I’ve always enjoyed riding up to Baldy, so when ME had this ride scheduled for the weekend I would be in LA, my first reaction was “woohoo”. So I was so looking forward to this ride. With all this build up, I gotta tell you a few things came up. First, ME couldn’t make this ride. Second, the day before the ride, I suffered a leg cramp in my sleep. I was in excrutiating pain, and was doing everything I could to stretch it out, and do this epic ride. With me struggling to just walk, I was beginning to think I’d have to bail on this too. But, I gutted it out, HTFU, and decided to just drive over to the start, and see how I felt.
Well, I made it to the start, but I was late. I saw the group leave, while I was still in the parking lot. I didn’t want to shout out, delaying them (I ended up delayed by 10 minutes, with accumulation of different things, like pumping tire, looking for things to bring, and bike computer needing to be reset). Oh, the bike computer thing … now I’ve gotta rant on that. I actually had my Garmin and my Trek computer. Garmin – would not power up. Trek – would not trigger any speed or distance on the computer. So, I ended up doing a complete reset on the Trek. Why do I have such bad luck with bike computers? Anyhow, all this set me back quite a ways, and off I go, time trialing it up Hwy 39.
After I got all these mechanical issues squared away, I finally rolled out. I rode a little bit with a group of PAA riders … strong as ever, but I let them get ahead of me, as I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep up with them. Despite that, I felt I was climbing well. I did pass a few riders other riders that went on ahead of me. I eventually caught up with Tom Bunn, and continued on.
After making the right on East Fork, I eventually caught up with Lisa, and rode with her up to the restaurant. At the restaurant, I caught up with everyone else. The usual suspects were there, and from that point, we continued up Glendora Ridge Road.
The weather at this point wasn’t bad. It was overcast, but nothing weather threatening. However, as we climbed towards the T (Glendora Ridge Road and Glendora Mountain Road), the fog and the mist seem to consume us. It’s almost like you are being rained on by a fine mist. As I’m climbing through this, I just had to say to myself “at least it’s not snowing”. The ground was completely wet, and I could hear light droplets hitting my jersey, and dew just collecting on my helmet. Glasses were completely filled with water and visibility became an issue here.
At this point, all the problems I had earlier, with my leg cramps, were completely in the back of my mind. In fact, I didn’t even think about it until I got off my bike, and started to walk around. This was a good sign, and I decided I can make it up to Baldy.
We made it to lunch without issue, but the fog was still with us. There was a discussion about the ski lift, but no one had any inkling to climb that. Later, after finishing the ride, I saw one of the PAA riders that was climbing, and he says climbing up to the ski lift was clear … no fog at all up there. True, it did take him about 1 hour out and back, but at least the fog lifted at that level. Knowing me, it probably would have taken me 1.5 hours.
Back at the village, after we finished lunch, the fog still did not lift. It’s a good thing I remembered to bring my jacket, and I would keep this on the rest of the ride. The ride back, as you can well imagine, was a little bit dicey. We basically descended upon wet roads, and the mist was just pouring down on us. The mist was so heavy, you ended up taking your glasses off. Eventually, when we got to the bottom of Glendora Mountain Road, the misty fog stopped, but it still wasn’t sunny. Looks like the fog did not burn off, and I even heard from another friend that it rained on them on their ride.
After getting into Glendora, we could see where we just descended from, with dark cloud hovering the mountain, and I could immediately tell why it was so damp up there. Looked a lot more threatening, looking at it from a distance.
All in all, it was a great ride, even with the unpredictability. This would not have been a ride you would like, if you don’t like descending on wet roads. Even with these conditions, there were still yahoos, descending the mountain on skateboards. I didn’t see any street lugers, but the skateboarders were out there. On the Disneyland ticket rating system, I rate this an E ticket.