Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Rough Riders at Mt. Shasta

An annual AdventureCORPS tradition at Mt. Shasta - the magical, mystical mountain which stands serenely near the top of California - continued when 15 riders converged for CORPScamp Shasta on July 29 through August 2, 2009. This glacier-laden volcanic peak provided the backdrop for superb cycling in a gorgeous, alpine region with dramatic lakes, rivers, forests, and memorable climbs. The camp concluded with participation in the Shasta Summit Century, an epic and challenging event!

Each day began with the Ron Jones Dynamic Warm Up and featured a wonderful ride in a spectactular setting with little to no traffic. Each afternoon featured a yoga class for cyclists, including those with no yoga background (most of the group), and was designed to help each camper unwind, accelerate recovery for the next day's adventure, minimize the chance of injury, and rejuvenate and restore energy balance. Two wonderful meals catered by Chris & Dena's Deli were hosted outdoors at the beautiful Strawberry Valley Inn and provided more opportunities to socialize, enjoy great food, and win raffle prizes.

One CORPScamp rider was John Marino, the godfather of ultracycling who essentially created the sport of ultracycling as we know it, and also created the Great American Bike Race, Race Across America, and Furnace Creek 508. Now 60, John still rides at the same weight as he did 30 years ago. The first evening of the camp we watched "Psychling," the documentary film about his 1980 Guinness Book transcontinental cycling record, then on Friday we watched the ABC coverage of the 1982 Great American Bike Race, both evenings providing entertaining insights into the past, present, and future of long-distance cycling and the man who brought the sport to life.

Another special guest who also rode the entire camp was Jeannie Ennis, a competitor in the very first Badwater Ultramarathon in 1987. She was inducted into the Badwater Hall of Fame in 2005. She has been a cyclist for many years, riding cross-country from WA to ME as well as from Canada to Mexico on the Continental Divide. Now 62, this living legend of ultra sport has not slowed down and is still pursuing health and fitness and new aspirations and goals. She, and Marino, were a delight to ride with and learn from.

Another legend of ultra sports who was on hand for the duration of the event was local resident Scott Weber, who drove the support vehicle and tended to the riders, dispensing Hammer Nutrition products, water, fruit, and copious, priceless wisdom each day. Scott is a 13-time Badwater Ultramarathon finisher, has been a highly sought out running coach since 1988, and - in his previous life as a cyclist - was a cycling cast member of the cycling film "American Flyers" in 1986!

It was truly a pleasure to ride on and around Mt. Shasta for five days, to get to know a really wonderful group of adventure-athletes, and to socialize in a very special place. To all the riders, and our super supporter Scott Weber, we say "thank you" for supporting this event!

For two slideshows of all the action and adventure, click here.

We hope to see even more Rough Riders there next year!

Above: Jeff Martin and Jo Carmichael ascend Mumbo Summit

Above: Chris Kostman descends Mumbo Summit in his "no-handed tuck" pose he invented during the 1987 Race Across America. (Photo by Jo Carmichael)

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