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Crustacean Capers

Old 07-31-17, 10:16 AM
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Crustacean Capers

Some friends and I did what is known locally as the “Lobster Ride” on Saturday. The ride gets it’s name from the fact that the route makes out the shape of a Lobster (although I think it looks more like the constellation Orion). Here is a "Relive" of the route, with the plot at the end:

https://www.relive.cc/view/1107906606

There are a couple of ways to do this. My preferred way is to ascend Highway 39 to Crystal Lake in the morning, then head off and do the Baldy Ski Lift climb last. That means you’re doing one of the toughest climbs in SoCal with 85 miles and 10.000 feet in your legs, but on the other hand, it also means you avoid descending Highway 39 (headwind and traffic) in the afternoon.

Some friends doing the same route had left early (5AM), and we were going to start at 6:30 and hopefully catch them on the climb up to Crystal Lake. That’s possible, because it is a LONG climb. After the rolling uphill climb to the kiosk, it is a 14 mile climb to the Crystal Lake Cafe, with longish sections exceeding 8-9%.

Much better to do that in the morning. And damn ... it was beautiful.



We got to the serious climbing and zig-zagged our way up to Crystal Lake. We saw our friends descending when we were about Ĺ mile from the top ... we almost caught them, but not quite.

It was only 9AM or so, and I thought it best to get something to eat. I had a hot dog. Not exactly the best cycling food, but with a 14 mile downhill in front of us, I figured I had at least half an hour to digest it before climbing again.

The descent was awesome. Clean road, great curves, and great visibility. One thing about a 14 mile climb ... it makes for a looong descent.

In no time, we got to Camp Williams to water up before the climb to Glendora Ridge Road. Camp Williams had been looking for a cook for some time, and they finally got one. They did well. Whether she can cook or not, she has a great smile. Not getting a picture of her was the first photo-failure of the day.

I like to buy something at the cafes we stop at, so I got a bag of Fritos for the salt, and wolfed that down. We than began the ride up East Fork to Glendora Ridge Road. One of the nice things about the route is that there is usually a cooling breeze on the way up.

On the way, we were passed by a flatbed pickup. It stopped halfway up to yank an F-150 out of a ditch ... it looked like someone had too much to drink tried doing doughnuts in a dirt turnout, lost control, and crashed into the ditch. Very nice.

When we got to the top, our friends were waiting for us there. We got a pix at the top. I’m the bloke on the right.



The climb up GRR isn’t all that difficult, but my buddy Young was having trouble with the heat. I stayed back with him for company. Along the way, we met some friends coming down. Another friend drove by in a car and gave us some water, as we were running out.

Along the way, we saw this. There’s got to be a story here.



We got to the Mt. Baldy Lodge, and most everyone wanted to eat at that point. The ski lift climb is a nut buster, so I wanted to finish that first, then eat on the way back down. I threw down a GU and started up.

Oy, does that climb hurt. At this point, we had about 9-10,000 feet in our legs and about 80 miles. Going up a grade that starts at 9% and goes up to 15% from there is a challenge, to say the least. But biting off a little at a time, we got there, and even got the proof.



We now had the difficult descent back down to the lodge. The pavement has odd grooves in it, ripples, and all kinds of stuff. And it is effing steep. I stopped to take a pix of one of the group ahead of mine on the descent. At this point, he was only a short linear distance in front of me and only one swtichback. But look at the elevation difference.



The good news is that we were done with the climbing. We settled in to have some lunch. I had a patty melt, which was amazingly good. Our waitress kept us happy with diet cokes and good conversation too.

The lodge has a pool out back, and while we were eating, two women walked by in bikinis. I think they wanted to use the rest room in the restaurant, and our waitress cautioned them that Missy (the owner of the resort) didn’t like bikinis in the restaurant.

Pity, because we didn’t feel that way. Believe me when I tell you, these women looked great! I mean ... three sigma great ... as in ... I should have asked for a picture. Yikes.

Our other friends finally came back from the Ski Lift climb, so we started off on the downhill back to the cars. OMG, what a great route. Young and I stopped for one more pix.




The last descent down GMR is probably my favorite in all of SoCal, and it is really, really fun. So fun, that when we got to the bottom and were sharing a few Lagunitas IPAs, I remarked to my friend from the Netherlands.

“Damn ... that descent was so good, it’s almost orgasmic.”

I think he may have misunderstood. His remark:

“Your orgasms are that long?!?”
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Old 07-31-17, 01:35 PM
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Great report and photos Vic,

I've done the Lobster ride a few times (3 maybe) and I've found it easier to do the Ski Lift climb before Crystal Lake though this time of year that Crystal Lake climb sure is toasty!

