Monday, May 30, 2011

Breakfast on GMR

After the throngs from the Tour of California last week the road was quite empty, the morning overcast and every little noise caught my attention. First the sound of a "river" of small rocks trickled down the hillside. Dislodged by birds and small animals running around. I shrugged it off and kept riding. Must be the clouds, and the quiet of the road. I get into my zone breathing and cycling, I see only the road a few feet in front of me. A couple more bends by mile marker 11.7 I heard the weirdest noise. Crackling, chewing, bone crunching sound. I turned to the right to see a coyote standing on the dirt berm just a few feet away. I saw a grey tail hanging from its mouth as it crunched breakfast squirrel, bones, tail, fur and all. In a moment the tail was gone. Good coyote.

TJ caught up with me at the first saddle. I met him last week at the Tour and it was good to have someone to talk to and help distract the mind from all the little gripes the body has. Pumped my speed back to normal. We marvelled had how nice the weather was last week for the race and the television coverage. TJ's friends caught up with us at the shed. (help me with the names, TJ) Jason and Byron (??). Also met John at the shed. Only his fifth time up the road. Awesome.

Matt, Ron and Dixie arrived. Dixie looked a bit cold today. I wondered how tandem riders sort it out, go on to Baldy or down GMR. Dixie explained how Ron usually decides and she is along for the ride. However, she can show her dissent in the form of pinching.

John and Bill arrived. John had his swag he found from the race. A Team Type1 bottle from the sponsor Nuun.

Matt, John and I rode to fork plus four. The sun broke through the clouds and it felt a bit warmer.

One rube said today "The view of Glendora (from GMR) is worth a million dollars".

Me I think its priceless.

Friday, May 27, 2011

No speeding

Glendora Ridge Road mile marker 1.16 had alot of action today. Law enforcement numbers swelled as speed limits and center line rules were taken seriously today.

Had to rescue Matt from the sheriff's station in San Dimas.

Just kidding. They were trying to make a drug bust, however the intended got away.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wednesday Ride 05-22-2011

A mid-week ride is always heaven. Precious. Mind Releasing. Heart Pumping. Legs? I have legs? Pleased that my knee felt good after tweaking it badly on Saturday. I expected to ride solo up the mountain. Take it easy and pedal slowly and turn around at the first pang. The steep grade by the fire station always kicks butt. Ken shouted at me from Big Dalton Road. Cool. Ken is fast so I shot up the road got in a couple of miles before he caught me. He paced me up to mile marker 7. Easy pace for him. Fast pace for me. He recommended the strategy of "a ride is better than no ride"....hmmm may have to think about taking a bike to work again.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Tour of California Stage 7 - part deux

Epic ride on Saturday up Glendora Mountain Road to watch the Amgen Tour of California Stage 7. The weather was beautiful and picture perfect. Just enough clouds to keep the temperature down, plenty of sun to provide views most extraordinaire. Versus/Universal Sports had spectacular aerial views of the race winding up our hillside. An "iconic" stage as Paul Sherwen and Phill Ligget put it, as good as "Hautacam" or "l'Alpe du Huez" famous mountain stages of the Tour de France. Yahooie!

Here are Bill's photos I am updating and adding photos to my album.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Tour of California Stage 7 Mount Baldy

Stage 7 of the Tour of California was larger than life with its sweeping vistas, non-stop climbs that shredded the professional peloton into string of riders.

The stories will be told of the strong men who rode their bikes through the rugged terrain, however along the roadside as spectators waited a thousand stories were told. I met and re-met friends I have made along the road. Curtis and Rachel, who very kindly shared some much needed shade. Kevin from BicycleFriends, congratulations on the recovery and your ride today! Awesome dude. Ken of Duff Beer fame and his buddy Michael. The photo came out black! TJ an avid follower. So good to connect with readship to rekindle my words. The new job intrudes. Hillbasher who had camped overnight and watched the 2 am parade of drivers on the road.

