Stan’s Obligatory Blog

Happy Halloween

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8/6/2005

Carbon Canyon

Filed under: — stan @ 4:14 pm

Route map and links to the photos

Back in my racing days at Claremont, Carbon Canyon was one of my favorite rides. From Claremont, it was a 42 mile loop with a nice hill on the Chino side of the canyon. So for old times’ sake, I wanted to do it again. I made up a route from Pasadena and Gene and I went and did it today.

We started out going east and south through Temple City and Azusa, and then went south through Covina. We passed by the spot where I got a flat tire last Sunday. Then we turned on Grand Ave to head south through Diamond Bar to Chino Hills. Now it turns out that Chino Hills is called that for a reason. Who knew? There were three big hills we had to go over to get to Carbon Canyon. At Valley Blvd they were doing construction, so it was bit of a challenge to get through. When we crossed the line into Chino Hills, I thought we were on Mars. Or at least the place where JPL tests its Mars Rovers. It was quite bleak-looking. We stopped at a park for some water, since it was already hot, and I’d finished all the water I started with.

Finally, we got to Carbon Canyon Road. The hill was nice, just like I remembered it. We rode up to the crest. At the top, we stopped for a minute to marvel at one apparently paranoid homeowner’s sign and take in the view.

When we started down, I saw what looked very much like a rattlesnake on the side of the road. I’d never seen a rattlesnake outside of the reptile house at the L.A. Zoo, so I doubled back to take a picture. It wasn’t moving, but it wasn’t obviously run over, so it may have been alive. I don’t know, and I didn’t poke it with a stick to find out.

Continuing down the canyon, we passed The Party House. Then we crossed the county line into The O.C. Coming back out into civilization in Brea, we saw two girls on horseback and oil wells.

After a quick ride through Brea, we turned on to Brea Canyon Road to start back. We stopped at an oil company and looked at the historical marker where Gaspar de Portolà camped in 1769. We also saw some oil derricks up on the canyon walls. We continued on through the canyon.

We climbed up out of the canyon and back into West Covina. We stopped again at another park to refill our water bottles with tepid water from a fountain. Then we got on Amar Road.

At Amar and Hacienda, we stopped at The Donut Hole. This is the big drive-through (or ride through) donut shop. I got one chocolate-frosted raised donut in honor of the occasion. Then we stopped at a 7-11 so Gene could get a drink and we could put ice in our water bottles.

Heading north from there, we stopped off in Baldwin Park we saw a Metrolink track inspection truck, and also the archway with the somewhat controversial writing on it.

Then, we continued on up to Lower Azusa Road and over the El Monte Ave and its nice big bike lane.

We stopped one more time in Arcadia to get water at the high school. Then we rode the last bit back home. It was a very nice ride.

75 miles
cycling

8/5/2005

More adventures of the accidental bachelor

Filed under: — stan @ 8:20 pm

While most men in my position would playing poker or watching football, I went for another bike ride after work today. Vikki and Matt at my office are both triathlon enthusiasts, and they told me about an informal practice time trial on Friday evenings at the Rose Bowl.

When I first got down to the Rose Bowl, there was a nice big thunderhead over the mountains. It was pretty impressive, so I took a picture of it. Then I rode around a bit and did some sightseeing. There was some filming going on underneath the Colorado St. bridge. The thing that caught my eye was the big fan. I guess they were filming something that was supposed to be happening on a windy day.

Heading back to the Rose Bowl, I found Matt, and we rode around for a bit. I was telling him that I felt a lot of resistance to doing the time trial, and I finally realized that I was just feeling embarassed about how slow I was going to be. And even if I wasn’t slow, there is basically no chance that I could go as fast as I did back in my racing days. So no matter what, I was going to be disappointed. Such are the trials of aging former athletes.

So we finally did it. We did four laps around the Rose Bowl, which my bike computer said was 12.3 miles. It took me 37 minutes to do this, which works out to 19.95 miles per hour. On the face of it, that seems pathetic. I once did a 10 mile time trial in 23:19, which is 25.73 miles per hour. At that pace, this would have taken me only 28:41. But that was in 1978. Oh well. Anyway, once I got over feeling sheepish about the whole thing, it was actually pretty fun.

39 miles
cycling

8/4/2005

More adventures of the reluctant bachelor

Filed under: — stan @ 10:17 pm

Route map and photo locations

I went for another ride today after work. This time I went west to the Rose Bowl. There is a big semi-organized group ride there every Tuesday and Thursday. It’s sort of a practice race, and it’s quite the sort of thing I would have done back in my racing days. But I’m no longer young, strong, and fearless, so I’m not interested in doing it any more. When we first moved to Pasadena in 1995, I did it a few times just to see what it felt like to be riding fast in a racing pack again, but after some guy who didn’t know what he was doing knocked me down and sent me to the hospital, I decided not to do it again.

I rode down to the Rose Bowl on Orange Grove, passing the Pasadena Fish Market. “U Buy, We Fry”. When I got there, I did one lap around the Bowl. Then I went up the little hill to Linda Vista and took that up to the bridge over the freeway below JPL. Then I took Woodbury Rd. back across Pasadena. That was where I passed the “Apartments for Rent” sign. Nothing says “home” like concertina wire.

16 miles
cycling

8/3/2005

Adventures of the reluctant bachelor

Filed under: — stan @ 9:18 pm

Route map and photo locations

Cathy and Lucinda went on a trip to visit Cathy’s friends in Austin, Texas. Being that I hate Texas, I elected not to go along. So I’m at home playing bachelor for a week.

After work, I went for a bike ride. I went out through Sierra Madre to Arcadia. Right near Santa Anita racetrack I snapped a picture of the oddly named “Analist Turf” sign. Perhaps it’s just me, but I think they really meant ‘Analyst’. The way they spelled it, it sounds more like an XRCO award category.

While I was taking the picture of the sign, a Boom Car pulled up the light, so I got serenaded by a very loud “Boomp Ba-Boomp! Boomp Boomp Ba-Boomp!” It was a catchy riff, so I ended up humming it for a good bit of the rest of the ride.

Continuing east through Monrovia, I got on the bike path along Royal Oaks. That was where I saw the ‘nun crossing‘ sign. I’ve been by there many times before, but this was the first time I noticed that sign, so I had to take a picture.

At the end of the bike path in Duarte, I turned around and headed back. I was heading into the setting sun, which made me feel like I was back in New York, racing at Kissena Velodrome. The back stretch of that track faced directly into setting sun, and it was my favorite place to attack. Sort of like the old WWI flying ace trick of diving out of the sun.

The last part of the ride was through the Monrovia foothills to get back to Arcadia and Sierra Madre Blvd. Then it was (mostly) downhill all the way home.

22 miles
cycling

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