Stan’s Obligatory Blog


2013 Year-end Wrap-up

Filed under: — stan @ 6:47 pm

It’s the end of the year, and time for my annual wrap-up of the year’s adventures. And yes, being old-fashioned, I still print copies of this and mail them tucked inside physical cards. My personal rule is that the letter must fit on one side of one sheet of paper. So here it is, complete with links:


It’s Still a Wonderful Ride

Filed under: — stan @ 6:11 pm

Yes, it’s the Sunday before Christmas, so it was time once again for the “It’s a Wonderful Life” ride. This one is a bit shorter than what we usually do, but it has some sightseeing.

First stop was at Forest Lawn in Glendale. Jimmy Stewart is buried high up on the hill there, and we stopped to pay our respects. Then it was onward to our snack stop at Paradise Bakery. They apparently just had a fire in the upstairs area above the regular bakery shop, so they were running everything out of their small annex next door.

After that, we rode up the hill into La Cañada to see the Martini House. There are only a couple of scenes in the movie that were not filmed at the old studio backlot in Encino. And the Martini House in Bailey Park scene was one of them. The house still looks the same. Last year, I got some screenshots from the movie to compare. You can see them in last year’s writeup.

By the end, it had turned into a very nice day for riding.

37 miles.


The Relatively Flat Ride

Filed under: — stan @ 6:00 pm

I didn’t have any major inspiration for a destination for this Sunday’s bike ride, so I got out the ‘Relatively Flat Ride’ that I made up some years ago. It’s 43 miles of the flattest roads I could find around here. There are a few hills along the way, but only when they’re completely unavoidable.

There was some sort of lowrider car group meeting in the park when we were leaving. That was an odd sight. And somewhere out in West Covina, we passed the house that has the two giant candy canes on it every year. But it’s been some years since they put up the basketball-sized ornaments in the tree next to the house.

We passed the Huy Fong Foods factory in Irwindale. They are having some trouble with the neighbors, who say that making their sriracha hot sauce is causing problems for them. They’re fighting back with a small banner in front of the factory while the whole thing goes to court.

We stopped at Merengue in Monrovia. That’s where I saw the bear statue with the sign saying he was an official Old Town Monrovia guide.

All told, it was a pleasant ride.

43 miles.


Hey – check out the view from up here…

Filed under: — stan @ 2:32 pm

Today’s bike club ride was the old “Glendale Vistas” route. This is a ride that doesn’t go anywhere in particular, but in the process of doing that, it goes up some seriously steep hills. This is the route where I broke my cassette back in 2007.

It was pretty chilly today, so we had to wear lots of layers, and even then it was cold. On the way across Glendale, we discovered a new way to cross the freeway on a pedestrian bridge. That was kind of novel, and along with a few other such bridges on other routes, it got us thinking about a possibly theme ride centered around The (Pedestrian) Bridges of Los Angeles County. Hmm. Have to think about that one some more.

Adding to the tribulations, when we got to Paradise Bakery, they had no chocolate eclairs. That’s the one thing they make that it truly outstanding, and I’d been looking forward to it.

After the snack stop, it warmed up a bit got a little less cold. And then it was time to climb the hills. At the highest point of the ride, we get a nice view of downtown Los Angeles in the distance. And I had to stop and once again point out the building that I climbed 101 times this year.

On the way home, it started to get colder again. So we cut off a little bit of the route to go home by a more direct way. Still, it wasn’t a bad ride.

39 miles.

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