Friday, August 28, 2009

Morris Fire Pictures

Ron sent me photos from earlier in the week of the Morris Dam Fire in the Angeles National Forest.

Firefighting equipment?

This owl did not survive.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Road Closed

Public Works Road Closures listed Glendora Mountain Road closed until further notice. The portable electronic sign flashed the same message as last night. It was closed due to the Morris Fire which consumed 1800 acres of Angeles National Forest. Reports have it at 45% contained.

Smoke blanketed the air of Glendora. Particulate measurements were higher at midnight than during the day. I asked Bill to get his assessment of today's air quality. His monitoring procedure:
To get an accurate, up-to-the-minute, assessment, I just went outside and chewed on some - it isn't as crunchy as it was when you left [at 6am], but it still doesn't taste too good. Also the air is still full of large objects - see picture

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Morris Fire Azusa Glendora

Wednesday August 26, 2009 8:00 PM. The Morris Fire in the Angeles National Forest above Azusa and Glendora California continued to wreck havoc on the hillside. Road closures of Highway 39 and Glendora Mountain Road remain enforce. The portable electronic blared out:

Glendora Mountain Road

Closed due to Fire

Air support for firefighters flew over Glendora. Bill captured this retardant dropping aircraft.

The smoke from the fire obscured the view of the San Gabriel Mountains from the 57 Freeway in San Dimas.

Cautious drivers wore protection:

Two photos courtesy of Margaret my carpool partner.


August 26, 2009 6:15 am....CBS Channel 2 News reported 750 acres burned in the Morris Dam Fire East of Highway 39 in the Angeles National Forest, north of Azusa. 600 Firefighters combated the flames. Voluntary evacuations of the Williams campsite and trailer park in the canyon.

The air quality for particulate matter rated in the Unhealthful for Sensitive Groups (orange). Visually the air was grey and smelled of fire.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Road Closed

Four Glendora City Police cars blocked access to Glendora Mountain Road due to the fire burning in Angeles National Forest by Highway 39 between mile maker 20 and 21. The road remained closed based on the status of the Morris Dam fire. The winds blew smoke and ash North by North West away from residential areas. As of the 6:15 pm TV report on CBS Channel 2 News the fire burned 100 acres and was under control. CBS Fire Report on the web.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Road Work Ahead

The Electronic Sign flashed a message tonight. Road Work Ahead. Drive with Caution. Lots of sandy silt on the right edge of the road. New bright orange dots to go along with the white DWP markings. A few patches of tar. Glendora Mountain Road still paved and intact, no upheavals yet.

Freeway traffic was not in my stars tonight, so it was a late start at 6:24 pm. Just enough time to get in the time trial before the darkness of night descended upon the road. Must have been Ladies Night Out. Saw Joan, Cathy plus friend heading down the mountain. Great to see you! There were two additional ladies I passed on the way up. I complimented them as I breezed past. One joked, could you give me a lift? I barely heard them as I was pounding that mile. I did set a new record for myself: 28:40 or 30 seconds better than two weeks ago.

While I had no time, light or camera for pictures. Bill had all three on his morning around Bonelli. Folks might think these are cute, cuddly little guys. I on the other hand get apprehensive at the mere sight of these chipper, buck toothed, inquisitive fellows.

Nightmares of squirrels danced in my head. Bill also sent me this scene of tranquility, a great heron.

I shall sleep well. Good weather. Good pavement. Good ride.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Holding Your Breath

After a week of smoke laden air a storm system swept in and blew out the particulates. The air returned to a breathable quality. The thunder clouds covered the morning sky on Saturday. The grey tricked the mind into thinking it was cooler! However the warm mugginess enveloped everyone. It was good to get out and ride. was out in strong numbers in their staged time trial.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

In Broad Daylight

Ron captured this bit of speeding and reckless driving, Monday August 17, 2009. Witness every driver crossing the double yellow line on a blind curve!

Glad you're alive man!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Catching up with Bill

Bill traversed Bonelli Park over the past month snapping the fauna with abandon. Today a grey marine layer with a heavy dose of fire particulates filled the air.

Birds abounded.

This next picture fills my heart with terror. I know what it is thinking.....
wait until GMR rides by and then run out -- stop -- change your mind a couple of times -- repeat.

One of the best days of the summer Monday August 3, 2009. Perfect air. Perfect day.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sierra Madre Search and Rescue

Bruce Lamarche of Glendora, a member of the Sierra Madre Search and Rescue, will share his experiences at a free talk at 7 p.m. Thursday at Village Bookshop, 123 N. Glendora Ave.

Lamarche has been a member of SMSR for 12 years, previously serving 19 years with San Dimas Mountain Rescue. As SMSR's Public Education Chairman, Lamarche spends time educating the public about wilderness safety, particularly through the "Hug-A-Tree and Survive" program.

The non-profit SMSR is an all-volunteer team of 25 members dispatched by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Life on the Road

Plans were set. Meet Jason early Saturday morning. He was riding to Baldy Village, I would decide how far I would go based on road conditions, weather, and performance. The morning was cool with a breeze and my muscles twitched as I pedaled on Sierra Madre before hooking up with Jason.

