Sunday, October 30, 2011

Larry on the road 10/29/2011

It was amazing to meet folks of all walks of life on the road. Larry full of energy for a seventy year old road up Glendora Mountain Road on Saturday to enjoy the sun and the superb climb. Really Larry you looked fifty.

My buns of steel felt like marshmallows while my legs consisted of rubber. All due to a cold I was fighting. The sun felt good all through my bones. The towers of Los Angeles visible in the distance. The islands in the reservoir more exposed than last week. The long range weather forecast may include drizzle next week. Good to enjoy the vistas in the warmth of October.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Last A** Up the Pass 10/24/2011

Monday night on Glendora Mountain Road. Fewer folks than last Tuesday night. The crickets chirped louder than before. It was a last minute decision to ride. I'm leaving work early. Nope I'm not. Yes, I got home with about an hour of day light. All Systems are a go. Launched. Legs felt good. Race to the Sun. Saw one other cyclist at the electronic sign already heading home.

The hunters get my appreciation tonight. At the first saddle there was a dark image sitting on the wall. It was Diego in camouflage and dark face paint. He asked if I had a flat. Nope just throwing on knee warmers and jacket before the descent. I chatted with him and he had praise for Matthew. He's a great guy. I chuckled. If you took a poll of the people - hunters, cyclists, motorcyclists, runners, etc. on GMR 85-92% know Matt.

That was only the first positive. The second positive was a Suburban pulled up and two hunters asked if I was ok. I appreciated their concern with the dark enshrouding the road quickly.

Me, I appreciated having a disk in my camera.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Saturday Ride 10/22/2011

Good weather. Good day to see friends. Jason and Michael. Hung onto to Ruby's wheel to the shed. Rode up to Glendora Ridge Road mile marker 8.3. Talked to Ron at Fork plus six. And Everest Challenge Jason at Newmans. The island is showing in the reservoir.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sna Gabriel Watershed and Mountains Assessment

It is with great pleasure that the National Park Service offers to you for review and comment, the Draft San Gabriel Watershed and Mountains Special Resources Study and Environmental Assessment. The NPS initiated this special resource study in 2005 and published preliminary management alternatives in August 2009. This study represents your involvement and input into the planning process. The approaches to management and underlying values all reflect what you proposed or supported and concerns that you raised.

Comments Welcomed
The executive summary, full report, and link to the NPS online public comment system are available at the study web site: If you requested a copy of the full study report or a CD ROM, they will be mailed to by the end of October. A Spanish version of the executive summary will soon be available on the web site as well.

Comments on the draft study report must be submitted by December 16, 2011. Your continued involvement will assist the National Park Service in determining which alternative to recommend as the most effective and efficient in protecting significant resources and providing for visitor enjoyment in the study area. Please note that our offices moved from Oakland to San Francisco in August 2011. All written comments should be submitted to our new address:

National Park Service - Planning and Environmental Compliance
San Gabriel Watershed and Mountains Special Resource Study
333 Bush Street, Suite 500
San Francisco, CA 94104

Public Meetings
The NPS will host a series of public meetings throughout the study area in October and November 2011 in order to present the draft study report, answer questions, and accept comments. The first public meeting, October 29th in El Monte, will serve as the kick-off meeting for the public review period. The NPS will present the study findings and alternatives and answer questions about the draft study. There will also be opportunities to provide comments.

Public meeting locations and times include:
El Monte (Kick-Off Meeting)
Saturday, October 29
1pm - 3 pm
City of El Monte Senior Center
3120 N. Tyler Avenue
El Monte, CA 91731
Monday, November 14
7pm - 9pm
Larry Chimbole Cultural Center,
Joshua Room
38350 Sierra Highway
Palmdale, CA 93550
Tuesday, November 15th
7pm - 9pm
Agriscapes Center, California Polytechnic Institute Campus
4102 S. University Drive (South of Temple Avenue)
(From Highway 57, Exit Temple Avenue and go West towards Cal Poly Pomona. Turn left on South Campus Drive, Agriscapes is the building adjacent to the Farm Store). Pomona, CA 91768
Santa Clarita
Wednesday, November 16th
7pm - 9pm
George A. Caravalho Activities Center
Santa Clarita Room A
20880 Centre Point Parkway
Santa Clarita, CA 91351
Thursday, November 17th
7pm - 9pm
Northeast Valley City Hall Auditorium
7747 Foothill Blvd
Tujunga, CA 91042
Thank you for your interest in the National Park Service's San San Gabriel Watershed and Mountains Special Resource Study.
NPS Study Team

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

On the Road with Bill 10/19/2011

Bill got out on the road and zoomed up to the shed with other cyclists from SC Velo.

The sunshine looks good to those of us working stiffs in buildings without windows.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Saturday on GMR/GRR 10/15/2011

The Mount Baldy Lodge Store saves souls every day with delicious refreshing, thirst quenching, ice chilled drinks and munchables. Spencer and Graham this one is for you!

Strong ride to Baldy Saturday. The mountains were clear while the valley remained under a marine layer. The temperature mildly warm starting in the 60s warming to the 80s. Not overly hot. Provisioned two water bottles plus one more with Heed. Started at 7:30 am and left Bill around the Dalton Hot Shots Forest Ranger Station. It was a solo ride to the shed with a few folks passing me by on the way up. In the no man's land between first saddle and Newman's Point, one rider inspired the legs to kick it up a notch. During the last ascent to the shed that 8% climb of a few hundred feet another rider went by and I hung on, I should have passed, but didn't want to burn that match quite yet. Plenty of miles to go. It was a lively pace to end the first leg of the trip. I wanted a quick break. Eat a bar, slurp up some water. Watch a few arrivees. Just as I wanted to leave, I was asked to take a picture with a cell phone. I acquiesced. The fellow was happy. Matt showed up needing a break to catch his breath.

The shed represents ~25% of the journey or 10 miles out of 46. The next twelve miles on Glendora Ridge Road are four miles of rolling hills with four "peaks" the fourth peak being the point of no return. A steep descent to Peacock Saddle and then the start of 3.3 miles of the Reward Climb, with the next three miles of the alpine section of rolling ascents. The final mile is a steep descent into the village. Remember what goes up must go down. Easy to descend, Killer to climb back up. I made a record time from garage door to the Baldy Stop Sign of 3 hours 14 minutes. I had motivators on the GRR section. One hunter's Dodge RAM 2500 had a nasty smell to its exhaust, and it was meandering up the road, stopping multiple times. I wanted to be ahead of that tank as much as possible. I rode as fast I as could. The GRR leg was 1:25 for 12 miles at altitude. In the Alpine section taking pictures of the autumn colors Rick caught us and rode with us to the Village.

I bought a deliciously cold Red Powerade at the Mt Baldy Lodge Store and peanuts. Spencer and Graham cajoled me about not featuring the store on my blog. I snapped their picture in front of the store. Filled one water bottle at the Post Office. Headed back. Time in the Village 28 minutes. Reverse the course took just under 2 hours. Rick parted company in the alpine section. Matt raced home after the climb back up to the point of no return. Total time was 5:40. Total Distance 46.1 miles. Ascent 5200 feet. Saw a few folks in passing Shawn of broccoli fame, Jason of Everest Challenge, and Group Beanz. I was on the clock to get done. Last week was a week for chatting. This Saturday was a day for riding.

Strong Ride to Baldy. Even though I had a flu shot. Tightening the core muscles helps with the knee.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Catching up with Bill

Bill completed a loop up GMR down to East Fork. Down 39 and back on Sierra Madre.
Bill tried the make your own bars.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011

Evening Ride

The sun retreats earlier every night. Out on the wheels before 6 pm, The body responds with the ache of sitting all day but good overall. Eight or ten cyclists head for home as I begin my journey. One more ride before the time change. My title is last bike up tonight short lived as Suzy heads up the road as I descend. The full moon helps on the way down along with my night light. Coyote alert as I rounded a blind right hand turn around mile marker 11.39. Coyote climbs the cliff side as I slow down. I ride down a bit more alert for other creatures along the way. Spotted a large owl flapping noiselessly between oaks. A good ride. A better mood.

Saturday, October 8, 2011


Toe chilling to start the temperature was 52F. But as soon as you round the first hair pin turn and start the real climb the sun streams down on you warm and intense. Connecting with friends today along the way. Friends rendezvoused at the shed. Matt. Eric. Bill. Hadn't seen Eric in ages. Eric and I were recovering from other non-cycling exercising. New muscles were screaming at us. Eric headed for Baldy. Bill headed down. Matt and I went a little farther. Chatted with Rick at Fork plus one. Needed to scoop on Greg. Kids. Work. Kids finding jobs. Steve Jobs and Al Davis passing. Made it to the Experimental Forest Sign.

On the way down at second saddle. Caught sight of Gina. Then Mr. Beanz and Hillbasher. It was a film fest. Except my data was lost in digital translation. No photos. No videos. Nada. Nothing. Nil. Zip.

Hillbasher asked why I rarely reference Peacock Saddle with is Fork Plus 4.5 miles. Truth be it, I rarely stop in the valley. The peak at Fork Plus Four is called the "Point of No Return". I have to be in the mood for that climb back up to mile marker 4.0 on Glendora Ridge Road. It is a tough son of a gun.

Bill had great karma with his camera. This picture is his from today.

Evidence that I took pictures. Care of Mr. Beanz Productions:

From Hillbasher! Two out of three cameras worked. Matt, Beanz, GMR

Friday, October 7, 2011


Riding home in the dark of the evening on Thursday the street illuminated in the beam of my head lamp. The road conditions on GMR were dry after the Wednesday deluge of 1.5 inches of rain. Only one sandy area that blanketed both lanes occurred at the Colby hair pin. Traffic was mostly light however more parked cars along the turnouts. Couples enjoying the cloak of evening perhaps.

The symmetry of the evening was balanced with the early morning exercise in the predawn darkness of 5 am. I saw more wildlife in the city than I did the forest. In the morning I had turned onto Cullen avenue heading north, when an undulating critter stopped mid way in the road. Alert and aware of my oncoming progress. It turned to gauge my approach. A squirrel perhaps, no. it was bigger than a squirrel, a possum perhaps, no its long flowing tail with luxurious hair worthy of petting. I moved forward with the thought my presence would encourage it to skitter into the shelter of bushes. NO! Identification occurred and I high tailed it southward in the opposite direction. Skunk! I circled the block and was ready to try a northern route once more. As I turned the corner another critter larger than before, longer leaner legs, interested in the comings and goings, alert and hungry looking for smaller animals that moved. A coyote! Once again, I turned southward and looped back to my house in the clock of early morning dark. Bike or foot the road was dark.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Build Your Own Bar

Having trouble finding your favorite brand of bar? Do you have a special dietary concern? Need a bar customized for you? Check out these two websites: You Bar and Element Bars. These companies have options to customize a power bar for you. Tons of choices. Soy or whey protein? Cherries or Dates? Nuts or seeds? So many choices. What are your performance needs: endurance? performance? antioxidants? focus on your brain-memory? These sites can build a bar do it all.

Here's a drive of GMR that I may be using to pedal indoors this winter. GMR

Monday, October 3, 2011

Leadville 2012

I watched the 2010 Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race from DVD on Sunday. That was the year Levi Leipheimer blew away the recently set record time that Lance Armstrong set in 2009. Leadville Colorado at 10,152 feet above sea level traverses 100 miles in an out and back challenge with 12,000 feet of ascent with forest, twin lakes, the pipeline, the powerline and little oxygen. The personal stories of the men and women who take part in this epic adventure are tales of determination, fortitude and true grit.

If you need help on achieving this awesome goal, Chris Carmichael has a team to help you train. And now is the time to start.

2012 CTS Leadville 100 Coaching/Camp Package Lotteries

To maximize the improvements you can achieve in endurance, power, and weight management, CTS is proud to offer a limited number of Leadville 100 Coaching Packages that start in November 1, 2011 and include a guaranteed entry into the 2012 Leadville Trail 100 Mountain Bike Race.

This lottery is open to all athletes through October 31, 2011. Pricing and information available below. Call 866-355-0645 with questions. Complete details and rules/regulations available here.

