One More Checkoff for My Bicycling Bucket List
A quick peek at the right sidebar will show you my current bicycling bucket list, and Mount Baldy is right there.
Mount Baldy Climb Description from Climb By Bike.com
“The Mount Baldy climb is one of the most difficult in the LA Area with 4600 feet of climbing in 13 miles. The last five miles are extremely steep with an average of over 8% and some 15% sections. Start: Mills Road and Mt. Baldy Rd. in Claremont. This climb can be described in two sections – like Palomar Mountain.
The first section is eight miles to the intersection with Glendora Mountain Road with a 6% average grade. The harder part starts here with 4.6 miles of climbing at an average of 8.6%. The road surface on the top part is very poor with very tight switchbacks. Alpe d’Huez Comparison: If you start at mile 3.83 (near the intersection with Mountain Ave at the top of the reservoir), the climb is 8.8 miles with an average grade of 7.6%. Alpe d’Huez is 8.8 miles with a 7.9% average. This is about the closest thing in Southern California that you can compare in length and steepness to Alpe d’Huez. However, if you start at mile 5 near the first tunnel, the climb is 7.6 miles with an 8.2% average. The last few miles of this climb are more difficult than most of Alpe d’Huez.”
I climbed Alpe d’Huez two years ago and it was a doozy, and I did not do that climb as part of a century ride. The steepest part of the climb is 23%. May 7th is going to be quite the ride!
Fast Freddy Formigli and My 34/32
I love hills – I think, but I try to take care of the legs, so Freddy’s setup is a bit special.
I equipped him with SRAM Force (Red just wasn’t in the budget) using a 50/34 compact crank and an 11/32 cassette. If you look closely at the picture, you’ll see a SRAM Rival long cage derailleur that will accommodate that 32 cog. A 34/32 combination yields an awesome 28.7 gear inch that I rarely use, but which I’m certain will come into play on that final 23% grade up Mount Baldy.
Fast Freddy’s Specs
- Steel frame
- SRAM Force except for the SRAM Rival Long Cage 10 Speed Derailleur
- Flashpoint 404 on rear; Zipp 404 on front (budget issues)
- Vredestein Fortezza 25 mm (for comfort and reduced rolling resistance) front and rear. [I love the way these tires hold the road.]
- Fizik Arione seat in Prostate Cancer Awareness Project green and blue [I love the move around room on this seat].
- The oldest known Look clip less pedals, because I like the wide format and I have six bikes with this model pedal.