Saturday, December 11, 2010


After speaking with the sister in Montana, with a wintery 25F weather. The day in southern California felt incredibly gentle, warm and near perfect for an autumn day. The summer base layer was deployed as the thermometer rose steadily to 65F and hotter. The road was lightly used. Not a lot of traffic either up or down.

Marty of Riverside Bicycle Club spotted me at the corner of GMR and Sierra Madre. He had two new fresh bodies to inflict the road upon, Steve and Allison. Marty escorted Steve and Allison on the road, keeping their cheer up. Nice to hang with Marty and his crew. Steve in the yellow jersey, Marty in a Salix and RBC cap, Allison in deep colors. We bounced between Steve and Allison, while Bill and Matt cleaned up the road. I took leave and returned to Matt and Bill farther down the road, Bill stopped for a breather, Matt and I sprang into form to catch up with Steve and Marty. then Matt and I hung with Allison then sprinted to the top of Monroe.

At the top of Monroe I met the Greasers: Emily and Tom, Darrel and Ken. Ken was fit, a lean mean bicycle machine, the nicest guy you could meet on or off the road. Ken mentioned a Tuesday morning time trial ride on GMR. Wait, no. are you, no. Could you possibly be, the stuff of legends, the 100 mile a day guy who has a zillion miles logged on his Specialized S-Works bicycle. Fry Daddy?! Yes Way. Cool.

After enjoying the company. Matt and I headed down for the normal stop at Newman's to look at the reservoir and see the islands in the basin. I was in the lead when, I saw the fluffiest, furriest, brownest critter sitting on the road looking at me. Dog registered in my brain. Not a deer or a squirrel which both require me to stop. I kept on rolling. I couldn't pull my camera out fast enough. The forest dweller was smarter than me. Up it ran across the road as my bicycle slowing, but still in motion rolled towards it. Then, the shape registered. I realized that its deep black eyes, brown furry face on a bulky 130 pound plus body was a bear! Wow, 11:10 in the morning on a Saturday. Never would I guess thats when I would have first bear encounter. Saturday a busy day with alot of traffic on the road kept the wildlife at bay. The bear traversed the downsloping hillside quickly and disappered into the scrub. Cool. Fortunately for the bear, it missed the racing motorcycles and car that turned the corner < 10 minutes later. Good wild bear.

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