"Not all those who wander are lost." – J.R.R. Tolkien


Road Trip – Global Fat Bike Summit 2015: Jackson, WY

Alan's Mountain Biking Adventures

For the 2nd year in a row, I jammed out to the Fat Bike Summit with a crew from Mammoth.  Last year, it was in Ogden, UT – read about it here.  This year, it was at Snow King Resort in Jackson, WY.  For those that don’t know, Snow King is the O.G. ski resort right in the heart of Jackson that opened in 1930.  Gets overshadowed by Jackson Hole Resort 12 miles up the road – think of it like June Mountain compared to Mammoth Mountain, except you can night ski for $25!

Rolling from the Antler Inn to Snow King - let the Summit begin! Rolling from the Antler Inn to Snow King – let the Summit begin!

Anyhoo, jumped in the turbo diesel Jetta Wagon with Jen and Dan at 5:30am.  Bikes and skis and fritos and tangerines packed.  Wyoming bound.  After driving about 4 hours each, and Dan only stalling 3 times, we hit the town square.  Checked in…

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Fat Bike Mammoth Meeting Notes: 9.11.14

9.11.14 – Z Ranch, 6:00pm


— Here’s what we discussed:

  • Thank you to the 12 people that made it to the meeting, and many others that emailed they couldn’t make it but wished they could.  We focused solely on the Final Wilderness Inventory maps that were created by the USFS as part of the ongoing Forest Plan Revision process.  There are many areas that might be proposed for Wilderness designation that could very negatively affect our mountain biking opportunities in the Inyo National Forest.
  • We printed out large maps from the Forest Service website and studied the areas that are being included in the proposed Wilderness Inventory.
    • We came up with a list of areas of proposed Wilderness that severely affect current mountain biking opportunities, as well as areas that could be developed for mountain biking in the future and should be protected from Wilderness designation to keep those opportunities alive.
    • We are quickly working to create maps with GIS data that includes mountain biking & fat biking rides/trails in these “proposed Wilderness” areas to include with our comments.
    • We will submit these maps and comments before the Sept 22nd and Sept 29th deadlines.
    • Next week, we will send out an email with our comments (for you to use and study as you see fit), all the info to make it SUPER EASY to submit your individual comments, or sign on with MLTPA’s comments.  If you’re not part of our Google Group, shoot us an email and we’ll get you on the list.

Other than that, we drank beer and ate cheap chili dogs and fries.

#ridebikeswithfriends 🙂

Fatpacking the Uptown Trail – Singletrack Snow Riding in Mammoth

Alan's Mountain Biking Adventures

Riding Uptown on snow.  There's a first time for everything. Riding Uptown on snow. There’s a first time for everything.

Have you ever ridden singletrack snow?  It’s pretty frickin fun.  As mountain bikers, we love the sight of endless ribbons of brown, tacky dirt singletrack (or sometimes white dirt, if you’re riding White Mesa).  But guess what?  A packed trail of snow, albeit different, can be equally sublime to ride – and just as visually stunning.  On either side of you is deep, fluffy snow, and you squiggle your bike through it all.  The best of all, is if you fall (actually WHEN you fall – it’s inevitable) – you poof into freshies.  What an adventure!  It truly brings the vibe of mountain biking to fat biking.

Yes.  It is as fun as it looks. Yes. It is as fun as it looks.

A few of us learned these joys first hand at the Fat Bike Summit last month.  We embarked on a group ride up at…

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Fat Bike Mammoth Meeting Notes: 2.12.14

