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Old 06-17-12, 11:25 PM   #1
billydonn
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LA Visitor Wants to Ride GMR- (and SF Valley)

I'm going to be in the LA area with my bike during the first week in July and for sure want to ride up GMR. I will be staying with friends in the SF Valley (West Hills I think it is) and doing some riding in that area (and suggestions on that are welcome)... but I'd sure like to do GMR one day. Probably July 5, 6, or 7 would be best. Times are totally flexible but I assume it's best to start early to avoid the heat of the day.

The company of a local rider or two would make the trip more fun, so if you can tolerate a fairly slow older guy's company and want to ride GMR one of those days please post here or give me a PM. I'm 64 and weigh just over 200, but when my legs are rested I'm not totally incompetent. I'll be coming from a weeklong ride in Montana so I should have my climbing legs when we get to LA. It would be fun to meet some SoCal riders.

Billydonn of Omaha


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Old 06-17-12, 11:36 PM   #2
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Get ahold of Mr. Beanz. He rides GMR often.
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Old 06-18-12, 12:41 AM   #3
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If you're way out in West Hills, you can try riding Angeles Crest instead. Great climbing - not as much driving. Also; there's some great climbing in the Malibu area, I hear. (I'm not very familiar with it - although riding PCH is a must.)
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Old 06-18-12, 07:33 AM   #4
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I was in LA in May, and have the following to share:

1) SF Valley - if you're up for a group ride, check out the SFVBC online. Randy, their ride director, is a great guy and it's a really nice club. They do some outstanding rides in that area.

2) GMR - I did it solo, but think it would be a lot more fun with some company. I would only add to make sure your bike has adequate gearing based on your capabilities (since you're coming from MT, I guess this shouldn't be a problem), and make sure you have plenty of water. It's dry and hot up there. Although it's only 20+ miles to Mt. Baldy village you may be averaging only 6-7mph.
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Old 06-18-12, 08:05 AM   #5
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If you can do GMR on the 4th, do it as it will be closed to car traffic. There will be tons of cyclists that day! Enjoy your stay...
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Old 06-18-12, 07:09 PM   #6
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If you can do GMR on the 4th, do it as it will be closed to car traffic. There will be tons of cyclists that day! Enjoy your stay...
Very cool... Thanks!
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Old 06-19-12, 09:07 AM   #7
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It's usually closed the whole weekend around the 4th. With it on a wednesday this year, I'm not sure what they'll do. It's a nice night ride, too, when the road is closed.
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Old 06-20-12, 04:01 PM   #8
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Can anyone advise me on where to park to start GMR? I'm really going to try for the 4th.
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Old 06-20-12, 04:18 PM   #9
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East Palm Dr, or near the bottom of GMR itself many people will park right at the curb near the stop sign. It's a wide road.

There's a dirt lot about a half mile from the bottom that many use, but I've heard too many stories of broken windows and stolen items to ever park there.
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Old 06-20-12, 04:21 PM   #10
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Can anyone advise me on where to park to start GMR? I'm really going to try for the 4th.
Are you going just up to the top and back? Then park near the intersection of Sierra Madre Blvd. and GMR. There is plenty of on street parking.

There are lots of great rides that include GMR: the Baldy ski lifts and Hwy. 39 to Crystal Lake. If you add additional riding onto the GMR climb, you may want to park elsewhere.

For example: From Pioneer Park on Sierra Madre Blvd. --> GMR --> East Fork Rd. --> right on Azusa Cyn. (Hwy 39) to Crystal Lake Cafe --> returning down HWy 39 --> left on Sierra Madre Blvd. to Pioneer Park. This route is just over 62 miles and more than 6k feet of climbing. There is food water and gatorade available at Camp Williams on East Fork and at the Crystal Lake Cafe.
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Old 06-20-12, 04:24 PM   #11
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Can anyone advise me on where to park to start GMR? I'm really going to try for the 4th.
I parked at the Goddard Middle School. There's an outdoor water fountain at the school, too.
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Old 06-20-12, 10:19 PM   #12
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Are you going just up to the top and back? Then park near the intersection of Sierra Madre Blvd. and GMR. There is plenty of on street parking.

There are lots of great rides that include GMR: the Baldy ski lifts and Hwy. 39 to Crystal Lake. If you add additional riding onto the GMR climb, you may want to park elsewhere.

For example: From Pioneer Park on Sierra Madre Blvd. --> GMR --> East Fork Rd. --> right on Azusa Cyn. (Hwy 39) to Crystal Lake Cafe --> returning down HWy 39 --> left on Sierra Madre Blvd. to Pioneer Park. This route is just over 62 miles and more than 6k feet of climbing. There is food water and gatorade available at Camp Williams on East Fork and at the Crystal Lake Cafe.
Unless GMR is tougher than I think, just going up GMR and back down would probably be too short a ride for me. It seems like I remember seeing a 50ish mile loop that goes up GMR and turns off short of the Baldy climb, then sort of works along the mountain and comes down the other side. If I get there at the right time of day and am having fun, and it's not too hot, that's the kind of thing I'd enjoy. Maybe that's the ride you're describing. 6k of climbing would be a lot for me but I'll be coming from Montana and should have my climbing legs by then.

