7:44 PM

Mt. Baldy

I’ve had a lot of people talk to me about the ride up Mt Bady road.  There have been much written about it already, one good page with all the specs are at SocalVelo.  Basically its one of if not the most intense rides in southern California and I got a chance to try it out today. 

Long story short, I wasn’t ready for it and failed miserably. 

The ride starts at Mt. Baldy Rd and Mills.  The gradient starts at a manageable 3-4% then quickly ramps up to 8% for a butt busting start.  After the 8% I was already feeling the burn in my quads and the noon heat on my back and started drinking a good amount of water to replenish myself.  The road tapered down to 5% but I was still suffering.  By the time I reached the tunnels I had already spent a little under an hour climbing, ran out of water and contemplated resignation.  After the tunnels the gradient and the heat got the best of me and I turned around =(.  So there’s my first attempt at Mt. Baldy, I can’t say much about it except the fact that it was QUITE difficult to say the least.  The ride down is awesome though.
 
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Here’s turning around in failure. 
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Although the tunnels were far from flat, the shade proved very helpful in my case. 
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I'm not one to make excuses for my failures, I simply wasn’t ready for it, but some mistakes to learn from:

- Don’t go late or when its hot!!!  Most people go at 6am or so.  11am was the only time I could go so I suffered in the heat for it.  I was the only guy going up at that time.

- It’d be best to have low/compact gearing to climb this much.  I had neither and really wished I did on the +8% sections. 

- Fuel up well before the ride.