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Ride Reports Archive

July 2003

07/13/03 – Death Ride
by Alex Fabbro

Overall, a pretty fun experience (although I could never imagine doing essentially 2 of them back-to-back as Ginger did in Mt Neverest).

I managed to miss Sue and Dana and company at the start, so went with some local Mammoth Lakes riders. As I neared the bottom of the Monitor descent by Hwy 395, I heard a "Bella" call as Sue and Dana cranked uphill. After the backside of Monitor, I managed to lose my Mammoth riders, so continued on to Ebbett's solo. I loved the kilometer countdown on the front of Ebbett's - very Mont Ventoux. They should get out there with the inclinometer to make it really special.

After Ebbett's front and back, I was determined not to miss the lunch stop like I did last time I did the DR. Good thing, since this is where Dana and Sue were hanging out, refueling. After lunch, we set a comfortable pace heading back to Turtle Rock, until the climb outta Markleeville, which seemed to suck the fun out of the whole thing for Gordon, so he & Sue kicked back at the "oasis" while Dana, Ed, Scott, and I continued to Carson. Dana's Jelly Bellies at the "oasis" are just the thing. I'm definitely going to adopt that program for long rides!

It was pretty hot heading past Woodfords to Pickett Junction, so the misters there (no, not podium boys, just water) felt fabulous. Then it was off to Carson and ice cream. I think Ed ate a whole box of ice cream bars, while Dana went the healthy route mowing through an entire watermelon. Blast from the past for me, though, since they had little bitty white-bread American vinyl cheese sandwiches. Mmmm, salty, with almost no nutritional value!

The nice, harrowing descent off Carson with murder-homes and homicidal truck drivers kept us from getting too complacent with our accomplishment. That and Dana's headset was going wiggy on her and I got a flat (but no spectacular launch like poor Beloki, luckily), but overall, nothing went horribly awry!

Oh, and Sabine, I got so many shouts of "Sabine" when various folks rode by, I stopped keeping count. I do remember that Mark from Granite says "hi" and the guy who came with Ann to the 24-hour race, but there were even more.

Coming up this weekend is our local "Tour de Long Valley," only 70 miles, but featuring 7K ft-8K ft of climbing, with the most excellent pie at Rock Creek Lodge at the top of the last climb, so come on down for that!

07/13/03 – More Death Ride
by Dana Lookadoo

Death Ride? Well, we lived and were thankful for temperate weather and only experienced 80 or 90 degrees for maybe the last 30 miles. Nice! An “Oasis” is surely a requirement for mile 90, but it is the invention of Gordon and Sue who ensured that ice-cold treats and goodies and carbo-loading fuels were available prior to the last of 5 mountain passes. Actually, the food, support, water,hydration drinks, porta potties and enthusiasm were plentiful and available in mass. Go Markleeville Chamber of Commerce and Alta Alpina Cycling Club. Kudos!

The riders present an essential life force that brings people of disparate backgrounds together for one common goal – survival! Few wanted to be the skeleton rider who was the stoker on the tandem bike! (She did wear a jog bra, but we didn’t see any Velo Bella tattoos or blue nail polish on her!)

Three memories stand out for me…

  1. Sue insists we ride at 5:15 am sharp, arriving at 4:45. Yes, we will be and were on time! (Now, I wasn’t awake until 7, but that’s another story.)
  2. Riding with a Velo Fella, Scott, whom we offered for sale for $5/mile to keep people entertained. He does have a way of making you forget about the pain!
  3. Hearing Alex going up the last pass, well more like trying to catch up with her, because she was riding so strong and saying, “I didn’t get on my bike until June!” WHAT? I told myself that since I didn’t live in snow-covered Mammoth, living in beautiful Monterey meant I was overtrained – rational lies?
  4. Oh, one more…Learning what High Speed Wobble is at 40+ mph. If you want a good adrenaline rush, try it! It gives you a nice feeling.

So, tomorrow morning as I leave my own little Oasis in the High Desert of NV and head over Carson Pass, I’ll be thankful I left nothing behind on the pass other than burned calories from 16,000 feet & 129 miles!


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