July 4 th is the ideal time to climb Mt. Baldy and the Mt. Baldy Ski Lifts because Glendora Mountain Road
(GMR) and Glendora Ridge Road (GRR) are closed to vehicle and motorcycle traffic because the powers
to be are concerned about some drunken party with fireworks setting Angeles Forest ablaze. It isn’t
exactly like those roads are commuter highways the other 364 days of the year but a closed road is
always something special.
Our group of 75 well kitted athletes (I will get to that later) left Pioneer Park and made the 4 mile trip
eastward on Sierra Madre Avenue before making a left hand turn on “Front side” GMR. “Backside” GMR
is accessed via Highway 39 and East Fork. The next 9.5 miles were a steady climb to the top of GMR and
the intersection of GMR Front side, GMR Backside and GRR. We took the GRR option on the right and
made the 12 mile climb to Mt. Baldy and because we were on a ridge you had long sight lines on either
side. It is mostly exposed on GRR except the last couple miles before we plunged 500’ into Mt. Baldy
from an elevation of 4500’ to 4000’. The 4 th and last gate of the outbound leg awaits at the bottom of
that road. The other 3 were before ascending Mt. Baldy and 2 more at the connection between GMR
Cal Tr1, the team vehicle and Cal Tri tent were a fantastic site to see at the Mt. Baldy Post Office. Thank
you Darlene! About ½ of the cyclists turned around here on their way back to Pioneer Park. Some
retraced their route while others descended down Mt. Baldy Road and others took GMR Backside and
Highway 39. The other half pushed the 4 miles at an average grade of 10% to the Mt. Baldy Ski Lifts
where Marina was waiting with a fantastic lunch. A couple athletes made multiple ascents which is just
showing off, right? Under the category of sacrificing for the team, I took the Kim Degen shuttle to the
top to keep a sponsor company. Nothing is too much for our sponsors, right?
The best ride is where everyone gets home safely and I am proud to report there were no accidents. A
sliced tire that ended one athlete’s day and a couple flats but no accidents. I made it over to
Performance Bike Pasadena later to get some much needed TLC for my trusty steed. One of the quick
legged mechanics had already made the trip to Mt. Baldy and got back in time to put in a work day. He
noticed that Cal Tri had a huge presence on the route that day and I was happy to hear none of our crew
was going 4 wide and over the double yellow line in blind corners. If you see something like that make
sure you call it out.
Now to the kits. Cal Tri kits are required on all Epic Rides. As a 100% sponsored team, our sponsors
appreciate when we represent them and our photographers appreciate being able to find the Cal Tri
athletes in the clutter. We haven’t changed our kit design since our founding in 2010 so our group looks
cohesive and not a hodgepodge of disparate gear. We look sharp! We always get 1 knucklehead (and it
happened again this time) who thinks that surely they are so special that this rule doesn’t apply to them.
It gives no pleasure to exclude an athlete from the reindeer games but the Cal Tri kit requirement on
Epic Rides is just that…a requirement.
Finally, let me thank Howard, Kim, Marina and Darlene for donating their time so that 75 of us could
have a worry free day. Epic Ride Malibu Madness is September 1 and Howard needs more support to
keep the fun machine chugging along.