Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday Ride


I waited for the air to warm up before venturing out around 9:30 am. But it was worth the wait. It was a good hard push through SDSR and the time was 33:00 which is good for me. Doubly good as this was second day in a row. Perhaps that Saturday afternoon nap was helpful.

A bit of a bruha with Jan's Towing large flat-bed tow truck, a paramedic truck, and motorcycle CHP unit making haste up the mountain. The white car had its front end smashed in badly. The front windshield was cracked as if a person's head had hit it. There was more presence by the CHP today besides the motorcycle unit there were two other CHP patrol cars out on the road today. One had a motorist stopped near Newman's.

A squirrel racing across the road in front of my bike near the first saddle as I streamed down the mountain made my heart stop. My neighbor reminds me that squirrels are small and they do have tiny brains.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday Ride

My brain signals with its upper motor neurons to the spinal cord to move my legs and they respond pedaling my bike up a mountain. It is this realization that made my ride today a bit more of a blessing. What do I want to contribute to society and how do I make myself feel alive were streaming through my head. Family news. My sister-in-law has been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease, ALS. I needed a moment to be alone. Pedalling. Breathing. Pondering.

The weather was remarkably different from one week to the next. Sunday 105F. Monday 95F. Tuesday 75F. Wednesday a perfect 65F. Today Saturday a chilly, cloudy 55F. With the wind blowing through a layer of long sleeved fuzzy jersey. Chilly thoughts. Plenty of motorcycles to disrupt your concentration or more accurately hone it into the next few moments. Wednesday's ride spoiled me. Big time.

Fortunately life does catch up, breaking into internal thought patterns and the cyclists that I encountered were very good people in deed. Today I met Tayler, Paul, Dan, Alex and Chris S.


Tayler arrived first. I couldn't find the wings on his bike, but I know they are there.




Paul and Tayler.



Dan's happiness beamed through bright red.



Alex took a break from cycling and the racing scene. Remember everyone wins who rides not just the people who come in first.




Chris had problems with his bottom bracket.



Chris and Matt analyze the problems.




The view at Monroe.



Chris compiled a list two pages long of excuses people used to avoid riding. Some notable ones were: My teeth hurt. The second sprinkler in the front yard isn't working. I have to go to San Diego on Friday -- but hey it's only Tuesday!

Chris ranks as a bike whisperer. He analyzed my leg stroke and informed me -- what my knees have been constantly telling me -- that my bike seat was too low by 3/8 of an inch. Chris adjusted my seat. Let's see how this plays on other pressure points. Sunday promises to be a good day to ride.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Picture Perfect

Met up with the Calvary Riding Association at the maintenance shed. I met Louie, Tony, Rick and Art. Their club was 50 members strong with a vast array of abilities. The excitement over the new younger members could not be contained.




A stunning day.



Clouds are my favorite.



Made it to fork plus six. Light traffic. It was a good day to ride long.

Now that I am a bit rested:
Being a Wednesday I treated the mountain as interval training. I had an excellent long surge up the first incline past the start of Monroe. The public works crew were maintaining the road. Red signs with "Road Work Ahead", "Flagger" and "Prepare to Stop" lined Glendora Mountain Road. A large bulldozer was clearing brush. The flagger and radio man waved at me. "Cyclist coming, slow and steady," he radioed the driver of the bulldozer. Cyclist coming through. They waved at me and I obliged as I picked up the pace pleased that I didn't have to stop. I rounded the hair pin turn to find a second flagger with a stopped cyclist coming down the mountain. I was doubly pleased at my preferential treatment. The traffic kept me company about once a half hour a motorcycle or car or cyclist who pass me. The maintenance shed provided chat time with the Calvary Cyclists. The next leg of the trip past the fork on Glendora Ridge Road, nature and clouds billowed larger than life. I noticed a hawk shadow soaring on the pavement. If I had been a bit smaller I would have been a tasty treat.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Picture Perfect

Bill was out and about today and had a much better ride than Monday. He did his usual 2 hours/25 miles around Bonelli. Temperature was about 78 when he left and 92 when he arrived home.



Looks perfect to me.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Blood and Guts

Monday.

Ron G, Matt, Zach and Tony endured the heat (90-100F) for a hard ride. Tony and Zach made it beyond the first saddle before turning around. Ron G and Matt continued on to the top of Monroe. Matt who rarely rides the outside of the lane painted with a white line was quite surprised to have an up close and personal encounter with the natives. Ron G was quick enough to capture the moment.


video

The guts award of the day go to Ron G and Matt.

For myself it was a quiet night, good for intervals while I concentrated on my breathing. Wolfgang in his Magor Mold jersey passed me as he descended.

The blood award of the day goes to Bill for toughening up his left tendon. Heal fast! I am thankful it was only the pedal of the bike and not a car. Those yellow lights are always hard to time.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Catch Up

Saturday Ride - GMR

The weather promised to be warm and pleasant on Saturday. Mother Nature did not disappoint. After a month of chilly (Saturday) weather here in Southern California cyclists were enjoying the good fortune of sun and road. The Pasadena Triathlon Club had some 40 members on the rode in the early morning.

Recovering from a cold I surprised myself and rode to mile marker 6.2 on Glendora Ridge Road. I call this fork plus six.

Along the way one may see the white boxes for bee hives. It surprised me to find one scenic location was a bee hive site.



The workers were checking to make certain the fence was electrified to keep out the bears for the next three months. They collect the honey and sell it to Sue Bee for retail sale. They will also double up the hive boxes to provide the buzzers more home space. I may not be visiting this area too closely for awhile.

I made certain to hydrate adequately to keep the cold at bay. The wind started gusting around 11:30 am. The view at fork plus six:




Writers will correct me. Pictured are: Iron Mountain, Mt. San Antonio (Mt. Baldy), Thunder Mountain and Cucamonga Peak.





