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Old 02-20-12, 10:47 AM   #1
Mansram01
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Climbing on Cloudy Days

I was originally planning riding from Red Box to Dawson Saddle. Now I'm just thinking of riding up Big Tujunga to Clear Creek and back down AC. I've never ridden up there while it's cloudy. Is there any danger I should be aware of? Is visibility the main issue or does it just appear worse from down here? Any feedback would be great. Thanks!
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Old 02-20-12, 11:48 AM   #2
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I don't ride ACH/Big Tujunga/Angeles Forest highways much, but do commute "over the hill" every day to and from work". Visibility has never an issue where it affects bicycle speeds, except for maybe if you go bonkers downhill. There are white fog lines painted on all the highways up there. The only thing you need to be cautious about is rocks and debris that fall down onto the road. Again, not a problem when climbing, but something to watch for on descents.
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Old 02-20-12, 12:18 PM   #3
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Riding GMR and a few other local roads, I think it's a "looks worse from here" thingy. Riding on thsoe day doesn't pose much of a problem as far as visiblity in my experience. Although the last time I did Big Bear (2? years back) the fog was so thick , drizzle and wet, it was tough to see more than 30 or 40 yards. That was the one time I was praying on the way up! Cars traveling fast with limited visibility.

Not sure how the traffic is in your area but GMR isn't nearly as busy as Big Bear. Like I said visiblity issues IME, "looks worse than it is" from here.
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Old 02-20-12, 03:39 PM   #4
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Thanks guys for the response. Yeah I was concerned with visibility on the ascent. Like cars driving up not seeing me on the road. I suppose I could always use a rear blinky. I'd say the traffic on Big Tujunga is comparable to GMR. AC is another story though. I ended up doing a flat ride today. Next time, I'll try going up.

Beanz, riding in thick fog, drizzle and wet roads. I'd be praying too. The ride down must have been interesting too, no?
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Old 02-20-12, 03:48 PM   #5
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Beanz, riding in thick fog, drizzle and wet roads. I'd be praying too. The ride down must have been interesting too, no?
Nope, it was a century loop (Ride Around the Bear). By the time we reached the ski resorts, the weather cleared up. Descending from Onyx Summit was nice and clear.

This ride, as you can see, cleared up nicely.


Bear1 by mrbeanz1, on Flickr
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Old 02-20-12, 07:33 PM   #6
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Visibility is sometimes tricky. It can look terrible from below, but things can change once you are up there. Many times, you will climb above the fog and find yourself under warm blue sky. I just go out and ride. If you are concerned, using lights is great idea and will increase the safety margin.

Don't listen to Mr. Beanz, he brings sunshine to most every ride.
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Old 02-20-12, 08:10 PM   #7
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...I suppose I could always use a rear blinky...
My modus operandi the past couple of months is to ride with a rear blinky and front strobe on all my rides. I think the ratio on those who pass me too close and those who give a whole lot of room have flipped. Before the blinky, only one out of ten or so cars gave me plenty of room, like going into the other lane or at the minimum, half way into the other lane. Now, with the blinky, only about one in ten cars buzz me to the point that I say a little prayer of thanks. Most people give me way more room than I really need to feel safe and comfortable. Oh, I also started wearing a Castelli chartreuse vest, and when it is colder, a Bellwether chartreuse full-arm length jacket. I still have to decide if I'll wear the chartreuse when it gets warm.
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Old 02-20-12, 09:04 PM   #8
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Don't listen to Mr. Beanz, he brings sunshine to most every ride.


Aww shucks! ............
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Old 02-20-12, 11:51 PM   #9
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Thanks guys for the help. I'm just going to go for it next time and take a pair of lights if it's looking cloudy. If conditions look very bad, I could always turn around.
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Old 02-21-12, 12:36 AM   #10
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Note that "cloudy" and "foggy" are different. I've descended ACH before in fog so thick that I had to stop in places to figure out where the fog line went. (The fog had rolled in after I climbed up.) I ride ACH a lot, and have never seen clouds hurt visibility.
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