Monday, July 22, 2013

David Wu’s Angeles Crest Ride

7-20-2013:   The course

Our group at the start

The training continues for the InyoUltra 466.

 This time a really fun social ride.

This was a really fun one. Everyone was there!! Many of my friends showed up and we all had a great time on a fairly tough course with some considerable climbing in the mountains.

The ride started at Encanto Park in the city of Duarte. Some started as early as 6:30am but the main group rolled at 7:30.

I was considering this a ride to taper my longer training so I opted for the 88 mile course in lieu of the longer course which incorporated a few more climbs at the end. I still pushed my pace a little bit on the climbs though to check my conditioning at higher altitudes. I felt absolutely fantastic all day!!

We rolled along the San Gabriel Mountains in a westerly direction through the Sierra Madre and Pasadena before meeting Hwy 2 at La Canada. 

We took our first break at the service station before starting the climb. You should have seen all the cyclists in that gas station. I think the cars had trouble getting in for fuel.

The steepest part of Angeles Crest Hwy is right at the bottom as you are leaving town. (At least it felt like that). 
Large Ferrari Club at the bottom.

I decided I would test myself a little on the first section which takes us to Angeles Forest Hwy. I put it in a larger gear than I usually do on this first section and climbed much more out of the saddle. When I finally settled into my sitting cadence it felt almost effortless. I was able to maintain a heart rate around 165 BPM and I was able to talk without being too winded. Not bad for a 61 year old who according to the charts is supposed to have a maximum heart rate of around 150. (Never did believe in those charts for athletes anyway!)

La Canada Flintridge in the distance

I was feeling real good when I reached the water stop at the junction of Angeles Crest and Angeles Forest Highways.

Next section.....RED BOX.

Ken supported us on the road to Highway 39. He saved many people. Thanks Ken for being there!!
I filled my bottle and then started up to Red Box.
Red Box is the saddle in the distance. A long climb but not too bad.

 This is a wonderful climb. Not too steep with some nice switch backs. At the top, if you stay straight, you will continue on Hwy 2. If you turn right you will climb to the top of Mount Wilson overlooking Los Angeles.
This was supposed to be a water stop but the drinking fountain had a sign on it stating “Do not drink the water”. The little museum store was not open either.  Luckily I had just enough water to get to the next stop as long as I did not push myself too much.
While riding the next section I caught up to my friend Jon. We then came across my friends Victor and Stefan. Stefan was just finishing up fixing a flat tire.
Onward we rolled to the next stop, Newcomb’s Ranch. I just took it easy and nursed the water. It was pretty hot out even at altitude.

Vic on the left and Jon to his right
 This is a great little bar and restaurant about half way on the course. It is a great hang out for motor cyclists and bike riders alike.

I had an ice cold coke, and filled my water bottles with ice water. There was a large group of friends there.
Jon, Stefan and I rolled out and Victor hung out a little longer. We rode together to Cloudburst Summit where we took some pictures. This was the high point of the day. Just over 7,000 feet in elevation. 
Easy ride from here

Stefan stayed behind to wait for some friends. Jon and I headed out for the turn on Hwy 39 since we were both in a little hurry to get home.

Jon with the highway 39 descent off his right shoulder on that ridge
Other than a few little hills toward the bottom, Highway 39 was all down hill and fast. The first section is closed to cars due to rock slides so it was a little bumpy. The road beyond that was newly paved and spectacular to descend on.
Jon is one of the fasted most aerodynamic descenders on a bike that I know. I knew I would not be able to stay with him unless I drafted him the whole way down and that is exactly what I did. We just flew off the mountain until we hit the head winds toward the bottom. We then worked together all the way to the finish in Duarte. We rolled into the park on the bike path into a head wind. We finished a little before 3pm.

Finishing up in Jon's slip stream
Here is the Garmin Data for my ride
All the pictures are here:

All in all.....I had a great day....and everything worked great. Easy does it now for the last 3 weeks before the event. Nothing very tough.

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