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Old 04-02-11, 11:09 PM   #1
colombo357
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Riding Baldy solo?

Anyone here ride Baldy solo? My main concern is that it would be difficult to call a friend or a cab in the event of a major mechanical, due to the location as well as lack of cell phone reception.

Questions:
1. What's the story on cell phone reception?
2. Two bottles isn't enough for me if I take the GMR/Glendora Ridge route, so I bring a camelbak. An extra 200g tire is no prob. What else would you bring? I've never had a chain break on me, but I suppose a few extra links just in case and a larger multitool?
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Old 04-02-11, 11:30 PM   #2
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Anyone here ride Baldy solo? My main concern is that it would be difficult to call a friend or a cab in the event of a major mechanical, due to the location as well as lack of cell phone reception.

Questions:
1. What's the story on cell phone reception?
2. Two bottles isn't enough for me if I take the GMR/Glendora Ridge route, so I bring a camelbak. An extra 200g tire is no prob. What else would you bring? I've never had a chain break on me, but I suppose a few extra links just in case and a larger multitool?
I've done it solo. I tend to drink a lot of fluid, but two bottles + one in my jersey pocket was enough for me. (You can refill at the Village.) I don't think there's such a thing as too much water, though.

I don't bring anything special on this ride as opposed to my others. Spare tube, mini pump, muti-tool - along with food, of course.

I've never really looked, but I don't think that cell phone service can be guaranteed. When I do the lifts solo (or any other remote ride), I let my wife know when to expect a call from me. If she doesn't get it - somebody needs to come look for me.

Especially on the weekends, GMR - GRR does have enough traffic that getting stranded isn't too much of an issue. Go for it!
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Old 04-02-11, 11:33 PM   #3
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I do it all the time. Usually just up the front and down little GMR to 39, but sometimes all the way to the village. Going to the village I bring a third water bottle in my pocket.

I don't treat it differently than any other ride of the same length.
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Old 04-03-11, 12:12 AM   #4
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There are so many riders on GMR now that you won't be totally alone. I've stopped to take a break and have drivers ask if I'm ok. That's on the weekends and weekdays.

During the week, there are usually forest dudes and construction people around somewhere. Not like you are going to be out there for more than an hour without somebody seeing you. Few motor cycle dudes too. They are cool if you treat me as such!

On a hot day, take atleast a spare (3rd) bottle in the jersey pocket. No special tools required.
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Old 04-03-11, 09:13 PM   #5
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Cell reception is spotty, but can be found. Out on GRR there was an incident towards the end of last year where a rider had a serious accident and medical help was over 2 hours getting to him because a friend had to ride back to Baldy Village to make a call for help. I have gotten reception up on GRR numerous times, but it can take a lot of looking for the right place. I always take a phone when up there, especially when by myself. Better to have one along than not.

P. S. As far as what the above posts say, they are right. Usually plenty of traffic if anything goes badly wrong, and nothing extra needed except maybe the water, especially on warmer days.

Last edited by Hillbasher; 04-06-11 at 07:58 PM.
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Old 04-06-11, 10:22 AM   #6
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I've ridden GMR/GRR many times solo, with nothing more than the occasional flat tire having gone wrong. If your bike is in good condition mechanically, GMR/GRR is not going to hurt it any more than riding more level routes.

The big difference is that you have to be aware of rocks that have fallen onto the roadway, more so on the descending sections, of course.

Other than that, and the water notes stated above, no worries.

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Old 04-06-11, 04:50 PM   #7
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I've never gotten cell reception on GMR once i was past the shack, and the only place I've gotten cell reception in the village is by the post office. They seem to have installed an internet->verizon repeater station there (you'll hear a tone before your outgoing call starts dialing and you'll then essentially be calling via the internet router in the post office or wherever it is).

For sprint/ATT, I have no info.
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Old 04-06-11, 05:04 PM   #8
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Cell reception is spotty, but can be found. Out on GRR there was an incident towards the end of last year where a rider had a serious accident and medical help was over 2 hours getting to him because a friend had to ride back to Baldy Village to make a call for help.
That's why I ride with people who are faster than me!
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Old 04-08-11, 11:19 AM   #9
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I am planning on doing baldy road this Sunday (hopefully the traffice wont be too bad). If you dont want to go alone.
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Old 04-08-11, 02:12 PM   #10
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Riding Baldy solo?
Baldy is not for the timid nor the cell-phone dependent. Change that to Riding Baldy solo! and you'll do just fine.
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Old 04-08-11, 04:03 PM   #11
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I've ridden from home (Pasadena) to Baldy Village and back solo, on a weekday, and not seen another cyclist once I made the turn onto GMR from Sierra Madre. Two 24-ounce bottles is enough for me. I top them off at Encanto, and have not run dry before hitting the lodge (which opens at 11 am on weekdays.) There is also a water fountain at the Baldy Village Post Office, 1/4-mile down from the lodge.

Last time I did this ride, they had no fire going in the lodge fireplace, and everyone in there was wearing jackets or winter coats. I had full gloves, armwarmers, and a windstopper headband, and was still cold sitting at the bar, eating a bar and sipping a coke.
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Old 04-10-11, 09:39 PM   #12
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UPDATE: I did the solo ride. I guzzle liquid, so the Camelbak with NUUN tablets were just the ticket. Hydration was not my problem today, weakness was.

Got one flat, on SIERRA MADRE of all places. Really glad I finally got a road pump that (more) easily gets the tubes to about 90-100 psi.

See more info on my new thread, Did a recon of the L'Etape du California route today

BTW, lots of people up there today. Not as many cyclists (I saw maybe a dozen and a half today), but a ton of cars, all of which were cautious when passing, even the Mitsubishi Evos... all 50 of them.

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Old 04-11-11, 01:27 AM   #13
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even the Mitsubishi Evos... all 50 of them.
A while back, I was descending GRR (back from Baldy,) and got passed by a HUGE car club. I swear, it took them 15 minutes to pass. They were all 1. Late model BMW 3 series. 2. Those Infiniti hatchbacks 3. Pontiac Fieros. Weirdest car club I've ever seen...
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Old 04-11-11, 09:53 AM   #14
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Got one flat, on SIERRA MADRE of all places. Really glad I finally got a road pump that (more) easily gets the tubes to about 90-100 psi.
What kind of pump?
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Old 04-11-11, 11:41 AM   #15
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What kind of pump?
Just a cheapo $15 one from Performance, but it has a slim barrel, which makes all the difference when PSI is the goal. Small cross section = less effort (and lower volume, but that's acceptable).
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Old 04-12-11, 01:37 PM   #16
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If you can, ride with Beanz. He's a tour guide, videographer and entertainer all built into one person.
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