Northern California - My California Adventure
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this is kind of a long post. but it chronicles some of the best days i've had on a bike... i had a vacation coming up and decided to take my bike along. where better to go then right here in California? there were a few climbs i had on my list and searched for a few more to make a road trip out of it. in the meanwhile, Ygduf had convinced me to come out to the Everest Challenge so day one starts there.
up early, load up the car and head to Bishop. get there in time to register, check in to the motel and go for a quick ride.
at 5000' with about 5000' to go. this will be fun tomorrow.
everest challenge. will take it easy today and just try to finish. no extra space for cameras and such. hard day. made it.
wow, i don't feel like crawling under a rock today. take some pictures of the race. head over to mammoth for a quick ride before dark.
tioga pass. awesome day. the middle section is one of those climbs that you can see for miles in both directions but doesn't feel like a drag. great road surface. Yosemite views. ride down was a blast. there were some gusts of wind which were an unneeded reminder to be careful but otherwise great. not scary fast, not boring slow. 1/2lb cheeseburger at the end.
rest. eat cookies.
ride around LG. pack up the car and head to for Angeles National Forest. planning to ride SR39 and GMR/GRR/Mt. Baldy.
SR39. drove into town and was riding within the hour. long climb. hot. carried extra water but not nearly enough. the last miles of this were closed off to traffic and a little rough in places. but the views were excellent. the rough sections made for a long long descent which continued to speed up as elevation decreased. the sun was setting, a storm was brewing. a bit surreal.. no cars, big grin.
view from one of the turns
Glendora Mountain Rd -> Glendora Ridge Rd -> Mt. Baldy. rain overnight, continued this morning. funny, i'm in Southern California and it's raining. watching the radar map and decide to hold off till it clears. started right after the rain. carried two extra water bottles today. first part is a normal enough climb. second section has some rollers gaining more elevation on a bizarrely picturesque road. last section to Mt. Baldy is the only steep bit for the day. lunch stop and a quick ride down to beat the next storm.
descending Mt. Baldy
the beach. toes, sand. rest. more cookies.
Mt. Palomar. i've been pacing myself on all the climbs and wanted to put in a decent effort on at least one. figured this would be a good place to do it. 1:16 from the taco shop i didn't see to the yield sign at the top, which i think is ok for me.
drive. raining in socal, heading north. incredible views as clouds roll in. taking pictures and stopping often to gawk. Tioga and Sonora passes are closed due to snow, so i'm sleeping in Lone Pine tonight. lightning / wind storm, news says 60 mph winds at elevation. supposed to rain tomorrow.
beautiful morning. snow level 8500' start off with Whitney Portal which ends in the clouds. some rain and snow at the top. cold descent but not unbearable. get to the car and realize i forgot to pack those really warm gloves.. take pictures for a little while before heading to Horseshoe Meadows for the second climb of the day. this one is a consistent grade. just a few long switchbacks most of which are visible from the bottom. first thing i notice is that the switchbacks are long, really long. and after about three or four i got the sensation that i was up high. not the altitude per se, just the face of the climb was so steep that you could see the valley floor was a long way down. staying away from the edge. get to the top, take a couple pictures then put on arm warmers + jacket for the descent. cold hands, really cold. hit a bit of snow on the way down and had to stop to warm them up. wish i brought those gloves. second half was comfortable. big cheeseburger in town.
view of the climb from the opening miles
punching through the clouds
view of the climb from the valley
top of the first climb
snow collecting on the peaks
drive home. relax. go through some pictures and upload some videos. sleep.
lots of bike laundry. need to go for a ride.
10-07-10, 03:59 PM
I counted about 60000' of climbing in the 12 days between Sep 24 and Oct 5. And only 380 miles :eek:
Nice work! I'm going to go eat some cookies now in your honor.
10-07-10, 05:04 PM
What an awesome way to break-in the new bike. :)
10-07-10, 05:10 PM
Spectacular vacation and very impressive accomplishment.
10-07-10, 05:34 PM
I was wondering what you meant when you said something like "oh I'll be up in that area anyway, might as well do EC"
10-07-10, 08:34 PM
Wow! Thanks for sharing.
10-07-10, 09:20 PM
Day 12 was my favorite.
Well done sir, well done!
10-07-10, 09:20 PM
Nice ride and pics. You caught all my teamates in the M45s in that one shot from day 2. I ended up catching two of them on the last climb.
10-07-10, 09:29 PM
Nice pics! Thanks.
10-07-10, 10:02 PM
Thanks for your lovely post. the photos were great and the descent videos were uplifting.
10-07-10, 10:16 PM
OK, now I've got at least 5 more climbs to train for....thanks
Nice video and pics. Thanks for sharing. What's your video setup? Care to share some pics on how it's mounted on your bike?
Simply awesome. Epic to the max.
Having climbed Baldy to the ski lifts in 2008 I recognize that well on your video. Including the sections before the switchbacks where several of us hovered in shade from the 95+ temps.
10-07-10, 11:06 PM
Great post and pics. Thanks for sharing your adventure with us.
I'm with Chris
the descent videos were uplifting.
10-08-10, 04:03 PM
Stunning pics and vids, and amazing accomplishment on the ride. Way to vacation!
epic indeed. although, it never felt like work (ok, last climb at EC was work.) had an amazing time. can't wait to do it again.
got some film developed today.
fullsize images at
10-19-10, 04:10 AM
The Eastern Sierra , one of the most beautiful spots on Earth. Thanks for posting.. Great scenery... the descent from Tioga pass is wild. Without constantly braking you did not go much over 50 mph.? Looks so easy.. Wish I did not have a slight elevation phobia going on.. My pattern is to wear out my rims...
10-19-10, 10:57 AM
Great report, photos and video. Thanks for sharing.
10-19-10, 11:56 AM
The Eastern Sierra , one of the most beautiful spots on Earth. Thanks for posting.. Great scenery...
I agree, it's really great. I had my own little adventure there this last weekend. Did Tioga Pass, Bishop Creek twice, and finished with Sonora Pass with smaller climbs in between. As I was on recovery days I climbed all these ... in a car. :D
But it was gorgeous.
the descent from Tioga pass is wild. Without constantly braking you did not go much over 50 mph.? Looks so easy..
the descent was not particularly fast. the turns are rather wide and being used to more technical descents it took a bit of adjustment to limit my steering input. you wouldn't have to brake too much on this one.
You both take exceptional pictures.
10-19-10, 08:24 PM
By the way, a Webcor rider was climbing the west side of Sonora Pass when I was driving down Sunday around 2pm. Anybody from BF?
Now that's an adventure! So glad you shared it with us, must have been amazing. I especially love the downhill videos, makes the trip seem like a lot of beauty for little work. (Seem like it, as someone pointed out, 60k climbing? WOW! I don't think I've done that much period, let alone in two weeks :)
10-20-10, 01:19 AM
Very cool trip. I've done a bunch of backpacking around Bishop and that area is spectacular to say the least.
One question: How did you get your altitude/speed info syncing to the video from your GoPro? That's pretty sweet.
10-20-10, 07:34 AM
Not sure what Bam is using, but other people use DashWare to add the overlay/telemetry.
10-21-10, 12:57 AM
cool thanks milliron. Dashware looks like a fighter jet HUD! I thought the one Bam was using was pretty slick.
haven't used dashware but it looks pretty fancy. i was cheap and rolled my own.
10-22-10, 01:35 AM
i was cheap and rolled my own.
picture perfect reply
10-25-10, 10:33 PM
Awesome photos! Just moved to California and I'm loving the riding out here :)
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