Stan’s Obligatory Blog


Big ideas that just never caught on

Filed under: — stan @ 1:45 pm

Today’s bike club ride was an architecture tour of sorts. The L.A. Times had an article last week about Wallace Neff and his ‘bubble houses’. This was an idea for a way to build circular dome buildings quickly and cheaply. The article said that a lot of bubble houses were built in the 1940s and ’50s, but that only one still exists today, and that one is on Los Robles Ave in Pasadena. This got me thinking about a theme for the ride, and I thought of another sort of round house: the geodesic dome. This was another big idea that just never really caught on. And I also knew where there is a dome home, just below the Hollywood sign in Hollywoodland. So, armed with a theme, I made up a route.

We rode out across Eagle Rock and then over the L.A. river into Silver Lake and Hollywood. Then we turned up Beachwood Canyon and the fun started. The road up the ridge on the side of the canyon is very steep and winding. I tell everyone that I guarantee they’ll be seeing stars by the time they get to the top.

After a brief rest and regroup, we rode along the ridge to the geodesic dome home. We looked at it a bit before continuing on to the Hollywood sign. Since we worked so hard to get up there, we figured we should go see it while we’re there. Then it was down the other side to Lake Hollywood, and the other steep hill to get over into Burbank.

We stopped for snacks at Priscilla’s, and then headed back down the L.A. river bike path. The route back took us through Highland Park and South Pasadena until we got to the bubble house on Los Robles Ave. It’s an odd-looking thing, but it’s a little bit of history, so it was interesting to see.

It was a nice day, and all together a nice ride.

47 miles.

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