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GMR Ride Report: Fri, 3/6

Old 03-08-10, 01:28 PM
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calamarichris
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GMR Ride Report: Fri, 3/6

What a wonderful, wonderful road this is! I really envy you guys who live closer to it:


I was shocked at how much easier it was to ride up the early, steeper section than I remember. (Until I realized that I was riding a 39-25, rather than the 42-21 I mashed with back when I was a kid and couldn't afford to swap freewheels at whim.) It's easier than Palomar, and also has a lot less traffic. A perfect, post-ebola pandemic fantasyland--I think I saw a total of three cars, three motorcycles, and about a dozen friendly cyclists on the mountain.


The traffic on Baldy Road didn't seem too bad while I was drinking my [two dollar!] bottle of water in Baldy Village, so I started riding up. About a mile later, it suddenly became very busy with cars flying up and down, and there was a lot of that cruddy pea-sized gravel they throw on the road during snow that gives cars traction, (but not 700x23c tires.) So I turned around after about a mile, (after waiting a long time for a gap in the traffic.)


It was sunny & warmer on the way up, but became overcast and breezy for the way down. Despite pedaling the whole way down, my legs still got pretty cold and felt like lead on the occasional brief climb. The headwind on the way down meant I barely had to use my brakes, but I also only got up to 44.9mph. I'll definitely be returning this Spring to crack 60 on Baldy Road, and to ride all the way up to the skilift parking lot.



This road makes me wish I were an orangutan so I could use my feet to give it FOUR enthusiastic thumbs wayy up.



[Edit: the forum has shrunken these photos. For a real view [rght-mouse-click] the image and click (View Image)]

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Old 03-08-10, 04:57 PM
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Yes calamarichris, You are correct on all points. GMR/GRR are my favorite cycling roads in SoCal.

The climb to the ski-lifts is brutal, but beautiful. The descent from the ski-lifts . . . not so much.

Missy and all the folks who work at the Mt. Baldy Lodge are wonderful people! Great breakfasts on Sunday morning!

The vast majority of motorcycle riders (whether Harley-type or Sport-Rocket type) are competent and friendly (yeah, there's an occasional exception).

I've ridden GMR/GRR in all weather, all times of the year, closed or open to traffic. It's all great!

My only exception to your report is that I vastly prefer going back over GRR/GMR rather than down Mt. Baldy road. I just love the switchbacks at speed!

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Old 03-08-10, 05:02 PM
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Oh I like the switchbacks too, but I haven't had any luck breaking 60 with the molehills we have down here. When I bust 60, I'll ride back up Baldy Road and back down GRR again. It's GRReat!


If you really like a sillystring-road, try Palomar's South Grade sometime. It's steeper but has many, many hairpins. I've passed two motorcycles (admittedly a Harley and a standard, not the crotch-rockets) there over the years.
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Old 03-08-10, 06:02 PM
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Nice pics Chris. Glad to see that you really enjoyed the ride. Oh ya, Just so you don't think you lost a day somewhere, Friday was the 5th.
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Old 03-08-10, 06:08 PM
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My bad. Musta gone faster down the mountain than I thought...

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Old 03-08-10, 07:20 PM
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Next time you might be heading up there let me know. I'll help with gas or coffee. Looks fun. Thinking about starting up regular Palomar rides soon.
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Old 03-08-10, 07:33 PM
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Chris,
Was wondering how far is Palomar from where you live?
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Old 03-09-10, 10:47 AM
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42.9 miles from parking lot to Mother's Kitchen at the summit. Though riding through Escondido during rush hour isn't much fun.

YAY-Palomar! I can't wait to see the result of all the rain we've been getting, AND of the ruts they put in the road to stop some irresponsible motorcyclists from casually crossing the centerline and treating South Grade like a raceway. Will be going up there as soon as we get a report that the snow is melted up there, Robert.

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Old 03-09-10, 12:54 PM
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I'm thinking in a week or two as long as we don't get any major rain fall. I dunno, I might be feeling like it this Sunday. Planning to go through VC though, not Lake Wohlford. I'm sick of that road.
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Old 03-09-10, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by robertkat View Post
not Lake Wohlford. I'm sick of that road.
You're so lucky to live close to that road. Right now you sound like a Baron complaining, "Fois gras and caviar again!"

I guess VC won't kill us if we get an early enough start to avoid the traffic.
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Old 03-09-10, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by robertkat View Post
I'm thinking in a week or two as long as we don't get any major rain fall. I dunno, I might be feeling like it this Sunday. Planning to go through VC though, not Lake Wohlford. I'm sick of that road.
do the Miller Loop.
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Old 03-09-10, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by calamarichris View Post
[two dollar!] bottle of water in Baldy Village,
You paid for water? Dude, I thought you were hardcore. There's a dirty grimey little fountain across from the lodge, and another at the Post office with bird dung all over it!

