Stan’s Obligatory Blog

Happy Halloween

4/13/2008

Ridin’ bikes in the hot sun, I sought a rhyme then I saw one

Filed under: — stan @ 7:38 pm

Today was the infamous “Mountain Lion” ride. We did this ride back in November, so I thought it was time to go back and do it again. Of course, I hadn’t counted on it being an early-spring L.A. heat wave. So it was hot like summer, and we were dripping sweat on the climbs.

The ride goes up into La Cañada, La Crescenta, and Tujunga, going up and down the front face of the San Gabriel Mountains. There’s a fair bit of climbing, and some terrifying descents as well. The high point, both symbolic and literal, is the hill on Pineglen Road that we refer to as “Mountain Lion Hill”. There is a sign part-way up that warns us that mountain lions have been seen in the area. So we try to maintain a brisk pace through there, which can be difficult when you’re riding a bike up an 18% grade. I was expending maximum effort just to go 3mph. That’s why the picture of the sign is blurry. It’s hard to have a steady hand with the camera while riding up a hill like that. I even had to shift. I ended up in my next-to-lowest gear for the final steep pitch to the top.

Coming down into Tujunga, we were on somewhat more level ground. We passed the Viking House, and then continued on down to cross Foothill Blvd. That’s where I saw the Roe Zee Market, which I found amusing for some reason. Maybe it was just the heat.

We stopped for water at a little park in Tujunga, and then rode down Tujunga Canyon Road into Montrose. Our snack stop was at Oven Fresh bakery. I always get orange juice there, since it’s fresh-squeezed and very tasty. And it also means I get to watch the Zummo orange juice machine doing its little mechanical dance, cutting each orange in half and simultaneously squeezing both halves, while more oranges roll down the feeder track. It’s entertaining to watch. Especially when you’re dazed from riding up Mountain Lion Hill.

After the snack stop, I got some couches for the Abandoned Couches Blog. Then we headed straight for home across Pasadena. Don’s fancy bike computer said we’d done a total of 3,600 feet of climbing. It was a nice ride, even with the heat.

42 miles.
cycling

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