Mount Baldy – Here We Come!

Mount San Antonio (Mt. Baldy), from the southe...

Image via Wikipedia

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

“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 Formiglis 34/32 Setup for Mount Baldy on May 7th

 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.
What’s Your Climbing Setup?
We would love to hear what everyone else is riding, especially if you are doing the Mount Baldy climb on 5/7/2011.
Put Your Bike Data in MyBikeInfo
Be certain to log all of your bicycle component and fit data into your MyBikeInfo application.  Just in case.
Warm regards, PC Awareness Guy and the MyBikeInfo Team


About The Success Architect®️

Business Owner | Business Advisor | Cancer survivor, Class of 2003 | Founder and President of the Cancer Journeys Foundation | Founder of the Tour de USA®️ to End Cancer | Founder and CEO of The Success Foundry | Best Selling Author | Speaker | Senior Fellow @ the Center for the Digital Future USC Annenberg School |Business Coach Founder, CEO of TSG Inc | Founder and Partner of InterSpaceLA | Thought Partner | Founder of Pony Express Riders | Autocrosser | Motorcycle Rider | Bicycle Racer | USA Cycling Coach | Retired career Army officer | Prostate Cancer Advocate | Find me at
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2 Responses to Mount Baldy – Here We Come!

  1. James says:

    I read your description with interest before I did my first ascent to Mt. Baldy last Sunday (May 1st). I was originally planning to ride the L’Etape du California on the 7th, but I leave for a business trip in Europe that morning. However, as a consolation, I will be riding in the French Alps next weekend and will include a climb up l’Alpe d’Huez!

    Last Sunday’s Baldy ride started in warm, breezy conditions that had me wondering what to expect. I ride a Trek Madone with standard gearing (lowest is 39-25). By the time I reached the tunnels the head and cross winds had already come into play and I was doing a lot more standing climbing than I usually need to, but powered on. On more than a few occasions I wished I had put my 12-27 cogset on that day, but continued motoring ahead. And though I was originally disappointed the the bike I have rented in France has “compact” gearing, I’ve changed my tune about that.

    All-in-all, the Baldy ride was quite challenging. But as often happens, at the top of a hard climb you say to yourself “that wasn’t so bad.” I was glad I had a light racing jacket with me for the descent. And the road is actually in pretty good shape until the last quarter-mile to the Ski lift parking area. It appears they have just re-paved one section near the top (that may have been beat up) for the ToC. I’m looking forward to riding Mt. Baldy again. Next time, hopefully, with less wind and a bit faster. I’d also like to try the Glendora Ridge route up, as I parked in Upland and came straight up Mountain Ave. to Mt. Baldy Rd.

    Have a great ride on the 7th! That should be a blast.

    James Reilly
    Masters 55+ road and mtb racer from Redondo Beach

    • James. You’re going to really enjoy the Alpe d’Huez climb. Be sure and take your picture at the start sign at the bottom of the climb and on the podium at the top. I did the climb on July 19th, 2009 on a picture perfect day. Post some pictures here when you return. Bon Voyage!

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