Merry Christmas everyone. Hope everyone spent some quality time with family. This years routine was a little different, with Christmas being on a Thursday, which meant we had to work on Friday. I forgot to accommodate for this, and didn’t get that day off. Luckily, I was able to work from LA remotely.
What this meant was little time for cycling, but I was able to sneak in one ride, and boy what a day that was. However, it was a cold ride. I couldn’t really tell from my Garmin, as it was saying it was average temperature of 8 F. Uh, I don’t think so. If I was to guess, it was probably in the low 40s.
I couldn’t make this an all day ride, so this was an out and back to Clear Creek Junction. On a cold day like this, all I knew is I needed to climb, just to keep me warm. This was a straight climb up Hwy 2, from the beginning in La Canada, straight up until the Rangers Station, so very hard to get lost.
After climbing from the base (probably the hardest part of the climb) I turned off to the scenic overlooks, and boy what a view. I could see the LA skyline … Yes, you can see LA from here. Picture doesn’t show how clear you could see.
It was funny, while taking off layers there, a kid came up to me and asked me if they drove far enough, would they see snow? What’s funny is he asks me, the crazy dude on a bike, climbing Angeles Crest Highway, instead of asking dad, who is driving the family up. I mean, if we were heading for snow, would the guy on the bike be going up? Er, on second thought, don’t answer that. (I probably would)
I love climbing, especially when you pass elevation signs. It gives me some motivation, as mere mortals are down below worrying about a single hill, and here I am passing the 2000 foot level.
One guy passed me, pretty easily, and was going at a pretty good clip. I just wasn’t able to keep up with him. Unfortunately, I saw him pull over, 2/3 the way up, who had a flat. Oh that sucks. That meant he had to alter his original trip of going up to Red Box.
The roads were all clear … But I was only going to go as far as Clear Creek, as going any further would be a bit cold. I used the excuse of needing to be back home early, and not leaving dad alone by himself, as my excuse for not going to Red Box.
Its amazing how camaraderie of other climbers on the same route brings cyclists together. While at the junction, I had a nice chat with 3 other riders, who were riding solo, just like me, and just commenting on the climb, past rides, and experiences of riding the mountains in the cold.
Ok, now time for the descent back down, and yup, it’s cold. I had three layers on, so that made it not so bad. I had nice warm long fingered gloves, as well as toe warmers, so at least I wasn’t unprepared. I mean, who would expect this coming down to Southern California?
I often like comparing rides in Southern California to rides in the Bay Area. I would say this is very comparable to the Hwy 9 climb from Saratoga to Saratoga Gap, except this is just a little longer. So if you are asking what this rides compares to, well there you have it.