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Mount Baldy Ride

Old 01-25-12, 08:16 PM
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Mount Baldy Ride

A friend and I are planning a ride to Mt. Baldy or thereabouts some time in the next couple of weekends. We are both relative beginners and have done at most 60 mile rides. The extent of our climbing experience are Sta. Susana Pass, La Tuna Canyon, and Griffith Park/Mt. Hollywood Drive.

Can you give us some suggestions as to where to start, where to park, water stops, and the like? Are there any group rides that we can join up with?

We are both coming from San Fernando Valley.
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Old 01-25-12, 08:20 PM
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We usually park at Encanto park and take the bike path up to 39 to GMR to GRR to the village and sometimes the lifts. I mean if you never have gone to the lifts and you make it to the Village you might as well go all the way for bragging sakes.

You could park in Claremont and go up the front but that is a more difficult way to go, IMHO.

You can get water at the Village.
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Old 01-25-12, 09:24 PM
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Another option is to park at Pioneer Park in Azusa. It's on Sierra Madre just east of Azusa Ave.The Wheelmen use this as a starting point. Take SM east a few miles to GMR, we call it Big GMR, go left and start climbing. It's a very nice road and a little easier and less trafficy, especially if you are new it's a nicer way I think. Both ways meet at an intersection known by the locals as the ash tray for obvious reasons, from there Gleadora Ridge Road ,GRR, continues on to Baldy. FYI, the 4 miles from the Village to the lifts are very steep and the decent is treacherous. If you make it up there be careful on the way down
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Old 01-25-12, 09:27 PM
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The easiest way is to park on Glendora Mountain road near Sierra Madre and go directly to the village. I think it's about 22 miles up and there is no water along the way. At the village there is a water fountain across the street from the Lodge, or you can go into the Lodge and split a sandwich.
2 large bottles will get me up there, unless it's hot.

Like bob said, Pioneer park is a good start and has a bathroom.

Last edited by big john; 01-25-12 at 09:30 PM.
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Old 01-25-12, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by vertical bob
Another option is to park at Pioneer Park in Azusa. It's on Sierra Madre just east of Azusa Ave.The Wheelmen use this as a starting point. Take SM east a few miles to GMR, we call it Big GMR, go left and start climbing. It's a very nice road and a little easier and less trafficy, especially if you are new it's a nicer way I think. Both ways meet at an intersection known by the locals as the ash tray for obvious reasons, from there Gleadora Ridge Road ,GRR, continues on to Baldy. FYI, the 4 miles from the Village to the lifts are very steep and the decent is treacherous. If you make it up there be careful on the way down
Originally Posted by big john
The easiest way is to park on Glendora Mountain road near Sierra Madre and go directly to the village. I think it's about 22 miles up and there is no water along the way. At the village there is a water fountain across the street from the Lodge, or you can go into the Lodge and split a sandwich.
2 large bottles will get me up there, unless it's hot.

Like bob said, Pioneer park is a good start and has a bathroom.
Hi guys,

I found this ride on MapMyRide. Is this the route you are suggesting?

https://www.mapmyride.com/routes/fullscreen/31464240/
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Old 01-25-12, 11:39 PM
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The parking suggestions above are all good. There is no water along the way (GMR to GRR etc), but if its not hot, two bottles should be enough. I have a few friends interested in a first time ride up the mountain, so if you post the date we can probably pull a group together (as long as we start by 8)
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Old 01-26-12, 03:07 AM
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If you're from the valley, try a Mt. Wilson climb. Park in La Canada and ride Angeles Crest (2) up.
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Old 01-26-12, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by camelopardalis
...The extent of our climbing experience are Sta. Susana Pass, La Tuna Canyon, and Griffith Park/Mt. Hollywood Drive...
I was born an raised in Montrose. Santa Susana and La Tuna are child's play compared to GMR/GRR/the village/the ski lifts. Be prepared for a long, hard ride. It will be fun on the way down.

+1 on Angeles Crest. A lot closer to you. Lots of riders on the weekend, so cages are "bicycle aware", but GMR/GRR is probably safer. Closer still is Big Tujunga Canyon. Park in Sunland, ride up Big Tujunga to Angeles Forest Highway. Turn right to Angeles Crest Highway at Clear Creek Junction, then down the Crest to Foothill and back to Sunland. Nice little loop that will get your heart pumping.
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Old 01-26-12, 10:02 AM
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Yes that is the correct ride.
Originally Posted by camelopardalis
Hi guys,

I found this ride on MapMyRide. Is this the route you are suggesting?

https://www.mapmyride.com/routes/fullscreen/31464240/
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Old 01-26-12, 11:26 AM
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i rode up to the shack last sunday. it was my 1st time on GMR. how bad is it to the village? worse than the gate to the shack?
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Old 01-26-12, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by camelopardalis
Hi guys,

I found this ride on MapMyRide. Is this the route you are suggesting?

https://www.mapmyride.com/routes/fullscreen/31464240/
Yes.
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Old 01-26-12, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by bowser29
i rode up to the shack last sunday. it was my 1st time on GMR. how bad is it to the village? worse than the gate to the shack?
Yes.
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Old 01-26-12, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by big john
Yes.
I wouldn't say that. The grade is actually more gentle 4.5 vs the 6% of the first 8 miles.

