The High Sierra Fall Century and Gran Fondo was the biggest event of last weekend’s Mammoth Kamikaze Games, drawing a record 1,050 riders according to Race Marketing Director Randy Fendon.
Ridership for the Century was up 36% over last year, which was in itself up 40% over 2011.
Fendon praised MMSA’s Bill Cockroft, Caroline Casey and John Armstrong for putting together a dazzling Saturday event. MMSA’s Public Relations firm, Lyman PR, also brought in Saturday’s race grand marshal and honorary starter Dotsie Bausch.
Bausch, a Silver Medalist at the 2012 London Olympics in Women’s Team Pursuit Cycling, is something of a celebrity beyond her considerable athletic accomplishments.
A former New York City runway model, Bausch was sidelined in her mid-twenties by a severe eating disorder. As part of her recovery process, her therapist, in order to have Dotsie re-integrate exercise into her life in a positive way, asked her to take up a sport she’d never done before.
Bausch, who had moved to L.A. by this time, was living in Venice and said, “Maybe I’ll get a bike.” She was 26.
One of her first “formal” rides was the California AIDS ride from San Francisco to L.A. She rode the whole race in the lead pack with the male riders. When they learned that she was a novice, they said, “Maybe you should try a race.”
So she raced. She won. She kept racing.
As she’s grown more and more successful professionally; her story has spread. An Ambassador for the National Eating Disorder Assn. (NEDA), she has mentored approximately 100 people over the years who suffer from eating disorders.
“People contact her out of the blue,” says husband of eight years Kirk, a fellow professional cyclist who met Dotsie at an Interbike trade show.
Dotsie said she has standing Skype and phone appointments to help mentor those who have approached her. The only requirement: they must be in therapy for Dotsie to participate.
In an attempt to reach more people, Dotsie also conducts webinars through the NEDA website. Last week’s webinar sold out. It is archived at www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/webinars.
When I mentioned that it sounded like a Herculean task, to manage an ever-increasing number of personal and professional commitments, Kirk said, “She’s amazing at how she allocates her time.”
One word that came up again and again as we spoke was “control.” There was an element of a need for control which manifested itself in her eating disorder. It is also that need for control, and a streak of perfectionism, which makes Bausch a top athlete.
As she said, “With anorexia, there’s an empowerment, to be able to control NOT eating.”
Bausch said that there is division within the eating disorder community regarding exercise. That extreme over-exercise is a risk – like trading one compulsion for another.
When she first sought help, Dotsie said she was exercising six hours a day. Her therapist ultimately ratcheted that back to six hours a week. It was at that point that Dotsie got on the bike.
If there’s any way in which her past trials have influenced her athletic career, Dotsie says it’s in her “ability to suffer.”
Dotsie grew up in Kentucky and attended the Univ. of Kentucky for one year before transferring to Villanova University outside Philadelphia. She began doing modeling work in college to make extra money. Contrary to stereotype, she says the modeling had no impact upon the development of her eating disorder.
She attributes other, personal struggles to the manifestation of her eating disorder, particularly the sense of feeling adrift when she realized she detested her chosen career path.
A journalism major at Villanova, she interned at a local television station as an undergraduate … and hated it.
As she would be 43 by the time the next Olympics rolls around, Bausch is undecided about the future of her cycling career. With mentoring, coaching [cycling] and sports commentating, she has more than enough to keep her busy if she “retires.”
Mammoth Mountain Ski Area has been busted for illegally renting housing units it owns which are situated in the Sierra Valley Sites.
A link on the www.kamikazebikegames.com site forwarded to The Sheet advertised nightly rentals in MMSA’s employee housing units for last week’s games.
Sierra Valley Sites is zoned RMF-1 by the town. Nightly rentals are prohibited in the neighborhood.
“Midtown” resident Gary Small says the illegal rental activity by MMSA has been an ongoing issue.
MMSA Vice-President of Human Resources and Administration Ron Cohen acknowledged via telephone interview that “on occasion” MMSA-owned units have been rented nightly in Sierra Valley Sites. He described the rentals as overflow in nature when other MMSA properties are filled.
He said the advertisement on the kamikazebikegames.com website was an institutional error. “It’s not something we do,” he said. Given that the Kamikaze Games are a brand new event, he posited that the team “may have gotten a little aggressive” in promoting the employee housing option.
The advertisement stated: “$250 per night at Mammoth Mountain Employee Housing. Each unit includes 6 beds, 2 full bathrooms, kitchen facility, living room, parking and laundry facility. Sheets and towels are provided.”
The advertisement included a photograph of the MMSA-owned housing on Manzanita.
Cohen did say MMSA always collects T.O.T. (room tax) on rentals, even if the rentals are not technically legal.
Thursday’s 911 call
At 12:48 p.m. Thursday, Mono County Sheriffs Dispatch received a 911 call to report there had been an individual injured in the forest area on Hwy 203 near Sunshine Curve (above the Scenic Loop road).
Initial information indicated that a individual working for a contracted company dropping trees for the USFS was injured when a tree struck him.
Mono County Paramedics, Mammoth Lakes Police Department, Mammoth Lakes Fire Department and USFS Law Enforcement responded to the scene.
CPR was performed on the victim and he was transported to Mammoth Hospital. He was still alive as of press time, awaiting a life flight to Reno.