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, April 8, 2012

Mt Baldy Notch-tastic!


Some time ago I had it in my head I would attempt to ride from my house in Pomona to the Notch at the top of Mt Baldy.  I tried it once and got about a mile up Falls Road before leg cramps got the best of me.

After that incident, I set that goal on the back burners and it wasn't until last weeks ride that I got the bug to ride to the Notch again.  Last time I attempted it solo, this time I wanted someone to ride it with me.  I sent Antonio a Facebook message and a few days later he called and confirmed he would be up for the adventure.  

Antonio is a mountain goat.  I knew he would be up for the task and he was just the person I needed to keep me focused.  Antonio is a great climber and I knew he would help pace me up and up to the Notch.

We set out at about 7 am. The ride into Mt Baldy Village was hard for me.  I don't know, I just had a hard time getting into a groove.  The ride from the village to Falls Road went by quickly.  Along the way, we past Greg Townsend of Townsend Cycles.  I first met Greg on GMR and then a couple of times at the 2010 and 2011 San Diego Handmade Bicycle Show.  He's been pretty busy building bikes. His waiting list is about one year and you can check out his work on his Flicker page.  One of these days, I'll have him make me a bike.  

Once on Falls Road my CX bike started to come alive.  The fire road was relatively well maintained so I didn't have too much issues with my skinny tires.  Antonio easily climbed up the mountain and he would periodically stop to wait for me.  Soon enough we made our way to the Notch.  At the Notch we had some coffee and breakfast before heading down.

Once on Mt Baldy Road, we saw a number of riders heading to the Ski Lifts.  California Triathlon organized a training ride for L'Etape Du California so tons of riders were making their way up the switchbacks.  Heading down, I ran into Michael making his way to the lifts.

Antonio is ready to ride.  We met at Mills and Baseline.

Antonio riding up Mt Baldy Road, in the distance Mt Baldy looks so far and majestic.

Greg Townsend.  He said he's a custom bike builder who is too busy to ride his own bikes!

Greg Townsend heading to the ski lifts.

Somewhere on Falls Road

We are way past the Ski Lifts.

I was surprised how much snow/ice still remained at the top of Mt Baldy.

Me and my cyclocross bike.  I love my CX bike!

It was cold at the top.


Time for some food.

The food was very good and light on the stomach.  I had the sausage, egg sandwich with cantaloupe and watermelon.

"So you say you're heading to the ski lifts. That's easy.  Why don't you try for the Notch!"

2 comments:

Shane said...

How is your cyclocross on these Socal fireroads? Even with a full suspension, it's still very bumpy sometimes. Can't imagine how you do it on a cyclo.

Jason Castillo said...

Not bad. I find I can do most anything on the CX bike. I do get dropped by traditional MTB's on descents but I blow past many on the climbs.

So Cal Fireroads are no problem.

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