Stan’s Obligatory Blog

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Toluca Lake on a Saturday morning

Filed under: — stan @ 8:12 pm

Route map

Today I did the Foothill Cycle Saturday ride, which was Gene’s old familiar Toluca Lake route. We started out from Victory Park in Pasadena. One of the guys who drove to the park had a funny bumper sticker on his truck with a different take on the classic ‘Ascent of Man‘ illustration.

Leaving the park, we passed an abandoned couch on Hill Ave, and I collected it for the Abandoned Couches Blog.

We rode across Eagle Rock and Glendale, and then through the L.A. Equestrian Center to get to Priscilla’s in Toluca Lake. We stopped there for snacks. While we were there, we saw the tallest dog any of us had ever seen.

After the snack stop, we headed back through Griffith Park and then down the L.A. River bike path. We got off at Fletcher and headed up through Atwater Village. That was where we saw the art-project van. We’ve seen this van before on another ride. I stopped for a picture, and then, when we were about to leave, Don got a flat. So I took the obligatory picture for the Flat Tire Gallery. Fixing the flat turned out to be an ordeal. He put in a new tube, but then when he used the little CO2 cartridge to inflate it, the tire blew off the rim. So Doug gave him a new tube and this time he used my pump to inflate it. But just as he got it up to pressure, the valve snapped. By this time, I’d found the hole in his original tube, so we patched it, and this time I did the pumping. I carefully pumped it up and this time it held, and then we were back on the road.

Right after the flat stop, we passed a second abandoned couch. Then we headed up Eagle Rock Blvd to El Paso and Ave 50. Then across the arroyo to Monterey Road, which took us across South Pasadena and San Marino. Then we went up Sierra Madre Blvd back to the park.

It was a very nice ride.

41 miles.


Arcadia for lunch

Filed under: — stan @ 7:54 pm

Route map

Today’s lunchtime ride was the usual route through Arcadia. It’s summer now, and it’s starting to get hot here. But it’s still nice for riding.

I rode my restored 1977 racing bike today. It’s nice to get out and ride ‘old-school’ once in a while. I had Vikki take my picture, since it’s rare for me to actually be in any of my bike-riding pictures.

19 miles at lunch, 27 for the day.


B is for Bagel

Filed under: — stan @ 7:42 pm

Route map

Today’s ride is a new version of an old route. Gene said he added a little more mileage because the last time we did it I had complained that it was too short. Heh.

It was a perfect day for riding. We headed out from Victory Park and out to Duarte. Ben had his “South Park” jersey on, with the big “you guys SUCK” on it. I thought that was pretty funny.

We took the San Gabriel River bike path up to the mouth of San Gabriel Canyon. Then we went south into Azusa. That was where we came to the railroad crossing just as the arms came down. I thought a train was coming, so I got my camera out. But it was just a track-inspection truck. Since I had the camera out, I took a picture of it anyway.

Heading back west, we crossed the San Gabriel River and then turned north. We did the little detour into Arcadia before turning east again, crossing back into Monrovia for our snack stop at Planet Cookies. The last time we were here, there was a crime scene investigation going on in front. This time there was no such excitement, which was fine with us.

After the snack stop, we took a fairly direct route home. When we got back to the park, I had 42 miles, so I rode around a little bit more just to get 50.

50 miles.


Strawberry Peak

Filed under: — stan @ 7:44 pm

Today we went up to the San Gabriel Mountains to do another hike. Since Lucinda did so well on Echo Mountain, we decided to try Strawberry Peak.

We headed up to La Cañada to the Angeles Crest Highway. We got our day pass for the forest there and then drove up the mountain. Near the top, we saw a plume of smoke ahead. We’re having an early fire season here this year, due to the dry winter, and our first thought was that it was a brush fire. But when we got there, we were greeted by a scene straight out of “The Road Warrior” The Angeles Crest is a favorite road for people to ride ‘crotch rocket‘ motorcycles. It looked like two of them had met head-on in the turn there. Both bikes were lying in the middle of the road, one of them on fire. Both riders were lying a short distance away. One was moving slightly, so he was still alive. The second was still. People were there directing traffic, and they said help was on the way. And people have asked me why I don’t ride a motorcycle. Heh.

The hike up was pleasant enough, aside from Lucinda wanting to stop and drink water every 100 feet. It was a hot day, and the creek in Colby Canyon was completely dry. We hiked up to Josephine Saddle, where we sat in the shade of the water tank for a bit before heading up the peak.

The final climb up the peak is the highlight of this hike, since it includes some interesting rock climbing. Lucinda liked it, but she also was a little scared by some of it. She’s been on climbing walls before, but this was a real mountain with no ropes or safety harness.

We climbed to the top of the rocky portion just below the peak. At that point, Lucinda wanted to go home, so we turned around and headed down. It’s more important to us that she come away from the experience with a good memory than it is to actually reach the top of the mountain.

