Stan’s Obligatory Blog

Happy Halloween

4/21/2007

Santa Monica

Filed under: — stan @ 11:25 pm

Today I went along with Gene and Sandy for their ride to Santa Monica. They do this ride when the regular Saturday club ride is a route they don’t like. This is a pretty substantial ride from Pasadena, and it’s been many years since I’ve ridden my bike by the ocean, so I thought it would be a treat.

I met Gene at Victory Park and we rode out to meet Sandy by the Colorado Bridge. Then we all headed west on Colorado, down the hill into Eagle Rock. That was where we saw the “LA TRAMP” license plate. We have no idea what it means, but it was amusing.

Heading down Eagle Rock Blvd, I picked up the day’s first abandoned couch. Then we headed down Fletcher and over the river and into Silver Lake.

Coming down the hill in Silver Lake, I went slowly, since I wanted to find the Materials and Applications office/gallery. We’d missed it a few months ago when we were trying to see the “Bubbles” exhibit in their courtyard. The current courtyard exhibit is an igloo made of bamboo and industrial felt.

We took 1st St across Koreatown. That was where I saw the second abandoned couch. Then we rode through Hancock Park and Larchmont Village, which was very pleasant.

After Larchmont, we had to get past the big L.A. Country Club, which meant riding on 3rd St, which is generally No Fun. But it’s the one of the only streets that goes through there. So we took it all the way to Beverly Hills. Then we rode across Beverly Hills to Century City and got on Santa Monica Blvd. This used to be an absolutely wretched street to ride on, but they’ve fixed it up with new pavement and a bike lane. So it was all right. We rode that all the way past the 405 freeway.

Just before turning off Santa Monica Blvd, we saw a giant shoe in the road. It was the Quality Shoes car. Then we headed north to get to San Vicente, which we rode all the way to the ocean.

After looking briefly at the ocean, we headed back up Montana Ave to get to the City Bakery, where we stopped for a snack. When we were getting ready to leave, I asked Gene to take my picture, since I’m never in the pictures from my bike rides. I was pointing up to the sky to show how the light was perfect, and he took the picture.

The way back was up and over the Sepulveda Pass and down into the Valley. There is a tunnel at the top where we had to push a button to turn on the flashing ‘Bikes in the Tunnel’ light. This is presumably so the cars will be at least aware of our presence. I don’t know if it actually works, but we made it through the tunnel in one piece, so it can’t be all bad.

After a nice bracing downhill run, we turned off on Valley Vista. That was where we saw the house with the little reindeer sculptures in front. If you want to see them, the sign with the address is in the photo.

Most of the ride across the Valley was on Moorpark, where we saw two more abandoned couches: 1 2

We rode past Forest Lawn and the burned hillside from the big brushfire a few weeks ago. Then we rode through part of Griffith Park and got on the L.A. River bike path to go down to Fletcher for the ride back up into Eagle Rock.

In Eagle Rock, we were amused by the manhole cover at Eagle Rock and York. It said: “CITY OF L.A.” and “MADE IN MEXICO”, which in many ways sums up the Los Angeles experience. This is not a bad thing. It’s just part of the culture here.

Finally, we made it back to Pasadena. It was a very pleasant ride.

73 miles.
cycling

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