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Old 02-16-16, 02:50 AM
  #1  
bikeme
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GMR noob here

Where do you folks park for the GMR ride? I guess you could park as far or close as you'd like, lol. Also, I heard that most people stop at a certain point near the top but not actually going all the way up, is this true and if so, why not go until you dead end--too steep? Thanks in advance.
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Old 02-16-16, 09:21 AM
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Lesper4
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Park on Date Palm or at the high school on Sierra Madre or farther away at the Starbucks on Foothill or Pioneer Park in Azusa. I guess people stop and turn around because they are tired or have a short day because it does not dead end. I usually ride through one direction or another (Camp Williams or Mt Baldy).
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Old 02-16-16, 09:55 AM
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People don't go all the way to the top because it's really hard! GMR is kind of a 3 stage climb... the first 9 miles to the shack (a maintenance building part way up) is a nice, consistent climb, then you have another 13 miles or so of rolling hills with another 3 mile climb. That gets you to Baldy Village, which has a little cafe and some places you can get water.

The LAST 5 miles is a different matter altogether. Particularly the last 2 miles or so (I think it averages just over 15%). It's a nice climb if you're skinny, fit and have the right gearing.
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Old 02-16-16, 11:11 AM
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Take GMR up to the Shed, then about 1/2 mile further is the junction of Glendora Ridge Road and "Little GMR" which becomes East Fork Road. Little GMR takes you 6 mi. down to Camp Williams, GRR takes you to Mt. Baldy Road and Mt. Baldy Village. Going up Mt. Baldy road above the Village takes you to the Ski Lift Climb (2,000 ft. in 4.6 miles) as noted by Trojan Horse above.

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Old 02-16-16, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
People don't go all the way to the top because it's really hard! GMR is kind of a 3 stage climb
Agreed 3 climbs make GMR

Some people like to park close, Boulder Springs or dirt lot just past Big Dalton canyon on the left side. The dirt lot avoids the initial pre climb past the fire station. Boulder Springs you must do the pre climb. If you park further up on the other dirt areas, you need an Adventure Pass.

First climb is to the shack. 8 miles. The first 2 miles are the hardest, followed by the next two miles. At about 4 miles it flattens (it's all relative), then you start the second half. 3 saddles, not as steep as the first 4 miles, but mentally difficult because each time you clear a saddle, there's another waiting. After the third saddle, down hill a little then last climb to the shed.

The next second part is the longest, road rolls until the downhill to Peacock saddle. From there, the second climb starts to the highest point (as Mr. Beanz puts it) or the "Three Trees" (as others put it). It's about 4 miles, similar in difficulty to the first 4 miles. This is where most newbies get demoralized.

From there, the last third part is rolling to Cow Canyon and hot descent into the village.

You'll love it!
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Old 02-16-16, 05:39 PM
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Alternately, you can have your mom drive you and your friends up to the first turnout in her minivan and you guys can skate down the whole way.
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Old 02-16-16, 06:00 PM
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I don't worry about the parking and just ride from the house which adds about 20 mi of flat, but as the previous posts suggest there are a lot of alternatives here.

GMR to the shack and back.

A loop, 39, Little GMR, GMR ride starting in Duarte or Azusa. This really makes sense if it's mid summer and blazing hot as the entire climb up Little GMR is in deep shade till late afternoon. Do it the other way around if cool weather prevails, but be ready to freeze on the way down Little GMR and out the East Fork.

GMR to Baldy Village and back. The amount of up on the way back may come as a surprise the first time so leave some in the tank.

Kick it up to a whole different level a take it all the way to the ski lifts.

Be prepared for big temperature swings and there's no cell service once you are on the back side of the hill.
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Old 02-16-16, 07:02 PM
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Depending on what ride I feel like doing, I typically park at home (Altadena), Encanto Park (Duarte), in front of the horse park, or occasionally one of the side streets off Sierra Madre.

The worst part on Glendora Ridge Road are the last 3 miles or so before you get to mile marker 8.5.
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Old 02-16-16, 11:54 PM
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Anyone here done Baldy Village up to the lifts? I've heard it's ungodly steep. Wondering what you guys used for gearing.
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Old 02-17-16, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Eyenigma View Post
Anyone here done Baldy Village up to the lifts? I've heard it's ungodly steep. Wondering what you guys used for gearing.
Yes, once although I'll probably give it a whack next time I go up GMR just because it's always easier the second time.

