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Old 08-15-12, 01:15 PM   #1
Genaro
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Where are you riding this weekend 08/18-19

I haven't decided. Maybe Devore/Lytle Creek
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Old 08-15-12, 01:46 PM   #2
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Hey Genaro, you ought to take the family with you to the Cool Breeze Ride. You can do the 63 mile route while they play at the beach. Then you can join them later. No need to register sicne you can self support that distance. You probably DO NOT want to take the family riding with you even on the 38 distance since it rides on the shoulder of Hwy 1 for a bit.

Come on everone is doing it! (I am riding the 124 mile route with a friend)
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Old 08-15-12, 02:29 PM   #3
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Hey Genaro, you ought to take the family with you to the Cool Breeze Ride. You can do the 63 mile route while they play at the beach. Then you can join them later. No need to register sicne you can self support that distance. You probably DO NOT want to take the family riding with you even on the 38 distance since it rides on the shoulder of Hwy 1 for a bit.

Come on everone is doing it! (I am riding the 124 mile route with a friend)
I would love to, but have plans on Saturday already. Will have to put it on my list for next year.
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Old 08-15-12, 03:37 PM   #4
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Hopefully somewhere up in the Seattle area!
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Old 08-15-12, 03:42 PM   #5
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Wife works Sat so no riding then. Hopefully I can get out Sunday morning. It's my birthday, I turn 42 and would like to ride at least 42 miles.
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Old 08-15-12, 03:44 PM   #6
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I'll be riding the Double Metric at Cool Breeze on Sat. then probably do a fixed gear recovery ride on Sun.

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Old 08-15-12, 05:50 PM   #7
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Missed my GMR chance last weekend due to work, so I'm gonna try again this weekend. Haven't been out there in a couple months now. Wife says she'll watch the kids so I'm getting some much needed alone time with a bike and some mountains.

Good luck to everybody doing Cool Breeze!
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Old 08-16-12, 03:34 PM   #8
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club ride saturday from Carlsbad to san off power plant O&B. Then hopefully if I can fix my AC at home myself, I will save money and be racing Rim Nordic MTB race on sunday.
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Old 08-16-12, 04:53 PM   #9
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I'm thinking of hitting Dawson Saddle, If I get an early start. I had the same plan last Saturday, but I wasn't on the bike until 7am and the heat was taking it out of me (my story and I'm sticking to it), so I only went to the Crystal Lake Cafe. The "plan" is to be on the bike by 6:15am. We'll see if that happens...

http://goo.gl/maps/IkC9K
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Old 08-16-12, 10:01 PM   #10
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How's the road? I got a bee in my bonnet to ride the back way up GMR the other week and somebody talked me out of it, saying the 39 was not a pleasant road to be cycling on. Something about people towing ski boats etc. I imagine that sort of traffic dies down in the fall & winter though.
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Old 08-17-12, 08:46 AM   #11
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My GF is just starting to get serious about cycling, so we're probably going to do a 15 mile section of the SART. Then I'll probably work some hills in the La Habra Heights area.
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Old 08-17-12, 11:51 AM   #12
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How's the road? I got a bee in my bonnet to ride the back way up GMR the other week and somebody talked me out of it, saying the 39 was not a pleasant road to be cycling on. Something about people towing ski boats etc. I imagine that sort of traffic dies down in the fall & winter though.
The lower canyon from the ranger station through West Fork (11miles) is the only section I don't care for. For a while it bothered me enough to park at West Fork and ride up from there. I've never seen a boat on a trailer (Crystal "Lake" is more of a pond and is accessible only by foot), but there is an OHV area between East Fork and West Fork, so there are some OHV's being towed as well as driven through the lower canyon. West Fork is very popular with families seeking to beat the heat (lots of shade and a cool mountain stream).

However, the OHV area doesn't open until 10 or 11am and the family crowd doesn't get going before then either. I have found that if you get into the lower canyon no later than 7:30am, you will have some traffic passing you, but it's not too bad. The earlier you leave, the better it is. I have ridden through the lower canyon starting at about 6:15am several times this summer and was only passed by a handful of vehicles. This past Saturday, I started at 7am from Encanto Park in Duarte and several dozen vehicles passed me. For the return trip, I am usually heading down through the lower canyon between 11am-1pm. There is almost no vehicular traffic leaving the canyon at that time so heading out is no problem. In fact, lots of people are just heading up in their cars at that time.

The lower canyon road is narrow; no bike lane and very little if any pavement to the right of the fog line. But there is a "Share The Road" sign at the bottom of the canyon and lots of cyclists on the road on the weekends. The road is also steep and winding, so the vehicle traffic very rarely passes at high speeds (motorcyles and the occasional ricer).

