48.2 miles, 4:01 moving time, 3,944 ft elevation. Joe’s GMR flip.
54.2 miles, 4:10 moving time, 4,269 ft elevation. Dave’s Backside GMR.
On a cold and cloudy morning, the Club was ready to tackle a big climb to Mt. Baldy. That was the intended route for today. But, weather had other plans. We had a great turn out for a notably hard climb and not so perfect SoCal weather. 20+ riders. Everybody was bundled up pretty good, hard to recognize beneath all the layers.
Mile 8. We took off from Sierra Madre, picked up Alvin & Rick on our way to Encanto Park in Duarte, where we got another pack added to the group. We rode up the San Gabriel River Trail a short bit and rode east on Sierra Madre through Azusa and Glendora.
Mile 14.8. We turned up Glendora Mountain Road (GMR). Cold and blustery on the initial turns.
Mile 15.9. The yellow gate was open to auto traffic, bummer.
Mile 22. About two miles from the top, we were riding in the clouds. The foggy clouds were blowing across the ridge. The moisture was starting to feel like droplets. The temperature was dropping at the top. Visibility was a few feet at best and cars and motorcycles were still flying by.
Mile 24. Top of GMR. Sue was descending back down the front side. I got to the top and the group had decided to bail on Mt. Baldy and head down the backside of GMR and out Azusa Canyon. Jeff and Mark had went ahead and then froze in the fog and returned to the crest, with the recommendation to change course. I decided to follow Sue down the front side. I was freezing and wanted down and out right away.
Lessons learned. (1) Get Winter gear: Long cycling tights, toe covers, jacket with insulation, full fingered gloves, hat, chromatic sunglasses for low light, and bright blinking tail light. (2) Know your limits in the weather. Live to ride another day. You can learn the weather lesson without crashing/bonking/freezing your breaking fingers.
Bill, Gregg, Lynda, John, Dave, Dale, Paul, Geoff, Erick, Ryan, Mike, Scott, Cali, Alvin, Rick, Marisa, Joe, Rudy, Jeff, Sue, Mark. Almost Sara.
[For me, I have been working too much at my day job and not sticking to my usual pre-ride schedule. Typically I clean and pump up my bike and load it in the car on Friday night. I pack up my nutrition (less bottles) and make all my wardrobe choices the night before. This includes weather consultations and closet and gear discussions with myself. Then, Go to bed early and Get up early. Eat full breakfast and have a proper BM. Fill bottles last, then load the car. Look up at the sky and see if I’m dressed right. Then, drive to the ride. Today showed what bad prep leads to. Worked until late in the night. Threw some warm-ish clothes into a bag. Missed my warm jacket and hat, got full finger gloves and neck wrap. Woke up few minutes late. Got a quick breakfast but no BM. I paid the price. Fortunately, the club had already decided to bail before I had to bail, but it was coming regardless.]