Believe it or not, just 45 miles from the consistently 70° city of Los Angeles is a ski resort, named Mt Baldy. It's not owned by a mega-corporation, it doesn't have a lodge suited for Hollywood celebrities, it's just a mountain with some rickety ol' chair lifts and a divey lodge. A brilliant business move for them would be to offer downhill biking, for there are often years the snow is so sparse that the resort doesn't even open.
My bike buddy, Brooke, and I decided to on a mission, and pedal up to it. We started near San Dimas (yes, the location of Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure) and let'r rip. The scenics are amazing, but the road was shit rough and only bearable with our vibration absorbing steel framed bikes. As one would assume, going from near the beach in California to a ski resort is a dramatic elevation change, up to 5000' of climb.
In order to avoid overheating, the ride started early in the morning. So early, that my immediate pinch flat from smashing through the train tracks had me knocking on the bike shop's door before they were open for business. The kind owner helped us out knowing the battle we had on the horizon.
When you finally hit Mount Baldy Village, that's when your months, or hopefully years of training come into play. The last 4 miles are some of Southern California's most brutal grades to the resort, pitching up to 15%.
Car & bike dudes, please be excellent to each other. Party on!