Have you ever wanted to ride the famous climbs of the Tour de France but just haven’t had the time to make it across the pond to France?
Well, if you live in California or one of the neighboring states you can climb Mt. Baldy and have virtually the same experience.
The Col du Glandon is 26.2 kilometers long with an average gradient of 5%. Mount Ventoux is 20.9 kilometers with an average gradient of 7.5%
Mount Baldy? 20.7 kilometers with an average gradient of 7%, and a maximum gradient of 23% that, I’m told, comes at the end of the climb.
May 7th Ascent
I’m heading out today in preparation for tomorrow’s L’Etape du California ride of Stage 7 of the Tour de California. This will include individual timing of our climb up Mt. Baldy at the end of the ~ 100 mile ride.
What the Organizers Say
L’Étape du California provides serious recreational cyclists the opportunity to ride a complete stage of the Amgen Tour of California – and the most challenging stage of the 2011 race at that. Riders will cover the same route as the professionals on Stage 7 of the Amgen Tour of California, from the City of Claremont to the Mt Baldy Ski Area. The route is breathtaking in its beauty and difficulty, covering some of the most famous and iconic sections of road in the San Gabriel Mountains: Glendora Mountain Road, Glendora Ridge Road, and the sharp “beyond category” switchbacks up to the Mt Baldy Ski Area. By the time riders return to their cars or homes in Claremont, they will have climbed close to 10,000 vertical feet and ridden close to 100 miles. While extremely challenging and requiring a high level of fitness and mental toughness, there will be ample support to help athletes see if they have what it takes to ride the route of the Amgen Tour of California.
I’ve been traveling for the past 10 days, so I’m not sure how well the legs are going to work (the L-Factor). Plus, I did a hard workout last night at the LA Velodrome for my 65+ masters track pursuit team. But, hey, this is one for my my Bicycling Bucket List.
My new Formigli Classic steel frame, SRAM Force with 50/34, 11-32 cassette, and a pair of Zipp 404s. Total weight is right at 21 pounds. My weight is 151. I wonder how many calories it will take to lift 172 pounds 10,000 feet at an average gradient of 7%?
Just another day in Paradise. Look for me in the Prostate Cancer Awareness Project jersey.
Warm regards, Robert
PS: If you like to climb – and who doesn’t, be sure and check out ClimbbyBike.com