Mammoth ’05

For all of you who didn’t go to Mammoth this year, you missed out on some great riding and lotsa awesome grub courtesy of Fofo (pictures available in my gallery). Every year that we go to Mammoth, I am reminded of why I love mountain biking soo much. The scenery there is absolutely beautiful and the trails are simply awesome! Not only do you get to retreat from the rut of everyday life, you are also presented with plenty of chances to severly injure yourself. ;)

This year the weather was absolutely perfect. There was only a minor hint of drizzle during the drive up. Fofo had a little more rain while driving up but nothing severe. I was a little concerned about the weather as all reports stated possible thunder showers every afternoon. The temp at the top was in the 50’s, but it was not cold at all. As soon as u start peddling, it warms right up. The temp at the base was probably in the 70’s and 80’s. It was clear skies up until Saturday afternoon. The clouds rolled in for the final run of the day, but we our riding time was over.

Martin and his family had been in Mammoth since Monday, but Forrest’s family, Brian, and I went up on Wednesday. Brian drove up with me and first thing when we pulled into Mammoth was Hennesy’s. We figured we would start the weekend right by enjoying some fine adult beverages. Then it was off to ride “Downtown” with Martin and Johnny. No more than 5 minutes into the ride, I realized that the adult beverages, while very tasty, may have a negative affect on my reflexes. Luckily the trail was fairly easy and the dirt is softer than asphault when u fall on your butt. I was not the only victim of a mishap on this ride as young Johnny had a nice little dive off a small bridge. He was lucky to only suffer a minor scrape on the cheek. Brian said he had never seen our fearless leader (Martin) move so fast. It must not have been Martin, as I have never seen him move fast ever. haha

For the next couple days, it was just alot of riding. Mammoth has trails for all skill levels. All the guys went to the top and rode “Of The Top”. Johnny got a littl arm pump on his rigid bike, but he rode the trail like a champ. I was very impressed that he was able to ride the entire trail, especially after his fall the day before. He was exhausted at the end of the day, but he would have plenty of time to rest as the Gomez clan was leaving the next day.

Brian has been continually getting bolder and faster every year we come up here. This was his second trip to Mammoth. Last year, he was making his way down the mountain so carefully that a yound girl passed him on the trail. From that point on, he has been on a mission to improve his riding and go faster. He has most certainly accomplished that. This year he was flying down the trails. I am really impressed with his progress. He is no longer afraid to take risks on the bike. He did have a few mishaps and accidental meetings with young saplings, but he is doing a great job of keeping up. He is riding so aggresivley that he broke a spoke on his bike and destroyed the cable housing for his rear derailler. Luckily this was all done on the last run of the last day.

Forrest was riding well when he could ride. He does have to divide his weekend between the joys of riding and the joys of parenting. He rode one day and took Emma (daughter) fishing the next. Unfortunately for Forrest, he did a Jean Claude Van Damme imitation on the trail and possibly tore a hamstring. We thought he had possibly broken something as we were looking up the trail and seeing his head swaying back and forth in pain. We climbed back up to check on him and heped him get back down the hill. He had to retire for the day, but he’ll be back in action soon enough.

I was having a excellent weekend of riding. Unfortunately, I did have a few un-scheduled dismounts. There were a few new trails this year. “Shock Treatment” was a crazy new trail with a series of 4ft drops about a bike-length and ahalf from each other. The drops would have been easily rideable by themselves, but when in a series like that I would ahve probably needed to be airlifted outta there. It was somewhat difficult just walking down that part of the trail as it was very loose. The other new trail was “Flow”. This was a great trail for those of us who are looking for more of a challenge, but didn’t want to end up in the hospital. Every stunt had a bail out line that was easily rideable. I rode everything on that trail except for the 8ft platform drop. I was very tempted, but my need to go to work on Monday quickly curbed that plan.

After all said and done, a good time was had by all. There were a few injuries, but nothing that wouldn’t heal. Mammoth is a great experience not only for the riding, but also for the general comradery. With all of our busy lives, it is hard to get together with your friends for a weekend getaway. We have been fortunate to have Mammoth and look forward to another trip next year. Those who have been there know what I am talking about. Those who have never been should seriously consider making this trip next year. That’s it from me. See u guys on the trail.

John