Stan’s Obligatory Blog


On this day in history…

Filed under: — stan @ 7:52 pm

It was April 23, 1978. It was the Acton Road Race. I was excited, because they had separate races for categories 1 and 2. Usually in those days, 1 and 2 were combined, and if you were a Cat 2 like me, it meant that it was harder to place in the top ten. So the prospect of a separate Category 2 race was very nice. On the other hand, it was in the mountains, and there were some climbs on the course. I was generally pretty good at hills, but being from New Jersey, I wasn’t used to the size of the hills here.

The course was a nice 24-mile loop through the hills north of the Antelope Valley Freeway, about half-way from Los Angeles to Palmdale. The race was three laps, or 72 miles.

The course was very nice. The roads were smooth, and it was a perfect spring day. The pack was about 50-60 riders. I was hoping just to stay in the pack and finish with the group, since I’d had some bad experiences in the last two road races in the mountains.

The pack stayed together for the whole race. On the last lap, when we were going up the last big climb, I lost contact with the pack. I was feeling discouraged, and I was having trouble going up the hill. But then, about half-way up the hill, I suddenly started thinking:

“I am not going to let this happen again. I got dropped at Pyramid Lake. I got dropped at Bouquet Canyon. I am not getting dropped again!”

And suddenly, I was suffused with the strength of ten Grinches. I caught up with the pack at the crest of the hill. At that point, I was going so fast, that I ended up at the front. We crested the hill and went flying down the other side. We crossed the freeway and took the right turn that meant we were almost at the finish. I was so excited that I’d caught the pack that I was able to stay at the front all the way to the end. The finish was an uphill sprint, and I managed to reach the proper mental state of Zen Hulk-dom to do the sprint.

I came in 8th, which was pretty good, considering that I recovered from getting dropped. In fact, that was the only race I ever rode where I was able to catch the pack after being dropped. So overall, it was a remarkable and perfect day.

And sadly, as with most of my favorite racing stories, I have no pictures to go along with it. Just my own memories.

Dork Street

Filed under: — stan @ 12:45 pm

Last Monday, I saw an item on about a street in Pico Rivera named Dork St. Of course, my first thought was to look it up on the map and see if it was close enough to ride to. It turns out to be just below Whittier Narrows Dam, so I wrote to Gene and we made plans for a ride.

We met at Victory Park here in Pasadena and headed south. We went through San Gabriel, passing by the convalescent hospital where Curly Howard died. Then we turned south through Whittier Narrows and into Pico Rivera.

When we got to Dork St., I had to take some pictures. Sadly, my photo-op with the sign didn’t come out very well, so I guess we’ll have to go back again some time.

After that, we got on the San Gabriel River bike path and headed north. The path took a kind of strange route around and over the dam, but the rest of it was pretty much straight and slightly uphill. It was along here that Newton met up with us for the ride into Glendora. We also passed the big Irwindale gravel pit, which was also Fred Flintstone’s gravel pit.

Then we headed east and north into Glendora. In Old Town, we saw a store that apparently specializes in Beanie Babies. And I’d thought that Beanie Babies had peaked some years ago.

Next, it was time to see the Castle. Rubel’s Castle is something of a landmark in Glendora. Sadly, like all good castles, it was surrounded by a high wall, so we couldn’t see much. Still, it was interesting.

From there, we headed back by way of the San Gabriel River bike path, and then through Duarte, Monrovia, and Arcadia.

51 miles.


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