So after owning my MAZDASPEED3 for two weeks I decided it was time to give her a proper test drive. I headed up to Glendora Mountain Road, which is actually a 21 mile continuous section of two roads, Glendora Mountain Road and Glendora Ridge Road. If you have never been and plan on taking a drive there please be aware that this area is popular with many types of people including hikers, cyclists, and bikers, so please be very cautious, especially on busy days.
I began my trip at the base of the mountain on Glendora Mountain Road, which runs north out of Glendora for nine miles and climbs significantly in elevation. Within the first mile of entering the canyon I hit the first hairpin. This was the real beginning of the run. After this point I was met with around three straight miles of very tight, ascending hairpins. This section can be seen below on the southern part of the first photo.
I took the first few turns very gingerly, as I had only been behind the wheel of my baby for less than 2 weeks, and I am no stranger to powerful front wheel drive cars. Plus this section is steep, with no railing even on outside hairpins. Many of the turns in this section are very tight, below the power-band even in second gear. Because of this, exiting turns can be pretty scary. If the turbo spooled up and I still hadn’t completed my exit I was in for a shock; the torque steer was significant. The road ascends quickly in this section, and by the time I had reached third gear it was time to brake for the next turn-in.
After about three miles of this the road opens up a bit. The grade lessens, and it was in the next six miles or so where I really had the opportunity to stretch the cars legs. I spent most of my time in this section between third and fourth gears. The road is even, smooth, and well maintained. It was in this section that I fell in love with my car. The balance is amazing! Besides the torque steer I was thoroughly impressed with the car. The handling and grip are excellent.
After 9 miles you reach “the fork”. You can continue north and head into Azusa Canyon, but all the fun lies on the road east, towards Mt. Baldy. This is Glendora Ridge Road, and it runs for 12 miles, winding it’s way east. This section is not as well maintained but is equally entertaining. Speeds are slightly lower here. You’ll find yourself needing to downshift to second occasionally. The canyon walls in this section are made of shale and landslides are frequent. You will often see rocks in the road, especially after rain, so be careful!
Above: Map of Glendora Mountain Road. A marks the beginning of the run in Glendora. B marks the end at the fork.
Above: View of Glendora looking south on Glendora Mountain Road.
Above: Glendora Ridge Road. B marks the beginning of the run at the fork. A marks the end of the run in the town of Mt. Baldy.
Above: This photo of my brand new MAZDASPEED3 was taken just after the beginning of Glendora Ridge Road. Notice the undivided road in the background.