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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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Made it "too" Mount Baldy Village

About four years ago when I started riding again, I had a mental check list of goals I'd like to accomplish. The first goal was to ride until spring, then summer then so on. Another was get to "Yellow Gate" and then get to "Potato". I had many more and slowly, I was able to check them off.

A big goal I set for myself was to get to Mount Baldy. Of the four years of riding this one, each year, would evade me. You see the trip to Mount Baldy isn't easy. First you have to get used to climbing. I mean 22 miles of almost uninterrupted climbing and once your commit yourself to GMR, there are no rest/water stops until you reach Baldy Village.

Each year I'd say this is the year and as they pass, no Mount Baldy trip for Jason. Well one day I was "Googling" Glendora Mountain Road and I found this Blog where the writer mapped out a system of steps that ultimately got her to Mount Baldy. Basically, she set a goal to reach the East Fork, then slowly she'd add another mile. Thus Fork plus 1 then Fork plus two ... Then Mount Baldy.

I was excited about her system (If you haven't guessed it by now, her name is Annette) and I decided I wanted to start riding with her to prepare myself for the Baldy Trip. At first, on her site there was no way of reaching her. No spot to leave comments, no email. Finally, she posted her email on her blog and that day an email was sent! Long story short she replied, we met at ATofC and promised to start riding together at the end of March. Speed up to June 27, 2009, I made it! This was my first time in 15 "ish" years and her 4th in two.

The ride went well. At the fork I felt strong and the miles melted away under the heat of the sun. Matt started his ride earlier in the day and at about Fork plus 6, we crossed paths. We also ran into Wayne, an old friend of mine. He was heading to Mt. Baldy too. We rested for a few minutes, talking with Matt, Annette and Wayne. As it turns out Wayne, Matt and Annette grew up in the same town and there lives intersect.

We rode on, and after Fork plus 8, I started to feel the heat. The mile markers came up slower and about two miles short of Mount Baldy, I started to get impatient. When is this Road going to intersect Mount Baldy? Where is Baldy Village? I'm tired of climbing, I'm hot and hungry, I want to be done. Well soon enough Mount Baldy Village appeared and I made it!

Although I was tired, this was a great feeling of accomplishment. We hung out at Mount Baldy for a while. Annette showed me some key places of interest, like where to get water and where there are public bathrooms. We refueled and headed home. I went home via, Mount Baldy Road into Claremont and then rode Baseline to Glendora to pick up my car. Annette, the trooper, headed back the way we came.

Picture Above: Carl started his ride about 15 - 20 minutes before us. This was his first time out on GMR in about three months. He did really well but flatted the last 100 feet before the Maintenance Shed.

Picture Above: This big group was a club from Rancho Cucamonga. I didn't get the club name but one of the members helped Carl with his flat. There was a woman named Sita? I've seen her a few times up GMR.

Picture Above: An action shot! Matt looking at Mount Baldy. I can't remember what mile marker this was, but you could see the mountain in all its glory. Matt started his ride earlier and at Fork plus 6 we crossed paths. He rode up with us for a mile or so before turning around.

Picture Above: Wayne! I went to school with Wayne's son Chris. We were Mountain Bike buddies and raced together in Big Bear. Chris used to work at Incycle before getting married and moving to France.

Picture Above: Matt and Annette talking with Wayne about their High School days.

Picture Above: At Last, one mile left. According to Annette, this is one of GMR's highest points.

Picture Above: Made it too! What a nice sight to see!

Picture Above: If you have to fill up your water bottles do it here. The Mount Baldy Post Office.

Picture Above: The bathrooms! Public bathrooms are located at the Mt. Baldy welcome center.

Picture Above: Annette at the intersection of Glendora Mountain Road and Mount Baldy Road. Our trip to Mt. Baldy completed. Thanks Annette!

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