Stan’s Obligatory Blog


A Sunday bike ride and some racing nostalgia

Filed under: — stan @ 3:44 pm

Today’s ride was just over to Glendale to see the Turkey Trot cyclocross race. I had suggested this to Gene a few weeks ago because I thought I might see Jonathan Livesay there. I used to race on the east coast back in the late ’70s, and Jonathan was one of the good racers in New York at the time. We didn’t really know each other then, but we were in lots of breakaways together at the Tuesday and Thursday evening races at Westbury on Long Island. Also, my mom was friends with his girlfriend’s mom, and our two moms would bring their bikes out to the races and just ride around the campus there and talk about mom stuff. So I thought it was quite remarkable that Jonathan is not only living near here now, but is still racing and doing quite well at it.

We started out heading west across Pasadena. Then we turned and went up through La Cañada, passing Descanso Gardens. Then we went down Hospital Hill and into Montrose. We rode around through there, up and down the hills a bit before coming down a very steep hill and arriving at Verdugo Park on Cañada Blvd.

When we got there, the Masters 50+ race was almost over. Jonathan was there, and he won the race with a commanding lead of at least a minute over the next rider. It was impressive. When he went by, I immediately recognized his ‘race face’. I’d seen it many times before, and even though it’s been 25 years, he still had the same look of concentration.

After the race I went and found him. He didn’t remember me, which wasn’t all that surprising, since it’s been so long and I only raced for about five years. Still, we talked about the old days there and some of the ‘cast of characters’ who used to race around New York in those days. It was fun.

Continuing on from the park, we rode a bit through Glendale to a bakery in Kenneth Village. We had pastries and such. I had a chocolate eclair, which was quite good.

After the snack stop, we continued on a bit and then got on Glenoaks Blvd to come back. We took Glenoaks all the way to Chevy Chase, climbing up and over a small, but steep hill at the end. Then we had the long climb up Chevy Chase.

The route was to go up Chevy Chase to Figueroa, but Gene decided to take a ’shortcut’ up Linda Vista. I put quotes around ’shortcut’, since it’s not like it was substantially easier. We still had to climb the same hill. At the top, we regrouped and then headed down Lida towards the Rose Bowl. When we got to the bottom, someone said, “Hey, what happened to Scott?” So Gene and I headed back up the hill to look for him.

At the top of the hill, there was still no sign of Scott. So I volunteered to go down the other side to look for him. I rode all the way back down to the last place we’d seen him. But he had vanished. So I figured he must have taken a different way back. So I started for home, which involved riding back up and over the hill that I’d ridden over twice already.

When I got back down on the Pasadena side, a truck pulled up next to me. It was Scott. He said that he’d taken a wrong turn, so he just rode back to the park where we started. So the mystery was solved, and I’d gotten to ride up two extra hills in the deal. Yay.

From the bottom of the hill, I rode around the south end of the Rose Bowl and then back across Pasadena to home.

47 miles.

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