The familiars who hung with me John, Matt and Bill. New folks such as "Tour Tracker" and Mystery Man. Of course Glendora's celebrity hung with us a world renown triathlete Suzie. She and John had scuba diving in common.

Lots of folks were on the road. Enjoying my cheering as they rode past. It was a good day indeed.

Bill's Photos

Friday, May 20, 2011

Stage 7 Tour of California

David Zabriskie winner of Stage 6 the Time Trial in Solvang described Amgen's Tour of California Stage 7 to Mount Baldy as 'carnage ... I haven't seen that many stages that hard. hard to control. strongest man is going to win.' Thanks Dave.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Tour of California Spectator Alert for Stage 7

Stage 7 Claremont to Mt Baldy – May 21, 2011
Spectator Advisory

This is the stage that the spectators and racers have been asking us to create for the past six years. It is finally here. It is going to be a huge challenge for the peloton, but it is also going to be a challenge for the spectators. This advisory will detail the schedules of the road closures and where you can park and can’t park. You should be able to use this information to plan your viewing options of Stage 7. With some preparation and an early start, you will be able to find a number of great places to watch the race!!

Our Recommendation: Get there early, walk or ride your bike, bring a backpack with food and water, it is going to be a full-day adventure.

Basic Information
  •  Race start in Claremont is at 11:45am
  •  Race will start climbing Mt Baldy Rd at Noon
  •  Race will start climbing Glendora Ridge Rd (GRR) from Mt Baldy Rd at 12:30pm
  •  Basic Services (water, food, gasoline) are basically unavailable in the mountains.
  • There are no gas stations, there are no stores. You may find local residents selling water and some type of food, but do not rely on it. You will need to rely on your own food and water. 
  • Plan on “packing out” any trash or other refuse
  •  There will be no shuttle program for spectators
  •  If you plan on walking or riding your bike to the switchbacks or the finish area, you need to be parked in the first available spot you can find on Mt Baldy Rd by 9:00am on race day.
WARNING: much of the six miles from the Mt Baldy Village to the finish line is 10-15% and the descent is just as dangerous as the ascent is hard.
Best Places to Watch the Race
In order to preserve the natural beauty of the area, please do not paint on the road. The CHP and Forest Service have been asked by the Tour to enforce this rule through ticketing and confiscation of paint.
  • Claremont (race start). You will have opportunities to get autographs, take pictures, and talk to the riders. Claremont will also have big screen TVs to watch the live coverage of the race. Great town. Great Shopping. Great Food.
  • Glendora Mountain Road (GMR) GMR is a great place to watch the race. It is a very long climb (about 8 miles). It is steep. There is a ton of parking. It is easy to get to. It is easy to get back down the road. There is nothing there for food, water, or gas. We will have some Porta-Johns along the climb.
  • Glendora Ridge Road (GRR). This is a 13-mile section of the course that the riders will do twice. Not as much parking as GMR, but you can see the race come by twice. The vistas from here are spectacular. Again, there is no gas, food, or water available.
  • Intersection of GMR and GRR. Just .3 miles from the 2nd KOM. You can watch the race go by and then easily walk up to the KOM and be there to watch the race come by the second time. Parking is available but will go fast. No services.

  • GRR at the first KOM. No services. Some parking. Great views down the valley. Just a mile downhill to Mt Baldy Village. You can watch the race come up Mt Baldy Rd, climb up to the KOM, and then watch them return. Probably the best place to watch the race on the entire course, but parking will go quickly. It will also be VERY crowded.

  • Mt Baldy Village. You will be able to watch the race come by twice: as they head towards the first KOM and then as they return and head towards the finish. There are just two places to eat, but there is the possibility that there may be some outside dining set-up by the town.

