Friday, March 2, 2012

GMR Friday (with GRR/Baldy Loop)...

The Psycho-lists (Dean, Ralph, Keith, Robert, Francis, and myself) posted a 9:00 am start to the ride this morning, rather than the more typical 7:30, which meant I was able to group ride Glendora Mountain Road (GMR) rather than solo it. The plan was to leave Claremont, ride to GMR, up, continuing along Glendora Ridge Road (GRR), down to Baldy Village, and down canyon back home. If you are local, you probably know the loop; it makes for a good morning ride. Word was, though, that the winds were really gusting up there at Baldy, so once we arrived at the top of GMR we would play it by ear, wait to see what the conditions were like up high. Conditions heading up the Mountain Road could not have been better; I shed a windbreaker at the bottom, and rode comfortably the rest of the way up. Maybe a little too comfortably actually; it encouraged me to take off fast and not look back. 



That is until my energy level started to play out along GRR. Maybe it is time to invest in a compact crankset, or at least a 39 ring for these long climbs. A 42 is still fine up to a point, but pushing that bigger gear seems like it eventually wears me down now; and especially since I always feel compelled to be first to the KOM. Remember Jan Ulrich's battles with Lance during the Tour? I swear I had one rotation to everyone else's two. Anyway, I reached the first regroup, at the saddle, with no one in view behind me, patted myself on the back and waited about five minutes for the rest of the group to start showing. Made another push to the top of GMR, but was surprised by Ralph, who came around me (and carrying extra weight) just before the shack. I almost always seemed to have both Ralph and Dean ahead of me along GRR, where the compact would have come in handy. C'est la vie. Any day in the mountains is a good one.



Once we got well into the GRR section we expected to find that wind around each and every twist of the road, but it wasn't to be. That is until we approached Cow Saddle, and that is where we felt the fury of a gusting headwind. Luckily it was rather sporadic until we started the descent into Baldy Village - I was really being blown around my half of the road on that exposed stretch down the mountainside. Cautious riding continued down San Antonio Canyon, expecting my rear hub to blow up at any moment, it is making a hellish sound any time I freewheel with my speed approaching 30 mph or higher. Disconcerting, especially when I could hear it above the roar of the wind. Some deferred maintenance is long past due. Good day, fantastic loop, and a great group to ride with.




I forgot. I brought out something old today, beside myself that is, and it turns out that another rider in the group was also a Chevy/Sheriff back then. I guess it shouldn't surprise me, the green and yellow was a pretty common sight on the roads during the late '80s to mid '90s. You still see an old jersey, or as in this case windbreaker, every so often.

4 comments:

  1. On GRR, I did drop to the 29T to increase cadence. That's how I was able to finally catch you. Had a lot of fun chasing you.

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  2. Enjoyed your recap of you ride. The sprinking of pictures helped weave your story.

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  3. Nice to be able to follow along on your adventure from here in NW Oregon!

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  4. Thanks for the comments all.

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