Ah, I found it....This looks like a ride that would be within my capabilities unless it is blazing hot... is it the one you're talking about?
http://velo.caltech.edu/rides/gmr.html

This looks like the same ride but shows less distance... I'm a little confused
http://www.mapmyride.com/s/routes/vi...lendora/549133

And thanks for the input!

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Old 06-20-12, 11:03 PM   #13
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Those are both the same ride. Up the front of GMR, down "little GMR" to the east fork, east fork to 39, and 39 back to foothill. There's a 2 mile difference, probably due to where the mapper started on Sierra Madre for the route on mapmyride.

It's a pretty easy ride if you've got your climbing legs. If you want more distance and elevation, you can go up to Baldy Village (up Glendora Ridge Road) or up to Crystal Lake (up highway 39). the easist place to start is Encanto Park, which shows on the mapmyride map. There's a bike path that you can take to get over to Sierra Madre without taking Foothill, and that you can pick up again coming down 39.
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Old 06-21-12, 06:21 PM   #14
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If you want more distance and elevation, you can go up to Baldy Village (up Glendora Ridge Road) or up to Crystal Lake (up highway 39). the easist place to start is Encanto Park, which shows on the mapmyride map. There's a bike path that you can take to get over to Sierra Madre without taking Foothill, and that you can pick up again coming down 39.
+1. Also, if you do add GRR to Baldy Village ( as an out and back extension to the ride ) and you want to suffer a little more then continue up to the Mt. Baldy Ski Lift station ( adds another 4 miles and 2,000 feet of climbing ).
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Old 06-21-12, 09:19 PM   #15
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Come to a SFVBC Saturday or Sunday ride if you want. Try heading into the Santa Monica Mountains, you're near there in the West Hills. Get on Mulholland Highway and go all the way to the end, turn around and come back for 70 miles and about 7000 feet. Lots of variations on that, too.

+1 to Angeles Crest, too.
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Old 06-22-12, 08:35 AM   #16
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I live in the SF Valley. If you have daytime to ride, let me know, I'd be happy to show you around. I do group rides just about every day of the week (from 8am--12pm), in/near the Valley.
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Old 06-22-12, 09:33 AM   #17
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@billydon. For the GMR loop, I like parking at Encanto Park in Duarte and crossing over the riverbed, then up San Gabriel Cyn rd (hwy 39). Basically doing the loop you showed in reverse or clockwise. I like going down GMR, because the switchbacks are more fun in that direction.
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Old 06-22-12, 10:48 AM   #18
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I was in LA in May, and have the following to share:

1) SF Valley - if you're up for a group ride, check out the SFVBC online. Randy, their ride director, is a great guy and it's a really nice club. They do some outstanding rides in that area.

2) GMR - I did it solo, but think it would be a lot more fun with some company. I would only add to make sure your bike has adequate gearing based on your capabilities (since you're coming from MT, I guess this shouldn't be a problem), and make sure you have plenty of water. It's dry and hot up there. Although it's only 20+ miles to Mt. Baldy village you may be averaging only 6-7mph.
Suggestion No. 1 is a very good one.

Also, depending on where in West Hills you are staying at, you can try these rides.

1. If you are close Topanga Canyon Bl. head towards Chatsworth and go over the Santa Susana Pass and head into Simi Valley. Depending on your level of fitness (and how many miles you wish to do) you can ride from Simi valley to Moorpark and then over to PCH and back.

2. You can also head the opposite way, and get on Mulholland or Agoura road and head west. Some nice choices in that direction.

I live in the Conejo Valley (West of West Hills) and I can give you more detailed advice if you like.

But I would definitely check out the San Fernando Valley Bicycle club. Also, check out the Conejo Valley Cyclists website: http://www.cvcbike.org/

Enjoy your trip.
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Old 06-22-12, 07:07 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by billydonn View Post
Unless GMR is tougher than I think, just going up GMR and back down would probably be too short a ride for me. It seems like I remember seeing a 50ish mile loop that goes up GMR and turns off short of the Baldy climb, then sort of works along the mountain and comes down the other side. If I get there at the right time of day and am having fun, and it's not too hot, that's the kind of thing I'd enjoy. Maybe that's the ride you're describing. 6k of climbing would be a lot for me but I'll be coming from Montana and should have my climbing legs by then.

Ah, I found it....This looks like a ride that would be within my capabilities unless it is blazing hot... is it the one you're talking about?
http://velo.caltech.edu/rides/gmr.html

This looks like the same ride but shows less distance... I'm a little confused
http://www.mapmyride.com/s/routes/vi...lendora/549133

And thanks for the input!
Does this mean you're riding from Montana???
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Old 06-30-12, 02:14 PM   #20
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http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/angele...TELPRDB5375798

Official posting on road closures July 3 to 5.
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Old 07-01-12, 12:32 AM   #21
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http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/angele...TELPRDB5375798

Official posting on road closures July 3 to 5.
I know how I'm spending part of my week off...
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