Monday, December 29, 2008

Catch up

Saturday, Sunday, Monday December 27-29, 2008

With the holidays comes a break from routines and schedules. The normal pressure to get a few minutes of exercise before the long morning commute to work is easily cast aside for the luxury of sleeping in, or a marathon of baking pies and rolls for family events, the escape of a hike up Mystic Canyon or the bounding out for a family walk in the morning before everyone splits up for their day of entertainment.

The sunny but cold temperatures of Saturday have now turned into the southern- California-famous Rose Parade weather. The temperature a beautiful 76F , I was dressed for 45F. My wardrobe miscalculation cost me time. I should have been dressed for spring in reality I was dressed for winter riding. The wool socks were turned down. The long pants were wetted for cooling, the top base layer was shed, but I could have done with short sleeves. The jacket wrapped around my waist kept slipping off forcing me to stop and adjust. Not a cloud in the sky. The sun was more than warm. The traffic included seven motorcycles, several cars, a few cyclists. Perfect day. My SDSR time was 37:55. I am glad it is under 38 minutes. I made it to mile marker 9.49 which is the end of the first saddle. Took pictures and ate cookies. A red tailed hawk was cruising the air currents. It was calming to watch how it floated with out flapping a wing. Gliding around, hoping for small rodents to venture out on a glorious day. The freeways are far in the distant. Every day I don't get on a freeway is a very good day indeed.

Spent two hours cleaning the bike using the new xmas present. Less bending is very good.

Sunday 28, December 2008
Hike in Mystic Canyon. A beautiful morning.

Afternoon venture to Cal Poly Voorhis Botanical Gardens.

The evening family entertainment was a game called "Apples to Apples". Players held seven cards with nouns on them such as "My bedroom", "James Bond", "Spit", "United Nations" or "Waco, Texas". Players took turns drawing a green card with an adjective, such as "juicy", "obnoxious", or "manly". I judged the adjective word "nasty". It came down to two choices: pigeons or motorcycles. Nasty motorcycles won.

Saturday 27, December 2008
Apple pies and roll baking in the morning. With a walk around Glendora. Almost bit by a goose! Traffic on the mountain was very light. The temperature was still very chilly. Afternoon was family event.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Afternoon ride

Friday December 26, 2008 13:30

Tom on his recumbant bike had a head start. Steve and I caught him at mile marker 11.53. I had to finish my time trial before I could slow down. We grouped at the first saddle. Met Alan who rode down with us.

Tremendous amount of SUV traffic on the road. Lots of lost people searching for the adventure of snow. Glendora Ridge Road was closed.

The view never disappoints.

Steve and Tom at the first saddle.

Alan C. stopped on his way down as we grouped at the first saddle. Many folks are asking him how to get to the snow but the road is closed.

Hiking with Hans

Friday December 26, 2008.

Hans hiked to the top of Colby Trail. Along the way large paw prints were embedded in the dirt. Dog or mountain lion? Compare with the post on Sunday.

Looking south onto Glendora, Hans has captured the thrill of the bike ramp that BMXers and mountain bikers enjoy.

His view of Mt Baldy was spectacular.

Here the beehives were in the foreground.

Great hike Hans!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tuesday Ride

Tuesday December 23, 2008

What does one do when you can leave work early for the holiday break? The answer was simple, the road was dry the temperature hovered between 52-61F and the clouds played peek-a-boo with the sun.

The descent was a bit chilly inspite of my extra layers of ear warmer, ski gloves and warm jacket. My toes needed extra warming in the post ride shower. The Montana relatives arrive on Friday and will enjoy the southern California heat wave, while I shiver.

More car and truck traffic than cyclists. There were a few hikers out today. Was that Cathy and Joan of Glendora on bikes descending as I made my final push to the saddle?

My SDSR time was better than expected as the mountain seemed like an entirely different road in afternoon with shadows in all the "wrong places". Time: 36:40. Average Speed 6.2 mph. Average power 140 watts.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Hike - Ranger Station - Colby Trail

Sunday December 21, 2008

The rain and snow this week left the ground wet and impressionable. The native fauna prowled the trail this week and left marks. Mountain lion tracks. The pepper spray was in pocket. I think it would just make me tastier.