The upper canyon from West Fork to Crystal Lake is AMAZING. I don't think I've ever had more that 6 cars pass me on that section and it takes me two hours to climb it. The Crystal Lake Cafe is worth the trip. I have had the brownie, banana bread, chili and tuna salad. Everything is delicious (the owner is a classically trained French chef). He also sells REALLY cold water and Gatorade.

You mentioned the Hwy. 39/East Fork/GMR loop. I've done this loop many times. The East Fork turn off is about a mile before West Fork (or about 10 miles up from Sierra Madre Ave). East Fork has some traffic, but not as much as the lower canyon. There is a small cafe (Camp Williams) that sells food, water, gatorade along East Fork before you get to GMR. The back side of GMR is a fun climb. I think it is steeper and shorter than the front side. Plus, you get to ride down the front side.

I have ridden the lower canyon on my way to Crystal Lake at least a dozen times this year while prepping for the KOM. The OHV area is popular all year round. Your best bet is to ride it early in the day to avoid the OHV's.

I'm always nervous when I ride the lower canyon. I ride with a really bright red flasher on my bike. Getting an early start means less traffic and that much of the canyon is in the shade; cool for riding and it makes the flasher stand out even more.

I'm training for a ride up Haleakula in Maui. Starting at Encanto Park and heading up to Dawson Saddle give me 7000 of nearly non-stop climbing, so I have once again started riding through the lower canyon.

I think the risk is worth it but I would never try and talk someone into riding the lower canyon.

Last edited by cdp8; 08-17-12 at 12:01 PM. Reason: typo and added content
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Old 08-17-12, 01:41 PM   #13
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39 below East Fork is fine, just slightly more trafficked, GMR is way busier by comparison.
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Old 08-17-12, 01:52 PM   #14
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Thanks for all the great info!

That's a heck of an uninterrupted elevation change too... phew. It'll be interesting to hear you report back on how it compares to Haleakala.
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Old 08-17-12, 02:41 PM   #15
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Thanks for all the great info!

That's a heck of an uninterrupted elevation change too... phew. It'll be interesting to hear you report back on how it compares to Haleakala.
Encanto Park is around 600' according to USGS topo maps and Dawson Saddle is 7900', so apart from a couple of short downhills before the East Fork Bridge, its 35 miles of climbing. I've done a lot of reading about Haleakala (35 miles 10,000'). The stuff I've read seems to indicate that it doesn't get real steep until the top and there it's about 12% (Thanks BF poster RacerOne for the detailed RR in May 2012). The average for the whole climb is around 5%.

Plus, I'll have a secret weapon, my new KOM jersey. No way I chicken out or quit while wearing that thing. Pedal to the summit or die trying!
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Old 08-17-12, 02:44 PM   #16
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39 below East Fork is fine, just slightly more trafficked, GMR is way busier by comparison.
I doubt GMR is busier. I think the difference with GMR is that the vehicular traffic is primarily MTB and skate board shuttles; those guys seem to be a little more sensitive to roadies than OHV's and families with kids that are heading up 39.
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Old 08-17-12, 02:46 PM   #17
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On Sunday I hope to do the OC Rebels Gold or Blue route.
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Old 08-17-12, 03:50 PM   #18
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I doubt GMR is busier. I think the difference with GMR is that the vehicular traffic is primarily MTB and skate board shuttles; those guys seem to be a little more sensitive to roadies than OHV's and families with kids that are heading up 39.
I've been buzzed by wannabe car racers and motorcyclists every single time I've ridden GMR, ranging from mid-week to weekend afternoons. The MTB and skateboard traffic are a minority compared to the BMW club pissing contests. Never once has there been a problem on 39, especially early in the day.
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Old 08-17-12, 03:50 PM   #19
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Plus, I'll have a secret weapon, my new KOM jersey. No way I chicken out or quit while wearing that thing. Pedal to the summit or die trying!
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Old 08-17-12, 05:11 PM   #20
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On Sunday I hope to do the OC Rebels Gold or Blue route.
Thats my plan as well. Should be a nice morning for a ride.
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Old 08-17-12, 08:32 PM   #21
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FYI I think GMR is easy compared to 39. And also even though GMR traffic are some what virtuous the bike Schwartz shockwaves still spoke a little. 39 traffic is only bad to the bridge. Then it is much lighter and the road is wider.
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Old 08-18-12, 03:09 AM   #22
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Well, after 7 weeks of dealing with overtime and a newborn, I finally made it out to GMR to the lifts plus a little meandering on Friday. I set off at 1pm and the car said it was 102. Garmin said something like 107. The ride up GMR to the shack was warm, with the garmin saying 108-111 pretty much the whole way (so maybe 102-105'ish in real life?). I was taking it easy, trying to pace myself for the 6 hour ride today, so that made things a bit more bearable. The road was a ghost town all the way to the shack. No cyclists. 1 car. No motorcycles. Perfect! Time to the shack was one of my slowest ever, but today wasn't about speed.

