Stan’s Obligatory Blog

Happy Thanksgiving

12/31/2017

Rose Parade Preview

Filed under: — stan @ 1:18 pm

Today’s bike club ride was a ride to Griffith Park, with the plan of making a loop and finishing the ride by riding down the length of the Rose Parade route in Pasadena. It’s New Year’s Eve, and people start camping out on Colorado Blvd early in the morning.

We started out by heading up through La Cañada, so we started out with almost eight miles uphill, followed by another seven or so miles downhill. Then, when we got to Griffith Park, we rode up and over another hill there. Then we headed down the L.A. River bike path to our snack stop at Spoke.

When we got back into Pasadena, we saw that the parade preparations were coming right along. There were people set up along the whole five+ miles of the parade route, even though the parade doesn’t start for something like 20 hours. The way the stores are boarded up, it looks like a hurricane is coming. We rode all the way to the end of the route, which is right around the corner from the park where we start.

40 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

12/24/2017

Christmas Eve Ride

Filed under: — stan @ 1:22 pm

Today’s ride was one we did a bit over a year ago, so it seemed like time to go again. And it’s a nice, flat route for the day before Christmas.

We rode straight south all the way to Downey. We stopped there for a few minutes at the oldest operating McDonald’s, and then continued on to the Wall of (Un)-Fame at the Metro Green Line station at the 105 freeway. Then we headed back north into Downey to 3rd Street Coffee. After some snacks and drinks, it was back up the Rio Hondo bike trail and home by way of Arcadia.

47 miles.

Route map and elevation profile


12/17/2017

Math Lab!

Filed under: — stan @ 4:47 pm

My old friend Bruce is an AP math teacher at a school in Palm Springs, and he brought his Math Lab group into the city today for a field trip. So I met up with them to take them on a quick tour of the Seismo Lab at Caltech. We started out with lunch on Lake Ave, and then headed over to Caltech. I told them a bit about the history of the lab, and some stories about what it’s like there. On the way in to the building, we passed Mike Brown’s office, and I pointed out that he was the guy who got Pluto de-listed as a planet. There’s a certain nerd-cachet to that. And afterward, we all walked around the campus for a bit just so they could see it. The majority of them are seniors now, and will be heading off to college in the fall.


It’s a Wonderful Ride – 2017

Filed under: — stan @ 12:21 pm

Today was the 2017 edition of our Christmas-themed ride, where we visit two sites associated with the 1946 film, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” We’ve been doing this ride every December since 2011, so it’s become something of an institution for us.

The actual route is pretty simple. I forgot to record it with my little GPS thingy this time, but if you want to see it, look at last year’s ride.

When I got up this morning, the wind was gusting pretty hard, and I was a bit apprehensive about the ride, but it calmed down by the time we actually left on the ride. It was still a bit windy, but not terrible.

We went to Forest Lawn in Glendale to pay respects to James Stewart for bringing George Bailey to life. As always, we made a point to stop at the information booth at the entrance to tell them why we were there. For some reason, the security people at Forest Lawn sometimes have some sort of emotional malfunction regarding people visiting the cemetery by bike. We’ve found that telling them why we’re there can defuse this.

After that, we headed over the Paradise Bakery for snacks. And then up the long grind up the hill to La Cañada and the Martini Family’s new Bailey Park home there. The house only appears in the movie for one brief scene, but it’s unique in that it’s the only scene in the entire movie that was shot on location, away from the studio and backlot.

The ride was a bit on the short side, but that’s all right, since I needed to get back a little early today.

36 miles.


12/10/2017

Ciclavia Wilshire

Filed under: — stan @ 2:44 pm

This Sunday was the last Ciclavia of 2017. It was the Wilshire Boulevard route, from 4th and Spring downtown, out to Wilshire and Western. The plan was to ride downtown, pick up the Ciclavia route and ride it out to Western, and then make a loop back through Hollywood, and then down the L.A. River.

We got there early, so there weren’t many people out on the route yet. That made it more pleasant, and we made good time out to Western. Then we continued on through Hancock Park, and then back up into the east end of Hollywood. We stopped for snacks at Spoke in Frogtown

41 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

12/3/2017

Whittier Again

Filed under: — stan @ 1:05 pm

Today’s bike club ride was our old Whittier route. It’s not a ride to anywhere in particular but it’s a nice, relatively flat route. Not a lot to see along the way. The only stops we made were for the photo-op with the sign for Dork Street in Pico Rivera, and for snacks at Merengue in Monrovia.

43 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

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