On Sunday morning, knowing there were going to be high temperatures and Santa Anna winds, we met at our usual meeting place at 7 AM. In addition to Bern the Beast, Ride Planning Master Angela, Carley "the vet that sweats", Ken the king of selfie photography and Chief Complainer, we were also joined by Bo the Dane, who drove out to meet up with us.
We were pleased that Skip, executive board member of IPB, was also there. He faked out everyone by signing up for the regular IBP ride but then showing up to instead do the IBPx ride to Mt. Wilson. We were honored with his presence!
We set out at a leisurely pace through the Valley and ended up at the mandatory Seven Eleven stop just before Big T.
After replenishing on liquids, we took off for the real riding. Right at the beginning, Santa Anna winds were blowing straight in our faces. Bernd and Angela were in front and the rest of us were trying to get a little shelter behind them. Of course, Ken had to live up to his name and was bitching from the beginning that Angela was too small to draft behind and wasn't providing the draft he expected. Really!
Even though Bernd and Skip eventually started pulling ahead, it should be noted that Ken stayed near the front. I am sure this was because he needed subjects for his pictures and did not want pictures of the empty road behind. Here is a great picture of us crossing the first bridge. The man is sure quick on the draw with his phone camera!
At the intersection of Big T and Angeles Highway a decision had to be made on route. Ken and Skip had to start heading home and were going via Angeles Hwy to Angeles Crest and Bernd wanted to head to Red Box via Upper T.
Angela did a quick map check and felt it made sense to stay together and take the longer route.
So, up and away we went on Upper T. Lots of great expansive views
and even an eerily dark tunnel.
Other than maybe a few motorbikes zooming by, almost no cars until we hit the split of Big T. and Angeles Crest Hwy.
Bernd was nowhere to be seen and Angela, Carley (who was definitely sweating by now), Bo and me headed to Red Box to refuel on food and water. Just as we are ready to leave for the last stint up to Mt. Wilson, Bernd arrived back from his first trek up there! WTF?
GG (German Gentleman) as he is, he offered to accompany us back up the hill. Even at our more leisurely pace, only Angela was able to keep up on this last narrow but pretty climb.
At long last, several hours into the ride, we finally made it to the top and here is the proof.
Love this shot and yes, we are happy in the knowledge that all we had to do is now ride back down the hill.
Time to head way back down there to the city.
The way back down Angeles Crest Hwy was quick. By the time we were back into the city, temperatures were up there, Bo was cramping up, Angela could only think of fish taco's and beer, and Carley and I just wanting to get to the end.
A long, hard, but very satisfying ride with friends and beautiful scenery. We sure are lucky to have all this in our backyard.
For those who want to experience this ride in less than a minute, here is the link to the Relive.cc video.