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Mammoth Fall Century and Grand Fondo

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It is now late April and the time to decide if I will put my body through a summer of conditioning to be able to ride the 103 mile course that starts in The Village in Mammoth and ends there sometime between four and ten hours later. The course has a start and finish altitude of 8074 feet. Over the entire race course the gain in altitude is over 6,000 feet. You will not be alone on the course. You will be in the company of over 1000 other riders made up of both sexes, ages from the teens into the 80’s. There will be people who have trained for the event for a year and others who after a night out with friends decided to do the ride two weeks before the start date.

There will be many who do not finish the race for various reasons; probably the biggest is lack of oxygen at the altitude that the course covers. Riders from sea level quickly learn how hard it is to function at 8,000 plus feet. There will be 7 rest stops on the route including one that serves a light lunch. I cannot stress enough the need to stay hydrated.  There will also be support vehicles to retrieve the wounded and to support bicycles which may have mechanical difficulties.

Last year when I rode with my wife we started training in early April and continued until early September. We rode 4 to 5 days a week riding from 25 to 50 miles on the rides. We quickly learned not to spare any expense equipment wise. Being on a bike for one to three hours in training can be hard on the body as well as the bike.

Our strategy was to ride the entire race in increments during the training phase so we would know what to expect from the course. This proved to be invaluable as we quickly learned where the real tough rides were. The first day we were going to ride from June Lake to Sage Hen Summit the highest point on the route we had to give up never reaching the top or knowing how far away the top we were. A week later we tackled the route and made the Summit, what a great feeling.

Well after writing of last years’ experience I now know I am going to have to make the effort again and am hoping that my wife and training partner is woman enough this year. I think the hard miles on the road made us a stronger couple at home.

I intend to update this blog over the summer and hope to tell you that we finished this year. Time is not the goal. The goal is to finish and share stories for the next 12 months over a cold beer with other survivors.

Registration: http://www.fallcentury.org/register.html

Information: http://www.fallcentury.org/

Hope to see some of you out there on September 12 2015.

Submitted by Michael Shuttleworth email msshuttleworth@aol.com   cell 760 920 2227

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