Monday, June 29, 2009

Road Closed

The electronic sign was flashing this message tonight: Glendora Mountain Road and Glendora Ridge Road closed July 2, 2009 to July 6, 2009.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Been there. Done that.

It was a perfect day for Jason to achieve his long standing goal of riding to Mt. Baldy Village.

Getting there:

On top of the world:

View from Cow Saddle:

My count for riding to the Village: 4.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wednesday Ride

The new bike rode smooth. The new bike rode fast. Hapiness was smashing a time trial time by two minutes. The graphs overlap!

But I was not fast enough to keep in front of these guys.

Shown Matt, James, Darrel, myself.

Ron has a need for speed. Correction: Ron and his partner posted this record downhill speed on Esperanza, La Verne riding a tandem bicycle.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

What a difference a day makes

The morning started off similar to Saturday's grey cold wet clouds, however the sun burst through the marine layer to give us a great Father's Day!

The maiden voyage of my newly acquired Specialized Ruby Expert Triple. Well third time is a charm. First time, I didn't have the Polar CS600 updated for CS Speed Sensor (WIND) and circled back from Sierra Madre and Glendora Mountain Road. Second time I had a record for half the SDSR. I cut the ride short for a fitting appointment at Incycle. Bill, in his mechanic role gets kudos for having adjusted the bike saddle spot on. Third time up GMR, I slacked off with the heat. It was 85F. The wind was blowing big time. Most likely the reason the clouds are gone.

Happiness is a new bike.

Met Pittsburgh Rick on my way down who was visiting family.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Wet Ride

"Better to be two minutes slower and alive to ride tomorrow."

With a hot Wednesday ride searing in my brain, the marine layer was a cool respite, lulling the wistful into thinking that the sun would break through or the ability to ride high enough to get above the clouds. Foolish me bringing more water than warmth. Fork plus was on my mind. I had time and inclination to go farther.

The clouds grew thicker and closed in tighter, as Jason and I wound our way along the hill. Matt joined us briefly with a first hand weather report. Wet. The road with a layer of moisture was dry 45 minutes earlier.

Under the tree at the shed there was a dry spot to sit. A pair of cyclists who road Highway 39 up "Little GMR" stopped for a moment. The traffic was heavier in the canyon. Noticing the unusual manufacturer of the other cyclist's bike "Townsend", he explained it was his own custom build. Neat.

Visibility on the way down was very poor. Water was actively pinging the glasses. The white line of the edge of the road delineated between road and not road. Braille riding. Familiar curves, and bumps in the road guided us down. We stopped several times to wipe the glasses clear. A pair of motorcycles passed us near the first saddle, the hot exhaust was a warm welcome as the thin jacket now moist provided little comfort.

Riders with less protection passed us by. Jason took to alerting those going up it only got worse!

The last downhill before the bottom of Monroe, three deer were on the road. Amazingly fast they bounded up the steep hillside, disappearing into the brush.

It was good to get home. Wipe off the bike and take a short warm shower.

In late breaking news, Matt captured how not to park your car on Glendora Mountain Road. Location near Newman's point.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Friday with Bill

Nice Morning for a ride. Getting out before 8 am the temperature was 62F. Two hours later it was 83F. There quite a few others out early, walking, jogging, biking, and riding horses. View larger image to get the glassiness of the lake.

Photo by Bill.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Warm Wednesday

The sun was out today. It warmed to 86F by mid afternoon. Although a humid day, the SDSR portion was shady enough. The head winds were quite strong, vastly different than indoor conditions. The section from First Saddle to Newman's beat down on the body. The coolness of shade was a pleasant respite. Rode to top of Monroe. It's been a long while since I have seen Baldy.

The left knee complained through out the ride. Respite came by getting out the saddle to pedal. The seat should be checked since it's encounter with the pavement on Sunday. Overall a good ride and the SDSR time was better than expected with a time of 33:30 with strong winds.

It was warm out...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Catching up with Bill

The mountain bike components (cassette and rear derailleur) Bill had installed on the Trek Pilot worked out so well, he decided to do a similar upgrade to the Trek Portland.

The new components installed on the Portland.

Featured are a Shimano XTR 9 speed (11-32) cassette and a Shimano XTR long cage rear derailleur. These components are a step up in quality from those on the Pilot and they are lighter too.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Squirrel Economics

After yesterday's ride to Fork Plus Six, today's ride was mellow and slow. Alot more folks were out today with a cloud cover and dry road. The group of motorcycle guys joked with me about "Working hard pedalling", "How about putting a motor on that cycle?" I laughed.

Caught site of two coyote pups. It was good to confirm both were still alive and doing well.

The San Dimas Mountain Rescue crew were out training, learning how to find a downed airplane.

Even the Forest Service crew were out.

Numerous motorcyclists were zipping up and down the mountain. One in white leather repeated the course four or more times. It was a cautious descent as the motor bikers roared past at close range. But it was a quiet spot of the descent that a squirrel decided to cross the road in front of me. The calculus in my brain indicated collision and the brakes were squeezed tight, the resultant fish tailing of my back wheel caused panic. I saw my own image reflected in the black squirrel eye. It's tiny brain decided that its best course was to back track. It escaped pain free and unscathed. I did not fare as well. The back wheel flailing and rapid slow down, the physics were compelling me to the earth. I slide to the right. A brush of the hip. The palm of the hand. The top of my helmet. My pride deflated. Felled by a small furry rodent.

