I got to ride another one of Ken and Teresa’s climbfests … this one went to Baldy via East Fork, GMR, GRR, then back the same way we came, then up Hwy 39 again, onto Crystal Lake, then back on East Fork again, up GMR, then then to Glendora, before heading back to the cars. Well, that was the plan, at least.
We had a terrific turn out. Steve had never done Baldy (shocking). We had two fixies doing the cling (that’s insane) and Karen has her sights set on the ski lifts (I actually would have if I didntehave my sights set on doing Crystal Lake).
Everyone was in great spirits in the morning … that’s before the miles, the climb, and the heat settled in. Karen was leading a good pace up the hill, so I hung im with everyone at the front. The rollies up to East Fork is always nice.
First water stop was Camp Williams, right before East Fork turns into GMR. We then hit the real climbs.
While I had the chance to, I just had to film myself passing up the same guys who would be leaving me in the dust. I just love Teresa’s tiger roar … it’s almost as good as the devil jumping up and down, or antler man running up the hill.
I was able to ride along with Vic and Steve for a while, up until the last 1-2 miles on GRR. We eventually all regrouped at Mt. Baldy Village. Some went on to climb the ski lift, others went down GMR back to the cars, and others “attempted” to backtrack to Camp Williams, and continue to Crystal Lake.
Now I did have a brain fart here. I went to the bathroom, and we were ready to leave, but I couldn’t feel my glasses on my face. So I figured I must have left it at the bathroom. Luckily, someone noticed they were hanging off the neck of my jersey. D’oh.
Ok, onto Crystal Lake, and back up the hill we just descended down. We had a rousing descent here, which is nice to have, just before the big climb.
The descent down GMR to East Fork was fast and furious, and Teresa was descending like Thomas Voeckler. By the time we got to Camp Williams, all the campers were out in force, and it was pretty darn busy. Everyone refilled water, loaded up on ice, and in the meantime, Vic and I had our own sandwiches (and of course, and abundance of fries). It was around 1 pm before we left Camp Williams, ready for the journey that lies ahead.
Hang a right on Hwy 39, and on we go. I didn’t really get too bad until after we passed West Fork (and it was crowded there too … lot of people hiking from West Fork). About 5 miles up, the heat was really getting to me. I’m all the way in my granny, and I’m only sustaining a 3 mph speed, which is not good. I looked at my Garmin and it was registering 107 F … damn, that’s hot.
Not only was it hot out here, it was completely exposed, and very little shade at all. I got to about 7000 feet of total climbing, before I had to call it a day. I was running low on water, and I had to muster up any strength I had to flag down Ken, letting him know I’m done. So I made it just to the bridge, then headed back down. It’s too bad, because I really wanted to make it to Crystal Lake.
Totals on the day .. 74.6 miles, 7560 feet climbing. Gotta get more heat training in, but this was a good trainer for Knoxville. Good thing I’ve still got 1.5 more months to train for that.