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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Mammoth Area road ride recommendations?

    Any eastern sierra roadies out there?

    I am heading out to the east side for 5 days this week and plan to get in a couple of training rides. Can anyone recommend some 2 - 6 hour "best of the mammth area" road rides? I suppose I can just do Bishop and back, but I'm hoping there are some hidden gems out there. Extra gratitude if you include one "wife-friendly" (sub 3 hours, nothing much over 7%) ride.

    Many thanks,

    Jaime

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Check out the route for the High Sierra Fall Century....
    http://www.fallcentury.org/

    Let us know how you like it....

    Cheers !!!

  3. #3
    DraftMaster
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    The riding around Mammoth can be spectacular. However, almost all the rides involve some sections of difficult climbing or strong headwinds. I would NOT drop down to Bishop this time of the year - way too HOT!

    For a wife-friendly ride you could do the June Lake loop. It's probably the most mellow option in the area.

    The ride up Old Mammoth Road into the Lakes Basin is a good intense, short loop. The climb up from town is steep but short, and the basin is mostly flat and very scenic.

    For longer options be aware that most involve some sections on US 395. Generally, the road has a wide, well-swept shoulder, but passing rvs and big rigs still cause huge side drafts.

    Highway 203 (Main Street) is a good ride up past the ski area to Minaret Summit. It's about a 15 mile rt w/ 2000 feet of gain. You can extend it with a trip down to Devil's Postpile (fee) and back for some serious climbing. Or pay to catch the shuttle bus back which has a bike rack on it. The Mammoth Scenic Loop is a less-traveled road out to 395, but it is fractured with annoying deep cracks across the pavement for its entire six-mile length.

    A 55 mile rt option is from Mammoth, south on 395 to the Crowley Lake loop road to Tom's Place, up the Rock Creek road, highest paved road in CA, to Mosquito Flats at 10,300' and back again. The stretch up 203 from 395 back into town is usually the crux for me, tired, up a relentless grade, and fighting an ever-present headwind.

    The Tioga Pass Road, CA 120, into Yosemite is NOT recommended! It's narrow, little or no shoulder, and choked with tourons in ginormous rvs.

    The Mammoth century loop heads north to highway 120, east to highway 6, and back to town on Benton Crossing road. It's a beautiful loop, but almost devoid of any services or cellular coverage. You'd be wise to fully prepare with a camelback, lots of food, and at least two tubes and a pump/co2. Best to ride that one with some sort of support already planned. A shorter option would be to reverse it and ride east out the Benton Crossing Road (there's a Green Church at the turnoff south of Mammoth Airport on 395) for as far as you feel like and back west again (into the all-too-familiar headwind.) Don't forget the sunscreen for the high-altitude rays.

    Best of luck! I love it up there.

    Oh... One other thing: Take your wife to dinner at the Mobil Mini-Mart up in Lee Vining at the turnoff to Tioga Pass. The "Whoa Nellie Deli" is one of the finest meals in the Eastern Sierra! Not kidding. Fantastic Lobster Taquitos. My fave: Buffalo Meatloaf with a side of Spaghetti Squash... KILLER!
    Last edited by rcordray; 07-02-2007 at 11:27 PM.

  4. #4
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    Many thanks for the excellent recommendations. Good call on avoiding the Bishop ride. I am so rarely on the east side in the summer that I forget how hot it is.

    Cheers,

    Jaime

  5. #5
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    Last time I was in the area, I was staying at June Lake. I rode down hwy 395 to the Mammoth Scenic Loop, then up towards the ski area, over the top of Minaret Summit (9265 feet) and all the way down to Red's Meadow. I rode back the same way. At Minaret Summit, the road is closed to auto traffic, except for park shuttles and a few cars going to campgrounds, so it's a nice ride. From June Lake, this is a pretty good ride (60-70 miles), but if you start in Mammoth, it could be considered wife-friendly by your criteria.

  6. #6
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    Thanks to all for your recommendations. Had a great time. The weather was great, the riding was beautiful and the wind made me feel like I was back in Davis. Oh yeah, I hated that part of living in Davis. ;)

    For the record, took the wife on both the June Lake Loop (did it as an out an back to avoid 395. Excellent headwids climbing back up to and past Grant's Lake) and the Mammoth Lakes ride (horrendous road on the decent but quite pretty). Did the ride out to Red's Meadow past Minaret lookout (nice road, good views of the Minarets), and did most of the Eastern Sierra Century ride, with some variation and cutting off most of 395 (not a lot of services, very pretty, nice minimal traffic - I think I'll come back out for both this and the double next time they're held). Skipped the ride above Tom's Place as I had done that before (also a nice ride with few cars).

    Thanks again for the ideas. Much appreciated. If you ever need east bay or north bay riding ideas, give me a holler.

    Cheers,

    Jaime

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