Today the sun was warm and the ground has completely dried. The view of Glendora was awesome.

I met Hans on the trail today. He works with Matt at the San Dimas facility. A company hike may be on the radar for New Year's Day.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

GMR - ice

Saturday December 20, 2008.

The road was lined with hay bales for a luge skateboarding pilot film sponsored by Animal Planet. Quite an interesting collection of folks. The skateboarders that normally frequent the mountain weren't out today.

It was a nice fast SDSR stage today. Fastest time ever posted: 34 minutes 45 seconds. Average speed of 6.6 miles per hour and average power of 150 watts. This now bests the best time of last week of 35:35! The first mile was 20 seconds faster, the second mile was 15 seconds faster, the third mile was 10 seconds faster, the last portion was 5 seconds faster. Yes I was slowing down. But very pleased with the results.

The shadow of the mountain kept ice on the road. It was wise to stop and soak up the warmth of the sun and catch up with the events of the week.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Thursday December 18, 2008. Dawn over the maintenance shed. Some days off of work are so much better than others. At least one of us was smart enough to take a gorgeous day off from work.

How different and magical the world looks hidden under a cloak of white.

Here is the view for the working stiffs from Santa Ana 38 miles away. The mountains are peaking out under the clouds. Another time when a real camera was needed.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

More weather

Wednesday December 17, 2008. The latest storm has left the roads slippery with cold wet snow and ice. The intrepid explorer Matt ventured out once more this week to experience the rare event of a white winter here in southern California. The maintenance shed is just out of reach.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

California Dreaming

December 11, 2008.

Sunrise before the storm!

Photo courtesy of Bill


Monday December 15, 2008 16:00 PST.

Amazing how the road I sweated on all summer long takes on a new look with a winter coat of white. Maybe this is the reason I was chilled to the bone on the wet Saturday ride!

The maintenance shed in all its glory.

Photos courtesy of Matt.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Mystic Canyon

Sunday December 14, 2008. After the cold and wet of Saturday, I decided a slower activity such as hiking would be good. The vistas were gorgeous viewing the mountain from the "other side", the city with its sprinkling of red and gold trees. however I didn't bring a camera. The definition of cold on Sunday was 38F warming to 60F. My sister in Montana reset my definition of cold today saying it was a very brisk -2F!!! Yikes.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Wet Weather

Saturday December 13, 2008. It's amazing how the city and the valley stays dry yet as one pedals up Glendora Mountain Road into the cloud cover the damp drizzly rain turns into distinct rain drops that blur your spectacles and limit your vision with a visibility of 5 feet. It was the kind of cold wet ride that after its over you need to peel off the soaked clothes and just cuddle with another nice warm body. Since that didn't happen a long hot shower warmed my bones and my icicle toes into functioning units again.

One lucky squirrel descending a steep hillside ran onto the road. Barely missed my wheels and then ran between the front and back wheel of Matt's bicycle. It is amazing that the three of us were in tact after this close encounter.

There were a few die hard cyclists today and very few motorcyclists. One young fellow from Azusa Pacific had to stop and get warm on the way down. He rode to Cow Saddle where it was near freezing. He was dressed a bit too light. The goosebumps on his legs were noticeable. His plans included more riding this week. However weather forecasts even wetter weather with snow.

This was an awesome ride today. My SDSR time was the best ever at 35 minutes 35 seconds. Yeah! Average Speed 6.4 mph. The power average is a bit suspect as it didn't provide consistent readings. I added morning walks this week followed by core training with plyometric star jumps between the indoor cycling sessions. Yes it was a good ride although too short! I dried off the bike before me, but now its time to do a more thorough job.

