Stan’s Obligatory Blog

Page 1 of 4512345»102030...Last »

8/2/2020

Farmer John

Filed under: — stan @ 1:46 pm

Today’s bike club ride was a trip down to Vernon to see the big mural painted on the outside of the Farmer John meat packing plant. We’ve been to see this before, but this is the first time in a long time.

The route brought us through downtown Los Angeles. Along the way, we saw several large homeless camps in El Sereno. When we got to downtown, we took a short side trip to see how the construction is coming along for the tunnel entrance for the Regional Connector on 1st St. We also paused briefly to see how the new 6th St bridge is coming along.

In Vernon, we stopped to admire the hog mural. We tried to see inside the gate and see the mural of the big angels flying off to hog heaven, but there was so much stuff set up inside the gate, we couldn’t see it.

We rode back through downtown and then up to Echo Park. There was yet another big homeless camp next to the lake in Echo Park. There really seem to be more of them than ever before, which is disturbing.

We rode through Elysian park, and I was soft of glad that I didn’t have to check to make sure there wasn’t a Dodger game today, although that’s because of Covid-19, which is far from a Good Thing.

We stopped for drinks at Antigua Coffee, and then headed home up the Arroyo Seco bike path.

42 miles.

Route map and elevation profile.

6/7/2020

Remembering Rodney King

Filed under: — stan @ 2:48 pm

Watching the news these past two weeks has been surreal. Seeing protests and riots in cities around the world brings back the memory of the 1992 Los Angeles riots, and so, it seemed appropriate that we should go to Forest Lawn and pay respects to Rodney King. He was the original guy-beat-up-by-police-on-video.

When we got to the cemetery, there was a deer wandering around. It was just strolling around and eating the flowers that had been left at graves. The cemetery is right next to Griffith Park, so I guess it’s probably not surprising that wildlife from the park would wander in.

After the cemetery, we continued on to Priscilla’s for snacks. Along the way, we saw a bit advertisement for “Wonder Woman 1984″. It said, “Only in theaters, June 5″, which seems a bit improbable, since all the theaters are still closed right now. I see in the entry for it in IMDB, the release has been pushed back to August.

Coming home, we did a route we haven’t done in some time. Up Verdugo and home through La Cañada. That was nice climb.

45 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

5/31/2020

The Glendora Bougainvillea

Filed under: — stan @ 2:16 pm

This has been a weird week. Protests erupting in the streets around the world. So it seemed appropriate that we should avoid going anywhere near downtown Los Angeles today. So the other direction took us east to go see the Glendora Bougainvillea. We’ve been to see it before, but this is the prime season for bougainvillea flowers, so it’s generally a good time to go see it. And it worked out well. We didn’t see any street protests along the way, and the flowers were nice.

43 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

5/22/2020

A Bit of History

Filed under: — stan @ 3:46 pm

This whole retirement thing is still very novel. It means that I can go on weekday bike rides, and being on lockdown at home means I have time to watch a lot of TV and movies. Lately, I found a new PBS show called “Lost L.A.”. One of the episodes is called “Discovering the Universe”, about how the Mt Wilson observatory was the site of one of the single greatest astronomical discoveries. So while I was out riding with Carla today, we decided to go by and see the Carnegie building in Pasadena where they have the archive of the glass photo plates where Edwin Hubble figured out that the universe was far, far larger than the Milky Way galaxy. It was this bit of history that was why I was willing to fork over a fair amount of money to Atlas Obscura for a chance to go look through the 100-inch telescope.

30 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

5/17/2020

The Little Free Pantry

Filed under: — stan @ 3:20 pm

Last year, I’d read an article in the L.A. Times about a church in Burbank that adapted the Little Free Library idea into a Little Free Pantry for the community. Now that we’re on lockdown for the last two months, and millions of people are out of work, I thought we should go back there, since I guessed that it was probably pretty empty. I brought along two cans to donate, and several other people brought small backpacks with non-perishable food items in them.

When we got there, the Little Free Pantry was indeed pretty bare. We put all our items in it, and we pretty much filled up the top shelf. I hope that helps someone out there.

We went to Priscilla’s in Toluca Lake, but part of our group got separated, and I went back to look for them. It turned out they’d missed a turn, and just went there by a slightly different route. But that added a couple miles to my total.

Since my old Magellan GPS bit the dust a couple weeks ago, I decided to join the cult of Garmin. I got a Garmin Edge 130, and today was the first shakedown ride with it. Just looking at the data, it seems to do a very good job, and it seems that the altitude data looks better than what the old Magellan did.

44 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

2/9/2020

Somewhere over the rainbow…

Filed under: — stan @ 4:10 pm

I recently read that Judy Garland is now buried in Hollywood Forever. For a long time, she was at a cemetery in Westchester County, New York. But apparently, a few years ago her family decided that it would be more appropriate for her to be interred in Hollywood. Since celebrity graves are a good ride theme, Hollywood Forever was the destination for today.

