This video chronicles a spirited drive over the entire length of Glendora Mountain Road and Glendora Ridge Road in Angeles National Forest, California on the afternoon of October 1st, 2011 (http://g.co/maps/sc8b3). I justified this indulgence under the guise of reaching the Sunset Ridge Trail for a mountain bike ride. Such is the magic of sport wagons, and the one in use here is a slightly modified 2004 Mazda 6s. The only editing I have done to this video, which was filmed in one continuous take, is to remove footage of backing up and making a U-turn at the ends of Sections 1 and 2, respectively. If you only want to watch part of run, I would suggest the third section (21:39-28:58) as it is the only time I am driving into the sun, which makes for more dynamic footage.
00:31 -- 13:57 Glendora Mountain Road (southwest section, heading northeast/uphill) -- 9.1 miles
13:58 -- 21:38 Glendora Mountain Road (northeast section, heading northeast/downhill) -- 4.9 miles
21:39 -- 28:58 Glendora Mountain Road (northeast section, heading southwest/uphill) -- 4.9 miles
28:59 -- 47:49 Glendora Ridge Road (heading east) -- 12 miles
The average speed of the car over the course of the drive was calculated to be 40 mph, which sounds about right, as I spent the majority of the run in second gear. There were more than a few opportunities for first gear which I neglected, and I opted for third even on some of the shorter straights to give the engine a breather. As it was my first time on GMR and I have yet to upgrade my brakes (whose limits I did not feel like exploring), this was not a full-speed, balls-out run; and though I do not expect anyone to be terribly impressed with the perceived speed of travel in the video, be aware that it was quite a bit faster than most drivers and passengers would feel comfortable with. On that note, I would like to include the disclaimer that this video in no way encourages or condones risky, dangerous, or stupidly crazy driving behavior, and that the driver in this case is well-versed in both technical driving techniques and the vehicle under operation. At no point during the run did I veer out of the boundaries of my lane except to avoid obstacles large enough to pose a serious safety risk (bikers, big rocks, etc.). Those discerning few will no doubt notice the astounding number of skid marks leading off the edge of the road (sometimes into a cliff) which are evidence of drivers who have overestimated their skill level and come up tragically short. Driving should always be considered your most serious responsibility (and, statistically speaking, there is no arguing it). This holds especially true for spirited driving, when the safety of those around you must become your first priority.
The inspiration for driving this road in particular can be traced to recent articles in Motor Trend and Inside Line (http://motortrend.com/roadtests/coupe... and http://insideline.com/porsche/cayman/... ); though, to be honest, I have had my eyes on it for quite some time. I would be remiss not to mention the publications which fuel my passion for the automotive world and enthusiast driving in general, and I encourage anyone who enjoyed this video to plumb the depths of the best automotive journalism has to offer. They are:
Car and Driver -- www.caranddriver.com
Motor Trend -- www.motortrend.com
Inside Line -- www.insideline.com
Concerning the music: All songs are credited below in the order of their appearance in the video. I did not purchase the rights for these, and I only employ them in the hope of exposing listeners to some music with which they might not otherwise be familiar. For those of you who may lament the absence of harder-rocking riffs, truth be told, my music collection was not available to me at the time and place this video was made, so I worked with what I had. Enjoy your exposure to new and unfamiliar sounds =).
Jerry Douglas -- The Best Kept Secret
Jerry Douglas with Bill Frisell -- Lil' Roro
Jerry Douglas with Derek Trucks -- She Makes Me Want to Sing
Jerry Douglas with Sam Bush and Béla Fleck -- Who's Your Uncle
Jerry Douglas -- Ya Ya etc.
Wolfstone -- Zeto
Wolfstone -- Clueless
Wolfstone -- Gillies
The Chieftains -- Chase Around The Windmill
The Chieftains -- Boil The Breakfast Early
If you would like to ride along more of Southern California's world-renowned scenic driving roads, please like the video and leave an encouraging comment: I can always use more incentive to spend my days seeking out new ribbons of tarmac... Until next time, don't forget to enjoy the scenery.