Saturday, May 29, 2010

Baldy Ride

My ride up Glendora Mountain Road started early with the promise of warm temperatures in the high 80s and a clear blue sky to the north. Rode out around 7:40 am in the upper 50s. The goal was Baldy Village a 46 mile round trip, the pace was moderate. The traffic was light for a Saturday. Perhaps folks were enjoying the three day Memorial Day weekend.

Stopped at the shed and met Earl. He struck a pose and I took a picture. NOT! The camera beeped. Damn! No memory card to record the pictures. Matt arrived at the shed a few minutes later. Then a Pasadena Triathlon Club support truck pulled in. The driver kindly offered us water and Hammer Heed. Perfect!

Earl rode another two to three miles along Glendora Ridge Road. Matt reported he heard the sirens. I thought it was the Santa Ana winds playing tricks on his ears. Then I heard it. The hope that the emergency vehicles were destined for the Azusa canyon side evaporated as the US Forest Service truck blocked traffic at mile marker 3.74 to allow the search and rescue helicopter to land. It created a dust storm and having ridden in a helicopter I knew to respect the rotating blades.

The 10 minute wait turned into half an hour and the peloton grew from two to thirty cyclists. Met Lee with his beer view mirror and hilarious chap in an Once kit, Juan and Willie, Ron a regular, and Francis of Adobovelo. The PTC pack swelled. The emergency was an injured motorcyclist. He was transported by ambulance to a local hospital to treat his thumb.

When they opened the road, I took a rear position. The wall from mile marker 5 to 8.3 didn't seem as bad, perhaps it was the ibuprofen for the heel pain, or the SR39 effort to Angeles Crest Highway that made the ride seem a bit easier. I followed a rider in a black kid but never quite caught him, then I passed Juan and Willie on the road side fixing a flat tire. The equalizer, in Willie's terms. Another fellow rested in the shade. Ahead a group of three riders, I was quickly approaching. One rider was very distinctive in their white compression socks. The fun of catching and passing kicked up my speed. I stopped to move water bottles and was passed! doh! then caught them again on the uphill only to be passed on the downhill. One last time I caught them on the uphill and the wind really put a kabosh on my speed. It was good to have the fellowship on the road. Or was that competition. Cruised past the post office. The PTC club truck had a swarm of riders and headed for the visitor center. A quick turn around and watering at the post office. A cool 69 in Baldy Village.

I had a slower ride back. It's not all down hill. The sky was blue to the north and a layer of brown smog to the south. The water from the post office was cooler in the mouth than the PTC water. A rear water bottle squirmed out of the rear cage on the downhill 25mph descent. I snugged it in on the right side. Got home at 1:30 pm. First trip to Baldy this year. It was a perfect day and a good ride.

Note, the pictures are from Matt's cell phone. Thanks Matt.

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