A drive through the dark up the Angles Crest Highway then along the Angeles Forest Highway. Started from Mill Creek Summit, 5000 feet. I noticed that the Jeep had a minor problem, the interior lights were staying on. So I pulled a fuse to prevent a potential dead battery. Cycled up the paved Mt. Gleason road, it is closed to cars and motorcycles but open to hikers and bicyclists.
The first half hour of the ride to the north of the ridge was relatively steep, and seemed to make a lot of the elevation gain. The road crosses over to the south side, with some slight down hill which was a nice rest. Then a gentle up hill, nice not too long after sun rise. The little 24 inch bike did well, I used the lowest gear to pedal on the up hills. This bike is one I bought for my son long ago, he no longer uses it. I put a new rear tube in, the kind that has goop in to make it puncture-resistant. In my pack, I carried a pump, tire levers, a patch kit, a couple of screwdrivers and an adjustable wrench. I have a rear rack and panniers on order, when installed it will be easier to carry my gear. For cycling gloves, I use canvass garden gloves, the kind with the rubber dots grip on them.
Reached the final steep dirt road, this is about 5 miles and took just over an hour, if I had hiked would have been more like 2 and a half hours. The dirt road is mostly pretty steep so I pushed the bike most of the way. Just over a half mile to the microwave site at the summit, this took 15 to 20 minutes. The photo is about half way along the road, looking up to the microwave site on the summit.
It took an unusually long time to find a site at which to set up the station. The giant burnt Coulter Pine that would have been a good antenna tree was surrounded by Poodle Dog bush, as were all the other burnt pine trees. I eventually settled for some chaparral, and set the antenna only about 10 feet high further east along the ridge. The photo shows the radio site, it was actually much more comfortable than it looks; it was in the shade and the ground wasn’t too hard.
Lots of activity for the SOTA activity weekend
14 MHz CW: K6TUY W7CNL AB7YL KC3RT K4PIC N4EX AE4FZ N4MJ W4ZV(S2S W4C EM047) AA4AI WI2W NE4TN W0ERI W0MNA WA2USA K0JQZ(S2S W0 SP084)
10 MHz CW: N9KW K6TUY NS7P NA6MG(S2S W6 SS400) N7CW W6JP VA6FUN KE5AKL(S2S W5N SS024) W7RV AA4Q KU6J(W6 NS189) N5XL(S2S W7A AE035) W5ESE K0YO
Operated about an hour and 20 minutes, then packed up.
It was a pleasure to ride down, and very fast. It would have been a real drag to hike it in the 85 degree heat and sunshine and no shade. It took 35 minutes to get down (including the dirt road), would have taken at least 2 hours to walk.
All in all, a great experience for my first mountain bike activation. About 1250 feet of elevation gain in 5.5 miles.