Getting out for climbing and descending Glendora Mountain Road is a great experience in more ways than one.
Without its other intangibles, GMR (as locals call it) is an essential climb in and of itself as it steadily makes its way into the Angeles National Forest.
Winding your way up, the pitch remains in the nice, consistent single digits as its neighbors Mount Baldy Road and Highway 39 face more severe issues of wind and steeper segments.
Starting from Sierra Madre Ave., Glendora Mountain Road peaks at mile 9.3 with 2,514 feet of climbing.
After about a half mile of descending, you reach a junction where many people mistakenly refer to the fork to the east as GMR instead of Glendora Ridge Road.
Instead, Glendora Mountain Road winds its way five miles north down to the East Fork of the San Gabriel River.
This segment packs a lot more punch than its southern segment with tighter turns and more climbing per mile.
Not being part of my plans, I was confined to this area of Angeles National Forest as one of the frequent car crashes on Highway 39 limited access up to Crystal Lake.
One characteristic that GMR leads all on its own is its regularity for being shut down to vehicular traffic.
The main culprit is to keep the likelihood of fires from flaring up.
I never thought about it until now, but it’s easy to justify closing because the parallel roads give much better access to Baldy Village and the San Gabriel River.
On this day, I thought it would be fun to shoot some downhill action on the north end taking advantage of no traffic, although you still have to be aware of other cyclists.
It’s a lot of fun, but you can easily get distracted with the views.
Grip it and rip it when descending Glendora Mountain Road!