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High Sierra Fall Century 2009 Finish
I'm finishing the half century portion of the annual High Sierra Fall Century ride near Mammoth Lakes, California in September, 2009. This is my first serious season of road bicycling since high school and on a new carbon fiber bicycle. The half century starts at 7,040 feet, climbs two divides or summits of 7,500 + feet, with one of those having about 0.3 miles of a grade of 8% plus, with 0.1 mile at 13%. Tough when you are beginning the training for long distances. Some locals climb it using their big crank! This is the largest gear on the front for those of you not familiar with cycling lingo.
I'm both addicted and passionate about riding. Too bad the cycling season here is only 5 months in a good year. This year (2009) we had almost 4 months and had intermittent snow for about 2 weeks near the end. The rest is winter with ice and/or cinders (used for traction) along the sides of the roads, and is hazardous for riding, not to mention cold temperatures. The lowest temperature I will ride at is about 38 degrees F/3.5 C. The temperature needs to be rising or I call it a day.
My ham handi-talkie mike is clipped to my sternum strap, but can't really be seen in the picture well. When I ride the Fall Century route I can listen to the Inyo National Forest radio system, the Forest I retired from, all the local agencies I used to work with (fire, police and EMS) and can talk on 10 ham (amateur radio) mountain top repeaters. Two of these repeaters provide access to wide area linked repeater systems where you talk through a nearby repeater and simultaneously are talking on several dozen repeaters all over California, southern Nevada, and western Arizona. I can be on my bike and talk to someone on a bike in Phoenix, Arizona. On one of these systems an interface to the Internet is provided allowing me to talk with people all over the world. Repeaters in foreign countries are linked via the Internet. Big deal you say, I can do more with a cell phone. But I can talk for free using a system designed, built, maintained and owned by volunteer ham radio operators that will hold up better in a disaster than the cell phone system. I can talk on three different ham radio bands and listen to everything from AM radio to microwave. All of this on a radio 2.5" wide, 3.5" high, and 1.5" thick with most of the bulk being the battery. For those of you using the better system (metric) that would be 6.4 cm wide, 8.9 cm high, and 3.8 cm thick. I"ve found that combining my ham radio hobby with hiking, peak bagging, backpacking, cross country skiing, overnight cross country ski trips, and bicycling is a lot of fun. Some folks read peak registers after reaching summits while I spend my time seeing how far away I can make a contact.
At the time this picture I had lost 20 lbs (yes I know, I was really heavy when I started) and have 40 lbs to go. Next year I will be in the full century!
A Road in Wakayama City - Film
Film from my Canon EOS 1
This was the road that my host family lived on during my stay in Japan. Where do you think they stayed? Add a note and guess! :)
I loved this road. It was so nice to listen to whilst falling asleep: the sounds of motorbikes was weirdly soothing and put me to sleep. I loved Japanese roads in general, they were so cool for two reasons!
1) They had vending machines at ALL roads, even small ones. C.C Lemon is the BEST. If you ever go to Japan try it!
2) They're so clean haha.
Another thing I noticed whilst I was in Japan was the amount of people who cycle. People cycle everywhere! Pretty much 90% of school students cycle to school, including my host brother! I saw some unusual things while I was there, such as people revising for tests whilst riding next to me.
I wish I could go back here again.
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