Thursday Ride - Bill


Bill made it to the maintenance shed. First time on Thursday. The joy of resting in the shade of the shed is a blessed event.



Glendora Mountain Road as it approaches the shed:

Monday, April 13, 2009

Monday Rides

Bill had a great ride early in the day.


There are sometime days when one can leave work on time, the freeway is clear and one can get on the bike at the right time. Today was not one of those days. Patience was clearly the lesson of the day and knowing that if I was upset the only person I was hurting was me. Pull out all the life-gives-you-lemons-make-lemonade stories.

Somewhere I passed Wolfgang on his way down the mountain. The Monday night Leon group was also headed down. Do you get the feeling I started late? Met Frank, Tony and Matt headed down the mountain. Today was Frank's first foray up the hill. His determination took him to the top of Monroe! Tony kept Matt on his toes.

I did make it to the end of my time trial. Stopped at a small stone wall at mile marker 9.77 and headed right down. It was surprisingly light for a late cloudy evening. Every ride is a good ride.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Connections



New construction on Citrus College bears the same corporate logo as Matt's Schroeder Iron Incycle Cannondale bicycle laid to rest by a motorcycle. The hope is that the building will last longer than his bike.

Frank Schroeder has sponsored an elite men's team this year and can be followed here at Schroeder Iron Cycling. Looks like Matt missed out on the latest 2009 bikes.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Saturday Ride

Bicyclefriends.org showed their determination today as clouds clung to foothills, cotton candy wisps loaded with moisture. I hooked up with Jason and Kevin at Sierra Madre. Kevin was checking in and not riding as his leg cramp turned out to be a blood clot. I am so glad he is alive.

At the first push, an 8% upgrade at the ranger station, the strategy was to save the energy for the SDSR leg of the mountain. Jason and I waited at the electronic sign for Matt who rode up with the Simple Green peloton. Jason explained that Carl, Mark, and Bryan had forged ahead.

Jason and Matt kept the pace at an average of 7.0 mph. My brain said it was a second day in a row, but the body said yesterday was barely a warm up. My SDSR time ties for the best time of 32:50. It was good to stop at the first saddle and let Carl and Bryan catch up.

Cheers abounded when Carl and Bryan made it to the shed. Matt surged on to the fork a couple of times to give himself a workout and a stretch. We met Kim from Pasadena who rides GMR occasionally. Kim needed to ride today in spite of the greyness. Hope we see you again Kim!

The descent chilled the bone of the unprepared. Myself, I had donned a dry warmer base layer, heavier jacket, ski cap, ski gloves, arm warmers and leg warmers. It was worth every ounce to have those micro fibers keeping me warmer. The descent was fast and furious. Carl had zoomed out of sight at 35 mph.

The sun finally broke out at the end of the ride. The clouds lifted enough to make out the ridge line. It had been a very good ride indeed.

Bryan:



Carl:


Jason:




Kim:



Nature:


Of note today is the Mulholland Challenge and the hope is that Wolfgang and Amber do their best and enjoy 100 miles of climbing!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Updates

Augusto and Maria reported a bear siting on Sunday April 5, 2009 about a mile and half from the bottom. The bear stood 3 to 3.5 feet at the shoulder and was several hundred yards away. It moved off as they slowed down. Augusto and Maria caught up with other riders at the top who had spotted it too. The bear was too quick for a picture.

Ron G sent photos of his Monday ride and the photo shoot entourage at the top of Monroe Truck Trail.



Pretty sweet when you have law enforcement to help control traffic.




Ron has a great photo album of the mountain.

Bill had the ride of the day. This panorama was a top down splicing of several pictures. Glendora Mountain Road wound it's way up the hill. The view from mile marker 11.39.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Day Late

Spectacular barely describes Monday. Bill rode around Bonelli and caught this view.



Glendora was hopping with events. Police had Valley Center blocked off at Sierra Madre as two cars collided. A passerby reported seeing cases of Smirnoff. The helicopter circled over GMR before landing and taking one person to the hospital. The other big event was the photo shoot for "Something about Chuck" at the top of Monroe Truck Trail. Large vehicles, limousine, water truck, and other support cars cruised down the hillside.

It was a good hard ride with surges. SDSR time 33:10

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sunday

A beautiful day with warm weather. Air quality allowed me to see the towers of downtown Los Angeles.



The afternoon was perfect for cleaning the bike.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Good Ride

The day dawned full of promise of good weather to ride. It was brisk at 7 am with a chilly 46F, but it warmed up nicely into the 50s only an hour or so later. The wind was blowing and the clouds danced with the sun playing with the temperature sometimes cool sometimes warm.

I met up with John and Matt on the road. They kept the pace challenging, the talk up beat and my legs cooperated.

John in all his wisdom of keeping his electric bill down used candles to read by at night. This worked well with books, however the resulting soot did not mix well with his white Mac Laptop.

At the top of Monroe, John relaxed.



Matt with his new Cannondale. His previous bike was a bit ragged around the edges.



I donned additional layers and the sun came out from the clouds and warmed the soul. It was good to get to fork plus two, the beginning of the next leg of training. Mt. Baldy remained hidden behind clouds.



On the way down there was a unique group of five individuals trying to visualize a photo shoot on the mountain. They squatted in the grass and surveyed the road angles. There we met Ron G who had a late start and was headed uphill.

I posted second best times on SDSR 33:00 and to Monroe Truck Trail 1:17.


Thursday Ride

The Public Works Crew was out on Thursday prepping the roadside for brush maintenance for the pending fire season. They turned under the weeds along the edges which also threw a layer of fine dirt on the road.






The afternoon doctor's appointment was postponed, so my healthy alternative led me to the top of Monroe.