. Seems like his front wheel just got away from him. He was riding a 69er, and tore it up all weekend long. Kevin’s bike, a Terremoto, took a little damage. Some how he kicked up a rock, severing the front derailleur cable.

(click photos for larger version)

Everything got fixed up, and we were off to a great Mexican dinner at Roberto’s. The trolley (bus) that runs in Mammoth is great. Don’t have to load up the car, and if you have a drink you don’t have to worry about driving.

The following day, Friday, we got in a full day at the mountain. No damage to bikes or bodies.

Friday night we when out for some fun and pizza.

Saturday the plan was to drive down in a couple of our cars and setup a self shuttle of Lower Rock Creek. We got an early start, as the temps would be much warmer down there. We all had a blast, no damage, and good fun.

Some great video shot by Aaron G.

Lower Rock Creek – The Chase from Ciclistagonzo on Vimeo.

As we finished the ride right about noon, we hurried back into Mammoth, jumped back on the bikes and then road up to the uptown / Adventure Center area, and had some lunch. After that, back on the tram and gondola. Our groups split into two. We opted to explore the south or left side of the mountain. This required some climbing, but the view and riding made it worth it.

Sunday morning, we packed it in and headed out. Can’t wait to hit up another road trip, and of course ride with the crew from the north.


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