35 minutes and 35 seconds. I am quite pleased!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

False Start

Sunday December 7, 2008. It was a cloudy morning with interrupted sleep. I woke up groggy, I think my knees were having nightmares not my brain! Saturday's ride was long on a beautiful day. Sunday was cold, gray and wet. My brave words of I go riding when it drizzles a Portland dry mist evaporated when garage door opened to rain. I went shopping at the hardware store. By the time I got home it had dried up. I left late at 9:45 am. Saw a fire engine 86 headed up GMR at 10:25am responding to a vehicle over the side at 30601 GRR between Sunset Ridge & Mt Baldy Road. It wasn't long before I saw the engine heading back to their station at 10:47 am. It was a short ride and other riders were stopping on their way down to warm up. I had my warm jacket, ear band, and snow gloves. There was little traffic going down.

I ended up napping through the end of the Phillies vs NJ Giants football game. Phillies won. The Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers was a frustrating game indeed until the last 10 minutes of the fourth quarter. It was amazing when Townsend on the Steelers team intercepted the ball and scored the winning touchdown.

It was a full house with my son's friend over playing video games and my daughter's friend from UCI.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Glorious Day

Saturday December 6, 2008. A glorious day indeed. It started off clear and cool. It warmed up to 51F by 8:10 am when I headed out. My time to the 10-mile marker was 38:10. Two minutes slower than desired. Still a good time for me. The vehicular traffic was light. I wondered if today's USC vs UCLA game at the Rose Bowl meant all of Southern California was preparing for football festivities.

With the winter sun hanging in the southern sky, the road was shaded along the route and the temperature wasn't too high. I felt good as a coasted down from mile marker 4 the "point of no return." I headed up the "wall" from mile 5. Greg S. said hi at mile marker 6.2 just as I was ready to turn around. I stopped and ate a Mojo bar. With the weather so nice, the traffic light and the body willing, I reversed directions and kept going up, the mind was in control and 8.3 was only a few minutes away. It's been three months since I have made it this far. So I am pleased with the ride today. Miles 38.1. 1908 Calories


Here is my Christmas cheer at work.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Long Weekend Rides

November 27-30, 2008. I baked apple pies for the Thanksgiving festivities which meant I left the house late around 10 am. Everyone else on a bike seemed to be hightailing home as I was pedaling upstream. It was an excellent feast. The eldest sister brought three delectable veggie dishes: beans and cucumbers, papaya/mango salsa and broccoli mix. The youngest sister prepared the sweet potatoes and pumpkin pies. The turkey was juicy, moist and hot.

View to the south on Thanksgiving:

View to the north on Thanksgiving:

Friday was a rest day. Chatted with Montana relatives. Took in the James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace.

Saturday. Rode "Fork plus Four". It was a quiet ride for a Saturday. I dressed warmly as the early morning temperature was 46F. But it warmed up. I did meet an eight legged friend on the road. It was shoo-ed off the road after the photos. I didn't want to see a splat when I came back.

The storm left snow on Mt Baldy:

Sunday. Much warmer it was 54F early and warmed quickly to 57F. On the road the temperature ramped up to a warm 79F. Road to the Maintenance Shed. Bike riding and socializing. Good to see old buddies and I met someone new on the road, John of Claremont. He referees AYSO soccer games.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

November pictures

Here are some panoramas from November 22, 2008. It was warm and I did 34.5 miles or fork plus six miles.

Pre Turkey Tuesday

Rushing home from Santa Ana/Irvine on Tuesday to get my daughter from UCI to a dental appointment the sky was filled with perfect overhead clouds. It looked heavenly and it was surprising warm. I still wore long sleeves and brought a warm jacket for the downhill ride.

Here is the view from the first saddle into Glendora.

The vehicular traffic was certainly different on a week day afternoon versus the weekends. More car traffic. No motorcycles. More teenagers.

Cheers from a mountain bike ramp atop a hill alerted me to one of the attractions. Coming down the mountain I managed to be behind the slowest hunter in a white truck. I caught the truck three times.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Beauty of the weekend

The beauty of the mountain is equaled by the dangerous wilderness it belies. Respect for the road, respect for the centerline, respect for the physical laws of nature are imperative for those who wish to survive another day to enjoy the curves, enjoy the scenery, and enjoy the wildlife.

