Monday, December 29, 2008

Catch up

Saturday, Sunday, Monday December 27-29, 2008

With the holidays comes a break from routines and schedules. The normal pressure to get a few minutes of exercise before the long morning commute to work is easily cast aside for the luxury of sleeping in, or a marathon of baking pies and rolls for family events, the escape of a hike up Mystic Canyon or the bounding out for a family walk in the morning before everyone splits up for their day of entertainment.

The sunny but cold temperatures of Saturday have now turned into the southern- California-famous Rose Parade weather. The temperature a beautiful 76F , I was dressed for 45F. My wardrobe miscalculation cost me time. I should have been dressed for spring in reality I was dressed for winter riding. The wool socks were turned down. The long pants were wetted for cooling, the top base layer was shed, but I could have done with short sleeves. The jacket wrapped around my waist kept slipping off forcing me to stop and adjust. Not a cloud in the sky. The sun was more than warm. The traffic included seven motorcycles, several cars, a few cyclists. Perfect day. My SDSR time was 37:55. I am glad it is under 38 minutes. I made it to mile marker 9.49 which is the end of the first saddle. Took pictures and ate cookies. A red tailed hawk was cruising the air currents. It was calming to watch how it floated with out flapping a wing. Gliding around, hoping for small rodents to venture out on a glorious day. The freeways are far in the distant. Every day I don't get on a freeway is a very good day indeed.

Spent two hours cleaning the bike using the new xmas present. Less bending is very good.

Sunday 28, December 2008
Hike in Mystic Canyon. A beautiful morning.

Afternoon venture to Cal Poly Voorhis Botanical Gardens.

The evening family entertainment was a game called "Apples to Apples". Players held seven cards with nouns on them such as "My bedroom", "James Bond", "Spit", "United Nations" or "Waco, Texas". Players took turns drawing a green card with an adjective, such as "juicy", "obnoxious", or "manly". I judged the adjective word "nasty". It came down to two choices: pigeons or motorcycles. Nasty motorcycles won.

Saturday 27, December 2008
Apple pies and roll baking in the morning. With a walk around Glendora. Almost bit by a goose! Traffic on the mountain was very light. The temperature was still very chilly. Afternoon was family event.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Afternoon ride

Friday December 26, 2008 13:30

Tom on his recumbant bike had a head start. Steve and I caught him at mile marker 11.53. I had to finish my time trial before I could slow down. We grouped at the first saddle. Met Alan who rode down with us.

Tremendous amount of SUV traffic on the road. Lots of lost people searching for the adventure of snow. Glendora Ridge Road was closed.

The view never disappoints.

Steve and Tom at the first saddle.

Alan C. stopped on his way down as we grouped at the first saddle. Many folks are asking him how to get to the snow but the road is closed.

Hiking with Hans

Friday December 26, 2008.

Hans hiked to the top of Colby Trail. Along the way large paw prints were embedded in the dirt. Dog or mountain lion? Compare with the post on Sunday.

Looking south onto Glendora, Hans has captured the thrill of the bike ramp that BMXers and mountain bikers enjoy.

His view of Mt Baldy was spectacular.

Here the beehives were in the foreground.

Great hike Hans!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tuesday Ride

Tuesday December 23, 2008

What does one do when you can leave work early for the holiday break? The answer was simple, the road was dry the temperature hovered between 52-61F and the clouds played peek-a-boo with the sun.

The descent was a bit chilly inspite of my extra layers of ear warmer, ski gloves and warm jacket. My toes needed extra warming in the post ride shower. The Montana relatives arrive on Friday and will enjoy the southern California heat wave, while I shiver.

More car and truck traffic than cyclists. There were a few hikers out today. Was that Cathy and Joan of Glendora on bikes descending as I made my final push to the saddle?

My SDSR time was better than expected as the mountain seemed like an entirely different road in afternoon with shadows in all the "wrong places". Time: 36:40. Average Speed 6.2 mph. Average power 140 watts.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Hike - Ranger Station - Colby Trail

Sunday December 21, 2008

The rain and snow this week left the ground wet and impressionable. The native fauna prowled the trail this week and left marks. Mountain lion tracks. The pepper spray was in pocket. I think it would just make me tastier.

Today the sun was warm and the ground has completely dried. The view of Glendora was awesome.

I met Hans on the trail today. He works with Matt at the San Dimas facility. A company hike may be on the radar for New Year's Day.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

GMR - ice

Saturday December 20, 2008.

The road was lined with hay bales for a luge skateboarding pilot film sponsored by Animal Planet. Quite an interesting collection of folks. The skateboarders that normally frequent the mountain weren't out today.

It was a nice fast SDSR stage today. Fastest time ever posted: 34 minutes 45 seconds. Average speed of 6.6 miles per hour and average power of 150 watts. This now bests the best time of last week of 35:35! The first mile was 20 seconds faster, the second mile was 15 seconds faster, the third mile was 10 seconds faster, the last portion was 5 seconds faster. Yes I was slowing down. But very pleased with the results.

