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Old 03-14-11, 12:00 PM   #1
KiddSisko
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3/13 Mt Baldy Ya Ya's

Had difficulty getting to the start because of some freeway closures/rerouting, plus driving directly into the sun and missing the turn-off, but I eventually made it in time for an 11am start. Mind you, the day before it would have been a 10am start. I was really looking forward to this ride! I've done it a few times over the past 2 years, and it's always fun and challenging. With camera ready...

Views along the way.



The last bit of snow remaining along GRR from a snow storm not long ago.




At the village. Smokey letting me know the fire danger is low.


I highly recommend the restrooms at the Indian village park for your full service rest stop needs. It was a very pleasant experience.




One of the switchbacks leading up to the ski lifts.


Hardly any remaining snow at 6000 feet, but where there was snow, people turned it into fun.


It hurt, but I was triumphant!


Requisite bike next to snow plow equipment picture.

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Old 03-14-11, 12:10 PM   #2
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Perhaps I shouldn't have been, but I was amazed to see people with snow gear coming off of the lifts. Plenty of snow remained on the upper elevations beyond eyesight.


The parking lot had plenty of cars, another indicator that skiable snow remained.


And yet more proof - an event in late March.


Broke the 50 mph barrier on the way down. My first ever. 50 mph doesn't feel much different than 40.
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Old 03-14-11, 12:47 PM   #3
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Nice pics! Thanks for posting. Looks like you had a fun day.

I'll be hitting Baldy in early May on the L'Etape du Tour (the Amgen Tour of CA ride). Looks like I will be suffering greatly, unless I can get in some training rides on my local hills.
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Old 03-14-11, 01:15 PM   #4
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Nice, I was up on GMR/GRR as well yesterday, from 1:00 till 4:30 or so. I still don't have the guts to try to go up to the ski lifts.

How are the road conditions up above the village? The one time I started up there, the road looked horrible, and there was a steady stream of cars coming down the road. I chickened out and turned around.
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Old 03-14-11, 01:19 PM   #5
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Nice pics! Thanks for posting. Looks like you had a fun day.

I'll be hitting Baldy in early May on the L'Etape du Tour (the Amgen Tour of CA ride). Looks like I will be suffering greatly, unless I can get in some training rides on my local hills.
If the L'Etape du Tour does the actual route the pros will be riding, then I'm certain you will indeed suffer! Heading up the last 4 miles to the lift area is no joke, especially after all the climbing you will have already done! I might just head up that day (in my car) with my video camera to capture all the suffering!
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Old 03-14-11, 01:25 PM   #6
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Nice, I was up on GMR/GRR as well yesterday, from 1:00 till 4:30 or so. I still don't have the guts to try to go up to the ski lifts.

How are the road conditions up above the village? The one time I started up there, the road looked horrible, and there was a steady stream of cars coming down the road. I chickened out and turned around.
Road conditions are pretty good, but there was quite a bit of grit and sand in patches here and there. On more than one occasion my rear wheel spun out trying to pedal in some grit.

You have to go up there once. Don't be afraid to stop every few minutes to catch your breath. I must have stopped 10 times in 2 miles. I call them "picture opportunities." :roll eyes:
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Old 03-14-11, 01:32 PM   #7
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You have to go up there once. Don't be afraid to stop every few minutes to catch your breath. I must have stopped 10 times in 2 miles. I call them "picture opportunities." :roll eyes:
Stopping is one of the "built in " benefits of taking pictures, you have to do it to take them. Not all of us can do it No-Hands style like Mr. Beanz does.

Oh ya, I almost forgot, Nice pics.
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Old 03-14-11, 09:08 PM   #8
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How are the road conditions up above the village? The one time I started up there, the road looked horrible, and there was a steady stream of cars coming down the road. I chickened out and turned around.
I much prefer the ski lift climb once the ski season is over. Significantly less traffic and road debris. Still a technical descent though, no matter what time of year.
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Old 03-14-11, 09:13 PM   #9
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I like that vantage point.

Also amazing to see how quickly the snow can melt. I was up there skiing two weeks ago and there was great skiing down to the parking lot.
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Old 03-15-11, 01:03 PM   #10
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I like that vantage point.

Also amazing to see how quickly the snow can melt. I was up there skiing two weeks ago and there was great skiing down to the parking lot.
That's what I was hoping for - snow, at least to the lower lift. I got plenty of snow last week on Mt Wilson though, so I'm happy.
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Old 03-15-11, 10:04 PM   #11
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Great ride report and pics. I rode GMR/GRR to Baldy Village on Saturday, then down East Fork to San Gabriel Valley down to Sierra Madre and back to the base of GMR--basically 60 of the 75 miles of the L'Etape / TOC route. Of course, I left out the two hardest parts--the climb from the Village to the Ski Lifts and the climb from Claremont to Baldy Village. I originally thought i would wait until after ski season to do those two segments but seems like a lot of people are doing at least the ride from the Village to the ski lifts so I may give that a shot--thought I would drive to the Village and ride up to the ski lifts so I'm fresh, then descend down Baldy rd and back up if the traffic and road conditions and my stamina all are good. Prior to Sat, I had ridden GMR from the base to "the shack" and back down. But I've been doing a lot of mountain biking in preparation. It amazes me that the pro riders in the TOC will do the 75 mile route in 3 hours--that's unbelievable. Not sure I'll be able to do the full route, but I'm not ready to say never yet...
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