Stan’s Obligatory Blog



Filed under: — stan @ 10:16 pm

Today’s bike ride was my old ‘Lake Hollywood’ route. Gene convinced the club to do it as a regular Saturday ride. So I had to go along, if for no other reason than to see the looks on everyone’s faces when they saw the hill up to the Hollywood Sign.

It was a sunny day. A bit chilly by SoCal standards, but nice.

We started out from Victory Park in Pasadena and headed west. On Yosemite Dr in Eagle Rock, we had to stop because Sandy got a flat. I whipped out my camera and took a picture for the Flat Tire Gallery. Then we continued on down to the L.A. River and across into Los Feliz and Silver Lake.

The Shakespeare Bridge was decorated for the holidays. Then from there we rode Franklin Ave across Hollywood. At Beachwood, we turned right and headed up the hill. This is the street that goes almost directly up toward the Hollywood sign. We rode up to the stone gate that marks the entrance to the old Hollywoodland development, and then we turned left on Belden Dr. At this point I told everyone, “You may or may not spot any celebrities around here, but by the time you get to the top of this hill you’ll be seeing stars.”

Belden Dr climbs up the west side of Beachwood Canyon, and it’s pretty steep in places. Probably around 15% or so. Then we turned on Flagmoor and it got even steeper. When we crested the hill we were all panting with the exertion. Somehow, I managed to make the hill without having to shift out of my Stupid Gear that I usually ride up hills. It’s a 39×17, and I stubbornly insist that it’s a fine hillclimbing gear.

Passing Wolf’s Lair Castle at the top of the hill, we rode up to Mulholland Dr. We stopped there to regroup, and I took the little side trip up Mulholland to just below the Hollywood Sign. Then we all headed down the hill, past Lake Hollywood, and then up one more groaner of a hill to get to Wonder View. I took out my camera to get a picture of the view of the Hollywood Reservoir and downtown Los Angeles. Then we headed down the hill into Burbank.

The snack stop was at Priscilla’s in Toluca Lake. I had the requisite bagel and orange juice. Then we headed back by way of Griffith Park and into Glendale. I snapped a couple of pictures as we passed by the Dreamworks offices. Then we took Glenoaks across all the way to Chevy Chase, including the short but steep hill at the end.

Turning left on Chevy Chase, we headed up the hill. We went right on Linda Vista and up to the crest of the hill. That was where Figueroa St crosses, and I noticed that the sign was misspelled. It said ‘Figueora’. Heh.

We rode down Lida into Pasadena, riding around the Rose Bowl and stopping to peek into the big tent where the are building the floats for next week’s parade. Then we took Orange Grove back to the park.

It was a very pleasant ride.

43 miles.

My old hunting dog

Filed under: — stan @ 12:12 am

This is the story of the resurrection of my old racing bike. The frame broke from metal fatigue about two years ago. When it broke, it was like losing my old hunting dog. I wanted to get it fixed because this bike and I have a great history together.

I rode this bike for 29 years. I made Category 2 on it. I rode up Mt Washington on it. I even rode it through Death Valley. And I was on it for my greatest ride ever.

So here is the story of my old bike.

Back in 1977, I was a USCF Junior racer, and I rode with the North Jersey Bicycle Club. We had the good fortune to be coached for a year by Eddie Borysewicz. He had just moved to the U.S. the previous fall after coaching the Polish Olympic team in the ‘76 Montreal Olympics. He was missing being involved in bike racing, so he asked a local bike shop where he could find a racing club, and he showed up at one of our meetings. He agreed to coach us for a year to get back into it, and it was a great experience for all of us.

In our early-season training camps, he noticed that I was sitting kind of strangely on my bike. He decided that because of my build, I should have a frame with a special geometry, and he sketched it out for our club’s framebuilder. At the time, most of the riders in our club rode frames built by Pepe Limongi, but I couldn’t afford his work. But he had an understudy who was learning framebuilding, and he fit my budget. His name was Cuevas, and he later went on to great acclaim as a framebuilder.

So I wanted to get my bike fixed. After some searching, I found Bill Rider, who is a framebuilder here in the L.A. area. I contacted him and inquired about fixing my frame. He said that he could do it, and he came and picked it up. The first photo shows the frame after I stripped it down. The second shows a closeup of the fatigue crack. Bill had to replace both the top and down tubes. The top tube was pitted with rust. The last photo shows the bike after I reassembled it. We tried to duplicate the original color. Overall, he did a very nice job.

So now I can ride Old School again.

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