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, July 11, 2009

Made it, "Too" Mt. Baldy Village (Part Deux, "Too")

Today I was prepared to back up my first ride to Mt. Baldy with another trip. I knew the day was going to heat up quickly, so I headed out on my journey by 7:00 am. Damn, it was already warm.

Rather than "stage" at GMR and Sierra Madre, I chose to start from my house. I made good time and reached GMR by 20 minutes. On the way up, Annette and I crossed paths. She had a Breakfast Date with neighbors and started much earlier. We talked a short while about photographs, insulated water bottles and the Tour De France.

At about the first saddle, Matt was coming down GMR. He too started earlier and we rode up together for about 1 mile before Matt turned around to finish his ride.

By the maintenance shed I was feeling okay, not great, not too tired. I stopped for a few minutes then headed to East Fork. From East Fork to Fork plus 4, the ride was nice and easy. I cruised through the rolling hills, with the sun on my back and a slight pleasant breeze.

IIRC, after Mile Marker 4.25 there is a slight downhill then you start climbing for the next four miles. By Fork plus 6, I was getting tired and between 7 and 8, I was wearing down fast. I stopped a few times to take pictures and stretch. Fork plus 10 or 11 something, my legs started to cramp pretty bad and I was so close to Cow Canyon Saddle. I tried to hold off the much needed dismount, but I had to stop and stretch.

Mt. Baldy. I made to Mt. Baldy in about 3 hours. While there, I stopped at the Post Office to refill my water bottles. I bought two Iris Bulbs for a dollar each and met up with a guy named Larry. Larry rode 43 miles to Mt. Baldy. He started somewhere near the 60 fwy. Me and the ladies selling the Iris' asked Larry if he's sick in the head for doing that ride. He was filling up his water bottles and setting out for his ride back! That's 86 miles round trip. Larry is the king!

One thing I learned on the way to Mt. Baldy, hydration is essential. For this trip I brought three water bottles. This was sufficient for the ride, but I could have drank more prior and during the ride. Usually on long rides, I'll start drinking tons of water the day before and up to the ride. Friday, I drank sufficient amounts of water. It was this morning where I failed. I really should have paid more attention to my water consumption this morning, especially since I knew today was going to be hot. I attribute my cramping to improper hydration.

Somewhere on the way to Mt. Baldy, I stopped to stretch. I dismounted, stretched then looked up. In its magnificent beauty, Mt. Baldy stood in front of me.

I was so happy to see the Cow Canyon Saddle Sign! All downhill from here. Yipee!

I love this sign!

"Larry, you're killing me!" 43 miles, Larry rode to get to the Mt. Baldy Post Office.

I bought two Iris bulbs to support the Mt. Baldy community club.

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