I have a compact crank (34) and for that road, I put a 11-32 cassette on the wheel and I live in the 32 tooth cog for much of the ride (when the switchbacks start after ice house). I'm 6'2, 220# and climbing is a physics problem. If you're skinnier or do big climbs routinely, you can get away with more "normal" gearing.
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Old 02-17-16, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Eyenigma View Post
Anyone here done Baldy Village up to the lifts? I've heard it's ungodly steep. Wondering what you guys used for gearing.
I did it five or six times last year and honestly, once you've done it, it's not difficult to do again (though I've never done repeats on the same day). I go up most of the way in my 34 x 28 and just shift to my 32 on the final "brutal" bit past the campground.

Not ungodly, really, but consistent 10-12% and then 16-17% on the final "brutal" bit. I'll have to check but if I'm not mistaken, "ungodly" doesn't start until 20%. But I could be wrong.

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Old 02-17-16, 11:02 AM
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made it up to the lifts as my Medicare ride with a 48-32. I'll have to wait till I forget how bad it was before trying again.

The Aerobic workout check-in thread! :: SuperTopo Rock Climbing Discussion Topic - page 87

I'm about the same shape as TH, 62" and 220 The skinny little dudes were crusin on up past me dishearteningly fast.

Another note, Going up little GMR keep your ears peeled and listen for the skateboarders. They are fast, hard to see and not in control at all,but you can hear them coming a long ways off.
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Old 02-17-16, 01:00 PM
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I was on that ride the same day! The Naughty Nurse was Teresa (Tiger) Beck and yes, she did a wonderful job of keeping all the cyclists safe on the climbs and descents.



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Old 02-17-16, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by TGT1 View Post
made it up to the lifts as my Medicare ride with a 48-32. I'll have to wait till I forget how bad it was before trying again.

The Aerobic workout check-in thread! :: SuperTopo Rock Climbing Discussion Topic - page 87

I'm about the same shape as TH, 62" and 220 The skinny little dudes were crusin on up past me dishearteningly fast.

Another note, Going up little GMR keep your ears peeled and listen for the skateboarders. They are fast, hard to see and not in control at all,but you can hear them coming a long ways off.
Forty eight tooth front chainring? 32 in back? Wait, FORTY EIGHT?

That's brutal.

It's only disheartening when they go past you riding no-handed so they can snack on a clif bar while they aren't even breathing hard (happened to me on cannon once, I had to laugh)
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Old 02-17-16, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
Forty eight tooth front chainring? 32 in back? Wait, FORTY EIGHT?

That's brutal.

It's only disheartening when they go past you riding no-handed so they can snack on a clif bar while they aren't even breathing hard (happened to me on cannon once, I had to laugh)
Well, a little misstated,

I run a 48/34 12-32

What's brutal is having some skinny little runt on a 28 pass you like you are standing still.
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Old 02-20-16, 03:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Eyenigma View Post
Anyone here done Baldy Village up to the lifts?
I rode it on my last day in the States back in 2013 using 39*29.

The biggest challenge was the fact that the road was recently resurfaced rather than the gradient. The petroleum vapor was nauseating and stones would stick to my tires and jamb between the tire and seat tube locking up the rear wheel a number of times. I would have turned around to ride it another day If not being my last day and not knowing when I'd be back.



The whole climb is amazing and extremely quiet given how close it is to such a large city!
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Old 02-20-16, 12:02 PM
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Wow, that does look pretty steep. Can't wait to try it.
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Old 02-20-16, 12:53 PM
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^when you hit "the bowling alley," you will be regretting
your statement above.
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Old 02-20-16, 01:50 PM
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Yeah, that's just one hairpin... there are more... and more... and more... and more.... Definitely a good ride and hey - if you really get too stuck to continue, turn around and coast back to the village and try again another day.
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Old 02-20-16, 09:13 PM
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What is the bowling alley? Is that the final straight wall to the carpark?
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Old 02-22-16, 01:14 PM
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And that's my friend Russell...........apparently he's in need of a nurses attention

Originally Posted by Rick@OCRR View Post
I was on that ride the same day! The Naughty Nurse was Teresa (Tiger) Beck and yes, she did a wonderful job of keeping all the cyclists safe on the climbs and descents.



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Old 02-23-16, 03:58 AM
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Really great info everyone! Much appreciated.
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