54.06 miles, 4:30 moving time, 4,472 ft elevation
Marisa, Maria, Ari, Julie, Joe, Mike K., Gary, Sue, Forest, Friend of Forest, Juan, Ray
Mile 0. On a dark and cloudy Memorial Day Weekend Saturday, I started the ride at Sierra Madre. I was filling in for Lynda as ride leader, since she was leading a group on HeartBreak 100 today. Sierra Madre was packed with billy goat, aka trail runners for the annual Mt. Wilson Trail Run. I met up with new member Juan!
Mile 8: We rode over to Encanto Park in Duarte and picked up a bunch of folks. We rode north on the San Gabriel River Trail to the end, then continuing on Hwy 39, Azusa Canyon.
Mile 16: Climbing up up up along the San Gabriel Reservoir. I stopped at the Eagle Tree, but no eagles were home today. Lots and lots of auto traffic. Some polluting trucks were especially unpleasantly noxious while passing us. Misty. We started climbing through the clouds. Ground was wet.
Mile 19: Turned Right at East Fork. Crossed the bridge. Fewer cars. Every camp ground was maxed out with campers for the long holiday weekend. Carne asada for breakfast smelled pretty good.
Mile 23: Camp Williams. Re-fueled. Took a break and sat down. Lots of bikers.
Mile 24: Turn from East Fork Road to Glendora Mountain Road GMR. GATE WAS CLOSED TO AUTOS! Great riding up the Back side of GMR is great with closed road. Climbing is steep and long. Starts out 7-8%, usually about 5-6% with pitchy parts. Lots of wildflowers: yellow, pink, purple. Definitely climbing through the clouds. Misty and wet on the ground. Not cold though, while climbing.
Mile 30: Summit. Crest of GMR. Total clouds. Thick. Low visibility at the top, improved while descending. Got very cold while descending. The mist at high speed felt like stingers on your face.
MIle 38: Gate at other end. Climbed over. Super cold from descent. Fingers and toes were little numb. slowly warmed up on the grind back to civilization.
Mile 46: Encanto Park. Dropped of bunch of folks.
Mile 54: Crawled back to Sierra Madre.