Being the stats man that you are, what was your time on GMR to the village/Saddle?
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Old 03-09-10, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
what was your time on GMR to the village/Saddle?
Didn't set laps, but I'll check my GPS data tonight and report back. Keep in mind this time was inaugural/reconnoiter run and I was saving up for the killer steep section that never was.... </excuses>
I missed out on the poo-water at the Post Office? Alas, next time...
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Old 03-09-10, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by calamarichris View Post
If you really like a sillystring-road, try Palomar's South Grade sometime. It's steeper but has many, many hairpins. I've passed two motorcycles (admittedly a Harley and a standard, not the crotch-rockets) there over the years.
I have ridden Palomar's South Grade, and in fact the last time I saw you was at the summit, at the little store there. I was there with Maria and David Wu. We climbed Cole Grade (I think that's what it was called) after Palomar.

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Old 03-09-10, 04:49 PM
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My bad, Rick, sorry. I met so many new people that day, and then it takes a while to connect the physical names/faces with the pixelated versions. I'm not the sharpest needle in the sewing drawer, ya know?
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Old 03-10-10, 03:53 AM
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thinking about heading out to baldy village this saturday (3/13). for those of you who've been up there recently, how are the road conditions? the snow-capped mountains look lovely from afar, but might present some unforseen hazards? it will be my first attempt and will be the biggest climbing ride i've done so far.
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Old 03-10-10, 06:00 AM
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Am heading up this morning. Will post conditions for you later this afternoon.
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Old 03-10-10, 10:01 AM
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I'm heading up GMR on Sat. starting at 7:00AM from Boulder Springs. I can only go to The Shed and back 'cause I have to get back to LAX for a flight to Taiwan in the afternoon (Taipei Bicycle Show).

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Old 03-10-10, 01:04 PM
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(Lucky stiffs.) Oh to be retired and living in the shadow of that lovely mountain!
Ahoy Beanz. According to my GPS data, it took me about an hour and 47 minutes to ride from Sierra Madre Ave to Baldy Village, including stops for pictures and chatting with friendly riders at the overlook.
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Old 03-10-10, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by tFUnK View Post
thinking about heading out to baldy village this saturday (3/13). for those of you who've been up there recently, how are the road conditions? the snow-capped mountains look lovely from afar, but might present some unforseen hazards? it will be my first attempt and will be the biggest climbing ride i've done so far.
March 10, 2010 GMR to almost Cow Canyon Saddle 012.jpgclick pic
March 10, 2010 GMR to almost Cow Canyon Saddle 010.jpg
March 10, 2010 GMR to almost Cow Canyon Saddle 014.jpg
March 10, 2010 GMR to almost Cow Canyon Saddle 024.jpg
March 10, 2010 GMR to almost Cow Canyon Saddle 016.jpg
Was cool most of the way up. Past the GMR/GRR split there was more rock on the road. Once we got close to Cow Canyon Saddle, we came upon snow and ice on the road. First time this winter where it was bad enough to turn around. We walked through the first patch and kept going, only to come upon another one not much further up the road. One of those times when you have to decide, and seeing how the rest of the ride will always be there. Mr Beanz and I decided it was not worth taking the chance on the road. From what we came upon, you could tell it was only going to be worse up the road, where it is more shaded. I checked this morning about 6am and the temp at Baldy Village was below 30 degrees. That should have been a sign that the road might have ice on it today, as plenty of the road is shaded and never sees the sun up closer to C.C. Saddle, near the village. My guess would be that with warmer temps as soon as tomorrow, this ride will have no ice problems. By the weekend, none for sure. The last picture shows Mr Beanz standing in the first patch of ice, and the next one was worse.

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Old 03-10-10, 10:53 PM
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thanks for the info and pics, Hillbasher. good thing i asked, i had no idea it was that cold up there. at least the weekend forecast looks good.
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Old 03-11-10, 12:45 AM
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Originally Posted by calamarichris View Post
(Lucky stiffs.) Oh to be retired and living in the shadow of that lovely mountain!
Ahoy Beanz. According to my GPS data, it took me about an hour and 47 minutes to ride from Sierra Madre Ave to Baldy Village, including stops for pictures and chatting with friendly riders at the overlook.
Wow, you are pretty darn fast!
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Old 03-11-10, 12:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Hillbasher View Post
Mr Beanz and I decided it was not worth taking the chance on the road.
It was probably me more trying to convince HB to head back. I tend to avoid ice when my shoes slide down the hill..................with me in them!
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Old 03-12-10, 02:14 PM
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thinking about going up tomorrow (saturday), maybe start riding at around 8am. you guys think there will be a lot of traffic (people going skiing, perhaps)? asking because, even though i have a triple, i like to snake my way up the steep sections sometimes.
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Old 03-12-10, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by tFUnK View Post
thinking about going up tomorrow (saturday), maybe start riding at around 8am. you guys think there will be a lot of traffic (people going skiing, perhaps)? asking because, even though i have a triple, i like to snake my way up the steep sections sometimes.
GMR isn't steep enough to need to snake up. But, if you need to, be very careful, lots of crotchrockets on weekends. Some fly around blind turns taking up both lanes. Happened when Gypz, Hillbasher and JustMe rode up. Wish I had the recorder on at that moment. In other words, lots of careless people up there on weekends, in cars, motorcycles AND bicycles.
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