Mt Gleason is Tough!

Like many cyclists who have spent time in the Angeles Forest, I know that the roads and ranges can be very unforgiving, especially during the hottest time of the year. Over the years, I’ve been up a number of the area’s HC climbs and every time, I’m reminded of the massive undertaking a 100 mile ride is in these parts.

Mt. Gleason is no exception. In fact, I’d argue it’s harder than Cloud Burst and Baldy. The difficulty lies in the shear steepness of the climbs and the full exposure from the sun. If you’re going to go, go early! Had it not been for the two fire stations and the spigots, we all would have cracked…

Our ride began heading out with the sunrise, en route to Big T. From there, we spiked off up this little prick of a peak known as Mt. Gleason. Come mile 50, we’d already hit over 8,000′ in elevation. We climbed for 30 miles straight, got to the top and then had to climb out of Clear Creek. If you’re familiar with that area, you know what kind of an undertaking that is.

Totals for the day were 100 miles and 10,000′. Nice and even. If you feel so inclined, here’s our route.

One of the main reasons for taking on this ride is the exceptional views over the fire-torn mountain tops. It’s truly breathtaking. See more in the Gallery!

Tools of the trade:
Yashica T4
Fuji Pro400H

  • Sean Curran

    That looks like a hell of a climb/ride. Also 26 is a awesome shot.

  • http://www.neilbridge.co.uk/ Mr_Bridge

    Ace gallery, John. That forest is the real jewel of LA cycling.

  • hans

    good shit man. love those roads, haven’t gone all the way to gleason though, this is inspiring but i’m going to have to wait till it cools off a bit…you did this on the geekhouse, no?

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

      Yep. Mudville and the cantis were fine… ;-)

      • hans

        haha. you knew i was about to ask :)

  • Pablo Castanon

    Thanks for sharing mane! truly inspiring!

  • Jamie McKeon

    Hah, slide #17 is so good. The amount of times I have said the same thing… straya

  • http://issuu.com/pntmagazine PNT

    love to ride there someday

  • Noah Lynch

    Love your photographs and commentary.

  • Ace Metric Cycles

    D A M N, right on! tube melting? kinda crazy

  • chris campbell

    After riding 60 miles solo yesterday this is all the more impressive. I can def see how a crew really helps.

  • Kevin Franks

    I grew up riding on and around those mountains. You’ve captured the essence of the San Gabriels, perfectly. I can actually recall what the air smells like there by looking at your photos. Really fantastic, thank you.

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

      That smell is poodle dog bush! :-)

  • http://abovemountaintops.tumblr.com/ Tinj

    Real grainy and real on point, such a great set.