The shadow of the mountain kept ice on the road. It was wise to stop and soak up the warmth of the sun and catch up with the events of the week.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Thursday December 18, 2008. Dawn over the maintenance shed. Some days off of work are so much better than others. At least one of us was smart enough to take a gorgeous day off from work.

How different and magical the world looks hidden under a cloak of white.

Here is the view for the working stiffs from Santa Ana 38 miles away. The mountains are peaking out under the clouds. Another time when a real camera was needed.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

More weather

Wednesday December 17, 2008. The latest storm has left the roads slippery with cold wet snow and ice. The intrepid explorer Matt ventured out once more this week to experience the rare event of a white winter here in southern California. The maintenance shed is just out of reach.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

California Dreaming

December 11, 2008.

Sunrise before the storm!

Photo courtesy of Bill


Monday December 15, 2008 16:00 PST.

Amazing how the road I sweated on all summer long takes on a new look with a winter coat of white. Maybe this is the reason I was chilled to the bone on the wet Saturday ride!

The maintenance shed in all its glory.

Photos courtesy of Matt.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Mystic Canyon

Sunday December 14, 2008. After the cold and wet of Saturday, I decided a slower activity such as hiking would be good. The vistas were gorgeous viewing the mountain from the "other side", the city with its sprinkling of red and gold trees. however I didn't bring a camera. The definition of cold on Sunday was 38F warming to 60F. My sister in Montana reset my definition of cold today saying it was a very brisk -2F!!! Yikes.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Wet Weather

Saturday December 13, 2008. It's amazing how the city and the valley stays dry yet as one pedals up Glendora Mountain Road into the cloud cover the damp drizzly rain turns into distinct rain drops that blur your spectacles and limit your vision with a visibility of 5 feet. It was the kind of cold wet ride that after its over you need to peel off the soaked clothes and just cuddle with another nice warm body. Since that didn't happen a long hot shower warmed my bones and my icicle toes into functioning units again.

One lucky squirrel descending a steep hillside ran onto the road. Barely missed my wheels and then ran between the front and back wheel of Matt's bicycle. It is amazing that the three of us were in tact after this close encounter.

There were a few die hard cyclists today and very few motorcyclists. One young fellow from Azusa Pacific had to stop and get warm on the way down. He rode to Cow Saddle where it was near freezing. He was dressed a bit too light. The goosebumps on his legs were noticeable. His plans included more riding this week. However weather forecasts even wetter weather with snow.

This was an awesome ride today. My SDSR time was the best ever at 35 minutes 35 seconds. Yeah! Average Speed 6.4 mph. The power average is a bit suspect as it didn't provide consistent readings. I added morning walks this week followed by core training with plyometric star jumps between the indoor cycling sessions. Yes it was a good ride although too short! I dried off the bike before me, but now its time to do a more thorough job.

35 minutes and 35 seconds. I am quite pleased!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

False Start

Sunday December 7, 2008. It was a cloudy morning with interrupted sleep. I woke up groggy, I think my knees were having nightmares not my brain! Saturday's ride was long on a beautiful day. Sunday was cold, gray and wet. My brave words of I go riding when it drizzles a Portland dry mist evaporated when garage door opened to rain. I went shopping at the hardware store. By the time I got home it had dried up. I left late at 9:45 am. Saw a fire engine 86 headed up GMR at 10:25am responding to a vehicle over the side at 30601 GRR between Sunset Ridge & Mt Baldy Road. It wasn't long before I saw the engine heading back to their station at 10:47 am. It was a short ride and other riders were stopping on their way down to warm up. I had my warm jacket, ear band, and snow gloves. There was little traffic going down.

I ended up napping through the end of the Phillies vs NJ Giants football game. Phillies won. The Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers was a frustrating game indeed until the last 10 minutes of the fourth quarter. It was amazing when Townsend on the Steelers team intercepted the ball and scored the winning touchdown.

It was a full house with my son's friend over playing video games and my daughter's friend from UCI.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Glorious Day

Saturday December 6, 2008. A glorious day indeed. It started off clear and cool. It warmed up to 51F by 8:10 am when I headed out. My time to the 10-mile marker was 38:10. Two minutes slower than desired. Still a good time for me. The vehicular traffic was light. I wondered if today's USC vs UCLA game at the Rose Bowl meant all of Southern California was preparing for football festivities.

With the winter sun hanging in the southern sky, the road was shaded along the route and the temperature wasn't too high. I felt good as a coasted down from mile marker 4 the "point of no return." I headed up the "wall" from mile 5. Greg S. said hi at mile marker 6.2 just as I was ready to turn around. I stopped and ate a Mojo bar. With the weather so nice, the traffic light and the body willing, I reversed directions and kept going up, the mind was in control and 8.3 was only a few minutes away. It's been three months since I have made it this far. So I am pleased with the ride today. Miles 38.1. 1908 Calories


Here is my Christmas cheer at work.