Also, someday, I want to add Dawson saddle as the other "lobster claw." That would probably mean lights on the bike, even at this time of year.

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Old 08-01-17, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Rick@OCRR
Great report and photos Vic,

I've done the Lobster ride a few times (3 maybe) and I've found it easier to do the Ski Lift climb before Crystal Lake though this time of year that Crystal Lake climb sure is toasty!

Also, someday, I want to add Dawson saddle as the other "lobster claw." That would probably mean lights on the bike, even at this time of year.

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Let me know when you want to give it a try ... I'm game!
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Old 08-02-17, 07:17 PM
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awesome . Doubt I will get to that level of fitness but tip of the hat to you guys .But I am whole food plant based and you your doing this stuff on diet soda and patty melt . I'm not condemning though . Just kind of marveling I guess . Thanks for sharing .
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Old 08-02-17, 07:32 PM
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So far I can only eat lobster one claw or the tail at a time.

Maybe next year I'll eat the whole thing at once.

The burgers at Crystal Lake aren't half bad either, but the ultimate are the cinnamon rolls at the Baldy Lodge.
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Old 08-02-17, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by atitagain
awesome . Doubt I will get to that level of fitness but tip of the hat to you guys .But I am whole food plant based and you your doing this stuff on diet soda and patty melt . I'm not condemning though . Just kind of marveling I guess . Thanks for sharing .
Thanks! With enough time to prepare, you could do it too. One of the guys on the ride just started cycling about 6 months ago.

You should see what my buddies had for dinner after that ride! Some Asian fusion lobster thing. They were celebrating a 40th birthday.

Whole food plant based stuff is hard to find in our local mountain cafes, so you'd have to bring that kind of thing with you. Also, by the time we were ready for the patty melts and diet sodas, we had already done 95% of the climbing (on a couple of Clif bars), so there was no worry about digesting it on a lengthy climb. We were also in a significant calorie deficit (having burned between 3500 and 4000 calories, so no worries there, either.

My mantra with challenging rides? Eat early, eat often, and eat what sounds good. That's because as the ride progresses, I'm apt to lose my appetite ... especially if it gets hot. I've told people (and I am dead serious about it) that pizza is my ultimate endurance cycling food.

Because of that, I have a bit of a reputation for having an iron stomach and eating a lot of crap, but that's only based on what I eat on weekend rides. My normal diet is very low fat and I run a significant calorie deficit much of the time. If I ate by my mantra all the time, I'd be downright pudgy.

But everyone is different. I know for sure that there a lot of people who would rather take a nap after a patty melt than ride another 20 miles back to the car. Maybe that is why I washed it down with a diet coke. lol

Originally Posted by TGT1
So far I can only eat lobster one claw or the tail at a time.

Maybe next year I'll eat the whole thing at once.

The burgers at Crystal Lake aren't half bad either, but the ultimate are the cinnamon rolls at the Baldy Lodge.
You know, I've tried the breakfast burrito and the hot dog, but never their burgers. I'll do that next time. And you're right about Missy's famous cinnamon rolls.

Have you ever stopped by Donut Man?
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Old 08-02-17, 10:14 PM
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Haven't done the lobster ride yet, but love to join you guys next time if possible.
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Old 08-03-17, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Biker395

Have you ever stopped by Donut Man?

No, but that's a good idea!



For the non SGV dwellers


The Donut Man, Southern California's Best Donuts ? Home of the Original Fresh Strawberry and Peach Stuffed Donut! Located in the greater Los Angeles area.
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Old 08-03-17, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by f4rrest
Haven't done the lobster ride yet, but love to join you guys next time if possible.
Sure! I'll PM you next time we do it. There also a FB group of about 50 of us that ride in the mountains on a regular basis. PM me if you want an invite to the group.

I've only been there once. They are regularly listed as the best donut in California, and in a state that size, that's no small feat. The donuts are amazing. I bought a dozen of the strawberry donuts and handed them out to some friends (one of which is our local jailer ... gotta have friends in high places). Cash only, but they have an ATM adjacent the building.
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Old 08-03-17, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Biker395
Sure! I'll PM you next time we do it. There also a FB group of about 50 of us that ride in the mountains on a regular basis. PM me if you want an invite to the group.



I've only been there once. They are regularly listed as the best donut in California, and in a state that size, that's no small feat. The donuts are amazing. I bought a dozen of the strawberry donuts and handed them out to some friends (one of which is our local jailer ... gotta have friends in high places). Cash only, but they have an ATM adjacent the building.
Ok, I'll have to join FB first
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Old 08-04-17, 05:46 AM
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As usual a fantastic ride report @Biker395, you set the standard Vic.

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