Stan’s Obligatory Blog

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6/5/2022

The 40th Anniversary of E.T.

Filed under: — stan @ 3:41 pm

June of 1982 was 40 years ago, and that was when “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” was released. At the time, it was just a nice little movie, but over time, it’s taken it’s place in our culture. We’ve been to see Elliott’s house from the movie before, but not for some years. So it was time to go again.

I pared the route down a bit from last time to cut down on the amount of climbing. It was still an impressively steep hill to get up to the house, but we made it.

36 miles.

Route map and elevation profile.

6/4/2022

The Daily Show Strikes Again…

Filed under: — stan @ 7:26 pm

On Friday, I heard that “The Daily Show” had set up another art project honoring “Heroes of the Freedomsurrection” for all the brave patriots who fought against the United States. And after displaying it in New York, they were bring it it to Los Angeles. So of course we had to go see. Heh… “Lion Ted”…

This was another “Daily Show” stunt along the lines of the “Presidential Twitter Library” they did a few years ago. And as that was, this one was pretty funny, since the actual underlying reality of it is pretty horrifying.


5/13/2022

B-17

Filed under: — stan @ 7:15 pm

Back in 1998, I went to an airshow with some restored WWII bombers. Over the years, I went to see them a couple other times:

bombers in Burbank 2003

bombers in Burbank 2012

Each time, they offered rides in them, but was only this time that I decided to sign up for the ride.

The actual flight was only about a half-hour, and it was impossible to forget for even a second that we were flying in an actual antique airplane. These machines were built for a very specific purpose, and the comfort of the occupants was very low on the list. It was amazingly loud in there, even with some pretty serious earplugs. Once we were stably airborne, they let us get up out of our seats and walk around, with the important caveat to always, always be holding on to something. This airplane is really quite small by today’s standards, and it bounced up and down a good bit. We never got terribly high up. They said we had to be at least something like 2,000 feet above the ground, since we were flying over suburbia. I’ve been through that area many times on the freeway, but you just don’t get a sense of how many houses have been built all over the hills there. And any place that didn’t have houses on it, was obviously graded and set up to build streets and still more houses.

In any event, it was in interesting adventure, and I now have much more of an appreciation of what the guys who flew those planes during the war went through. Sure, when they were flying them, the planes weren’t antiques, but at the same time, they were being shot at, which is far, far worse.


5/8/2022

Holiday Bowl

Filed under: — stan @ 2:35 pm

I was watching an episode of “Lost L.A.” the other day about how the Crenshaw neighborhood was a mixed Black and Japanese area after the Japanese came back to Los Angeles after the war.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9TyxQy57Q4

After seeing the part about Holiday Bowl, I figure that was going to have to be the Sunday bike ride for this weekend. So here we are. We rode out to Crenshaw to see the building that used to be Holiday Bowl.

45 miles.

Route map and elevation profile.

5/1/2022

The Los Angeles Riots

Filed under: — stan @ 2:28 pm

It’s been all over the news this week that this is the 30th anniversary of the 1992 Los Angeles Riots. So it seemed appropriate that we should take a ride back to where it all started, as it were. So we rode over the Forest Lawn to see Rodney King.

Afterward, we rode over to Burbank and Priscilla’s for drinks and snacks.

46 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

4/24/2022

This is why we can’t have nice things…

Filed under: — stan @ 9:13 pm

This week, I saw a news item about the Micheltorena Stairs in Silver Lake. This staircase had been painted with hearts and rainbows, and it’s on the list of ‘the most Instagrammed places in Los Angeles.’ We’ve been to see them before. But this week, the news was that the stairs had been painted-over.

This is why we can’t have nice things.

So I figured it was time for us to go visit again.

We used the mostly the same route as last time, just without the extra bit to West Hollywood to see the Pink Wall. When we got there, we could see that the designs painted on the stairs had been painted over. I walked up to the second set of stairs to see if they had been painted over, but apparently they had not. The article I read said that the city is talking to the artist who painted the stairs originally, and she may come back to re-do them. If so, we’ll have to come see them again.

After seeing the stairs, we made a quick stop to see the “Music Box” stairs, since they’re just a couple blocks away. Then we went to Noah’s Bagels in Larchmont for drinks and snacks. And then we headed home by way of downtown L.A.

42 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

4/17/2022

Dinosaur Safari

Filed under: — stan @ 7:55 pm

This past week, one of my friends sent me a link to Jurassic Empire because they were doing an event at Westminster Mall in Orange County. I had a look, and I saw that they were also doing it at the mall in West Covina, and I immediately said, “I know where where going this Sunday!” So today’s ride was a trip to go see some dinosaurs. The event was intended as a drive-through, so I figured we wouldn’t be able to ride through it, but I figured we’d be able to see the dinosaurs anyway.

The route went out to the east by a kind of roundabout route, just to pad it out. It was a nice day for riding. We made a big loop around before ending up in West Covina. The mall is right next to the plaza we went to see on the “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” ride. The actual exhibit was fairly small, and it didn’t look like much in the morning light. I think the trick is that the animatronic dinosaurs have motion sensors in them, so there would be a fair amount of motion, sound and action if there were cars going through. But the dinosaurs looked good.

Afterward, we went across the street to have drinks and snacks at Panera in West Covina. Then we headed home by the most direct route.

43 miles

Route map and elevation profile

3/13/2022

The TV Hall of Fame

Filed under: — stan @ 2:51 pm

A few weeks ago, we went to see the Skirball Center’s exhibit about “Star Trek”. One of the stories in the exhibit was about how, without Lucille Ball, :”Star Trek” might never have come to be. So this week’s ride was a visit to the TV Hall of Fame in North Hollywood, since they have a garden of statues of people who are in the Hall, and of course, Lucille Ball is one of them.

The route took us down through Highland Park to the L.A. River, and then up the river trail to NoHo. The TV Hall of Fame garden is outside the TV Academy building on Lankershim. We looked around the garden for a bit. I saw they had a bust of Merv Griffin, and I was reminded of his headstone from the cemetery in Westwood.

Afterward, we rode to Groundwork Coffee in the old Pacific Electric depot building at Chandler and Lankershim. We had snacks and drinks, and then headed home across Glendale. The route took us up and over the big hill on Chevy Chase and Linda Vista. Then back down by the Rose Bowl and home from there.

48 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

3/6/2022

The Colorado Freeway

Filed under: — stan @ 1:43 pm

I’ve been reading a new book lately:

Freewaytopia: How Freeways Shaped Los Angeles

It tells the story of the planning and building of the freeway system in Los Angeles, and a big part of the story is about the freeways that were planned, some started, and then ultimately never built. One of these is the Colorado Freeway, which was planned and started in the early 1950s, but then never finished. So today’s bike club ride was a tour to visit the two stubs of the freeway that were built but never connected.

The first part of the freeway was built from the edge of Pasadena into Eagle Rock. Most of this section has been incorporated into the modern-day SR-134 freeway, with just the comically-long Colorado offramp hanging on as a reminder of what was once planned. So we rode down the hill out of Pasadena and then stopped to look at the remaining stub of freeway that’s still there.

Heading west to Glendale, I ran over something that sliced open my tire, which promptly exploded. I was able to patch it up to a sort-of-rideable condition with an emergency tire boot, so we continued on. Over near the Los Angeles River, we saw the 0.6-mile stub of freeway that was built off of the Golden State Freeway near Griffith Park. The giveaway about this freeway stub is the center divider. Until just recently, it was just a concrete curb divider, which was the style of the old freeways built in the ’50s. Caltrans recently upgraded it into a proper center barrier divider.

We went for snacks at Paradise Bakery in Glendale. And when we were ready to leave there, I saw that the cut in my tire was spreading, so it looked like the boot was working, but not going to last forever. So we looked and saw that Montrose Bike Shop in La Crescenta opened at 10, and was more-or-less along the way. So we rode up Verdugo to La Crescenta and I went and bought a new tire and tube. After all that, my bike was all right, but all of this took some time, so we cut off part of the rest of the route and just headed home.

35 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

2/27/2022

Marvin Gaye

Filed under: — stan @ 9:04 pm

Today’s bike club ride was a sightseeing ride to go see Marvin Gaye and Hattie McDaniel’s houses. The route was pretty straightforward, aside from one misstep when we came to a dead end at Pico Blvd. The map did not indicate that the street was fenced off, and even when streets are closed off like that, we usually can get through on the sidewalk.
But Wilton Pl at Pico was totally closed off. But we managed to go around, and we were able to find Marvin Gaye’s house. From there, just a short distance south we found Hattie McDaniel’s house. Then we rode back toward downtown on Adams. This was the first time we’ve ever taken that part of Adams in that direction, and it got mixed reviews.

We took Figueroa back up into downtown, and then through the 2nd St tunnel. The city put in a protected bike lane in the tunnel, so it wasn’t bad to ride. This is only the second time we’ve gone through the tunnel, and the first was during a CicLAvia when the street was closed to traffic.

We stopped for drinks and snacks at Chimney Coffee outside of downtown, and then headed home. It was a pleasant ride.

44 miles.

Route map and elevation profile.

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