Ride to Mt Gleason

I am considering the idea of organizing a century (100 miles bike ride) in the San Gabriel mountains behind Pasadena. Here is the route it would follow: start from Foothill Blvd in Glendale - Big Tujunga canyon - Angeles Forest Hwy to Clear Creek - Angeles Crest Hwy - Upper Big Tujunga road - Angeles Forest Hwy - Mt Gleason road way and back - Angeles Forest Hwy - Aliso canyon - Soledad canyon - Sand canyon - Little Tujunga canyon - Foothill Blvd. This makes a 102 miles loop with approximately 11,500 ft of climbing.

Ten days ago we rode this loop with Christophe, except that we cut the climb to Mt Gleason. The part on Angeles Forest between Monte Cristo and Mill Creek summit is really difficult; we were tired and still had a long way to go, so we didn't have the courage to go for more climb on Mt Gleason road. This made for a 90 miles ride with 10,000ft climb, which we completed in 8h50min. This week-end, my plan was to do the whole loop with the climb to Gleason. Unfortunately, Christophe was sick and feeling very bad, so we decided to turn back and take the shortest way to the car. Also, we didn't go all the way up to Mt Gleason, the last 3 miles are a dirt road, which is not nice on a road bike. We'll make the whole century loop ride in January, when I come back from holidays.

Our observation on this ride was that the condition of the road is excellent on ALL the loop, and there is very little traffic almost everywhere. Temperature was ranging between 39F at 6:30am, up to almost 70F in the afternoon. This makes for a very nice century. The most difficult part is the leg on the Angeles Forest Hwy from Monte Cristo to Mill Creek summit, about 1700ft elevation gain in less than 6 miles... in some places this climb is killing hard.

First pit stop at Big Tujunga overlook
it's freezing cold, but I'm motivated, says Christophe
at Clear Creek: yum yum, power-goop !
I prefer eating little twix snacks
Looking at the San Bernardino mountains
almost none of the snow from last week is left
after a while we are on Mt Gleason road
Christophe is sick and dying
I'm just fine... let's do more climbing !
... so we push a bit and arrive at a state prison
the road to the top is unpaved, we won't go
... especially with the risk of encountering prisoners.
Impressive mountain view... but we are only at 5700ft
we came from this road all the way up
back to Mill Creek and its smelly restrooms
we go back the shortest way, on Angeles Forest
what about stopping for a drink ?
no, too expensive, says Christophe who continues
afternoon sun on the mountains
we're back...
... to the car
oops, my mistake, THIS is my car !
77 miles, and a fair 9590ft of climbing