Stan’s Obligatory Blog


Noodling – 8

Filed under: — stan @ 7:14 pm

Today’s bike ride was an unusual one. Gene has made up a series of “Noodling” routes for the Sunday morning rides, and today I went along on a test-ride of #8 in the series. This one went up through La Cañada, La Crescenta, and Tujunga.

We started out from Victory Park in Pasadena and headed north into Altadena. We passed the Zane Grey estate along the way. Then we rode into La Cañada.

Heading up Crown Ave, we were passed by several L.A. County fire trucks, so we rode a bit farther up the hill to see if we could see the fire. But there was nothing obvious, so we just continued on. We rode across La Cañada on Journey’s End Drive, which seemed like an odd name for a street. Then we went down to Foothill Blvd to cross over into La Crescenta.

The ride up Briggs was pretty grueling. It’s a long, straight street that goes right up the hill. At the top, we turned left and rode over to Rosemont and then up Pinecrest. This was yet another steep and long hill. And to top it off, near the top was a warning sign about mountain lion sightings in the area. We attempted to maintain a brisk pace, but it was hard to do on the 15% grade.

Pinecrest ended at Pine Cone Road, which we took back down the hill. It’s something like a 20-25% grade, which makes for an exciting downhill ride. This is the road that figures prominently in the first story in “Los Angeles Against the Mountains” in John McPhee’s book, The Control of Nature.

Coming back down the hill, we headed north into Tujunga. Since this is part of the City of Los Angeles, the road immediately became more rough and wretched. But we did see a mailbox with hot-rod flames and a very amusing house that looked like something the Vikings might have built.

Crossing Foothill Blvd, we headed down the hill some more. I saw a couch on the side of the road. This one looked like its former owner really like the right-hand end of the couch. It looked like Homer Simpson’s “ass groove”.

The street we’d planned on taking turned out to be an unpaved road, so we ended up having to improvise a different route. It worked out all right, and I even found another hot-rod mailbox along the way. We finally came out on Tujunga Canyon Road, where we turned right and coasted down the long downhill back into La Crescenta.

We didn’t stop at the bakery, since this was just a test ride. Instead, we just continued on towards home. Then I got a flat. The hole in the tube looked like a big thorn or something like that. I patched it and pumped it up. I gave the camera to Gene to take the picture, but it didn’t turn out, so I have no official record of this flat tire.

Finally, when we got back into Pasadena, we saw the roadside vendor selling bonsai trees at “STUPID PRICES”.

It was a fun little ride.

42 miles.

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