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, January 7, 2012

Pomona to Azusa to East Fork to GMR to Baldy then Home!

Today I had a great ride.  It was cold when Michael and I left my house before 7 am and it pretty much stayed that way until we finished our ride. This would be my first successful ride up the Hwy 39 to Mt Baldy.  The first try ended short when both my legs decided to cramp. 

I was a little nervous about this ride since my last attempt ended in failure, but Mike was intent on doing it so I had to give it another try.  We left the house before 7 am and there wasn't a cloud in the sky but it was very cold. 

Prior to the ride, I couldn't make up my mind whether or not to wear my leg warmers. I had a long sleeve base layer top, a long sleeve jersey, full finger gloves and a wool head warmer.  Its tricky leaving in cold weather because I don't like to bring too much and have to shove "STUFF" into my jersey pockets as the temperature rises.  On the flip side, if the temperature never goes up, I'm basically miserable for the length of the ride.  So I guess I am saying IT'S COMPLICATED!

With that said, Mike shows up in tights, long sleeve jersey and full finger gloves.  I asked him about his concerns about being too hot but he was sure it would be considerably colder up the mountain.  I decided to put on leg warmers and needless to say, Mike was right.  It was down right freezing in some areas!

It was an easy ride down Foothill to Azusa Ave.  On Foothill there was a group of 10 riders, heading to what seemed like Pasadena.  Hwy 39 to Camp Williams went by quickly. Then there was East Fork to GMR.  This was the first real climbing to do.  If I was going to break, it would be at East Fork to GMR.  I was nervous, I kept my head down the whole way.  I refused to look at the mile markers or the road ahead.  My eyes fixated on the white lines at the side of the road to keep me from drifting too far off . My mind focused solely on making circles or spinning, not mashing gears.  It worked, we made it to the top and I felt pretty darn good!

At the top of East Fork/GMR we rested for a few minutes then started to Mt Baldy.  This is where Mike dropped me, but I steadily made my way to the village, counting down the mile markers.  I was glad to see Mile Marker 8.29.  8.29 marks the last of hard climbing and the descent toward Cow Saddle Canyon (Is it Cow Saddle or Cow Cattle?).

Success, The Village!  There was no celebrating at the Village.  We quickly made our way down Mt Baldy Rd. to Claremont and then back home.  It was a great ride and I am very glad I am not too tired or sore.  My goal is to ride the Mt Baldy version of L'Etape Du California this year.

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