There are different groups of recreational users of the road and the forest. Motorcyclists, hunters, runners, hikers, skate boarders, mountain and road bikers. Rarely do they intermingle but today on my way up the first climb by the ranger station a motorcyclists in an orange down vest with a wide frame stopped me. I recognized her first by vest and then by her large ass, it was my sister atop her newly acquired Honda Shadow Aero.

She told me not to tell mom and dad. sigh. I told her to ride slow. The rescue workers recently pulled off a woman motorcyclist off the mountain.

SGVTribune -- 10/18/2008
GLENDORA - A woman was flown to an area trauma center in critical condition Saturday after her motorcycle drove off the road in the Glendora foothills, officials said.

The crash occurred about 10:15 a.m. on Glendora Mountain Road, just north of Big Dalton Canyon Road, according to CHP logs.

The injured woman was identified as Kathleen McGraw, 37, of San Dimas, CHP Sgt. Jesse Holguin said.

She was conscious and able to speak when taken to the hospital, Los Angeles County Fire Department Firefighter and Paramedic Bill Hailey said.

The 2008 Suzuki motorcycle flew about 100 feet off the roadway, he said.

A rope was lowered from a helicopter to lift McGraw from the roadside, Hailey added.

No other vehicles were involved in the crash, officials said. The cause remained under investigation.

It was a long week and the need to escape the ugliness of the work week was greatly rewarded this weekend.

Saturday: Fork plus seven miles
Sunday: Maintenance Shed
People: Sister, Cathy, Jason, Tammy
Updated 2008.12.29

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Just when you think you aren't going to meet anyone new, a female rider stopped and offered to take my picture. Her name was Elena from Newport Beach via the Czech Republic. She and three others were training for an Ironman in Nevada. Katie was from Hermosa Beach munching on perogi filled with potatoes. John was held up fixing a flat tire. My advice: Kevlar tires. Amardillos. They were on their way to Baldy Village and the sky slopes.

I was amazed at the forty motorcycles lined up at the bottom of the mountain at the end of my ride. I thought I had escaped motorcycle crazies. However on the way home from the movie theater in the afternoon, emergency vehicles, two police cars, fire engine, paramedic truck and ambulance were responding to a motorcycle wipe out at Glendora High School. Two days. two motorcycle accidents.

Drive safe. Cars. Motorcycles. Bicycles.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Scoop of the Day

The mountain is unforgiving for the unwary. The curves come fast and furious especially if riding a motorcycle or speeding along in a car. The adrenaline rush of the swaying turns thrill the uninitiated. One miscalculation and a split second decision can result in a disastrous outcome. Two basic options are slamming into a mountain side or careening down steep terrain.

Today a woman motorcycle rider ended up over the edge and down a bluff of several hundred feet between mile marker 10 and mile marker 9. This is just before the first saddle past the "new section of road" that has metal grid bumpers to keep folks on the road. Same spot as a car that went over the edge late December 2007 or early January 2008. The USDA officer reported she was conscious and breathing. I watched as the Sheriff's helicopter air lifted her out. She was lucky to be riding with her husband who called for help. The officer mused that there was someone out there right now over the edge needing help that they did not know about.

The helicopter swept around the hill top and then lowered a cable.

You can see the dark of the people hanging from the cable just above the added in blue squiggle line.

It had been an excellent day for a ride. Nice temperature. Bright sun dancing between dwindling clouds. For someone it was a very expensive ride.

I wish that every single motorcycle rider on the mountain would get off their CO2 generating motors and pedal a bicycle over the same course. It only takes one bad rider slaloming through the turns that put others at risk. Of course I do like having the gate closed and no motor traffic at all. But that is pure selfishness.

Quite an eventful ride.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Saturday Ride 2008-10-11

On Mountain. It was good to be on mountain after the vacation and jet lag recovery. Good to see friends. Alan and Matt, Albert and Carlos.

