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Old 06-15-08, 05:47 PM   #1
Rick@OCRR
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Sometimes the Bear gets away!

Last weekend, my wife and I rode a century called "Ride Around the Bear" with 9,300 feet of climbing, from Redlands up to Big Bear Lake, then further up to Onyx Summit. We didn't see any Bears.

This weekend (Sat. June 14), I did a Los Angeles Wheelmen ride (also, bikeforums.net and OCRebels) starting from Duarte (Encanto Park), heading across the foothills, through Pasadena, etc. to La Canada / Flintridge, and eventually, Hwy 2, otherwise known as Angeles Crest.

We crossed the 210 (Foothill Freeway) and headed up, with only the occasional descent. I was riding with the Very Famous Vertical Bob (60+) who knows these mountain roads like the back of his hand, and Lee (scvroadie on bikeforums.net), probably 50+ or close to it.

After a water stop at Red Box (so named because the Forest Service keeps supplies stored in a large red box there), I took off with Cathy (50+), eventually riding away from her and catching up to Dan (60+) and Anny (50+) on their Calfee tandem (see photo to follow). I talked with and rode with them to the next stop, i.e. Newcomb's Ranch, with food, drink, etc. available and a v.popular hangout for the sports motorcycle (not Harley!) crowd.

From Newcomb's Ranch, it's pretty much a dead-end road, with the roads to both Hwy 39. and Hwy 2 heading onwards (to Dawson Saddle) closed to motor traffic a mile or so after the tunnels, i.e. hikers and bicyclists good to go! By this time I was pretty much alone, having been passed by David Wu (Chinese barely 40+) until he decided to wait for his friend Frank (Phillipino, 40+) who was having trouble with the constant climb (about 7,000 feet by this time).

So, I went around the barricade and started down Hwy 39 (closed since earthquakes and land-slides covered part of the roadway, many years ago) alone. I was descending rather slowly, since the pavement was quite broken up, lots of fallen rock bits, etc. so maybe 15 mph approx. I came around one blind corner to find a good sized black bear sitting in the road. Not sure which of us was more surprised!

The bear took one look at me and took off running down the road. I just coasted along, not wanting to get in front of the bear (and not sure how long it had been since the Bear's last meal!). About 50 feet on, the Bear stopped, and looked around. Darned if that human on a bicycle wasn't still chasing! That done, the Bear took off at a much higher speed ("Sure to drop that human now!" he was probably thinking.), no doubt in "Sprint" mode.

Having sprinted seriously for another 50 - 70 feet, the Bear stopped to check on that "Human on a bicycle" and was, no doubt, very concerned that said Human was still (pretty much) keeping up quite well! Being smarter than the average Bear (I suspect), he decided the human would have a much tougher time chasing off-road, and eventually made a hard right turn and bounded over the shoulder, and down the hill into the forest.

Which was fine with me, of course. I certainly didn't want a confrontation with a Bear! The next several miles were an intesting study in the "Disintegration of a Mountain Road When Not Maintained" but fortunately no more wildlife. And in fact, with the rare exception, the next 20 miles were a swooping and curving descent on (thankfully!) much better pavement. When we reached the approx. vicinity of Crystal Lake, the road was quite good indeed!

So lovely ride, overall, much of it on roads I'd never seen before, much less ridden on my bicycle. Final total was 6 Hours, 44 minutes of riding time, 88.9 miles, 8,700 feet of elevation gain with a (pitiful) average speed of 13.1 mph, Max 41.2 mph.

Photos by Shai (Israli, 40+). First photo at Redbox, with me on the left (note OCRR jersey), Cathy in the middle, and Bigjohn (bikeforums.net, 50+) on the right. That's Frank in the background, to the right of Bigjohn.



2nd photo (also by Shai), Dan Crane and Anny Beck on the tandem, and me on my Calfee (their tandem is a Calfee as well).



Rick / OCRR

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Old 06-15-08, 08:47 PM   #2
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Rick, Cathy is Valleygirl on BF. Here is a pic from the tunnels
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Old 06-15-08, 08:56 PM   #3
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Here is a picture of the descent from scvroadie.
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Old 06-15-08, 10:42 PM   #4
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Thanks John and Lee!