  •  The “Switchbacks” on Mt Baldy Rd will be the most coveted place to watch the race, but this viewing spot presents the most challenges. There is parking for just a handful of cars. If you park in a “No Parking” zone, you have a 100% certainty that you will be ticketed and towed. Tow trucks will be on the mountain. Average towing bill from Mt Baldy Road is very expensive. Parking will be gone the day before the race. If you are lucky enough to find parking on Mt Baldy Rd between the switchbacks and the Mt Baldy Village, you will need to either walk or ride your bike to the switchbacks. Average walk or ride will be 3-4 miles. There are zero services here. Once the parking is gone, only residents will have access to the road to get to their homes. IDs will be checked by CHP.
  •  Race finish at the Mt Baldy Ski Lifts parking lot. Great place to watch the race, but the most difficult place to get to. There is no parking available to the public. This area has such limited parking, that even the race itself does not have enough space and will need to use a shuttle service from several miles away. Realistically, the closest parking is going to be more than five miles away. To get to the finish area, you will need to walk or ride your bike. WARNING: much of the six miles from the Mt Baldy Village to the finish line is 10-15% and the descent is just as dangerous as the ascent is hard.
Road Closures
There are two roads to Mt Baldy Village and they will both be closed by 10:30am on race day. From the Village to the finish, there is just one road and it is likely to close by 9:00am on race day. Residents and business owners will have unlimited access, until the race is imminent. CHP will be checking IDs. Cyclist and pedestrians will be allowed to proceed on closed road, but will be asked to stop as the race is approaching.

Mt Baldy Road – This is the main road up to Mt Baldy Village from Claremont. There are four parts that will have different closures. This road will be heavily monitored by CHP.
  • From the intersection of Ice House Canyon – will be closed Friday night at 9:00pm to allow for oversized trucks to make it to the finish area. It will be reopened, or when all parking is gone, whichever comes first .
  • From Ice House Canyon to Glendora Ridge Road – will be closed at 10:30am on race day, unless all parking has already been taken.
  • From Shin Rd to Glendora Ridge Road – CHP will close Mt Baldy Rd at Shin Rd at 11:00am. All traffic will be turned onto Shin Rd and down into Upland. Race Staff and credentialed guests will be allowed to proceed.
  •  From Padua to Shin Rd – This section of road should remain open and should provide parkingon both sides of the road.
Glendora Ridge Rd – This is a 13-mile road that runs between Mt Baldy Road and Glendora Mountain Rd
  •  This road will be closed at 10:30am, from both ends
Glendora Mountain Rd - From Sierra Madre Ave to Glendora Ridge Rd
 Northbound no later than 1:00pm (depending on available parking)
 Southbound at 12:30pm (depending on available parking)
Available Parking
  •  All four tires must be totally off the pavement
  •  There will be no parking at the finish area or in Manker Flats. You will be immediately towed from these areas.
  •  Parking on the switchbacks is extremely limited and will be gone by Friday morning
  •  Parking north of the Mt Baldy Village will also be limited. The entire Trout Pond parking area will be taken for Team Parking.
  •  There will be plenty of parking on Glendora Ridge Rd, Glendora Mountain Rd, and Mt Baldy Rd
  • (south of the Village). The earlier you arrive, the shorter your walk will be to get to the finish
  • area or switchbacks.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

CANIDAE at Tour of California

My good riding buddy Jason works for CANIDAE Pet food company. They support the Amgen Tour of California. They have a raffle and well someone is going to win. Go for it!

CANIDAE will be at all stages of the 2011 Amgen Tour of California, continuing to promote an active healthy lifestyle that includes pets, and conducting a raffle to raise funds for the fight against cancer in pets.

Cycling fans can visit CANIDAE and purchase raffle tickets at all of the Amgen Lifestyle Festivals, located near the finish line at each stage of the race. The first stage of the Amgen Tour of California begins Sunday May 15th in South Lake Tahoe with subsequent stages winding all throughout California until the final stage begins seven days later on May 22nd in Santa Clarita.

All proceeds from the company's multi-day charity raffle will benefit the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation to fund cancer research in pets. The grand prize winner of the raffle will receive a a pair of Felt Beach Cruisers donated by CANIDAE.