2.12.14 -Lakanuki, 5:30pm — Here’s what we discussed:
  • Created our Mission Statement: Fat Bike Mammoth is committed to providing responsible and enjoyable mountain biking experiences for riders of all skill levels.  We advocate for the creation, development, and maintenance of year-round riding opportunities in the Eastern Sierra.
    • We hope to condense our Mission Statement down to one sentence soon
  • Current situation with Winter Fat Biking:  Manual grooming efforts with snowshoes and polks/sleds (our successful efforts to create a singletrack snow route on Uptown Trail to the earthquake fault, and expanding soon to an Uptown/Downtown loop).
  • Opportunities to create groomed singletrack trail systems on private land with snowmobiles and grooming drags. (potential to discuss with Snowcreek Golf Course)
  • Possible opportunity to piggy back a Fat Bike event with the winter Biathlon next year – need to meet with Dr. Karch and MMSA.
  • Disabled Access:  Wheelchairs and adaptive fat bikes ARE allowed on groomed trails
  • Partnering with MLTPA for their 2014 Summer of Stewardship Series – brainstorming mountain bike specific trail work days (Mammoth Rock Trail, Starkweather, etc)
  • Starting to create a calendar of group rides and events for the upcoming mountain biking season.  Brainstorming bi-monthly or weekly group rides for all skill levels, and assigning ride leaders.  It’s gonna be fun, lots of great events coming up this year!!  Everything from short 1 hour rides to epic all day events, overnight camping and bikepacking, and gravity/ shuttle rides.. stay tuned.  We’re hoping for a couple events/group rides a month through summer and fall.
  • Adding the element of BBQ’ing, tailgate parties, etc to our rides/events
  • Website:  we’re continuing to add to our trail inventory, updating our resources page, and will soon be updating our event calendar.
  • Spreading the word: importance of letting friends and fellow riders know that there is a mountain biking club/ advocacy group in town – need to get the word out, and become a respected entity with local land managers.
  • We will start having meetings once a month, regardless of season – so as not to lose momentum.  Our next meeting will focus on flushing out group rides/events, making specific dates and a functional 2014 event calendar, assigning ride leaders, etc.  We will also have a focused discussion on creating a board of directors, spreading out the duties, getting more people to take an active role in the club, etc.

Road Trip – Global Fat Bike Summit 2014: Ogden, UT

Alan's Mountain Biking Adventures

A few of us Fat Bike Mammoth yahoos thought it would be great to road trip to Ogden, UT and get our fingers on the national fat bike pulse.  The 3-day Global Fat Bike Summit was broken down like this:

  • Day 1 – Educational Seminars
  • Day 2 – Fat Bike Race at Ogden Golf Course
  • Day 3- Industry Fun Ride at Snow Basin

Day 1

Over  110 people showed up for the seminars and quick bike demo in the parking lot.  In addition to Hunter, Jodi, and I, there were land managers from the USFS, BLM, and National Park Service, operators of nordic ski resorts, snowmobile clubs, 37 bike retailers, big wigs from SRAM, Shimano, TRP, QBP, and other fatty lovers.  photo(11)

It was super invigorating to hear the “state of the union” from other, more “fat friendly” areas, although it was also depressing because it furthered the realization of how…

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Fat Bike Mammoth Meeting Notes: 10.21.13

Fat Bike Mammoth Meeting Summary: 10.21.13 / 6pm at The Clocktower Cellar

15 people attended (even without free pizza and beer).
Our meeting was mostly a “round table” discussion.  This is my interpretation of the discussion.
– What do we want to stand for/ accomplish as a group?
  • Stewards of the land – volunteering, trail work, etc – offer man-power and expertise to stewardship efforts (ex. MLTPA Summer of Stewardship Trail Days)
  • Advocates for maximizing mountain biking trail access
    • (examining, improving, and inventorying existing trails/ short term)
    • (hopes of expanding trail systems throughout the Eastern Sierra, creating new trails/ long term)
  • #RIDEBIKESWITHFRIENDS – Spreading the stoke of riding bikes – group rides, grassroots races, socializing with like-minded people, making friends, social events, etc – maximize enjoyment of the trails we have now, while trying to improve our riding opportunities for the near and long term
  • Create and nurture a mountain biking community in the Eastern Sierra
With this input, Jen Girard is working on making a “Mission Statement” for the group.Should we keep “Fat Bike Mammoth” as the group name, or create a less confusing, more general “mountain biking” name for the group?  Maybe have “Fat Bike Mammoth” be a sister group to the bigger “mountain biking group”?
  • This one was tough.  Lots of pros and cons on both sides.  Good discussion, stoked on all the input.  I’ll start with the pros for changing the name:
    • Many people don’t know what a fat bike is
    • If they do know, they assume you need a fat bike to be affiliated with us
    • They don’t necessarily associate a fat bike with a mountain bike
    • Some people have expressed confusion about what the group is about, because they think we’re only about riding fat bikes on snow
    • We might be losing possible members/supporters because of this confusion (i.e. mountain bikers that assume we’re only about fat biking
    • Mammoth is narrow.  Eastern Sierra has a broader reach.  Maybe something with Eastern Sierra in the name would be better.
  • Pros for keeping the name:
    • It’s already established.  The USFS, BLM, etc recognize us as a legitimate advocacy group based on our trail work efforts at the Lower Rock Creek Trail Day, etc.  A website is established, as well as a logo, and a brand.
    • The content of what we do will allay confusion over time.  (the more we do mountain biking rides, events, advocacy etc – the more people will understand that we are a year-round off-road cycling group)-
    • The name is catchy, intriguing and memorable.
    • Fat bikes are any bikes fatter than a road bike, so it includes mountain biking.
    • The name doesn’t mean anything – if it’s a good group, word of mouth throughout a small town will spread it.

