Ride a bike, share your experience and love. When I go biking, I repeat a mantra of the day's sensations: bright sun, blue sky, warm breeze, blue jay's call, ice melting and so on. This helps me transcend the traffic, ignore the clamorings of work, leave all the mind theaters behind and focus on nature instead. I still must abide by the rules of the road, of biking, of gravity. But I am mentally far away from civilization. The world is breaking someone else's heart. ~Diane Ackerman

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Glendora Mountain Road

If you Google, "Glendora Mountain Road," you'll find this blog:


Its a really good blog regarding another riders quest to conquer GMR and get to Mt. Baldy. The author breaks GMR into parts; "Fork" plus 2 miles, then "Fork" plus four and so on until he reaches Mount Baldy. If you can make it to the maintenance shed fairly easily, its worth trying his method to reach Mount Baldy.

Its been about 15 years since I last made a trek to Mt. Baldy from GMR. I started riding again about 3 years ago and this is one of my goals.

Lets see what happens.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Bonelli Road Ride - Popular Wednesday Loop

This is the popular Bonelli loop. Riders will do 3 to 5 laps.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Austro Daimler - A Ride around Bonelli Park on a 29 year old bike

This Wednesday, after work, I rode around Bonelli Park on my 29 year old Austro Daimler. The ride was fast and my Austro Daimler handled well for its age.

The Austro Daimler Company stopped making bikes in the early 1980s. My bike is the "Vent Noir II" or Black Wind which was hand made in Austria. It's constructed of lugged Reynolds 531 and weighs about 18lbs. The Austro Daimler Vent Noir is nicely equipped with vintage Shimano Dura Ace. Yes Dura Ace!

The Vent Noir was given to me for free by a co-worker who just wanted the old dusty bike out of her garage. When I picked it up from her house, although I didn't know much about the name Austro Daimler, I knew I had something truly special. I brought it home and started cleaning it up. I glued on new tires, replaced cables, brake pads, swapped out the seat, seat post and brake levers. Once it was all cleaned up, I designated it as my work bike. I use the Vent Noir to ride to the bank and to get lunch while at work.

The Vent Noir comes beautifully equipped with black anodized and drilled cranks. The crank arm length is 170 mm with 53/42 front chain rings. I find the 42t is a bit much gear to push. I replaced the original Dura Ace brake lever with Cane Creeks. I chose the Cane Creek lever over the original because I didn't like the way the cables were routed. The original lever cable exit off the top.

I don't know if its because the bike was free or because I cleaned it up, applying generous amounts of elbow grease, its age or something else, but it's such a fun bike to ride. There is something extremely satisfying about riding it around. It's smooth, yet quick and agile. The vintage Dura Ace DT Shifters work well and the bike has an air of simplicity that is both refreshing and fun. Whether I'm hopping on the Vent Noir for a leisurely ride to the bank or a fast group ride around Bonelli Park, I can't help but smile while riding it. It weird but I really like this bike. At one time, I thought about converting it to a fixed gear but I can't bring myself to change to much of the original components. This bike is truly a classic.

Riding around Bonelli was a blast. I started at the Park and Ride off Via Verde. The Vent Noir felt fast and spry as I descended into the park. I took a quick left and headed over the dam. Once on Pudding Stone Dr. I came up to some riders and increased my cadence to catch up with them. I caught the first riders rear wheel and hung with him for about 200 yards before passing. At the intersection of Pudding Stone and Fairplex, I saw a large group of other riders waiting. I guess this is where the large pack of Wednesday night riders start.

I keep on riding and catch up to another rider and hang on his rear wheel for about 150 feet. We talk and his name is John. He does this ride regularly and shortly passes me. Soon after, I hear a whizzing sound of fast moving wheels, lots of them. I look to my left and like a freight train 30 to 50 riders are speeding past me. We're all in a moderate incline, but to the group its nothing. We might have well been on flat highway because these guys were going fast. At the speed they were going, I was in the wrong gear if I wanted to keep up with them. I shifted the Vent Noir down to a lower gear, stood up, started pumping and tried my best to stay with the last rider in the group. I was only able to hang with the last rider for about 25 to 50 feet before I was done. Did I say these guys were fast?

The group continued up Via Verde, over the freeway and down San Dimas Ave. I hung a quick right down to Bonelli dam. I could see John chose the same route and I scrounged up what energy I had to catch back up with him and another rider at Pudding Stone Drive. We road together for a about 50 feet until John turned around and I continued on. I new at some point the main group would catch back up with me so I geared down to catch my breath before they came up on my rear again.

