Sunday, June 8, 2014


Inspiration comes from many sources. The inner drive to keep your legs pedaling up a mountain to make it to Baldy is a bit of a mystery. Why Baldy? Why the Village? Is it a test of good health or does it create good health? Or is it a bit of both. It is a yearly goal to start anew. Is it the efforts of folks like My Mountain is Waiting, or Hillbasher to set a goal. It is the strength of friends who ride there regularly, like Ken and Mark.  It is the strategy of John C. to save energy for the return trip and go slow the first leg. It is the incremental building of putting miles in the bank and the opportunity, the time, the good legs that converge. Baldy? Why Baldy? Food. Drink. Watering hole. Visitor Center. Power Ade. Distance. The destination is a feather in your cap. It is the appreciation of good health that I can do it. Set the goal. Work towards the goal and then feel the rush of coasting into the Village. Made it.

The filming of San Andreas (2015) has made access to the road hit or miss this week. Saturday, it was good to have access to the road and a necessary part of ride. The street was lined with participants of the Lightning Velo GMR Time Trial as they warmed up along the road. Stationary trainers slotted between autos. Lots of activity. People walking everywhere.  160+ riders.  large success. The first racers passed me at Windy Tunnel. Onlookers cheering with cowbells, an added bonus to the day. Broom Guy clearing the rocks and debris from the road. You are Mr. Popular. Photographers in the middle of the road 1K to the top.

But I get ahead of myself. Caught up with Francis of Adobo Velo before Windy Tunnel. I asked him about his Furnace 508 jacket.  Learned he rode the Furnace 508 - five years - solo - 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012. Wow. Francis was on his second lap to the shed. Wow. Also had a brief stint with Amy and Mandy of Adobo Velo as well.

The hubbub of the race was immediately over at the top of Monroe. The gate was locked at the fork. Hopped the gate and the tranquility and solitude of the first three miles of Glendora Ridge Road made me re-think about my goal of the Village. Three miles. Nary a sole. Nope. Keep going. My pace.

A group of riders from LaVerne-Claremont passed me at the point of no return (mile marker 4). I finally caught up with one of the riders, Mara, however she was fading. Must keep going I thought. I spied Mark flash by on his return trip from the Village at mile marker 5.18. I waved. Head down. Keep pedaling. It was a surprise when I heard him say "you're hard to catch. you're going pretty fast". Gold star for you Mark. Thanks for the compliment. His company was most appreciated for the most challenging part of the ride, "The Reward Climb". The sun beats down on you at mile marker 6.2 plus the thinner air at the altitude is always a hurdle. Mark detected my increased breathing. The power meter showed the uptick in my heart rate. He suggested a rest in a small patch of shade around mile marker 7. That was perfect. We rode to the "top" at mile marker 8.3. He gave me the tip about the wind for the return trip. I sailed into the rolling Alpine section and glided into Baldy.

I spied the L.V-C. Group at the post office. I had been thinking of the ice cold red Power-ade from the vending machine by the Lodge. I kept moving. It was amazing to stop, eat. guzzle. water. start with a sip of power-ade. Interesting chat with a group of Harley Riders who like to ride 300 miles for their outings. I needed a photo at the post office. Chatted with Donna of the LaVerne Group. She was amazed I rode alone. I thought well not really. Friends along the way. New friends.

The ride back was slower going. Stop for photos. I checked out the berms and edging of the road. Think of the climb you are doing now, not the climb three hills from now. The chilled power-ade was good. A few riders trickled by in both directions. Hop the gate back up the fork. Saw Mandy still doing repeats. Wow Mandy.

Done. First trip to Baldy, done. Recalibrate the size of the wheel for the cycling computer, done. It's 46 miles to Baldy not 50! Set a goal. did it. now do it some more.


Hillbasher said...

Great write up.Reading reports like this make me think I need to get the dust off my ride and get my butt back out there.

GMR said...

Come on up Hillbasher. The road is good.