Portents of winter arrived today in Mammoth Lakes. A cold and stiff wind blew down from the Sierra Nevada under a sky patchy with fast gray clouds. Mario and I had planned on riding up Tioga Pass today, but climbing 10% ramps with a 25 mile per hour headwind did not appeal to us. Instead, we worked out a roundabout path from Mammoth up past Lake Mary to Horseshoe Lake and back down. Out came the leggings for the first time on this trip, for the first time this season.
Mammoth actually has a nice network of bike paths separate from roadways, and we used quite of few of the paths today. First we dropped down below Mammoth (elevation) on the road that heads to US395, then got on a bike path that turns back up the hill and parallels Old Mammoth Road. Our first stop was at an overlook view of the upper Owens Valley to the east.
We continued climbing up the bike path, but eventually it ended so we had to get on Old Mammoth Road to climb farther up toward Lake Mary. As the road climbed, it narrowed and got curvy while the pitch increased. I was thinking “goat path” as Mario called out 14%. Finally we intersected Lake Mary Road and got onto the bike path running alongside it. This bike path took us all the way to Horseshoe Lake.
On the way back we rode the loop around Lake Mary, and then back on the bike path that ran alongside Lake Mary Road all the way back down into Mammoth. Much faster on the return trip!