Stan’s Obligatory Blog

Happy Thanksgiving

3/26/2006

Around the world by gimpy bike

Filed under: — stan @ 9:02 pm

Route map and photo locations

Today’s ride went all over the world, and we were just riding around L.A.

The first part of the ride was down Huntington Drive and then across Ave 60 to Figueroa. Then we took Figueroa down to the river and into Riverside Dr. Then we went north a couple of miles to Alessandro St and took a left. That brought us to the first sightseeing stop of the day. The Fargo Street Hill Climb.

Fargo Street is reputed to be the steepest street in Los Angeles. In fact, it’s the steepest street I’ve ever seen anywhere. It’s funny, but in real life it looks about twice as steep as it does in the picture. I don’t know why that is. I tried to ride it last year but was defeated. This time I didn’t try. I’d pulled a muscle last week fighting with a stuck gas pipe fitting, and I didn’t think it wise to risk aggravating that further by trying to ride up a 33% grade.

Still, it was an entertaining thing to watch. And while we were there, I ran into an old friend who I know from somewhere else entirely. Lisa is someone I know from tattoo conventions, but it turns out that she has bike-riding friends, and she now lives just a few blocks from Fargo St. So I got to visit with her for a bit, which was fun, even if it was one of those ‘when worlds collide’ kind of things.

Leaving Fargo St, we headed south on Glendale Blvd, and then go on Sunset to head into downtown. At Broadway we passed the dragons that mark the gateway to Chinatown. Then we took a left on Alameda and passed Union Station. At Ord St we took another left and I once again heard that unmistakable “PANG!” sound that meant I’d broken another spoke. My bike went gimpy again, but I was able to make it the last couple blocks into Chinatown. After my experience last week, I had put a spoke wrench in my bag, so I was able to get the wheel straight enough to limp the rest of the ride.

In Chinatown we stopped at a bakery, right by the statue of Sun Yat-sen. Gene was looking around and he pointed out the sign for “Ooga Booga” around the corner. That was definitely worth a photo.

Leaving Chinatown, we went up Main to Daly and then turned south. The street turned into Marengo when we passed Mission and the L.A. County Coroner’s Office. I always say that Los Angeles is a unique place. How many cities have a gift shop at the Coroner?

Heading into East L.A., we came to the Evergreen Cemetery, and then the excavation next to it where they discovered the bones of 108 Chinese who had been buried in a potter’s field dating from the 1800s.

Continuing on, we went deeper into East Los Angeles. Newton is from El Salvador, and he remarked that the houses looked just like the ones he remembered from back home.

Coming out on Whittier Blvd, we came to the Home of Peace cemetery. We went in the gate and followed the streets back to Curly Howard’s grave.

The last part of the ride was north a bit to get to 3rd St, which we took east until it turned into Pomona Ave and then Potrero Grande. We took a left on Del Mar, which brought us all the way back up to San Marino. Then we got on Sierra Madre Blvd and then Altadena Dr for the last bit home.

It was a fun ride.

43 miles.
cycling

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