Stan’s Obligatory Blog

Happy Halloween

12/18/2005

Trying to make Newton say ‘uncle’

Filed under: — stan @ 11:01 pm


Route map and photo locations

Today’s ride was a new route that Gene made up. Newton had been saying he wanted to do more hills, so today we did hills. Fortunately, I like riding up hills, too.

It was kind of a chilly day by SoCal standards. About 50 degrees, so we were all relatively bundled up.

We started out heading east to Sierra Madre. But where we usually just go through the town to get to Arcadia, we turned and went up into one of the canyons above the town. It was a steep climb. The route made a loop, and we came out of the canyon at the same place where we’d gone in. Then we went east a bit more and then headed down Mountain Trail.

We rode all the way down the hill, almost to the 210 freeway. Then we went east a bit to Santa Anita. A left turn pointed us back up the hill. We rode up the hill and into another canyon. Up near the top we hit a portion with an 18% grade. It was about here that I said ‘uncle’ and shifted to a lower gear. Normally, I never shift, and apparently I have something of a reputation for riding up hills in ridiculous gears. But this time I shifted.

At the top, we got onto Highland Oaks and rode down the long hill all the way to Foothill Blvd. There, we turned left and went just a bit to 5th Ave. Then we turned left and headed back up towards the mountains.

Crossing into Monrovia, we went up yet another canyon. This one was also steep, and I had to shift again near the top. Shifting twice in one ride is nearly unheard-of for me, so I took a picture.

The roads in the canyon made a loop again, and we came down into Hillcrest right by where we’d turned off to go up. Then we turned left and continued on into Monrovia.

We took Hillcrest and Greystone and then turned on Norumbega. This made yet another loop up into a canyon. This time the climb wasn’t quite as hard as the others. I managed to make the whole thing in my 39×17, which is my usual all-purpose gear. And on the way down out of the canyon, we saw three deer grazing near some houses. This was quite novel to see, since the San Gabriel Valley is generally pretty urban, and we don’t see actual wildlife very often aside from the occasional coyote early in the morning. So I took some pictures of the deer as we rode by.

At the bottom of the hill, we turned left on Mountain and then headed east a bit more through Bradbury to Duarte. Doug got a flat on the bike path in Duarte, and so became the latest entry in the Flat Tire Gallery. We rode all the way out to the edge of the San Gabriel River wash. Then we went south on Encanto to Foothill Blvd. Turning right, we made our way back to Monrovia. We stopped for a snack at the Coffee Bean at Myrtle and Foothill.

After the snack stop, the group sort of split up. Some people had to head directly home. The rest of us went south a bit to Colorado and took that back to Pasadena. I rode with Vikki all the way to her street near Old Town.

Passing through Old Town, I took Prospect to get to Arroyo and Windsor Road. At the trailhead across the arroyo from JPL, I saw some people with horses. This is also a bit novel, although it’s still more common than seeing deer.

Heading east on Ventura, I started for home. I went up to Mendocino St. At Fair Oaks I had to go north a couple of blocks to get to Mariposa. That was where I passed the Little Red Hen CoFFee Shop.

After crossing Lake Ave, I went down to Mendocino and headed west across Altadena. At the country club they were having a snow day. They’d brought in a huge amount of shaved ice to make an ersatz snow slope for the kids to sled on.

The final part of the ride was to head down the hill and back to Victory Park.

It’s a good thing I like riding up hills. This was a fun ride.

46 miles
cycling

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