Stan’s Obligatory Blog

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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.

6/2/2019

Twin Pines Mall

Filed under: — stan @ 3:56 pm

The Sunday bike club ride was rained out the last two Sundays. This is almost unheard-of here in SoCal. Usually, we can tell the weather by looking at the calendar, and if it’s after May 1st, we don’t have to worry about rain until October. But we were rained out.

So this week’s ride was a trip to Puente Hills Mall, which played the Twin Pines Mall in “Back to the Future”. It appears at the beginning and the end of the movie. It was where Doc Brown first showed Marty the DeLorean time machine. So that was our sightseeing for today.

On the way out there, we passed by the In-N-Out Burger museum in Baldwin Park. We’ve been there before for the tour.

The route was very flat almost the whole way. It turned out to be a bit longer than I’d expected, but that wasn’t a problem. And it was a nice day for riding, even if we couldn’t get our bikes to 88 mph to travel through time.

50 miles.

Route map and elevation profile.

12/16/2018

The Cocoanut Grove Mural

Filed under: — stan @ 2:59 pm

This past week, I saw an article in the L.A. Times about how a neighborhood group in Koreatown wanted the L.A. Unified school district to paint over a mural on the wall of the RFK Community School. The mural depicted Ava Gardner and some palm trees, with a red and blue sunburst background. Apparently, they thought the sunburst pattern looked too much like the Japanese battle flag. Granted, Japan has a history of using Korea as their punching bag, and they have been behind a lot of bad things happening to Korea, but this seems like a bit of a stretch. But in any event, I thought we should go see it.

The route went through downtown and past USC. On the way into downtown, we stopped to see an AIDS memorial in the park just outside downtown. After passing USC, we headed north to Koreatown. We stopped to see the mural, and the for bagels at Noah’s in Larchmont. Then home by way of Chinatown and the Arroyo Seco bike trail. And just to top it all off, we saw the two-legged dogs again. It’s been several years since we first saw them, and if I didn’t have pictures from the first time, I’d think that they were just part of a weird fever dream. But we saw them again today.

44 miles.

Route map and elevation profile.

11/17/2018

Earthquake Tour with Atlas Obscura

Filed under: — stan @ 8:38 pm

Today was the latest version of the San Andreas Fault tour with Atlas Obscura. This is about the fifth time we’ve done this tour, which is based on Sue Hough’s book, Finding Fault in California: An Earthquake Tourist’s Guide. Back in 2014, Sue took our office on a tour based on her book, and I knew immediately that this tour would be a hit with the Atlas Obscura crowd.

The first stop was the McDonald’s in San Fernando, which has a nice little fault scarp between the drive-through and the parking lot. This is a remnant from the 1971 San Fernando Earthquake. After that, we headed up the 14 Freeway, passing over the famous interchange that fell down in 1971, and then again in 1994, and then on to the Antelope Valley. We stopped at the scenic overlook by Lake Palmdale, and then took a short walk up the hill to see the famous road cut where the freeway cuts through a hill that was pushed up by motion on the fault.

WE stopped for lunch at Charlie Brown Farms in Littlerock, and then we went on to Pearblossom. We stopped for a photo-op at the signs marking where the fault crosses the road. There was a pair of signs there that someone installed decades ago, but those signs were vandalized some time in the last year or so. So Morgan and I had made a new pair of signs, which we took a field trip to go and install back in May. The new signs are still there, and still look nice and clean and new. After that, we went just a short distance down the road to go see the Pallett Creek trench site, which was the birthplace of the relatively new science of paleoseismology.

Heading up into the mountains, we stopped to dig a bit in some fault gouge in a road cut near Big Pines. Then we went through Wrightwood, and on down into Cajon Pass. That was the final stop, at Lost Lake, which is a small sag pond. It’s a pretty unlikely place for a lake, which is the charm of it. After that, we headed back to Pasadena.


8/12/2018

That’s From Disneyland!

Filed under: — stan @ 2:05 pm

This past week, I saw an item about an art gallery in Sherman Oaks that is holding an exhibit and auction of artifacts from Disneyland. So I figured this might make for a good destination for this week’s bike ride. The gallery wouldn’t be open when we got there, but I figured we could peek in the windows and see at least a few of the items.

The ride out there was pretty flat-ish. We rode down to the L.A. River and then up the bike path to Griffith Park. Then through the park and out Moorpark St into the Valley. We had to take one short detour because they were repaving Lankershim, and so the road was closed there. But we made it out to Sherman Oaks just fine. When we got to the gallery, we peeked in, and we were able to see just a few items. Most of them were farther back in the gallery, and so we couldn’t see much. But we saw enough that I want to take a trip out there to see the show for real before it goes away.

Coming back, we stopped at the gelato place in Studio City. And then back home across Glendale, with the gradual climb up and over Chevy Chase and Linda Vista. It was hot-ish, but not terrible.

49 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

7/22/2018

“Here’s a story…”

Filed under: — stan @ 2:29 pm

Last week, I saw an article in the L.A. Times about how the house from :”The Brady Bunch” is on the market again for the first time in 45 years. Needless to say, when I saw this, I knew where we were going to ride this Sunday. For a route, I started with the route we used for the Amelia Earhart tour last March.

When we got to the house, there were two other groups of people already there to look at it. Apparently, it’s supposedly the second-most-photographed house in the country. So we took our photos and moved on. We stopped for snacks and drinks at Sweet Salt in Toluca Lake.

Usually, we’d take the L.A. River bike trail on the way home, but the stretch of the river trail by Griffith Park is closed for the construction of the North Atwater Bridge. So we rode through the park and got on the bike path at Los Feliz. Then we headed home by way of Highland Park and South Pasadena, with one brief stop at my office to have some ice water from the water cooler.

46 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

7/15/2018

Mack Sennett Studios

Filed under: — stan @ 1:58 pm

This past week, I saw an article in Atlas Obscura about Mack Sennett Studios and how they were behind pie fights becoming a comedy staple back in the 1920s:

www.atlasobscura.com/articles/why-do-people-throw-pies

It said that one of the buildings from the old studio still exists, and that it has a small historical marker out in front of it. So with that, we had a bit of sightseeing for today’s ride.

We took a slightly roundabout route to get to Huntington Drive for the ride into downtown. Along the way, we saw that the wrecked car we saw last Sunday was gone, and most of the debris was cleaned up, but I still made a point of staying as far away from that crushed glass as I could. Then we rode the last bit into downtown. We stopped briefly to look at the construction site where Metro is building the entrance to the tunnel on 1st St for the Regional Connector.

We rode across downtown and then up to Echo Park. We took the small side trip to see the old Mack Sennett Studios building. Then we doubled back, passing by Randyland to our snack stop at Pollen. We’re all still a bit shell-shocked by Chango Coffee closing, so we d wanted to try yet another place in the same neighborhood. It was nice, but table service only, which is a little inconvenient from our point of view.

On the way out of Echo Park, we saw yet another car that looked like it was wrecked while being peacefully parked.

At the south end of the L.A. River bike path, we got on Figueroa St, only to ride right into a monumental traffic jam. We later found out it was caused by some guy who was threatening to jump off the Ave 26 bridge over the Pasadena Freeway. So both sides of the freeway were closed, and all the traffic spilled over onto Figueroa. It was a mess, although I read later that they managed to save the guy.

40 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

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