Towards Bracket Airport, the group started closing in on me. Again like a freight train, the group came up on me fast, I quickly looked to my left and the first few riders are starting to pass. Damn! I try my best to hang with the group but the momentum they are carrying quickly overcomes me and in a flash I'm looking at the rear wheels of the last riders. Opportunity lost, they are just too fast.

Another group of about 8 riders pass me. Looks like the main group has split into two. Here is my opportunity, I increase my speed and catch the last guy's rear wheel. Man this group is fast too, I think to myself as I lock onto the guys rear wheel. In almost a hypnotized state, I clear my mind of the pain in my lungs and legs and of the environment around me, and concentrate only on the rear wheel I'm following. This is all I can do to hang with the second group. I hang for about a half mile until another rider passes me on my left. Before the actual pass, I could hear this rider coming up to my rear really fast. I look to my left and its a skinny petite woman and she's going like a bat out of hell! It's like I'm at a dead stop, she walks away from me and the group I'm riding with. This quickly breaks my concentration, and I slow my pace. The group starts pulling away from me and within 10 - 15 seconds I see the woman is already way ahead of me.

I continued my loop and towards the west entrance of Bonelli Park, I kept looking back, waiting for the main group to lap me. It never happened and I'm glad. I finish up my ride and head home. This was my first experience with riding, or rather trying to ride, with a large group. It was exciting and I hope some day I can actually hang with them.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Map of Marshal Canyon

This is a great map of Marshal Canyon. Visit Incycle to get a printed copy.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Marshal Canyon: The Face of Jump Trail

These two crashes actually happened about a year ago. The first crash was nicely done, I'd call it a slow speed over the shoulder roll. Jerry was applying to much rear brake and his bike started drifting. He must have known he was in trouble and ditched the bike with a nice roll that landed on his feet. I deleted the audio but I was laughing the whole time.

The next crash was pretty amazing. Scott was the last to ride down the face. He waited at the top of the trail for awhile. We all shouted out our best advice. Jerry shouted, "don't use your brakes, you can stop when you get down at the bottom." I don't remember what I said but after a few minutes, Scott decided to go. For 90% of the ride down he looked in control. It wasn't until the last few feet things started to go awry. At the bottom of the face he took a line a little to the right which resulted in two things; His front shock bottomed out and his rear wheel "bounced" up. This caused him to lose balance and started the ejection process. The video doesn't do much justice but he slid about 15 feet. It was like he was diving into home plate!

What the video doesn't show. After the 15 foot slide, Scott jumps to his feet and shouts, "Safe!" We instantly laugh and Scott suddenly teeters off balance. The adrenaline wears off Scott realizes he's hurt and pretty scratched up. The cleans up and we head back down the trail to Oak Mesa.

IIRC I think Scott ended up with a busted chain and bee sting. All and all it wasn't his day out.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Marshal Canyon in La Verne

Its the night before one of my favorite places to ride, Marshal Canyon. I haven't cleaned my Trek Fuel Ex in a few weeks. Its dirty, with caked on mud and grime. It needs some Tri Flow Chain lube and maybe a quick pass over the derailleur adjusting barrels to boot but I'm too lazy. I rather sit and write about what needs to be done rather than do anything. Go figure.Anyhow, Marshal Canyon is one of my favorite places to ride. I discovered Marshal Canyon when I was sixteen and have many fond memories riding up and down the many trails. Marshal Canyon provides many choices from wide open fire roads to steep single track with jumps along the way down. At the top of the trail you can drop down to Claremont or head further up to Potato Mountain. Marshal Canyon seems much busier these days with all the horses, hikers, joggers and MTB'er so be careful.

Tomorrow I'm going to head out of my house, on MT Bike, at about 7:00 am to meet with my group. I looks like it will be only a few of us, Peter, Kevin and I. We'll meet at Oak Mesa and possibly shuttle up Stephens Ranch Road to the horse staging area next to the boys correctional facility. Maybe I can talk the guys into riding up to Yellow Gate then dropping down Cobal Canyon, up Burbank to Johnstons Pasture and back home. That ride would make it a round trip of 20 miles. Not to bad.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Bicycle Friends - The Ride Partner Resource

Welcome to Bicycle Friends, the ride partner resource! Bicycle Friends was created as a resource to connect you with other cyclist in your area.

