Oh how lucky we are to live in California. It was around 83 F today in Southern Cal, so there is no way I would let this day go without riding my bike. Luckily for me, I am on PTO, so I could take the day off for riding.
When I used to live in Pasadena, I remember one incredibly steep climb was Crown, and Starlight Crest in La Canada – Flintridge. This leads to a Country Club Golf Course, and is right off of Angeles Crest Highway (Hwy 2). Now think of the name now … Crown. Doesn’t this have you thinking the Crown of a mountain? And the name Starlight … refers to heavenly … and Crest … well, the name speaks for itself.
It’s actually not as bad as you would think … just don’t think of the grade, hovering anywhere from 12 – 20%. As I was climbing it, I immediately filtered out all the troubles in this world … N. Korea missile launch, depressing economy, work … not even a thought. The only thing I remembered while climbing this was my breathing, lawn mowers. And there were no cars breathing down my neck.
I did take a picture, but you just had to be there. This is the best picture I could take that gives you a hint of what the climb was like …
And this wasn’t the top … I had some more climbing to do, but the tough part was definitely over. Instead of 18-20% grade, I had 10-12% grade to worry about .. Oh, that makes it much better … I guess
It’s funny how when you have completed a huge climb, thinking nothing can be worse than what I just did, it makes you feel like no matter what comes up ahead, it should be a piece of cake. So what did I do??? Hung a right when I got to Angeles Crest Highway, and continued climbing some more. So this was not nearly as steep as Crown or Starlight Crest … it was 5-8%, instead of double digit grades. So I decided to just continue climbing for a couple more miles. My legs still felt fresh … I guess that’s what happens when you get your climbing done over with right at the very beginning.
The view the higher I got up was just amazing. As luck would have it, my digital camera ran out of juice. Damn … on the other hand, what picture I would have taken would not even compare to the awe of the scenery. I just couldn’t help it though, so when I saw a scenic view of the LA basin, I had to take a picture from my Blackberry
If you look really closely, you will see the LA skyscrapers there … it was actually a lot clearer than this picture indicates.
I continued to climb a little further, but didn’t take any further pictures. It was amazing to see vultures hovering over the canyons, and they weren’t searching for me. It’s unfortunate my camera battery went low, because the views were extremely clear.
Here are more pics
Here are motionbased stats from the ride