anyone that wasn’t at the meeting who wants to chime in, now’s the time…  no vote was taken or anything like that… but it seems the majority of people wanted to keep the name as is and continue on the path we’re on now

We spoke about our pending “Special Use Winter Fat Biking” permit application – more info should be coming in by week’s end letting us know if the permit will be accepted (if so, it would allow 4 fat bikers and 4 guest fat bikers access to a few groomed osv trails for trail impact analysis that could lead to getting the forest order amended).  Jon Widen (groomer for the orange diamond trails that MMSA accesses will be involved in the analysis – he grooms the trails daily and will be able to make observations on fat bike trail impact)
We touched on the Fat Bike Summit on January 24-25 in Ogden, UT.  Hunter and I are going.  Anybody else interested in riding fat bikes and meeting with land managers from around the country who want to join, let me know.
We touched on efforts Justin Walsh is spearheading to sanction Rattlesnake Gulch Trail up by Conway Summit.  Fat Bike Mammoth will try support the effort in any way possible
We touched on the possibility we’re looking into of re-opening Mammoth Scenic Loop Trail as a non-motorized trail (since it began as a mountain bike trail years ago before it was shut down).
We touched on organizing carpooling and group rides down in The Buttermilks/ Tungsten Hills during winter.  These trails are on BLM land and they’ve expressed a willingness to improve this trail system for mountain biking – so we’re gonna try and scout/ ride this area with BLM reps to see what we can do.
We need have somebody spearhead the effort to help identify closed (previously opened to motorized traffic) trails that would be good candidates to rehabilitate into singletrack mountain bike/ non-motorized trails.  This involves connecting with Marty Hornick (USFS Trails Supervisor in Bishop) and looking at maps, taking scouting drives, etc so we can make recommendations that would help us improve possible bikepacking/ adventure cycling routes connecting different areas of the Eastern Sierra
We discussed a short-term trail maintenance project: Removing a big log that just fell across Starkweather Trail and giving the trail a “once-over” since it hasn’t seen any love in a while.  Jon Widen and I are going around lunch tomorrow to saw the tree.  We’ll try and coordinate another day (soon, before it snows) to “clean it up”.
We discussed temporary signage opportunities that would make bike routes like “Inyo Craters Loop” possible to navigate.  Maybe start with one trail, forest service would supply us with the “brown square” signs that would be “p-touched” with “Inyo Craters Loop” – this would be temporary and functional for now, until “permanent” signage would replace them.  General consensus was that something is better than nothing, and if we can improve the signage for free right now, we should do it so people can get out and confidently ride more terrain.

We discussed, brainstormed upcoming events

  • MTB rides in Bishop throughout the winter
  • Full Moon Bike Ride (might be able to coordinate with MMSA to ride up to Minaret Vista and then have food/drink at the Yodler – Caroline Casey is checking into it) – also brainstormed Tamarack, Rock Creek Lodge, McGee Creek – if you have thoughts, please share
  • World Fat Bike Day on December 7 – Trying to coordinate a demo day for fat bikes.  Get a manufacturer to send us 10 demo bikes, getting MMSA to allow us to ride a few groomed snowmobile trails – I’ll be working with Jon Widen on this one.  Will talk to QBP or smaller manufacturer (Borealis, etc) to sponsor the demo…
  • Throwback grassroots race of the Sierra 7500
  • Double High Five Why Ride/Race
  • Coyote Traverse
  • Glass Mountain Traverse
  • Mono Lake Fat 40 Loop
  • Sand Canyon, Wagon Wheel, Lower Rock Creek Super Enduro
  • Bikepacking Overnighters
  • Saturday Morning Group Rides during Summer
  • Some type of event in June Lake Area (Justin and Sarah)

Then we discussed IMBA and the options/ pros and cons of becoming a chapter – consensus was that we’re not quite there yet.  We need to establish our group, and what we are.  Baby steps.  Way too early to think about dues, non-profit status, etc

Drink Beer.  Good Times.  #ridebikeswithfriends

Lower Rock Creek Trail Day – SUCCESS

This year, National Public Lands Day fell on Sept. 28th.  We had the opportunity to collaborate with USFS, BLM, Friends of the Inyo, and IMBA to do some much needed trail work on the bottom section of Lower Rock Creek Mountain Bike Trail.  Lots of awesome people showed up, chomped on bagels, donned work gloves, grabbed McLeod’s and loppers, and got working.  In addition to a ton of brush clearing work, tread was improved in a few areas (the non-technical parts), and rotting bridges were repaired.  The trail was so overgrown in parts that you could not see the line at all, and a couple low-hanging branches were poised to bang your noggin (unless you’ve got wicked bike limbo skills).  All in all, the trail is gonna be riding much better now…

Anyhoo, after all the sweat and toil, sandwiches were devoured and washed down with a keg of Paranoids Pale Ale that Mammoth Brewing Company was so generous to donate.