Great photos! That descent really looks good. I was too busy looking at the road in front of me to see the whole thing (well, part of it) like that!

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Old 06-16-08, 12:40 PM   #5
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Found a pic where I don't look fat.

Here's the profile.

That climb after the green ends at about mile 42 is the one that hurt the most, probably because I ate wrong.
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Old 06-16-08, 02:10 PM   #6
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That climb after the green ends at about mile 42 is the one that hurt the most, probably because I ate wrong.
I usually eat by chewing then swallowing. Is there another way to do it?
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Old 06-16-08, 02:41 PM   #7
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I usually eat by chewing then swallowing. Is there another way to do it?
Hit a bump- swallow the lot and regurgitate.

But that is often a bit messy.

Now on that slope you went up-6,500 ft in 50 miles- Glad I am not up to that standard yet. I'll stick to my short sharp hills instead.
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Old 06-16-08, 03:24 PM   #8
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Wow! You saw a bear on the road and chased him off -- impressive!

Great shots and ride report as well. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 06-16-08, 04:12 PM   #9
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I usually eat by chewing then swallowing. Is there another way to do it?
That reminds me of a joke about weight-loss that I can't tell here. I think eating Fritos before a hot 6 mile climb to 7000 feet is what hurt.


Stapfam, I've read your ride reports and I think you would enjoy this ride. It has a lot of gain but nothing too steep. A grizzled veteran such as yourself could handle it.
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Old 06-16-08, 07:03 PM   #10
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True John,

Stepfam would hammer this ride, no worries. Actually, this is a perfect ride for 50+ riders!

Great scenery and pie at Newcomb's Ranch! Next year we should invite all the 50+ riders that
didn't make this year's ride to make a special effort to attend. I'm sure everyone would be
amazed by the scenery (well, except Stepfam, he'd be Gob-Smacked).

I felt good during the whole ride, no worries, no problems.

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Old 06-16-08, 07:16 PM   #11
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True John,

Stepfam would hammer this ride, no worries. Actually, this is a perfect ride for 50+ riders!

Great scenery and pie at Newcomb's Ranch! Next year we should invite all the 50+ riders that
didn't make this year's ride to make a special effort to attend.
I'm sure everyone would be
amazed by the scenery (well, except Stepfam, he'd be Gob-Smacked).

I felt good during the whole ride, no worries, no problems.

Rick / OCRR
Only if I can do the last half of the ride

Nice ride report and pics. I enjoy reading about other's rides.
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Old 06-16-08, 07:24 PM   #12
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Only if I can do the last half of the ride
You could do the whole thing Beverly! There is nothing steep on this ride at all.
Don't let the elevation chart scare you. Keep in mind that spread out over 88
miles, it's not bad. A lot of 5 and 6% but nothing worse.

I'll even buy you a piece of your favorite pie at Newcomb's Ranch (or whatever kind
of pie they have there . . . ).

Pie is great fuel for the last bit from Newcomb's to the tunnels (although I had 2 Luna
bars and an Expresso Hammer Gel myself).

But really, the vast majority of 50+ forumites could complete this ride.

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Old 06-16-08, 07:44 PM   #13
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But really, the vast majority of 50+ forumites could complete this ride.

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I don't know, Rick. I had a hard time yesterday after Newcomb's and I do this ride every year.
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Old 06-16-08, 07:50 PM   #14
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You could do the whole thing Beverly! There is nothing steep on this ride at all.
Don't let the elevation chart scare you. Keep in mind that spread out over 88
miles, it's not bad. A lot of 5 and 6% but nothing worse.

I'll even buy you a piece of your favorite pie at Newcomb's Ranch (or whatever kind
of pie they have there . . . ).



Rick / OCRR
I can handle the 5-6% grades, it's the 10+ that kill me. Thankfully the hills around here that hit 10+ are short ones
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Old 06-17-08, 11:21 PM   #15
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I can handle the 5-6% grades, it's the 10+ that kill me. Thankfully the hills around here that hit 10+ are short ones
Then you would have no trouble on this ride. Nothing steep, it just goes on for awhile. And even on the longer (climbing) stretches, there are the occasional descents to allow you to rest your legs a bit .

So no worries!

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