The weather was clear and cold in the 40-50F range. There is a new pile of sand by the first gate. The pace felt good, but the knees started complaining. Lack of use? Different geometry from the indoor trainer? Fortunately Alan came along. Caught up with projects, financial analysis vacations including his trek up Split mountain 14,000 feet in elevation. Took my focus off my knees. We made it to the maintenance shed, then Matt stopped by. Met Albert and Carlos on the way down. They were worried since I haven't been around for three weeks. I have been in Stratford-upon-Avon. They wondered if it was a second honeymoon. I laughed.

I saw the small fire on the hillside. Glendora got lucky it was small section. Met Chris who inspired Matt to get off the couch and on the bike.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

TBV Triathalon Lab Results

The results of the pre-TBV Triathalon blood test are back from the local hospital. It looks like I am in good shape to ride however I will be mysteriously out of the country for two weeks prior to the event and will be unavailable for targeted testing. Hopefully I can calendar Diablo in 2009.

The glucose level is well within normal. Big sigh of relief there. My cholesterol ratio is a nice 2.0 -- lower than 1/2 the risk. There also seems to be no EPO or blood doping going on with a hematocrit level of 37.5.

"Where fore art thou?" you ask. I will be enjoying Hamlet and Love's Labor Lost in Stratford-Upon-Avon. Hamlet will be played by David Tennant better known as the 10th Dr. Who with Patrick Stewart as Claudius. A Sci-fi Shakespeare adventure is a foot.

Comprehensive Metabolic Panel:
What Value Normal Range
Sodium 142 137-145 mmol/L
Potassium 4.2 3.6-5.0 mmol/L
Chloride 102 98-107 mmol/L
CO2 28 22-30 mmol/L
Glucose 80 65-105 mg/dL
BUN 11 7-18 mg/dL
Creatinine 0.8 0.7-1.2 mg/dL
Total Protein 7.3 6.3-8.2 g/dL
Albumin 4.2 2.5-5.0 g/dL
Calcium 8.9 8.4-10.2 mg/dL
Bilirubin, 0.3 0.2-1.3 mg/dL
AST/SGOT 29 5-40 U/L
ALT/SGPT 22 7-56 U/L
ALK PHOS 58 38-126 U/L

Lipid Panel:
Triglyceride 56 35-160 mg/dL
Cholesterol 153 50-200 mg/dL
HDL Cholesterol 78 35-86 mg/dL
LDL Cholesterol (calc) 64 62-185 mg/dL
Cholesterol/HDL Ratio 2.0 (lower than 1/2 risk factor of 3.3)

More interesting is the CBC
WBC 5.1
Red Blood Cells 4.03
Hemoglobin 12.7
Hematocrit 37.5
MCV 93.0
MCH 31.6
MCHC 34.0
RDW-CV 14.0
Platelet Cont 152.0
Mean Platelet Vol. 8.7
Netrophil 60.5
Lymph 32.3
Mono 5.7
Eos 1.0
Baso 0.50

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Made it

.... You can find yourself in the mountains

-- Paul Sherwen, Tour de France 2008

After being laid up with heel pain in January and February. It has been a long slow road to regaining strength and confidence. From 16 minutes on an elliptical trainer with zero resistance burning a total of 46 kcal late February to two weeks later on the indoor Cycleops ProTrainer in March for a whopping 23 minutes and 6 miles burning 113 kcal/80kj of work/effort. To today's effort of 6 hours on the road for a distance of 46.4 miles ascending 3,700 feet in elevation and burning 2,082 kcals. There has been alot of slow steady progress over the months.

Cycling up Glendora Mountain Road the maintenance shed marks the half way point to Baldy Village. Just beyond the shed where Monroe Truck Trail meets GMR, there is a sharp descent and the road splits. To the left is East Fork, Highway 39, Azusa Canyon. To the right is Glendora Ridge Road to Mount Baldy. This is the fork. The mile markers start counting from 0 to 12 miles. My route has been fork plus two miles, fork plus four miles. Between mile 4 and 5 is a downhill. Remember, for every downhill there is an uphill return. From mile marker 5 to 8 is a fairly steady climb, it is a wall of mountain, never ending in this newbie's brain. Mile 7.2 was the farthest I had managed until today. Now it is fork plus 12 miles.