On the way down, Lucinda drank the last of the water, and we vowed to bring more along the next time. She also had to be carried for a bit. I hurt my back the last time I carried her, so Cathy had to do it this time. Still, we had a nice time.

I’ve thought this a lot recently, too…

Filed under: — stan @ 7:04 pm

I saw this in the parking lot at the grocery store in our neighborhood.


Lida Loop again

Filed under: — stan @ 5:48 pm

Route map

Today’s lunchtime ride was the Lida Loop yet again. It was a pleasantly warm day, and pretty much perfect for riding.

There wasn’t anything remarkable about today’s ride, since we didn’t see anything particularly amusing. The only incident of note was when I got a flat on the way up the hill on Lida. I sat down in the shade of a tree to fix it, and Vikki took the camera to get the obligatory picture for the Flat Tire Gallery.

Also, Vikki had a very attractive new riding outfit, so I thought I’d get a few pictures of that.

18 miles at lunch, 26 for the day.


Glendale Race

Filed under: — stan @ 9:54 pm

Today’s ride was out to Glendale to see the Bicycle John’s race there. We’ve gone to see this race before, but this time, both Philippe and Vikki were going to be racing.

We left Victory Park in Pasadena and headed out to Glendale by the usual direct route across Eagle Rock. When we got there, we were quite early, so we continued on to Priscilla’s for our snack stop. I took a little detour to see the mailbox in Burbank that is decorated to look like R2D2.

After the snack stop, we headed back to the race, arriving in the middle of the Category 5 race with Philippe. He was staying right in the middle of the pack, so that was good. The pack stayed together to the finish, and Philippe got second place in the field sprint. We were all very excited to see that. He did well.

Vikki’s race was next, and we watched the beginning of it before we had to head out for the ride home. I spoke to her later and found out that she didn’t have such a good race. She was involved in a big crash in one of the turns. She got up and finished the race, but it wasn’t a podium day for her.

Leaving the race, we rode down San Fernando Road to Fletcher and then took our usual route home up Eagle Rock Blvd and El Paso Dr. That was where I saw a pile of trash that had a couch underneath it. I stopped for a picture for the Abandoned Couches Blog.

We rode home across South Pasadena and San Marino, and then up Sierra Madre Blvd back to the park. At that point, I had 40 miles, so I did a little apres ride back across Pasadena on Orange Grove to get a picture of the couches we’d passed on the way out in the morning. Then I rode up past the Rose Bowl and back home on Mendocino across Pasadena.

It was a fun ride, and it was nice to see Philippe place in the race.

52 miles.


Water tower ride

Filed under: — stan @ 10:22 pm

Route map

Today I went riding with Eric at lunchtime. We did a slightly shortened version of the Water Tower ride. We skipped the ride around the Rose Bowl because I forgot that this route included that. Besides, we were a little behind schedule because I got a flat on the way up Patrician Way. But aside from that, it was a very nice ride.

15 miles at lunch, 25 for the day.


Believe it, or not!

Filed under: — stan @ 8:33 pm

Today we took Lucinda to the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not museum in Hollywood. She’s been wanting to go there for several years now, ever since she saw the building with the T-Rex head sticking out of the roof on Hollywood Boulevard.

The museum itself is perfectly located. It’s in the middle of the tourist-trap section of Hollywood Blvd, right down the street from the Chinese Theater, and diagonally across from Hollywood and Highland. Inside, it’s a weird collection of stuff. Some of it old, some of it morbid, some of just plain weird. Pictured here is the vampire killing kit, the two-headed baby skeleton, and the most unbelievable of all, an original press kit from “Mr. Ed“.

Like I said, it’s a weird collection of stuff. But it made for a fun afternoon. Now, if only the Museum of Death would re-open…


Queen Mary 2007

Filed under: — stan @ 11:35 pm

After my nice 50-mile bike ride this morning, I headed down to Long Beach to the Queen Mary for the Ink and Iron Festival there. This is the fourth year they’ve had this tattoo show, and it’s grown quite a bit in that time. It’s grown into a big tattoo and hot rod show with bands and gone from just the hall inside the ship to taking over most of the area outside the ship, too.

I got there about 2:30 or so and went in. It was already crowded. I have a whole circle of friends that I see only at these events, so I just wandered aimlessly, knowing it was only a matter of time before I saw someone I know. And it wasn’t long. In fact, I wasn’t even inside the ship before I found someone I know. And the rest of the day was like that. It was great fun.

Highlights included the girl with the full-head tattoo getting her head shaved at the barber shop. Also, watching my friend get a Samoan-style hand-tapped tattoo. I also found another old friend who I haven’t seen in several years. She had some personal turmoil and had dropped out of the scene for a while. It was good to see her back again.

There were a lot of nice tattoos there, but my personal favorite of the day was the one pictured here. The color and shading on it were really quite nice.

And all the pictures from the day are in my tattoo convention photo album.

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