Thank you to everybody that put this event on, and all the volunteers that spent their Saturday with us.  You Rock!! Can’t wait for the next one…



Lower Rock Creek Trail Day – Saturday, Sept. 28th, 2013

Having fun on the third section of Lower Rock Creek

Having fun on the third section of Lower Rock Creek

This year, National Public Lands Day falls on Saturday, September 28th.  To celebrate, we are co-sponsoring a great trail work day on one of our beloved local trails – Lower Rock Creek Mountain Bike Trail.  We are collaborating with the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Friends of the Inyo, and International Mountain Bike Association.

We need volunteers- especially mountain bikers: So we can prove that we care about our trails, as we try to foster a relationship with land managers in an effort to expand and enhance our riding opportunities in the Inyo National Forest.  This is a great opportunity to give back, and demonstrate solidarity in the mountain biking community.

Fat Bike Mammoth will be providing sandwiches and beverages (beer, soda, water) for lunch.  We are offering shuttles to the top of the trail for anybody that wants to ride the trail after work is done.  So bring your bike and get shreddy!!

We will also be coordinating carpooling efforts by meeting in the Footloose parking lot at 8am, where we’ll sort out transportation, etc.  If you’d like to carpool, please let us know.

Event Details:

  • When: 9/28/13 – Breakfast at 8:30am (bagels and coffee provided).  Trail work from 9a-12:30p
  • Where:  Staging is at the lower parking area of Lower Rock Creek Trail (former Paradise Lodge)
  • What:  We’ll be focusing our efforts on the lowest section – cutting back brush, clearing tread, maintaining wooden bridges, clearing trash, etc.

Other Notes:

  • Water and snacks will be provided (in addition to breakfast and lunch).  Please bring a refillable water bottle.
  • Please wear hiking shoes or boots, long sleeve shirt, and long pants.  If planning to ride your bike after, bring riding clothes to change into, helmet, etc
  • For more info, contact: Kirstin Heins, BLM Recreation Planner: 760-872-5034 / kheins@blm.gov

Click Here to Download the Official Event Flyer

See Ya There!!!

Panorama Dome Trail Work Day – SUCCESS!!

We’d like to thank everybody that spread the word, and especially those who donated their valuable time at the Panorama Dome Trail Day on June 1st, 2013.  What a great way to celebrate National Trails Day!!  The day was a huge success, with a record amount of volunteers showing up (52 people!!).  Such a huge group effort, and a reminder of what an amazing town we live in and get to share with each other.  We look forward to being a part of many more!!  Now get out and ride the Panorama Dome Trail.  It needs some rubber lovin!!  #ridebikeswithfriends

Check out these stats and the slideshow below to see all that was achieved – All photos are courtesy of MLTPA, and the whole photo album can be viewed on their website

52 volunteers (all time record!)
7 staff (FOI, MLTPA and the INF)
286 total volunteer hours (a $6,332.04 value!)
364 feet of new trail constructed
4,118 feet of mountain bike trail rehabilitated
3,347 feet of mountain bike trail maintained
1,266 feet of hiking trail rehabilitated
1 large plastic culvert removed
1 parking lot re-established and defined
2 sign posts installed
40 pounds of trash removed
114 bollard plaques installed
Lots of fun had by all!

Winter Snow Biking Not Allowed on Groomed Trails in Mammoth

Alan's Mountain Biking Adventures

As many of my friends know, I bought a Salsa Mukluk in November and have ridden around 300 miles so far… basically all over Mammoth with it.  I guess ignorance is bliss.  I assumed “multi-use” trails had similar rules in the Winter as they do in the Summer.  Especially since I’ve been reading and watching videos of how other states are embracing these bikes and Nordic Ski Resorts have been allowing them to share groomed trails as well (which means their local land managers – i.e. USFS, BLM, etc are allowing biking to be included with their special use permit).  In fact, I watched this video a couple months ago, where a US Forest Service Representative talks about how their trails in the Teton Range are multi-use with bicycles now legal, and everybody is in harmony. 

But not yet here in Mammoth.  Unfortunately, “no wheeled vehicles” are allowed on…

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