I made it. There and back again. I can tell it hasn't sunk in yet.

I made it. On my own two feet and wheels. With a road buddie, Matt of Glendora.

The exhaustion hasn't quite caught up with me. Four hours to get there. If you are doing the math, I am averaging 6 miles per hour. There are plenty of folks who pass me by. Plenty of breaks for Gatorade, water and snacks and standing in the shade to look around and enjoy the view. A million plus people on the other side of the ridge. On this side twenty. The heat and the climb got to more than one cyclist. I did pass a couple of folks standing taking a break.

The cow saddle marks the highest elevation at 4532 feet. A place to take a picture and feel good. Chat with John and Sherrie who were training for Everest Challenge. A point where visitors meet locals. One local resident had a story of how a man stole her eight year old dog from their back yard! Then it was a downhill to the town center.

The Village was shaded with pine trees and angular framed homes. It reminded me of Idyllwild. The water fountain and shade at the Post Office was a welcome relief. A dozen or more cyclists were camped out at the Lodge restaurant. I understand the french fries are excellent. No rest for the wicked. After a pit stop and telephone call to home. It was back on the road, up a one mile hill of 8% grade.

It was hot, and I didn't want to drink, but Matt had the story how even the best of us succumbs to dehydration. Another cyclist Greg, had to be airlifted out one very hot 112F day. OK, water, power drink, pour water on my head.

It was much easier between mile 8 and 5 since it was all downhill. Then the four rolling hills. The fourth hill (first on the way back) is the hardest. One hardy individual was on his recumbent bicycle. I could pass him going uphill, and he would pass be going down hill. The oddest entourage was a father and two young sons on their single speed bikes so far up the mountain. I saw drinks on their bikes. Amazing they were still happy and chatting away.

Shade was mostly gone. The four hills done. The hill by the fork is the penultimate hill for climbing. Then the sweet relief of maintenance shed and sitting on something that doesn't move. One short hill and then all down hill to home.

The shower has melted away the grease and dirt. I am ready to be one with the couch!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


It's taken two days to feel back up to snuf after back-to-back 22 mile rides on Saturday in Sunday in the intense heat and dry conditions here in Southern California.

My car needed servicing, my carpool partner was unavailable so I just "had" to work from home. I took the opportunity for the 14 miler. I felt stronger. My power wattage average over the 3.8 mile course of GMR was good.

The air was moister and the temperature cooler. The road is still closed. I realized without the cycling traffic of the weekends I was out there nearly by myself.

Gotta get the pictures from today. The view isn't as pretty as the clouds have cooled us down.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


The sign stated road closed. The gate locked.

Mountain Road. No motorized vehicles. Nirvana.

The lure of road with out cars, without motorcycles pushed the guilty pleasure into the to-do column.

The temperature was closer to hades than heaven, at 105-108F. The heat and the winds have pushed the smog layer out to Pomona or beyond.

Starting early was a must. With the relative humidity at 20%, the moment your body sweated, it evaporated into air. I ended up a "quart and half" low after each ride in spite of consuming a full water bottle. For the first time I brought Gatorade mix on Sunday. This is the view from mile marker 5.

I optimized every moment and went the "full" distance to the top of Monroe Truck Trail or mile marker 5.00 for a round trip of 21.8 miles. A goal I haven't reached since January. Two back to back days of 22 miles of riding. Exhilaration and exhaustion. I feel back from the plantar fasciitis of February, but still mindful of heels and stretching.

Enjoy the beauty of nature while its still a bit green. This is Morris Dam in Azusa Canyon with Highway 39.

I did see a rider in a Phonak jersey Saturday. The CAS decision on another Phonak rider is still pending, but due out soon.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


Here is the women's winner of the SDSR 2008 Time Trial Mara Abbott near Colby Trail on GMR:

Mara is head down and concentrating. Bills picture of Mara is better:

Bill's picture of Oscar Sevilla caught him out of the saddle. Oscar won the Mens Pro division.

The Saturday Road race around Bonelli Park. We found Kurt enjoying the ride:

The elusive GMR taking photos of the racers Saturday afternoon: