Sunday, March 24, 2013

GMR to Mount Baldy Village


Today I rode my bike from Glendora to Mt. Baldy Village.
My guy Robert and two training friends, Terri and Orietta, joined me.
47 miles
5,671 feet of climbing
I averaged 10.2 miles an hour.
My slowest uphill speed was 4 mph.
My fastest downhill speed was 34 mph.
The weather was perfect for a long uphill ride and it didn't take me long to shed my arm warmers and vest.
View going up.
The first 10 miles up seemed to go pretty quickly. Not that I was quick, but my legs felt good and I talked to other cyclists along the way. And talking always makes a hard ride go by faster.
You Talk ...
Most the talk consisted of "hey, nice morning for a ride," and then the other cyclists' big muscly spinning legs propelled their bike past mine and up the hill.
One guy went by and I said "hi" or something like that and he said, "Hi, Kandi....(and then something)." I asked who he was and he was someone from my triathlon club. Our conversation was that short because he was at the top of the hill before I could finish my "have a safe bike ride" sentence.
Another guy rode by me and commented on my socks.
"I like your socks."
"Thanks."  Then I yelled after him, "You can have some of these too. Just sign up for Plus3Network."
My Plus3Network socks
 I don't know if he heard the last part because he was gone....
Then I rode up behind two guys.
"Here I come speeding up on you at 6 miles an hour."
They laughed.
We chatted a bit.
One was 52 (my age) and the other was 60.
Once they knew how old I was, I guess they didn't like the idea of me passing them because one of them said, "I feel like I've been challenged" and then he sped ahead of me. Well, he really didn't speed because he was probably going 7 miles an hour.
Eventually I caught back up to them and we chatted for a while longer. They were training for a 10-day ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles, with camping along the way.
I looked it up....about 385 miles. That would be about 38 miles a day.

I left them at about mile 10 at the shack.

After we passed the shack, it was basically just us and other cyclists on the road. A couple of cars slowly went by us and a few motorcycles, but mostly we had the road.



OMG....guys on skateboards were whizzing down the other side of the street. They were flying. A couple of times I got nervous that one would lose control on a turn and come over into our lane. Each time one went by I would say a silent prayer that they would make it safely to the bottom.

We had another 14 miles to Mt. Baldy Village. I had thought that the ride would be mostly up, up and up, but it was up and down and up and down and then tortuously up.

Sorry, I don't have any pictures of the steepest part of the ride because I couldn't take my hands off the bars going 4 mph to get my phone to take a picture.

But after miles and miles of 5,6,7 and 8 percent grade....then to have some 10, 11 and 12 percent grades, well, it was a workout.

And parts of the road is an illusion.

 Just when I thought the road had leveled out, it really was at 5 percent.....and when it seemed as if I was going downhill, well, that was 1 or 2 percent grade.

This may look level, but it is really UP!

We did made it to the top in 2 1/2 hours.
Well, I should say I made it to the top in that time. I think Orietta (pictured on the right) made it up there LOTS of minutes before me!

Even though I had eaten 3/4ths of a PB&J sandwich, 1 GU, half of a snickers bar and two Chomp gummies on the ride up, I was happy to refuel at the lodge with chocolate milk, lots of coffee, and the biker's special of 2 pancakes, 2 eggs and 2 pieces of bacon.

Yes, the biker's special has pictures of motorcycles by it, but I'm a biker, TOO!

The trip back had lots of UPS!

When I saw this UP coming up, I had to pull over on the side of the road and pee. Well, I had 3 cups of coffee and chocolate milk just a few miles back. Hey, when you gotta go, you gotta go.

We had just been sharing the road with other cyclists, but slowly we were joined by some motorcyclists.

 And as we went farther down the mountain we started to be joined by some cars.
Most of the cars and motorcycles were great at sharing the road. I saw a couple that were going too fast in some turns, but they were going up while I was coming down and they all stayed on their side of the road.

The last 8 miles were down, down, down and I got to work on my descending skills.

My legs felt okay at the end of the ride.
But for good measure I had 2 glasses of my beet/veggie/fruit juice when I got home.
Yummy for recovery!

I'm planning another bike ride up GMR mid-April.
Who's in?

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