|Yes .... proof that the ToC 2012 has been this way !|
It was hot .... very hot. We went all the way up to the finish of the 2011 Mt Baldy ToC stage at the ski lifts.
From Baldy village we road the 10 steep switchbacks, averaging 8%, then, where the road straightens out, battled up a final section of 15%, before we got to experience the rough surface of the last five switchbacks.
So, of course, I was glued to the TV coverage of this years stage, armed with our ride from the year before. But this time I really wanted to experience the long climb up Glendora Ridge Rd. The long climb that starts in Glendora and climbs all the way to Baldy Village.
Once again I had a buddy to share the experience with. Shawn, the vet specialist, from nearby Victorville, who I first met at the Santa Barbara Century in Nov 2011 and rode with again in Feb 2012 at the Palm Springs Century.
Link for the 2012 stage profile and here for the 2012 stage report.
|2012 Tour of California Stage 7, 126km. Ontario to Mt Baldy|
Not true, all the way up the Ridge Rd we had plenty of company. As this is not the best way to access the area, there were not many cars. Not so for motorcyclists. There is a huge number in Southern California and they just love the twisty curves of the mountains .... even if most of them have Harleys !
|22 miles to Baldy Village, that's 35 kms.|
|Road starts out nice and wide and smooth.|
|Hmm, climbing already.|
|"Thanks for bringing over the 10 speed Dura Ace,|
but it's not making climbing any easier !"
|How's the view from up here on Ridge, eh ?|
No clouds, not even a breathe of wind. Wow !
|Where's Baldy ?|
|Remember this road maintenance compound from the SBS coverage ? ..... I do.|
Chris Horner, last years winner was still out on a breakaway right here, trying to crack the peloton. Long way to go, though.
|KOM .... right here, at the start of the ridge, just before the turn off onto Glendora Mountain Rd where they turned right, after climbing out of Baldy Village the first time.|
|At the turn off, looking back the way they they went down to the start of Glendora Ridge Rd.|
|At the Junction, looking back down the way we just climbed up the Ridge.|
|From the junction on, towards Baldy Village, the road narrows and loses the centre line.|
Still, it is a good road, nice enough surface. Few bloody cars. The motorbikers love these sweeping curves, high up on the Ridge, with spectacular views.
|"That's where I live .... way over the back there, just near the San Andreas fault line"|
OK, I know .... I've gotta go ride Alpe d'Huez and other Tour de France climbs soon. It will make watching the TV coverage even more special ...... just like it has for me watching this years ToC.
Today, Shawn and don't have the time to finish ride to the finish, so we refresh our bottles, turn right and zip down Baldy Rd back to our cars in Claremont. Boy, did we have a great day. Even with rotten weather, Glendora Ridge Rd would still be far and away the best climb in California.