Option 1: CTS LT100 Premium Package
With this coaching package you’ll be paired with an experienced CTS Coach who has specific knowledge and experience with the Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race. Your training plan will be hand-built one month at time – and adjusted every week as necessary - based on your progress and ongoing phone and email communication between you and your coach. Your training plan and training log will be available and can be updated online and via smartphone applications, and your coach will also analyze and utilize data from your power meter, heart rate monitor, GPS unit, etc. to monitor and adjust your training. Price: $288/month*

Option 2: CTS LT100 Ultimate Package The Ultimate package is the most comprehensive way to prepare for the Leadville 100. You’ll work with a coach hand-selected by Chris Carmichael for his or her LT100-specific experience and expertise at the Ultimate service level – an upgrade from the Premium service level featuring increased responsiveness and nutrition analysis. And for 2 ½ days in July 2012 you’ll join the CTS Coaches for our proven Reconnaissance & Training Camp on the Leadville 100 course. These coveted camp slots sell out in minutes, but through this exclusive package you are guaranteed a camp slot at a significantly discounted price. Price: $620/month (includes coaching and discounted camp fees)* *plus LT100 Mountain Bike Race Entry Fee

HOW THE CTS LOTTERY WILL WORK 1. Click on the button below to go to the CTS Online Store. Click the Leadville tab and add your choice of LT100 Coaching/Camp options to your shopping cart. Registering for both will increase your chances of being selected, but you will only be selected for one package. You must register for the deadline by 12:00 AM MST on Monday, October 31.

2. Click the Checkout button, enter your contact and billing information, and check out. Your credit card will be authorized to make sure it’s a valid card, but you will not be charged any money at all for registering for the CTS Lottery.

3. On October 31, we will draw names. If you are selected for one of these Coaching/Camp Packages, your credit card will immediately be charged for the first month package fee, coaching registration fee, and LT100 entry fee. See FAQ below for pricing details, initial charges and monthly charges.

4. CTS will notify all athletes who registered for the CTS Lottery of their status on Monday, October 31, 2011.

“Over the past two years, CTS has helped me take more than two hours off my LT100 time! Your expertise before the race, and the support during, have been crucial to my success. Thanks!” - Jeff C.

Race to the Sun

Sunlight a precious commodity nowadays spurs the legs into higher gear. Reached the first saddle in good time. The plentiful vehicle traffic kept the forest denizens at bay. You know when you burn more calories downhill than you do uphill it must be a change in seasons.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Saturday awoke to clear skies dotted with a few waning clouds colored orange with sunrise. The spring like temperature of 62 promised warmth and boasted blue skies for a rare autumn day. The sunlight picked up the spirits after a week long string of grey marine layer mornings on the morning commute. Mostly single riders on the road as Bill and I arrived around 8:15 to the road. I picked up the pace at the base of the first climb by the Dalton Hot Shot Ranger Station.

It was a solo ride for those of us on the road. The reward was written on the mountains. The lure of clear air, warm sun and a gentle breeze made perfect weather conditions for a long ride. Catalina was visible in the distance. The strength of legs, self and bike -- it felt great to be alive and in the mountains riding. As the heart and lungs pounded I enjoyed the freedom of solo pedaling.

Scott zipped by me after the feedzone. "Shake a leg, GMR!" Jolted me and spurred me out of my comfort zone. Did I see 9.3 mph? I closed the gap but not enough. I was chasing Scott and it felt good. The visual of Scott in the lead helped me visualize where I wanted to be. By the time I arrived at the shed, the morning spring temperatures had heated up to summer levels. Spoke with one guy from San Marino, who had a planned group ride that had gone astray.

I felt like going on to fork plus four, six or seven, however the reality was the day was hotter than I planned for, water was the limiting factor. I pedalled out to Fork plus Four at my own pace having achieved my goal to the shed. I soaked up the scenery and the air and the rays. Decided to sit at the wall at the Point of No Return when Ron rode up. Damn Ron is nearly back to his pre-crash riding levels. Wow.

Ron and I headed back the same way, but I had photos to take, he powered his way up the first hill. I again enjoyed my own pace with no pressures to keep up stopping for photos and really just dallying to enjoy riding.

On the return visit to the shed meet Shawn who enjoys fresh vine ripened produce. We talked tomatos, brussel sprouts and pumpkins.

Matt on vacation was motivated to train his bicep.