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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 07-06-06, 12:09 PM   #1
high_altitude
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High Sierra Fall Century

This ride near Mammoth looks really cool. Has anyone done it? It seems like the weather could be a bit unpredictable up there in September! But it would be worth it for the scenary alone http://www.fallcentury.org
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Old 07-06-06, 12:30 PM   #2
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I just completed the Eastern Sierra Double covering almost the same roads... It was beautiful up there, and they are right about the weather being unpredictable, but I would not worry too much as they are offering to take all your spare gear in SAG vehicles to the finish.

Believe me when I tell you that the scenery will keep you diverted from any pain in your legs or lungs!
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Old 07-06-06, 05:41 PM   #3
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I did the ride 4 years ago. Just haven't got back but want to do it again. Started early and it was freezing out but the day warmed up nicely although when I did the ride it never got hot.

It's not an easy ride. I got into Mammoth 3 days earlier in order to kick around and aclimate. The ride itself was so incredibly scenic you almost forgot the crazy climbs. Along the back side of the Loop are these series of "whoop-de-doos" which in the beginning were fun but after a while drove me batty. Those ended in the Wild Rose Summit climb. I came very close to walking. After that I don't remember much. Got alittle tired and bonky but finished with good memories and a good ride photo! I highly recommend this ride.
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Old 07-06-06, 05:44 PM   #4
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I've done a lot of traveling in my life, but nothing I've ever seen compares to the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada range.

I rode the Sierra Fall Classic century in the beginning of September 2005. Absolutely stunning scenery that defies description, and a wonderful ride.

The weather was clear and sunny, with a steady light wind in the morning The temperature started out in the low 40's but climbed into the mid 60's by noon. The ride involved three major climbs into passes that were all at 8,000' or better, so it was fairly arduous (but thoroughly enjoyable) ride for me.

Over the course of the ride I broke three personal records:

Max Speed: 56.2mph
Slowest speed: 2.5mph (actually got the speedo to register 0.0 momentarily!)
Longest time "on saddle": 8hrs 5mins

I attained the 56.2mph on one of the most exhilarating decents I've ever had, on the flip side of Sagehen Summit. Smooth, gentle esses with unlimited visibility and no traffic in sight - just an endless and stunning high desert vista. The slow climb was on the way to WildRose Summit, where the road, always steep, pitched up wickedly for the last 100 yards or so. I was actually doing ok until on my average speed until about 75 miles into the ride, when the wind came up for real. As I made the 20 mile run for home, the head wind became vicious and unrelenting - at times the best I could muster was 7-8 mph on flat ground - it was the most horrible wind I've ever had to battle with.

Wind aside, I had a great time. If you've never seen the east slope of the Sierra Nevada, you need to. An amazing place.

Sample pics:



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Old 08-30-06, 11:50 AM   #5
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High Sierra Fall Century

I am doing the ride Sept. 9 and can't wait for it to get here. Having spent lots of time in the area over the years either hiking,backpacking,fishing, and mountain climbing, I know how fantastic the scenery is.
That was the main selling point for me doing this ride. That and I needed an excuse to get off my butt. Am already registered and have reservations for 3 nights at a place with a hot tub,which I am sure will get plenty of use after the ride. Hope you make the ride, you will not regret it.
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Old 09-11-06, 07:04 PM   #6
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High Sierra Fall Century

The ride was better than hoped for. Weather was perfect except for the afternoon wind. More to the climbing than I had expected, as it seemed to be concentrated in a few climbs, not spread out over the total miles. Drove the route the day before, not sure if that helped or hurt. Seeing how I was in about as bad of shape as anyone could be in before trying a ride of this distance, I am thinking about doing it again next year in better shape. For anyone wanting a century ride with unbeatable scenery, this is the one.
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Old 09-14-06, 03:28 PM   #7
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This past weekend I dragged the wife and 11 year old daughter out to Mammoth Lakes, CA for the High Sierra Fall Century. I had done this ride last year for the first time, and was eager to give it another go. The wife and child did it last year as well, choosing to ride the 45 mile route together on a tandem while I tackled the 100 mile route. They sagged out about 6 miles from the finish because of a brutal headwind, and were not as eager as me to attempt this ride again. Especialy since they would each be riding solo this time.

We arrived on Thursday in an attempt to somewhat acclimate to the high altitude. I live more or less at sea level, and this ride had three summits over 8,000' in elevation. In addition, our accomodations at Mammoth Lakes were at about 8,000', so the air was pretty thin.

Saturday morning dawned cool and clear, and the wind was slight. The forecast was for low 70's and clear skies, and we were not dissapointed. starting at about 8am, we rode in shirtsleeves and shorts the whole ride, and enjoyed some spectacular scenery. Like I mentioned earlier, this ride had three good climbs to over 8'000', and that coupled with the thin air and my clydsedale status conspired to keep me on the course for all of 7:36. Unmatched vistas, excellent support/food, almost no traffic, and a 100 mile course that had maybe 3 turns and one stop sign - it was fantastic.

But the real news of the day was my 11 year old daughter not just finishing, but finishing in fine style and with energy left to burn. There were even reports that she was dropping some adults on the climbs - WooHoo! Earning her first event jersey was as much a thrill for me as it was for her, and she was as proud as could be of her accomplishment.

Anyway, enough babbling - take a look at some pictures:

Looking east, just after turning onto Hwy 120 south of Mono Lake:


Looking west, same spot, towards the Sierra crest:


Looking back on the valley just below Sagehen Summit - just about 8,000' in elevation:


Me, summiting Sagehen:


At the bottom of the Sagehen descent, looking back. It looks benign, but last year I attained 56.3mph coming down this grade:


Some rollers on Hwy 120, after Sagehen and going towards Adobe Flats and lunch:


Looking across Adobe Flats:


Fresh blacktop, in the middle of nowhere about 65 miles in:


Top of Wildrose climb at about 80 miles in, something like 6 miles and 1'000' of gain (most of it in the last couple of miles!!):


A couple of miles from the finish, looking at Mt. Morrison. It looks small, but the peak is well in excess of 12,000':
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Old 09-15-06, 08:09 AM   #8
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As a former Californian, I am sooooooooooooooo jealous.
I use to ski Mammoth all winter long. Really nice pictures folks. Makes me want to go home.
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Old 01-15-07, 04:10 PM   #9
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Wow... I just may have to put this on my 2007 ride list !
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