The road relatively quiet for a Saturday morning, we enjoyed the light traffic during the first hour. My muscles sufficiently warmed up with the climb. There were several areas of the road where dirt and rocks littered the pavement making navigation precarious.

At the shed the Riverside Bicycle Club were on their way to Crystal Lake. A nice long bike ride for Jim, Marty and Edith. Has it really been a year, Marty?

Single speed Ron with a gear ratio of 46-to-16 had a good morning out.

Tranquility rarely lasts and the motor traffic picked up significantly past the fork. Jason spotted something moving around the bend. A lone coyote loped along the pavement at nine am in the morning. It looked hot, tired and hungry and stayed its course. Jason took his camera out of its pocket. I have seen other coyotes approach when people pull things out of their pockets in hopes of food. It did not spook nor did it approach. I passed it giving it wide berth. My pepper spray was deep in a pocket.

Jason was on form to make Baldy Village over the first three rolling hills. A bit surprised Jason stopped just before the Point of No Return (fork plus four). It was still shaded and there was a bit of wall. Both front and back tires were leaking air rapidly. He had double flatted! Visual inspection of the outer tire showed no thorns. Sharp pointy tube penetrating rocks were the cause. A motorcyclist stopped and checked on our status. That was most appreciated.

Between the two of us we had two tubes, a mirco pump, CO2 cartridges, a patch kit and levers. It took 30 minutes to replace and fill the tubes. A number of interesting folks passed us by, inquiring if help was needed. The matching green and yellow Candidae jerseys caught one cyclist's eye. He mentioned he read our blogs! Which one? Cycling Glendora Mountain Road. Awesome! Readership! Adobo Velo and Jesse passed us by. I recognized Daryl's voice as he and Rick approached.

Jason abandoned the Village goal and opted to travel back the same way. Several close encounters with motorcycles were par for the course. On a blind bend, riding single file we were on the right white line when a motorcycle zipped past in the opposite direction! a mere few inches from colliding. Expletives gushed from my mouth.

Traffic increased as we transitioned from Glendora Ridge Road to GMR. It was a confluence of cyclists and bikers at one point. Jason was in front and witnessed one biker losing control of his vehicle. He was on the ground when I arrived. He quickly got up and swore. Two other bikers stopped. The three of them rolled the bike upright.

Today's ride qualifies as an adventure. Glad to be alive and in one piece.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Metal versus Carbon

Saturday I was headed home back from Fork plus Four. The rolling hills and the fast descent, I shifted into the biggest front gear and the smallest back gear. Shifting has been problematic of late on the new Specialized Ruby. The cables have stretched. Well, I lost my chain in the back and this was what happened when metal meets carbon.

The Saturday trip to Incycle, they adjusted things. I hadn't really looked at my bike, until Sunday when I went to clean it. I have my glasses on to see the dirt and the latest imperfection.

Two of the repair guys thought it was cosmetic.

Up close.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Catching up with GMR

It was a Saturday like any other Saturday on Glendora Mountain Road. The lugers were lying down horizontal to the ground inches off the pavement and plummeting along the pavement. Motorcycles abundantly zipped past with a fervor reserved only for the most faithful. Cyclists were a bit more sporadic on the road. My mind felt quiet and reserved today. Engaged with the task at hand of riding up the hillside.

A crowd at the maintenance shed gathered, some headed down Highway 39, some headed down GMR. The talk centered around one motorcyclist who laid down his bike. The dirt all over the road, and the fact that three men couldn't lift the bike upright.

Daryl caught up with me at Fork plus Fork, back from his French vacation.

He was glad to be home and looking forward to having an American quantity of ice in his Coke with his Freedom Fries in Baldy Village. GMR was excellent training for the French Pyrenees. The Brits who worked in the flat oil fields of Qatar used the abundant wind for their pre-ride strength training.

Saturday July 25, 2009

A jam packed weekend I had no time or energy for posting. The Saturday ride started late and I caught up with Jason at the shed. A ride to Fork Plus Four with photos of the Los Angeles I. Martin Cycling club. The view to the west from Fork plus Four:

Back in time to see the son in his pre-test for Black Belt at the Glendora Korean Karate Studio. No air conditioning. He was sweltering for the two hours I watched. The son breaking two boards with his hand. Note the sweat on the back of the jacket.

Home. Late Lunch. The final mountain stage of the Tour de France on Mount Ventoux. The epic battle within team Astana with Lance Armstrong, Alberto Contador, Andreas Kloden. And their challengers of Team Saxo Bank's Andy and Frank Schlenk, along with Garmin-Slipstream's Bradley Wiggins.

Sunday July 26, 2009.
Blueberry pancakes. Incycle Bicycle Clinic.

Sandwiches for lunch. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in the theater, Stage 20 of Le Tour in Paris on the Champs-Élysées. Clean the stove. Load of laundry. Clean and lube the bike.