I posted this in the Southern California section, but at the urging of Beanz, Iíll post it here too. Iíll go into a bit more detail here, since itís ďThe great GMR ride report.Ē
To sum up before the details, I finally made it up GMR to the shack. I set out from my house on 7/3 right before 6am. I had planned on heading out later, but after reading other riders reports of heat, I figured Iíd head out as soon as I woke. I took two 20oz bottles with me, one with water and the other was water with a NUUN tablet, and a 24oz bottle with more water. By the time I got home, all 3 bottles were bone dry. It wasnít warm when I stepped out of my house, but it wasnít cool either. By the time I got to the base of GMR it was comfortable. But a few miles into the climb it got hot!
The gate at the beginning of GMR is about 5 miles from my front door, so to the shack and back is about a 26 mile round trip. For those of you that don't know, I have attempted GMR once before, back in October on a forum group ride. I didn't make it very far. At the time I had little experience with my new road bike, I think it was about a month old and I hadn't put many miles on her, oh and I weighed about 295 pounds. Since that first failed attempt I have wanted to tackle it again. I have been given advice from Mr Beanz and Mr Clyde, as well as my brother who has been cycling for the past 30 years or so. Since my first attempt I have put many miles on my bike, I am a much stronger rider then I was, and not to mention I've lost over 50 pounds. Since it was closed to motorized vehicles for the 4th of July weekend, I figured it was my perfect opportunity to conquer that mountain. I want to thank the two misters for their advice, Mr Beanz and Mr Clyde, your words kept ringing in my ears, "the first 3 miles are the hardest." They were both correct. I wouldnít say it got easy after the first 3 miles, I wouldnít even say it got easier, I would say it wasnít as hard. At least not as hard until the last climb up to the shack, then it got brutal. I took quite a few breaks on the last 5 miles or so. I was passed by a lot of riders, got attacked by a lot of bugs and I had a coyote watch me ride by him, but I made it.
I couldnít begin to express how much fun it was coming down that mountain. Since I lack experience I tried to keep my speed low. My max speed was 40, but I made sure to keep it slower around the bends. I saw a lot of riders beginning their climb as I was ending mine. I hope they faired well in the afternoon heat. It must have been well into the 90ís by 10:00am.
One thing became painfully clear, as if I didn't already know, I'm not a strong climber, but still on Sunday, I climbed! I have ridden GMR on a motorcycle many times, and driving my car, with my modified suspension, many more times. It's fun in a car, it's more fun on a motorcycle, but it's most fun on a bicycle.
My "make it up GMR to the shack" goal is checked off of my list. Next goal is to make it without stopping, then to baldy village. I might have to wait until cooler weather. There were a lot of bugs on that road.
Now for the proof
On my way up
At the shack
I know GMR is no big deal to a lot of people, but it was a big deal for me. I feel accomplished, I feel like a cyclist, I feel like I conquered that mountain, I feel like I hurdled a milestone. Now, where is my KoM jersey!
Lemond Chambery/Cannondale R-900/Trek 8000 MTB/Burley Duet tandem
WOW!!!!!!! HOW DID I MISS THIS POST??? I was keeping an eye out for it too!
I knew you'd conquer this climb! Ain't it true about the first 3'ish miles. Once you are beyond that point, you know you got it! Yeah, little bit of tough stuff to come but you're all nice and warmed up to the climb. Now that you've done it, I bet you do it a hundred times more before the year is over! It only gets better.
Wow, I didn't even recognize you in the pics. Your face has changed shapes since the we met. God job on the weight loss!