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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Sunday, February 28, 2010


GMR to East Fork to Hwy 39

Today David Pejsa and I rode up GMR to East Fork. David is a natural, and he quickly dropped me during our ride up GMR. He kept a fast pace and by Colby Trail (I think that's what its called), I dropped off his pace significantly. I couldn't hang, David sped off only increasing his gap with every turn and bend of GMR.

David was chasing a rabbit! Just past the gate, we caught and passed a guy on a black and red Scattante. About the time I dropped of the pace, this guy caught and passed both David and I. As competitive as David is, he couldn't let this guy just blow past him. He quickened his pace and chased him up the mountain. At about the first saddle, David overtook him. By the time I got to the first saddle, Scattante Guy was heading down and David was out of sight.

I rode all by my lonesome, and when I arrived to the Maintenance Shed, David was there eating an energy bar. He'd been there 10 minutes! We rested for a short while, at least I did, before heading down East Fork.

Although the sun was out, the shaded parts of East Fork were extremely cold. Going up GMR there was only one other rider, Scattante Guy, but as we descended down, numerous riders headed up East Fork. The same was true for Hwy 39 and we joked about "not getting the memo." There was a massive head wind going down Hwy 39 and both David and I took turns pulling the lead.

Heading back on Sierra Madre, my quads started to cramp up again! I hate when this happens and I need to figure this one out. During the ride I also had some pain in my right knee cap. This has been happening lately. I went to Coates Cyclery and talked to one of the bike mechanics about this. The said check my cleat alignment. I'll have to report on this one later.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Glendora Mountain Road

I kept checking weather.com for updates on this weekends weather. Was it going to rain or not. All week long the forecast switched between, partly cloudy, light sprinkles, A.M. showers, partly cloudy and back to showers on Saturday morning. Its been three weeks since my last ride and I was aching to get on the bike.

I woke up this morning, the sun was out and few clouds covered the hills of GMR. A quick update from Annette came in at 7 am, "Clear, dry roads and few clouds, lets ride."

It was hard getting started. My knees creaked and quads complained as I started up the first steep grade leading to the electronic sign. By the gate I was warming up and ready to quicken my pace.

Heading up GMR, the weather was perfect. Few clouds, clean air and the warmth of the sun fell off my back as I climbed up the mountain. Off in the distance, Downtown Los Angeles and its skyscrapers could be easily seen. Few riders pasted us on the way up and a group of runners appeared from a trail head leading to Highway 39.

We decided to ride to the top of Monroe before turning around and stopping at the Maintenance Shed. Mohammad greeted us from Whittier. Nice guy with a slender build, his ride would be about an 80 mile round trip. He was training for the Solvang Century to celebrate his 60th birthday. Now that's bragging rights!

The ride down was cold. So cold it was painful and unpleasant. It was 46 - 47 degrees Fahrenheit, I was drenched from my sweat, without leg warmers and the wind generated from my forward motion down GMR, further chilled my body. I was miserable, my left leg was shaking from the cold and I had to laugh, "it's been colder, I know it."

Finally, we made it back to the first saddle and the temperature rose about 5 degrees. We stopped, took some pictures and continued down GMR. We ran into Rick, said hi and promised to meet up sometime for a ride together.
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