From the shack to the village, things were literally a breeze. Temps started falling, a very nice breeze started blowing and I could start to see some ominous clouds building behind Mt Baldy. Eventually the cloud cover spread to GRR and I was riding in the shade. During one of the 30mph descents on GRR, 2 large deer started running along side me. I slowed immediately and within a second or two they both darted in front of me to cross the road. Disaster avoided. I did run across a rattle snake in the middle of the road as well. I stopped with plenty of time not to hit him, and waited until he crossed just to make sure he didn't get run over by the non-existent vehicular traffic.

0 legged friend


By the time I made it to the village, the temps were down to 80 and I was feeling as fresh as ever. Taking it easy to the village was really paying off, as I started my way up to the lifts. I kept waiting for the hard part to come, and each time I ride up to the lifts its later and later when I start to feel the pain. This time the pain came when I hit manker flats, right before the top. I toughed it out and rode up to the hut to find some replacement beverages and calories. As I sat there eating my junk food and watching the lady that runs the shack try to nurse a butterfly back into flight, I heard the skies grumble. Things were about to get real. I finished off my delicious 500 calorie honey bun and Coke, said my goodbyes to the friendly lady up there, and started booking it back to the village. With just a quick stop for a camelbak refill at the firestation, I was back on GRR. The thunder was louder now, and before I even made it up that first short steep climb at the very start of GRR I saw the clouds coming.

Minutes from the village


I kept on riding, and soon enough I started hearing giant droplets hitting the ground altho I couldn't see them, nor had any hit me. At the top of the steep climb, it had turned into full on rain. I stopped at cow canyon for a moment to place my phone and key fob into a ziplock, and headed onwards.

Cow Canyon Saddle


Soon after leaving, the rain kept getting more and more intense. Fortunately GRR is mostly rolling hills, no real big climbs or descents of any sort, so it was easy to keep the speed in check. Where I might have gone 25mph, I went 15-18mph to avoid a quick trip to the hospital. Before I knew it I was soaked to the bone. Socks drenched, shirt soaked, and the temps had dipped into the 70s so I was actually getting a little chill. I was loving every last minute of it. Just before merging back with GMR, the rain and finally stopped and I was confident that little GMR would be nice and dry for me to head down and dry out on. I cruised down little GMR to east fork, and while it did sprinkle a bit, it was mostly dry. The sun was getting lower in the sky now, it smelled like rain, and the scenery was absolutely fantastic. I didn't see a single person on little GMR on the descent.

View from little GMR


I got down to east fork, and noticed that if I hurried, I could probably clear 10k feet of climbing before I had to be back home for my kids bath and bed time rituals. I decided to put in some effort back up little GMR, and made it back up to the top in about 30 minutes, and enjoyed a completely dry descent down GMR at full speed. Once at the bottom I headed back up from the gate to try to pedal until my 7:20pm departure deadline was hit, and just barely hit the 10k mark. The light was amazing with the sun setting, and of course I had to stop and take just one more photo.



With the "easy" pacing I did, I think I could have gone for 10-12 hours. I was enjoying every bit of today, and the best part was during the entire ordeal I never thought for 1 second about work stress. I did think a bit about my screaming baby, but I'm ok with that.

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/211779589

Last edited by jmX; 08-18-12 at 03:14 AM.
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Old 08-18-12, 11:56 PM   #23
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Great write up on the GMR ride - the temps per Garmin were crazy high, 111! i would need double camelbacks and a few bottles to even make it to the shack! yikes.
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Old 08-19-12, 12:22 PM   #24
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sounds so much better then I would have thought.
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Old 08-19-12, 01:33 PM   #25
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Took a short ride down to the beach on the Raleigh Gran Sport. My dad found it left out by the trash of a neighbor. Dad's 83. One of his joys in life is playing senile. When the owner of the house came out to tell him it was for a charity pick up, he looked confused and just kept saying "thank you, my son will love it". Dad is sharper than a tack that's just been sharpened.

The Raleigh is a classic low-end bike boom 10 speed. After riding it around, I see why they were so popular. It's heavy, the handling is ponderous, but for just cruising around in street clothes with regular shoes, it's hard to beat. Turkey wing brake levers sucketh greatly, but on a crowded boardwalk when you are scanning for bikini babes they make sense. 27x 1 1/2 tires are big fat pillows that plow through sand drifts and handle the up & down curb excursions perfectly. On the open road a 10 speed leaves the beach cruisers and mountain bikes behind. Came home to a nice big tangerine juice screwdriver- perfect recovery drink.

Two wheels good, four wheels dull.
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