The one that makes it bad is that mile 14.5 thru 17 kicks back up to the grade of the first 8. The fact that you are tired is more of a factor than the grade itself. On a cool day it is more tolerable. On a hot dday....WATCH OUT!

But once you make it over the 17 mile point, it's almost downhill and flat to the village.


2 sections broken up by graph (via mapmyride)

click for larger view

GMRvsGRR by mrbeanz1, on Flickr

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Old 01-26-12, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by volosong
I was born and raised in Montrose. Santa Susana and La Tuna are child's play compared to GMR/GRR/the village/the ski lifts. Be prepared for a long, hard ride. It will be fun on the way down.
I was afraid of this. I guess the worst scenario is if we don't make it, going back is downhill most of the way?
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Old 01-26-12, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by jimxyz
The parking suggestions above are all good. There is no water along the way (GMR to GRR etc), but if its not hot, two bottles should be enough. I have a few friends interested in a first time ride up the mountain, so if you post the date we can probably pull a group together (as long as we start by 8)
We've decided on Sunday, February 12th. Ride start at 800AM. Does that work for you?

That will be great if we can have some more first timers.
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Old 01-26-12, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz
I wouldn't say that. The grade is actually more gentle 4.5 vs the 6% of the first 8 miles.

The one that makes it bad is that mile 14.5 thru 17 kicks back up to the grade of the first 8. The fact that you are tired is more of a factor than the grade itself. On a cool day it is more tolerable. On a hot dday....WATCH OUT!

But once you make it over the 17 mile point, it's almost downhill and flat to the village.
And for people like me who don't use cyclocomputers, the hard part of GRR is around from mile marker 6 to almost mile marker 8.5.
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Old 01-27-12, 12:36 AM
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The 12th should be good - I'll send out an email and round up some people. I'd expect 3 or 4 to join in. I agree with the comments above that mile 14 to 17 is the most difficult, because you are already tired when you reach them. But overall, the ride up wasn't as bad as I had thought it would be - as long as you aren't in a hurry anyway. The good news is that you can pretty much turn around at any point and coast all the way home (not entirely true, but it's mostly downhill). I suggest we park/meet at Boulder Springs and GMR. That is a pretty quiet and safe neghborhood
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Old 01-27-12, 11:01 AM
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Beanz, the reason I said yes, it's harder is because you are more tired by the time you get up there and it does get a little relentless.
There is something like 1300 feet of climbing coming back from the village.
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Old 01-27-12, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by big john
Beanz, the reason I said yes, it's harder is because you are more tired by the time you get up there and it does get a little relentless.
There is something like 1300 feet of climbing coming back from the village.
Yup, I know what you mean so it's like it is but it isn't type answer.

Experienced GMR riders know to save some gas for that point. Once pass the shack and the terrain flattens a bit, don't go gettin' all happy thinking you're getting stronger.....save some gas .
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Old 01-27-12, 02:26 PM
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yeah I found that out last week with a great time to the shack but hurt the last 3 miles of climbing tho the village.
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Old 01-27-12, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by vertical bob
FYI, the 4 miles from the Village to the lifts are very steep and the decent is treacherous. If you make it up there be careful on the way down
What's the grade on this 4 miles?

Are the lifts a realistic target for first timers?
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Old 01-27-12, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by bitingduck
And for people like me who don't use cyclocomputers, the hard part of GRR is around from mile marker 6 to almost mile marker 8.5.
Hey Chris, that was me who yelled "Duck" at you Tuesday in Alta Dena. Long time no see. Still riding the track a lot?
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Old 01-27-12, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by camelopardalis
We've decided on Sunday, February 12th. Ride start at 800AM. Does that work for you?

That will be great if we can have some more first timers.
I'm down to join in if I get a bit more time in behind the bars by then. I've been wanting to get up in the mountains with my cx bike. Would be my first time attempting a ride of that magnitude.

I'm planning on going around the San Gabriel mountains and exploring around there this weekend...haven't really messed around out there, looking to have some (safe) adventures.

I've also been looking for people to ride with in the area. Am interested in off/on road rides, nice scenic trails and such...if anyone is interested let me know.
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Old 01-27-12, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by camelopardalis
What's the grade on this 4 miles?

Are the lifts a realistic target for first timers?
I would say not. Starts out at 10%-12% and finishes at 15% with ramps on the inside corners of the switchbacks much steeper than that. If Santa Sussana is a climb to you then you will be doing good to get to the Village. Don't forget what John said, there is about 1000 ft climbing on the way back. GMR is a great climbing ride, enjoy yourself
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Old 01-27-12, 11:46 PM
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5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14% grades

click on image twice for best size


last4miles by mrbeanz1, on Flickr


Video of Hillbasher and I going to the lifts. We went straight up Baldy rd , steeper but shorter than GMR

Second part of the video show some of the top 4 section, But be warned, this ride is for the serious riders and not beginners.



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