Oct 16, 2021, 54.00 miles, 4:44 moving time, 4,170 elevation gain
Sue, Steve, Philip, Lynda, Bill, Bert, Ryan, Kirk, John, Dave, Tiffany, Joe, Marisa, Maria, Mike W, Mike O, Rachel, Raoul, Mark
Club met at Starbucks in Sierra Madre. Parking was tough since the city was hosting a trail run up the mountain all morning. We left a few minutes late to give folks a few more minutes to park and join us. We felt a cool morning breeze as we we rode over to Encanto Park in Duarte. Steve had a flat just before arriving at Encanto. We picked up a few more riders in Encanto. There was a very large supported ride with a big tent and large gathering at Encanto. We will see these riders throughout the day at both ends of the GMR, just outside the gates.
We crossed the bridge and went straight up the end of the San Gabriel River Trail. There were some strong head winds. Then we climb up along the San Gabriel dams. The water level was super low. I have never seen the bottom of dams. There were some roads down there. I stopped at the top dam at EAGLE tree. One eagle was home and sitting on the top branch.
At East Fork bridge, the club members who are signed up for Ironman California flipped it and went back. They’re tapering down for the their big race next weekend. The rest of the riders continued to the Williams Camp for refueling. We started the climb up the Back Side of GMR, the gates were closed to auto (and moto) traffic. This was awesome. the climb is steep and long. 5 miles up. 5-6% mostly, with steep spots 8-9%. Not many riders were seen coming down the opposite direction. Too bad they missed the car-free day. We descent was beautiful and clear. I could see the San Gabriel dams below, where we had just climbed. We rolled back to Encanto and Sierra Madre. Great ride today. Good luck to all the racers at IRONMAN CALIFORNIA, next weekend.