Saturday, January 26, 2008

Snow on them thar hills

The rain has left the mountains blanketed with snow and this morning there were cyclists staging in the Von's parking lot. My indecision to ride was wiped away with the guys unracking their bikes from the cars. The sky was clear and the sun bright an optimal break in the storms for a ride. There was no time to waste.

The Inland Inferno Triathlon Club were out in force prepping for the May event Breathless Agony. One fellow, Peter chatted with me. The next storm is a "pineapple express" a warm storm from Hawaii. As the club amassed about a dozen or more, I realized, that I wanted to be behind these guys on the way down. Besides, it was a perfect day for breath taking views and stopping for pictures along the way down.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sunday January 20, 2008

Decided to head out 40 minutes earlier. The thermometer said 39F. More layers, but probably not necessary and they do weigh you down. Yes I do two days on the mountain back to back. Saturdays are stronger and faster, Sundays are slower.

There were more stops today and the heart rate monitor started with odd reports. High heart rate when I was breathing easy. Low heart rates on climbs. It finally settled in and started reporting correctly. Time to clean the chest band.

The skate board club was out today. They van up to the top and ride their boards down the mountain. A crazy lot indeed.

But since I was stopping a few more times on the way up, prior to marker 11.39 in a bit more "wooded" spot there were a dozen large rocks from fist size to a five pounder scattered across the lane. Chucking the rocks onto the shoulder I recalled Mr. Beanz' words as he tossed a rock off the road, "Clear a rock save a cyclist's life." Today I am a hero.

The connection was there, to the pedals, to the road and to nature. Was it the extra couple of hours of sleep? I decided that the real training physically and mentally happen on the second day when muscles complain slightly. I thought of Floyd's Steep Hill Interval Training and his 10% per week overload. Well, I am going farther on Sundays.

Took a moment at Newman point snapped pictures of Baldy.


Saturday, January 19, 2008

Saturday January 19, 2008

Mentally I was cold. My body felt cold. I didn't feel connected to the task of pedaling up the mountain. The goal -- pick up the pace by 2 mph more. Last weekend it was a balmy 73F. This weekend a mere 62F. The weather was a bit chillier today in Southern California "terms." Sky was clear with a light Santa Ana winds. Mentally I needed connection to the pedals, to the road and movement. I have goals.

Firewood Sale. The Forest Service was selling cords of pine and oak trees thinned out from the bark beetle infestation. A few more large trucks with trailers hauling wood down the mountain added to the road traffic. Never saw where they were loading up, perhaps Baldy Village.

The siren was loud. Strange it could be this loud so far up the mountain past the first saddle. Then I looked behind. The LA County Fire Truck was coming up the road with the siren blazing. I moved off the road and waited for it to pass.

At mile marker 5.00 or where GMR and the top of Monroe Truck Trail cross, I noticed not one but two fire trucks blazing their sirens up from Highway 39. I decided to wait for them to pass. Thinking what goes up must come down the mountain, however they made a left turn up to Baldy. Another cyclist stopped and waited as well. I met Matt from Glendora. He's been riding for five years. A bit cold for him as well. The weather reports are expecting the coldest storm to drop snow where we were standing about Tuesday Jan 22, 2008.

Other cyclists passed us by, one stopped and explained that his cycling club were out training for Breathless Agony.

On the way down, a dark grey squirrel whom played in the auto insurance commercial decided to dash across the road mere seconds before I zoomed down the same patch of pavement. Fortunately he made his goal of crossing the road and I was relieved as well.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Weekend Rides

Saturday January 12, 2008 was a beautiful day. It was a good strong ride and for 10 minutes I kept up with two other riders. Road conditions were dry however, more dirt the consistency of sand was on the pavement. Plenty of rocks, pebbles to kick up as well. Wind conditions were mild. My reward is the best view ever from the top of Monroe Truck trail on GMR.

All along the ride was clear evidence of how the rain impacted the hillsides. Bulldozer tracks scrapped out a minimum of 12 inches for a shoulder.
This section of hillside shows the slipage from near the ridge at the top as the plants moved down. I believe this to be the section covered in the CBS/KCAL 9 report.

More erosion:

San Gabriel Canyon, Highway 39 and view out to Los Angeles :

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Indoor Trainer Paid Off

With the large rain storms this past weekend and my brother-in-law's bike shipped to Montana, I decided to use the CycleOps Indoor Trainer. The weather didn't seem too bad on Sunday, but the visibility was foggier. So indoors I rode.

The CBS 2 news cast tonight really jumped out at me. The 7.5 inches of rain really soaked the ground and part of the mountain slid onto the road. They stated this is near the Ridge Road. Looks like the indoor decision was a good choice all the way around!

CBS2 Link: