TEN REASONS TO RIDE THE MAMMOTH GRAN FONDO + VIDEO

By Zap

Between injury and Covid I’d been unable to attend the Mammoth Gran Fondo for a few years. But thanks to a recent pro bike fit, I started turning pedals again and figured that  the 40 mile “piccolo” route at the  Mammoth Gran Fondo would be the perfect way to both test the knee and escape the triple-digit SoCal heat.  Between racing motocross and mountain bikes, I’ve been heading up Highway 395 since 1979….and all these years later, Mammoth Mountain  still refuses to disappoint.

In preparation for the ride I pulled out the one bike I call my own, a six-year-old, aluminum Turner Cyclosis ‘cross bike that in addition to numerous ‘cross and gravel races,  already has a Levi’s Gran Fondo, a Campagnolo Gran Fondo, and a Big Bear Gran Fondo to its credit.

Nearly 1600 riders gathered in the iconic “Village” for the start. Riders had three different length courses (40, 70, 100 miles) to ride

 

You know the 100 mile course is challenging if Jack Nosco shows up to ride. The world famous cycling philanthropist was getting in some high altitude training for his own event – the Mike Nosco Memorial  Ride on November 3.

 

1O THINGS THAT MAKE THE MAMMOTH GRAN FONDO GREAT

 

1. BEING PART OF A GREAT ADVENTURE

Few things beat traveling away from the local roads and taking in the sights, sounds and adventure of a new locale.

2. FORGETTING THE BIKE

If there is one thing that Mammoth Mountain invites any cycling enthusiast to do, it’s to leave the bike in the condo and go out for a scenic hike. The natural wonders in this town are endless.

 

3. MAKING FUN OF THE MOUNTAIN BIKERS

Curiously, despite its well-deserved legacy as a mecca for mountain biking, road bikes actually started the town’s love affair with cycling back in 1984 with  the Mammoth Cycling Challenge. Mammoth has been hosting mountain bike races since 1985 and from racing came the creation of a huge “bike park” that gets inundated with the padded set…funny thing, unlike the roadies, they seem to have a certain fear of pedaling uphill!

MAMMOTH GRAN FONDO START VIDEO

 

4.  BREAKFAST AT THE STOVE

The Stove has been serving up breakfast and lunch since 1973 and it’s been a regular stop ever since I was racing in the annual Mammoth Motocross race in the late 70s. The service is excellent and the place is usually packed for good reason.

4 1/2. BREAKFAST AT THE STOVE – NO REALLY!!

In addition to the friendly service, The Stove is famous for their sumptuous portions…and they serve real syrup!

5. COFFEE AT STELLAR BREW

There a handful of places  in town to get coffee, but Stellar Brew was the one that most felt like home with  bright colors, a laid back atmosphere and big menu.

6. THE VIEW FROM THE SADDLE

That’s “Uncle Ed” ahead of me as I was trying to stay on his wheel after we exited the Scenic Loop road and  started hammering down Highway 395.

7. MAKE NEW FRIENDS

Young an old, fast and slow…there’s a little bit of everyone to be found. Make new friends.

 

8. THE POST-RIDE FEAST

By noon-o-clock the free food and beer arrived to bring needed aid and comfort to all the riders – oh what a setting!

 

9. ROLLING TECH SUPPORT

Thanks to Unchained Bicycle Garage for being there to help fix flat tires along the route.

 

10. FREE PHOTOS

Every rider had a folder of different event photos of themselves ready to download within two days.

 

TAKE A LOOK AT MAMMOTH CYCLING BACK IN THE DAY

For more: Mammoth Mountain

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Comments are closed.