The day started off with a slight threat of rain, but this route tracks close to several Metro Rail lines, so we have bailout options. Still, there were only two of us today. We rode through downtown L.A. and then out to Larchmont Village and then to Hollywood Forever, which is located right next to Paramount Studios. When we got there, we ended up having to ask the guy at the information booth where Judy is located. But once we found her, it was pretty obvious.

Continuing on, we headed for home by way of Frogtown. We got as far as crossing the L.A. River and starting up Figueroa St when it started raining. So we turned off on Ave 26 and got on the train at the Lincoln/Cypress Metro station. When we got back to Pasadena, it was raining lightly, but it was all right to ride the two miles home from the station. Then, about five minutes after I got home, the sky opened up, and we had pouring rain. So that was lucky good timing.

32 miles, counting the two miles home from the Allen Metro station.

Route map and elevation profile

12/15/2019

Dollface

Filed under: — stan @ 9:06 pm

A few weeks ago, when we were out riding, I saw an ad for a new series on Hulu called “Dollface“. I made a note to look this up, since it’s Kat Dennings, who I’m a huge fan of ever since she was Norah in “Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist“. For reasons I can’t quite explain, “Nick & Norah” is one of my most favoritest movies of ever.

So I watched the series when it came out, and I liked it a lot. There are a lot of little surreal bits in it, and in particular, two of my most favorite ones were the beginning of episode 2, when Jules got into a fight with the fitness app on her phone, and also episode 9, where they made their own version of “The Wizard of Oz”. So going to see a couple of these locations became the theme for today’s ride.

The scene with Jules fighting with the app on her phone was shot at the Micheltorena Stairs in Silver Lake, just off Sunset Blvd. I worked out a reasonable route to get there, including riding through downtown L.A., which was the scene of the women’s march in sort-of-Oz in the “Feminist” episode. And we were off.

It was a bit windy when we started out, but we figured it would be all right. By the time we got to downtown L.A., it had reached the point of being windy enough that it was getting unpleasant to ride in. On the other hand, that also made for another tie-in with the show, since the “Feminist” episode began with a crazy windy day in L.A.

We rode out to Hancock Park and stopped for bagels at Noah’s there. The wind had gotten bad enough that people walking were having trouble with it. But we pressed on. We rode back into Silver Lake, and then down a very steep hill to get to the bottom of the staircase. The lower part of it has been painted with hearts, and is known for being the most Instagrammed staircase in L.A. The actual scene from the show was shot on the upper part of the staircase, so I walked up there, carrying the bike. I got my photo-op, and at that point, I said “uncle” and decided to bail out and take Metro home. The nearest Metro station was the subway at Vermont and Beverly, so we headed over there. Just before we got there, we saw a homeless tent colony on fire. That was kind of scary, and the smoke was very thick. But we made it to the subway and rode the train back to Pasadena.

33 miles, including the two miles from the Pasadena Metro station back to the park.

Route map and elevation profile

11/24/2019

The Doo Dah Parade

Filed under: — stan @ 7:10 pm

Last week, I found out my friend Sue from the office was going to be one of the Grand Marshals for the Doo Dah Parade. So that was the plan for the Sunday ride today. I made a slightly shorter route, so we could make it back by 11:00. When we got there, I rode around to the staging area to find Sue and her crew. When I got there, Morgan wrapped a feather boa around my neck, and I got to be an honorary Seismo Sistah. We did two laps of the parade route, dodging a hail of flying tortillas. It was a weird and entertaining experience.

33 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

9/8/2019

Here’s a story…

Filed under: — stan @ 2:19 pm

A bit over a year ago, we rode out to Studio City to see the “Brady Bunch” house. It was only seen as the exterior shot in the TV show, and none of the actual filming took place there. But HGTV bought it last year, with the intention of remodeling to make the inside of the house match the ‘inside the house’ sets that used to exist on a soundstage somewhere. So now the remodel is done, and the TV show is scheduled to show, starting tomorrow. So today’s ride was another visit to see the house.

We rode out to Burbank first, then made a loop and headed south to Studio City. Sadly, the house still had the construction fence around it. I guess maybe that’s because they want to keep it under wraps until the show airs. Still, we were able to see several obvious differences compared to the house as it looked last year.

We stopped for drinks and snacks at Sweet Salt in Toluca Lake. Then we rode home by way of Griffith Park and Highland Park.

46 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

7/7/2019

Scoops Ahoy!

Filed under: — stan @ 1:45 pm

On Friday, I saw an article on LA Eater about how they have a pop-up Scoops Ahoy ice cream shop in Burbank. This is a promotion for “Stranger Things” on Netflix. These sorts of things happen from time to time, like the time we rode out to visit the Kwik-E-Mart they built as a promotion for “The Simpsons”.

It was a perfect day for riding. Cool and overcast. Perfect for a ride to Hawkins.

About 42 miles. I’m not completely sure, because my GPS turned itself off in North Hollywood.

Page 1 of 4512345»102030...Last »

Powered by WordPress