Just wanted to start a thread for the ride reports that will start rolling in once everyone gets home and settled.
What a great ride - many familiar SoCal folks as well as new faces!! Had some midpoint excitement as a motorcyclist and a convertible driver almost took their gloves off and throw down, apparently over accused poor driving/safety/etc. - suffice to say, we let the cars go down first before we headed down ourselves.
I was unsure about this ride at first as after my miserable experience up Oak Glen last year at the Fall Metric Century, I had a little phobia towards climbing/mountains/etc. - took some time yesterday to go up Hwy 39 to East Fork and back to kind of get a feel for the climbing. Wasn't so bad, so I figured I'd end up going to this GMR ride. Besides, the company would be great, and if I was going to suffer, BF people are the ones to suffer with!
Rolled into Encanto and was greeted by Dave with some donuts that Happytime had so graciously brought. Weather was overcast and nice and cool. Ride was underway pretty promptly - and I was once again pleasantly surprised by the number of riders. Good 'ol Herb - he's a good ride organizer and is able to get some folks from out of the woodwork! Hopped onto the bike trail for a little bit, then got on Sierra Madre and headed towards Glendora. Ran into two dirt/unpaved/rocky sections in the middle of the road where they were apparently in the middle of doing construction - as my front tire slipped and slid, I had various magnificent visions about eating it . . . but luckily I escaped unscathed. Something about Herb's rides and off-road excursions . . .
Regrouped at the gate leading up to GMR. Thanks to the chivalrous guys and girls that helped hold/lift bikes while riders straddled and cross the yellow bars. As people started taking off, I decided that it'd be good to get going since I'm slow and was going to get passed up anyway. The climb itself wasn't too miserable - just a steady, consistent uphill. Luckily, Tiffanie hung with me for much of it, and chatted it up with her to take my mind off the exertion to get me and my bike up the mountain. Broke through the cloud layer and into the warm sunshine, but I kept my arm warmers on as I've been trying to even out my tan line. Ran into several good groups/folks on the way up, but it seemed like we were all pretty well scattered throughout. At one point, GregK, who is a member here and friend of mtblurkr - passes us . . . on his big ring. Later on we find out he never left his big ring all day. Insane!! Reached a bit of shade that was around 1/4 mile from the top - folks were gathered there so we figured we'd stop and sit for a little bit. Waited for the regroup, then headed up/down to the yellow gate.
As we were waiting for another regroup, this is where the almost-altercation between motorcyclist/car driver ensued. I whispered guiltily to Scootcore that I wanted to sit back and watch a good 'ol mountaintop brawl, but they ended up cooling off enough to part without any punches thrown. Boo. Wusses.
A quick, twist descent down to East Fork awaited us, and I followed behind Tiffanie who held a great line. Going wide then coming in around the apex, and accelerating out, it was a fast downhill. It's great to ride with people you've ridden with before as you know their ability/tendency/personalities, so you can trust enough to follow them down a 35+mph descent without fear that they'd suddenly slam on the brakes or what not. Hopped onto East Fork, then stopped at the Cafe for a quick refuel/drink/potty break.
East Fork to Hwy 39 - a few uphill sections on 39 followed by some sweet descents. It was windy in some places, and Scootcore was behind me for a little while then swung around to let me take a break. I tried to hang onto this wheel but my legs weren't having it, so I just did my own thing for the rest of the way down 39. Hit 40.5mph on the way down, but was pretty much spinning my 50/11 pretty fast. Regrouped at the beginning of the trail in Azusa, then we booked it back to Encanto Park.
All in all, it was an awesome ride - great to ride with people I haven't ridden with in the past (Happytime, jschen, Davesanzyzyzyzyz or something like that, psydotek (who I didn't even realize was there until m.e. pointed it out, jpconrad, Extort, VanceMac, etc., etc.) - nygirl and her estrogen posse, who had just done a century the day before (awesome!), Mr. Beanz and Gina who did an awesome job, cole505, ronjon, bitingduck, scvroadie, markaj, justme, etc. - and some other folks I didn't get a chance to meet.
Thanks to herbm for once again another great ride. Sorry I couldn't make it out to The Green Onion - I had told Holly that I'd be home at noonish as she had wanted to go for a run and get a pedicure afterwards, so as I pulled in at 1:30 and she had been waiting for me - looks like I have some damage control to do later on when she gets back . . .
Oh - pics to come by others who took some!