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Question on doing GMR 4/03/2024

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Question on doing GMR 4/03/2024

Old 04-01-24, 09:10 PM
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Question on doing GMR 4/03/2024

So I've heard so many good reviews on riding GMR over to Mt baldy cafe decided to take a stab at it day after tomorrow . My understanding is the starting point is Sierra Madre passing through some yellow road closing gates. My question is do most of you start out where you reside/live? From Claremont looks to be 10 miles to the starting point of Sierra and Glendora mt.rd. From what part of the route does the decent begin?

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Old 04-01-24, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by jzr756
So I've heard so many good reviews on riding GMR over to Mt baldy cafe decided to take a stab at it day after tomorrow . My understanding is the starting point is Sierra Madre passing through some yellow road closing gates. My question is do most of you start out where you reside/live? From Claremont looks to be 10 miles to the starting point of Sierra and Glendora mt.rd. From what part of the route does the decent begin?

a lot of people park at the intersection of sierra madre and gmr or north of the stop light (by the equestrian center) on gmr where there is a huge turnout before the lowest gate. some people stage/start from glendora high school (area). others will stage/start from encanto park or pioneer park (about 5-6 miles west of the sierra madre/gmr intersection...these two are handy if you are planning on including the 39, east fork and grr in a loop ride. some people are okay just driving up and then hitting the climb. others seem to prefer a few (5-10) miles in the legs to warm up. coming from san diego, i always park at pioneer park in azusa if doing the loop (gmr/grr/east fork/39) or at the sierra madre/gmr intersection if doing gmr/grr to mt.baldy village/ski lifts. if you park at pioneer park, beware that there is street sweeping (once a month on either mon or tues iirc) so pay attention to the signs.


gmr/grr from sierra madre/gmr intersection 22.5 or so miles to the village is about 94% uphill, 4% downhill and 2% flat(ish). it's almost a mile downhill from cow saddle (gmr/grr high point) to the village. take two water bottles and a little snack to get you through. it's a looong way from "the shack" to cow saddle. there is, thankfully, some decent shade the last 3-4 miles on grr up to cow saddle if you've gotten a late start. phone service is worlds better than it used to be but is still sketchy here and there. pavement quality is not much of an issue heading east/mostly uphill but take note for the return trip as there are a few longitudinal cracks/bumps/concrete droppings/potholes i wouldn't want to hit at 30+ mph. there are a few decreasing radius turns heading west downhill to be wary of as well. all that said, gmr/grr is definitely amongst the handful of best experiences on a road bike in all of socal. enjoy!
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Old 04-01-24, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by diphthong
a lot of people park at the intersection of sierra madre and gmr or north of the stop light (by the equestrian center) on gmr where there is a huge turnout before the lowest gate. some people stage/start from glendora high school (area). others will stage/start from encanto park or pioneer park (about 5-6 miles west of the sierra madre/gmr intersection...these two are handy if you are planning on including the 39, east fork and grr in a loop ride. some people are okay just driving up and then hitting the climb. others seem to prefer a few (5-10) miles in the legs to warm up. coming from san diego, i always park at pioneer park in azusa if doing the loop (gmr/grr/east fork/39) or at the sierra madre/gmr intersection if doing gmr/grr to mt.baldy village/ski lifts. if you park at pioneer park, beware that there is street sweeping (once a month on either mon or tues iirc) so pay attention to the signs.


gmr/grr from sierra madre/gmr intersection 22.5 or so miles to the village is about 94% uphill, 4% downhill and 2% flat(ish). it's almost a mile downhill from cow saddle (gmr/grr high point) to the village. take two water bottles and a little snack to get you through. it's a looong way from "the shack" to cow saddle. there is, thankfully, some decent shade the last 3-4 miles on grr up to cow saddle if you've gotten a late start. phone service is worlds better than it used to be but is still sketchy here and there. pavement quality is not much of an issue heading east/mostly uphill but take note for the return trip as there are a few longitudinal cracks/bumps/concrete droppings/potholes i wouldn't want to hit at 30+ mph. there are a few decreasing radius turns heading west downhill to be wary of as well. all that said, gmr/grr is definitely amongst the handful of best experiences on a road bike in all of socal. enjoy!
Thanks so much for the details! Seriously appreciate it! 94 % up hill? Sounds like quite a challenge. I've done Claremont to the Cafe via Baldy rd a few times For me thats pretty brutal.. Looking forward to a different challenge.Thanks Again!
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Old 04-01-24, 11:08 PM
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Looking like good weather in store for Wednesday. At least at the base of GMR. Your fortunes could turn cold, once you hit GRR near 4,000 feet.
Dress in layers and bring a good windbreaker, gloves, skullcap, etc. Primarily for the shaded sections and downhills.
You'll reach Baldy Village and some eateries when GRR hits Baldy Road. Going further up Baldy Rd towards the ski lifts can prove challenging.
Figure on seeing some snow along the roadside, with some water runoff but no ice. Would be great if they close GMR to vehicles.
I recommend descending the same route you went up. Baldy Road contains some white knuckler descents with rough pavement.
Around fifty miles. Unnecessary to gorge in the village, because you will encounter a few uphill sections along GRR.
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Old 04-02-24, 01:37 AM
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Originally Posted by roadcrankr
Looking like good weather in store for Wednesday. At least at the base of GMR. Your fortunes could turn cold, once you hit GRR near 4,000 feet.
Dress in layers and bring a good windbreaker, gloves, skullcap, etc. Primarily for the shaded sections and downhills.
You'll reach Baldy Village and some eateries when GRR hits Baldy Road. Going further up Baldy Rd towards the ski lifts can prove challenging.
Figure on seeing some snow along the roadside, with some water runoff but no ice. Would be great if they close GMR to vehicles.
I recommend descending the same route you went up. Baldy Road contains some white knuckler descents with rough pavement.
Around fifty miles. Unnecessary to gorge in the village, because you will encounter a few uphill sections along GRR.
Thanks roadcrankr. Forgot to ask. Does GMR continue ascending past the "shack" as some refer to it, supposedly this is the 8 mile mark from the lower gate? does it level off at this point?
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Old 04-02-24, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by jzr756
Thanks roadcrankr. Forgot to ask. Does GMR continue ascending past the "shack" as some refer to it, supposedly this is the 8 mile mark from the lower gate? does it level off at this point?
A quarter-mile or so after the shack, you get a short downhill into the right turn onto GRR.
Gain as much momentum as possible, because the road then presents a one-mile 3% uphill.
This theme continues with a series of one mile long rollers. Not very steep, until the descent to Baldy Rd.
Smooth roads, but watch out for rocks or dirt in corners.
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