One water bottle rolled loose on the ground. I sat on the dirt, then realized with the amount of traffic I needed to get the bike off the road before I caused a larger accident. Bike and water bottle corralled. I spent a few moments collecting myself taking stock that I was alive and well and relatively good shape. The forest service folks stopped. I was fine. No need for assistance.

The seat needed pounding back into place. Brakes worked. Wheels true. Spokes ok. The back tire had one small patch indicating it needed to be replaced. I descended slower than before.

Mountain bikers joined me at Big Dalton Canyon and I noticed that they drafted a bit too close. I was nervous from the squirrel encounter and too many riders in close proximity with unexpected tactics caused concern.

I replaced the tire and bought a new helmet. Thus the conclusion that squirrels are good for the economy. Squirrels - 1, GMR - 0.

Six hours later. I am feeling ok. The hip is good only a slight rash. The head is fine. Helmets are wonderful. The palm of the hand is less tender.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Saturday Afternoon

Rain pattered on the house in the early morning. By day break the big drops diminished to soft mist. The road was wet and Jason wanted to ride. I drove the course.

Glendora Mountain Road glistened with water and littered with small rocks dislodged from the hillside. Only the very die-hard riders were out. The weather conditions did not fit with Jason's goal of Fork Plus Four.

We left at 1:30 pm just missing the small window of sun for the day. The road was thankfully dry. Now just to dodge the small rocks.

Coyote Cub Corner did not disappoint.

Bear remains laid on the side of the road before the curve fragrant to the nose. The story behind its demise untold and unknown.

The buzzards perched in their tree kept a close watch on us.

After a quick stop at the maintenance shed, we descended to the fork. The first four miles of the four were rolling hills. The visibility decreased as we ascended. The clouds clung to us like a warm moist blanket. We could see about twenty feet ahead of us.

What's over there? Jason pointed to the right of the road. San Dimas Experimental Forrest. And what's over there? Jason pointed to the left of the road. San Gabriel Canyon and mountains. The road ahead enveloped in gray, we laughed over the phase, What hill?

The last mile from five to six was the wettest. Jason achieved his goal plus two more. An excellent ride.

The journey's profile.

Catching Up

The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco -- Mark Twain

Twenty two days of below average temperatures in southern California kept summer cyclists at bay. Strawberry fields will continue to produce until the hot weather comes. Yummers. However, this version of Portland Dry mist puddled up my glasses to the point of barely being able to see on the mid-week morning ride.

Wednesday the clouds hung over the Angeles Forrest. They took to pouring out their feelings all over the road and those who ventured out on a bicycle. The maintenance shed tree provided relief. The descent took longer as the bike rims were wet and the brakes less efficient. On the way down, Tinker Juarez sped up the hill. Out of the saddle he hammered up the mountain with his distinctive dreadlocks and backpack of weights. Amazing.

Met the real GMR, John A. who has lived on Glendora Mountain Road since 1971!

John now enjoys riding every day and remembers when the mountain was closed to traffic. His quest is the maintenance shed and then Baldy Village.

Ron G captured this set of buzzards hanging around near the coyote cub curve.

Yes, these are the birds I saw a week ago. Ride faster Ron!

Also parking along the road has become problematic.

photo courtesy of Ron G.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Cloudy Sunday

The clouds hung low and the moist morning was heavy with dew. Met up with Jason and had a good ride up to the shed. Lots of talk of adventures, past and future bicycles, routes and friends. Not many cyclists on the road but plenty of the motorized kind.

Saturday's ride had more sun than Sunday's.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Communing with Nature

Lightning storms on Wednesday, with a a breath of sunshine on Thursday but stuck at work. Friday raining like gangbusters followed by a Saturday fraught with clouds. My umbrella placed back in my car as a peace offering to spirits. My mistake for removing it before the first day of summer.

The long cycling leggings were dug out of the drawer this morning. A bit warm for the hot sweaty ride on the way up. Perfect for the descent. Was this June or January. Both.

The air smelled fresh, easy to breath. Clouds kept a few folks off the road and the natives of the forest were out in the mid-morning quiet. Movement on the road caught my eye. The bushiness of the fur made me think rabbit, the upright ears alert and velvety reminded me of a deer, then the short skinny legs rising up to the all over fuzziness of youth emerged as coyote pup. No time to retrieve a camera from the back pocket. Directly above us a predator bird floated looking for rabbit sized food. Hide pup! Hide. The aviator sported dark wings, dark body, a red flap of skin looped over its beak.

Photo courtesy of Ron.

Darting across the pavement the pup disappeared into the brush of the hillside, back to home base and safety.

Missing in action were the bee hives. Taken out on two heavy flat bed trucks on Thursday evening around eight o'clock. Two of the three locations were vacant.

Clouds shrouded the earth and brought living things closer. A crow led my bike up the ascent to the maintenance shed. I spoke to the floating bird and asked if the wrappers from fast food looked enticing. Perfectly logical thing to do when the blood circulated fast and hard in the body.

The top of Monroe reached Mt. Baldy was hidden behind clouds.

Ron G's photo of an eagle or hawk on Monday:

The afternoon brought a nine month decision to a finality. I have ordered a new bicycle, a Specialized Ruby Expert Triple.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Fishing Trip

What goes down, must come up.

This motorcycle rider was smart enough to let go before his bike went off the road. A normal tow truck would have drug the bike through the chaparral brush. He decided to go on a fishing trip.

Photos courtesy of Mark K