Saturday was going to be the one day I could actually do some sufficient riding and training for Eastern Sierra. I originally had suggested Baldy or GMR, but due to time constraints, we had to modify the plans a little bit. To make up for this, I decided take a little adventure, and climb hills of Monterey Park. I used to live in Monterey Park, way back when, when I was 10 years old. I had to bike everywhere, even when I was in Little League. Some of the ballparks we played in were way up in the hills.
One of the prominent parks was Sequoia Park. It’s up in the hills near E. LA College, off of Atlantic Blvd. Short climb up Brightwood, then a right on Crest View, and it just keeps going up and up. While there, I saw senior citizens doing Tai Chi. This is a very common occurrence, especially in Monterey Park, where there is such a large influx of Taiwanese and Hong Kong-ese.
Ok, that was my first climb. Now, time to meet up with Mary, Joe, and Ivan in San Marino.
From there, it’s a flat ride over to Monrovia, then a left on Canyon, then climbing into Monrovia Canyon. The main destination was Trask Camp.
One of the park rangers at the entrance was warning us about some target shooting event up in the Trask Reservation. In fact, there were cowboys, fully decked out in full costumes, but when we finally got there, we couldn’t find anyone. Perhaps we were a bit early.
The climb up Trask was tough. First, the beginning was a steep pitch. Second, the pavement was uneven, and third, the grades were uneven. Ivan is such a strong climber, and he didn’t have any problems at all. The only reason I was able to keep within reaching distance is my granny gear. I had the largest gear inches out of any of us on the ride. Eventually, Ivan was too far ahead of me, and I lost touch.
Ooh, look .. a dam
Sorry, slight diversion. It’s the only way I could sneak that picture in for a good reason. Anyhow, 1500 feet later, and I reach the top. But wait … no cowboys! What’s up with that? I was anticipating John Wayne or Davey Crockett up here. But maybe they were all in the camp, which we decided to bypass. We just headed straight back down.
Now on the way back … what should we do now? Well, Chantry is right around the corner, so let’s do that! Well, one thing’s for sure … this should give me enough climbing in preparation for Eastern Sierra. So off we went to climb the other canyon.
The road to Chantry has been re-paved. That should be exciting … climbing up a nice smooth road is a lot nicer than climbing up cobblestones (but I don’t remember it being too bad before).
From what I recall, the road was re-paved up to the 1400 foot elevation level. After that, the road was left untouched. The traffic didn’t really seem that bad. I only remember maybe 2 or 3 motorcycles going up, and they didn’t buzz us. The sun was getting more intense, but at least not triple digit heat (I think the high was supposed to be 80). After all the climbing through Monterey Park, Monrovia Canyon, I had already a lot of climbing done, and this was all catching up with me. I had to slow down my climbing pace.
Near the top, I started seeing cars parked on the side of the road. That only meant one thing … it was crowded up at the top. The whole parking lot is full, and that forces cars to park down the hill, which could be a little scary for bikes coming down the hill.
Got up to the Chantry Flat parking lot, and saw Ivan there patiently waiting. He had been there probably 10 minutes. While we were waiting by the bathroom, we saw that the drinking fountain had a special contraption for dog walkers. What a great idea. We saw one dog owner put this to good use.
After this, off to Starbucks for refreshments, and more importantly, a caffeine boost into our system. All in all, it was a wonderful day for a bike ride, and a great training day for my upcoming double.
56 miles, 5400 feet climbing.
More pictures at http://spingineer.smugmug.com/gallery/8308986_NNB3U#544206203_W7EsQ