Monday, March 24, 2008

Bicycle Diaries the 3rd - Century Easter Weekend, the Reservoirs and the State Prison

It was hot, it was long, lots of climbing, lots of fun. It was another milestone for the season, 114 miles for this weekend.

On Friday, the TRLs from the Rose Bowl group, Pedro, Eric, Fiona and I met at Stan’s Bike shop in Monrovia. We would like to try out something different, something more challenging, and something with spectacular view. So Fiona suggested we go up San Gabriel Canyon Road and come down Glendora Mountain Road, and we did.

These are roads that go into Angeles National Forest, you cannot imagine how nice the view is without actually seeing it yourself (well you’re lucky; I took some pictures to share with you). However, in order to enjoy the spectacular view, we had to do A LOT of climbing, the highest point happens to be 3406 feet above sea level.

We passed by the Morris and San Gabriel reservoirs on the way up. I’ve never seen such a nice view before. Maybe things do look better when you’re paying extra hard work, just like food tastes a lot better when you’re hungry. It was so peaceful, it was so nice to be closed to the natural, and it was so good to stay away from the busy life with cars and works. Believe it or not, there’s a state prison in the forest! We ran into some inmates, I supposed they’re not the hardcore criminals.

We stopped at Camp Williams Café for breakfast after about 20 miles of riding. This was the only spot to fill up our water bottles. In fact, a lot of cyclists stopped there for the same reason. The food was ok but we don’t have many choices. At this point, the café is only opened Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but will open daily after Memorial Day weekend.

The hardest part of the ride was the last 6 plus miles up to the top of East Fork Road before it gets to Glendora Mt. Road. It reminded me of the Mulholland Challenge that I did 2 years ago, a steady 7 miles climb at mile 80. After reaching the top, we stopped for few minutes to catch our breath and then enjoy the 10-mile downhill. We got back to Stan’s about 1.30pm.

Saturday was our regular training ride from the Rose Bowl. We had 20 people showed up for this flat to hilly ride. We did it last month, the day my car tire gets flat. The challenge of this ride came in the second part when we had to climb up New York Drive, Altadena Drive and the final one mile, the killer, Lake Avenue.

Due to the speed of different riders, everyone was kind of spread out after the first stop at Goldstein’s. While Pedro and Eric stayed in the front with the fast riders, Fiona and I were at the back. We also had Doreen, a 14th time riders plus TRL to join us. She’s great and helped the new riders a lot. I thought I was good at sweeping but she’s 10 times better.

When the heat kicked in, some riders decided to go to the short cut and finished the ride. Doreen and I end up being the last 2 riders at the back. We rode the last 10 miles together.

Since I will be out of town this coming week and miss the weekend training, so I decided to ride by myself on Sunday morning, to get over the century mark, and I did. I rode from home to the Rose Bowl plus a loop at the Linda Vista neighborhood, total about 21 miles.

As for the fundraising part, it’s going pretty slow. Is it because of the economy? Or just because I didn’t train hard enough to get your support? C’mon, every dollar counts, regardless it’s $10 or $100, it will help someone. So while you’re enjoying the pictures I took from the training rides, I hope you would consider sponsoring me as well. Also please spread the words and get more people to support this great cause.

Have a wonderful week ahead.

1 comment:

Riding.. for those who can't... said...

Kar- it was great riding with you this past weekend. You TRL's really have a lot of patience!