* Just starting out? That’s great the best way to get out and get motivated is to ride with friends. Friends help pass the time and make riding fun! I started riding with a co-worker. It was late October 2006, and pushing paper all day didn't help with our physical health. Baby steps, we started out short distances, riding our local trails and parks. Our goal was simple, ride a little more each time out with the hope we'd still be riding by the beginning of spring. By spring we had great stories, better health and we even met a few other riders along the way! Riding with friends helps a lot. You can always count on someone to encourage you to, "go out and ride," even when you are not so motivated.

* Gas Sucks, ride to work? Hook up with commuters heading your way to or from work. Safety is in numbers and riding to work can be both lonely and monotonous. Save money on gas and help pass the time with a Bicycle Friend.
* Looking for people who share your devotion to a healthy life style - Look no further, Bicycle Friends!

* Are you a Seasoned Pro looking for riders with your same skill sets or looking for someone to train with - Look no further Bicycle Friends was created for you!

Carbon Canyon

Carbon Canyon
Saturday, Sep 6, 2008

Alarm went off at 6:00 am, to the sound of KFI 640, "Handel on the Law," and I quickly hit the snooze button. Just another 10 - 15 minutes and I'll get up. This last week, as usual, was a busy week at work and sleeping in was a nice idea. Not going to happen! After the second wake up call, I slowly got up and started my early Saturday morning routine. Grab the jersey, socks and put on my Hoss riding shorts.

As I make my way down stairs, I could smell the aroma of brewed coffee (I set the coffeemaker last night!). Packed my Camel Back with GU Energy Gell, filled my Camel Back Bladder with water and made a bowl of cereal, Cheerios to be exact.

As I sit staring into nothing, I think about the ride set for today, Carbon Canyon. This will be my first ride to Carbon Canyon and I wonder what it will be like, easy or hard. Bleep, bleep, my cell phone rings telling me I have a text message. I pick it up and wonder, who's running late or can't make it. It's Peter and sure enough he's out, not going to make it today. Darn! I think about giving him a hard time about it but pass on the opportunity.

I load up my bike and gear and head to our carpool pickup area, the Park and Ride next to Bonelli. The Park and ride was jam packed. "Looks like a lot of other riders are doing Bonelli today. Hmmm, Peter's not coming why don't I talk the guys into riding Bonelli today?" Kevin pulls up and I ask if he'd like to do a loop around Bonelli. He shrugs and says lets try Carbon Canyon, but if the group wants to do Bonelli we'll stay here.

Carl arrives and I say, " Looks like a lot of riders here today, lets ride Bonelli Park. What do you think?"

Carl says the same thing Kevin said, " Whatever you guys want to do." Carbon Canyon is it (Its new, different, great!).

From San Dimas, Carbon Canyon is about 15 - 20 minutes south on the 57 fwy. We exited Lambert and headed east until we came up to the park on the right hand side. It was $5.00 to get in. From that point we headed to the eastern most part of the parklot, parked and started unloading the bikes. The Park itself is nice, layout similar to Bonelli with jungle gyms, grassy areas, picnic tables and barbeques. Unlike Bonelli, Carbon Canyon did have a number of tennis courts.

Bikes unloaded and ready to head off, we examined the park map the attendant at the gate gave us. From the map the trails are clearly mapped. We head east through the parking lot to a dirt path that parallels Carbon Canyon Road. The trail leads you to a split; right takes you to North Ridge Trail and left takes you to Telegraph. We headed up North ridge. North ridge has moderately steep climbing for about 1/4 mile then evens out to a steady uphill. Overall it was a nice, well maintained dirt rode, great for beginning to intermediate riders. The climb was steady and progressive with very little areas of steep climbing. To the north of us was Chino Hills which provided a nice view of rolling hills.

The battery on my cyclocomputer was dying so I'm not sure how long we climbed for until we came up to Sycamore Canyon. This is a high point and connects North Ridge to Telegraph. Sycamore is a nice fast single tracks. There are a few surprises to be aware of like deep ruts, loose dirt and tall brush that whips your arms and legs at speed. Sycamore felt like a fast roller coaster ride. Carl got a little over zealous and was pulled in a deep rut that ran parallel to the single track.

At the bottom of Sycamore Canyon is Telgraph. From that point it is coasting until you end up at the entrance.

From North Ridge to Sycamore to Telegraph was a 12 mile loop. I would highly recommend this loop for riders just starting out. Except for Sycamore Canyon there were very little surprises. The climb was not bad and once you link up to Sycamore its all downhill.

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