I’ve climbed up to just over 2,000 feet before on my bike, but never the mile high mark. Of course, in Wisconsin, the highest you can usually go is about 1,700 feet. Now, that I’m in SoCal, the climbing options are a little higher. One of the popular climbs in the SoCal area is the Mt. Baldy ski area, which is at 6,400 feet. Rose and I drove this before earlier this summer, so I knew the switchbacks about 5,000 feet approached 15%. I wasn’t ready for that…:D Thus, I decided to do the longer Glendora Mountain Road (aka, GMR) route.
The GMR route starts from Glendora (about 45 minutes from where I live) and begins ascending Glendora Mountain Road at a fairly even incline. After about 9 miles, you reach Glendora Ridge Road. This is a one lane road the keeps climbing to the Mt. Baldy Village at 5,000 feet. I wish I had taken pictures, because the views were spectacular and it’s basically all cyclists and motorcyclists. The hard part is the length. It’s about 22 miles of constant climbing (or false flats) to the village. I felt the altitude a little, even though it was only about 4,000-4,500 feet on the ridge. I think I was more sapped from the length, and was glad I didn’t go up to the ski area. The return trip was nice until I got to the steeper descents. This is where my lack of downhill skills showed. OK, some of us like climbing more than descending…though I think we’re a minority.
My route is below, but please check out this blog link of someone else’s ride for some great photos. I can’t wait to ride all of the way up to the village.