Raffle tickets will be priced at two dollars for one, and five dollars for three. One grand prize winner will be drawn who will receive both bicycles. If present, the winner may pick up both bikes at the end of the event, otherwise CANIDAE will arrange for the shipping of the bikes to the winner's nearest Felt Bicycle retailer. CANIDAE and Felt Bicycles reserve the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value.

Founded out of a love for pets and family, CANIDAE Pet Foods promotes an active lifestyle and Responsible Pet Ownership, which includes healthy lifestyles for all of us and our pets. Part of CANIDAE's Responsible Pet Ownership message includes proper medical care and support for pets with health issues such as cancer. Nothing is more central to the core values of CANIDAE than the health, happiness and well being of pets.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

L'etape du California Notables

Ron along with 1500 of his closest bike buddies road the L'Etape du California last Saturday. Ron snapped up these photos of legendary basketball player Bill Walton in the mix. I happened to see Mr. Walton along GRR and thought Jason had decided to bring his tall bike to the event. Wow. How neat.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Where to watch the Tour of California

I had a question from Fat Cat about where to watch the Amgen Tour of California. I have my favorite but highly unlikely a heliocopter, on a motorcycle in front of the riders, in the commentator booth between Phil Ligget and Paul Sherwen. Since none of those are likely I am thinking any uphill will do. Everywhere is scenic. They go by a bit slower on the uphill than the down hill. There is one King of the Mountain Point at the shed. The steep hill before that would be also good.

Tour de France officials were watching how the California Highway Patrol do rolling closures for our bicycle races. Last year the Angeles Crest Highway was really closed about an hour or two before they went by. Of course the real crazy crowd will be between Baldy village and the ski lifts. Packed I think.

Remember you need an adventure pass to park in the forest. They are $5 at Sport Chalet for a day pass.

Wednesday Night Ride

Road tonight to Newman's point. Did see Ron and Wayne coming down as I chugged uphill. Good to see you both. I passed a couple of mountain bike guys on the way up. Thanks for making me feel the wind beneath my wings.

Ray Clone told Matt to say hi to "Myah". Who? "Myah" ... no MIA....missing in action so Hey Ray! I will make it there soon.

I met Chad and Justin tonight. Chad spoke of the jet stream that funnels up the canyon with lots of clouds. The shrubbery around the road edge is high at this time of the year, so the cars don't see you coming and vice versa. Agreed. Chad had the good fortune to be with Wolfgang the night he saw a mountain lion, two years ago. He had lots of tales of bobcats, bears and deer.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

L'Etape du California

Saturday May 7th, 2011

I spotted Tinker Juarez at 10:20 am on Glendora Ridge Road about 2 miles in. He was the first rider coming up the road!

I saw Jason, Eric, Kelly, Cheryl, Kent, Ron, and Bob, Brian, Kenny of SC Velo. This wild Southern California Crowd (of one) cheered wildly as the riders cruised by. They smiled.

Friday May 6, 2011
The L'Etape du California is happening this Saturday. With 1,500 bike riders on the road I hope there will still be room on the road for me going the opposite direction. With a launch of 7 am from Claremont, I could miss the peloton coming down Glendora Ridge Road or be swept up in the second assualt as they climb back up to Baldy. It may be spectacular to see that many riders on the road. Quiet road or see the parade?

Fast Ride America

Catch Daryl who rode fast across America. Stunning photos. No wonder why I haven't seen Daryl on the mountain. Very nice scenery.

Catching up with Bill

Bill got out for a 2 1/2 hour ride on Monday morning. The mild Santa Ana winds that we have had the last couple of days made for a nice clear morning

I must debate Bill on the Saturday wind strength. On the hill they were anything but mild!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Wind. The word for saturday's

Wind. The word for saturday's ride was wind. Not the gentle zepher type of breeze, the gusts blew 200 pound men across the road.

Tanbark station registered 35 mph wind gusts at Tanbark for April 30th and 55 mph in Baldy Village. Matt's handy historical weather link: