Stan’s Obligatory Blog

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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.

7/26/2020

Holodeck 9

Filed under: — stan @ 5:16 pm

This past week, I saw a little item in the news about how someone had decorated some stainless steel things in a park in North Hollywood to turn them into “Star Trek” holodeck control panels.

https://www.cnet.com/news/star-trek-fan-re-creates-holodeck-controls-in-los-angeles-public-park/

Of course, I immediately said, “I know where we’re riding this Sunday!”

The ride out there was pretty straightforward. There’s still a detour on the LA River bike path in Frogtown, but aside from that, we just cruised all the way to North Hollywood. It turned out that the guy who made the holodeck control panels made two sets of them. Both are along the walking path that runs along Tujunga Ave. One is just south of Magnolia, and the other is about a half-block south from there. We all agreed that the simulation of a Los Angeles city park, circa early-21st-century was very realistic. The only thing wrong was the coronavirus pandemic, but we couldn’t find the power switch to turn it off and back on.

We stopped for drinks at Groundwork Coffee in NoHo, and then headed home. The route home went up and over the Linda Vista hill, which felt much harder today for some reason. But no matter. We made it back just fine.

47 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

5/24/2020

The Giant Tamale

Filed under: — stan @ 2:22 pm

Today’s bike ride was a trip down to East L.A. to see the giant tamale on Whittier Blvd. This is one of the relatively few remaining examples of programatic architecture in Los Angeles. Also, on the way there, we took a short side trip to see the sea monsters playground at Vincent Lugo Park in San Gabriel. On the way back, we stopped at Merengue in Monrovia. For some reason, there was no line there today, so we were able to go in and get some snacks.

39 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

5/10/2020

The Big Donut

Filed under: — stan @ 3:17 pm

I checked my logs, and it’s been over a year since we went to La Puente to see the big drive-through donut shop. So that was the ride for today. Since it’s exclusively a take-out operation, I figured it would be open. It was a pleasant ride. Nothing bad happened. We stopped for snacks at Merengue in Monrovia, but there was a long line outside, so we skipped it.

45 miles.

No map this time, since when I fell last week, it broke one crucial switch on my GPS unit.

5/3/2020

Whittier

Filed under: — stan @ 3:09 pm

Today’s bike ride was the Random Ride to Whittier. We’ve done this many times before, and today really looked like it would just like the others. Until I fell. We have riders fall on our rides once in a while, but it’s extremely rare that I go down. Last time was in 2002. And since I’ve been riding as an adult, I’ve only fallen seven times over the 47 years leading up to today. So it was a shock.

On the way there, we did the obligatory stop for a photo at Dork Street in Pico Rivera. We do this any time we’re down there and have someone new on the ride.

The incident took place just when we got on the Whittier Greenway Trail. I’d pulled off the trail for a moment, and on the way back onto the pavement, my front wheel caught on a little big plastic edging strip sticking out of the dirt. And down I went. Yick. It was a very low-speed crash, so really it was just me ego that was badly hurt.

We were going to stop for snacks at Mimo’s in Uptown Whittier, but we decided to just skip that and head home.

45 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

4/26/2020

Circus Liquor

Filed under: — stan @ 4:10 pm

I get a lot of ideas for sights to go see from Roadside America. This week’s bike ride was to see the big neon clown at Circus Liquor in North Hollywood.

https://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/35240

In addition, it seems that the 5 freeway (that’s Interstate-5 to non-southern-californians) is closed through the city of Burbank right now, since they are demolishing the bridge where Burbank Blvd crosses over the freeway. As an empty freeway in Los Angeles is a surreal sight, it seemed appropriate to drop by for a look.

The route out was pretty straightforward. There is very little traffic out these days. Got up to NoHo, and there was the 32-foot-tall clown. Yikes. It was kind of hot, so we went for iced tea at Groundwork Coffee in NoHo. They had just a small walk-up window, and only one person working inside. Groundwork is in the Pacific Electric North Hollywood depot, and it’s right next to the end of the Metro Orange Line bus line. Usually, the Orange Line is very crowded. But today, buses were coming and going with just a few people on each one. And I saw that they had installed a sort of sneeze-shield door next to the driver so that it is more isolated from the rest of the bus.

Heading home, we went to see Burbank Blvd and the bridge being torn down. Then we took Olive Ave to cross the freeway, and to gawk at the weird sight of a completely car-free freeway. From there, it was straight back across Glendale and Eagle Rock, then up the Colorado Hill into Pasadena. Riding through Old Town is normally like doing the Running of the Bulls, but Old Town is Ghost Town these days.

44 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

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