Friday, May 20, 2011

GMR Fridays...

I guess you could call this the GMR Friday, Pre-race Edition. I had company on my trudge up the mountain this time, as a little peloton of 7 riders from the Psycho-lists Meet-up group also had the morning free. The plan was to meet them as they rode along Baseline, not far from home, and ride out to GMR - my normal route. It was one of those arrangements where there is a window of time to meet, and it is just a guess as to whether you are early, late, or right on time. I waited around about 15 minutes before guessing that I missed them roll by, and set out in epic pursuit. About five miles later I glance back and notice a group coming up behind. Cool, I won't have to chase this morning, or at least not yet. Meet and greet with some of the riders I didn't know, and we're off again. 

 the group's 'young gun' says so long old-timer

Close-up is a little too close, and that mustache is looking a little scraggly. maybe it is time to get rid of it. Anyway, Chris and I - smile or grimace?

When we got to that first switchback, at the bottom of Monroe Truck Trail, it was time to go. Not an outright attack, the ride was too social for anything that blatant. Just a gradual acceleration. When the road turns up it just calls to me like a Siren, even after all these years and miles, and I have to answer. Like that, it came down to two of us away. Before we reached the "saddle" though, where GMR switches from one side of the ridge to the other, I could no longer match the pace of the young gun in the group, and drifted off his wheel. That is how it ended, at the top of GMR - having someone to chase most of the way up, probably gave me one of my best time splits for the climb. After regrouping we hit the high rollers of Glendora Ridge Road (GRR) as far as the upper gate of the Experimental Forest where three of us watched  the other four continue along GRR on their way to Baldy Road and back home. The three of us, meaning Brenda, Dick, and myself, turned around to retrace our route, which would tack a few extra miles onto our day.

back down in Glendora, Dick and Brenda lead through

For some of the group, this ride was a kind of scouting mission, looking for just the right spot from which to watch tomorrow's race. Though there wasn't anyone camped out, and GMR / GRR won't be nearly as  popular for viewing as Baldy Road, there was noticeably more traffic up there, others also looking for that perfect spot. Caltrans had sweepers and cleaners out, plows attached to the fronts of trucks, clearing rocks from the roadway. Getting everything as ready as it can be. Tomorrow should be an exciting day indeed.

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