Stan’s Obligatory Blog

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9/1/2019

More aerospace history

Filed under: — stan @ 9:23 pm

Since this year is the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, today’s ride was to see a bit of aerospace and space program history. The goal was Exposition Park to see the DC-8, F-104, F/A-18, and the space shuttle external fuel tank on display at the science museum.

The ride downtown is pleasant, with 14 miles of gentle downhill. We tried an experiment this time and tried taking Figueroa south through downtown, rather than Spring St. But it turned out that Figueroa turns into one-way northbound at 3rd St, so we ended up having to turn off and take Flower St.

We paused a few minutes at the park to look at the exhibits. Then we continued west on Exposition. That was where we saw the signs for Obama Boulevard. After that, we turned north to our snack stop at Noah’s Bagels in Larchmont Village. While we were sitting there, we saw a Jeep go by with a man, and with his dog wearing a big hat and sitting next to him. I guess with a big enough hat, nobody knows you’re a dog.

46 miles.

Route map and elevation profile.

8/4/2019

The Coliseum Mural

Filed under: — stan @ 4:02 pm

Last week, I saw an article in the Los Angeles Times about how they recently rediscovered the story behind the mural painted inside the arched entrance to the Coliseum. It was apparently painted in 1969, as part of the city’s bid to host the 1976 Olympics.

www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-coliseum-mural-20190712-story.html

In any event, I knew we needed to ride down there to go see it. The route took us into downtown L.A. We stopped to see the progress on the Metro Regional Connector. They are making good progress on the tunnel entrance on 1st St. Then we continued down Santa Fe Ave, pausing to see the progress on the new 6th Street Bridge. We rode down to the edge of Vernon and then turned west. We passed the currently-closed Metro Blue Line. Then we also saw the fossilized steel rails embedded in a sidewalk on Grand Ave. These are relics of the former Pacific Electric Air Line to Santa Monica. We’ve been to see them before. Then we arrived at the Coliseum. We couldn’t get inside the fence, but we were able to see the mural from outside.

After the stop, we headed north to our snack stop at Valerie Confections in Echo Park. Then we headed home by way of Highland Park.

42 miles.

Route map and elevation profile.


7/28/2019

Covina Bowl

Filed under: — stan @ 7:44 pm

This past week, I saw an article in Curbed L.A. with a map and list of some of the best still-surviving examples of 1950s Googie architecture. We went to see the Premiere Lanes bowling alley sign, the former Johnie’s Broiler in Downey, as well as others. So, looking at the list in the article:

https://la.curbed.com/maps/googie-map-los-angeles

I saw that Covina Bowl is on the list, and we’d never been to see it. So that was today’s bike ride.

We started out going south, for no particular reason other than to pad the mileage out a bit. Then we headed east and made a loop Through Covina and West Covina. We saw the former bowling alley, and then went for snacks at Panera in West Covina. Then we headed home by way of Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area.

42 miles.

Route map and elevation profile.

7/21/2019

Whittier – Including more teapot!

Filed under: — stan @ 3:07 pm

Today’s ride was a visit to Whittier, and the Whittier Greenway Trail. Along the way, we also went to see a couple of odd landmarks, including the hovering teapot in Temple City, and Dork Street in Pico Rivera. We’ve been to see both before, but we revisit them from time to time, just because they’re entertaining little landmarks.

In Whittier, we rode most, but not all of the Greenway Trail. At Greenleaf Ave, we turned north and went in to Uptown Whitter for snacks at Mimo’s Cafe.

Coming back, we took the Rio Hondo bike trail, and at the northern end, we found the trail partially flooded. This has happened before, but this time we thought it was probably not to deep to ride through. So that’s what we did, and it wasn’t too bad.

45 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.

6/30/2019

Ciclavia Pico-Union

Filed under: — stan @ 1:42 pm

Today’s bike club ride was a visit to the Pico-Union area of Los Angeles. There is a Ciclavia going on there today. And besides that, the start of the Ciclavia route is just a block or two from Powers Place, which has the distinction of being the shortest street in Los Angeles.

Riding downtown, we made good time, and for the first time in a long time, we made it to the L.A. River in time to see the Metrolink 8:46 train to Lancaster go by. Then we rode through downtown L.A., where we saw that the north end of the Metro Blue and Expo lines is shut down for maintenance. The Pico station had signs warning us that there were no trains running there right now.

The Ciclavia route was like the time they did the Ciclavia to the Sea in 2013. We rode the length of the route, and then headed north to get to Hancock Park and our snack stop at Noah’s Bagels. After that, we headed back by our usual route through Silver Lake, pausing briefly to check out the Happy Foot/Sad Foot sign on Sunset. Apparently, it’s going to be moving away soon.

44 miles.

Route map and elevation profile.

6/23/2019

The Stonehurst Cottages

Filed under: — stan @ 2:18 pm

Today’s bike club ride was a trip to Sun Valley to see the Stonehurst Cottages. There are a collection of stone houses, all built by one man in the 1920s. It’s a testament to what can happen when you have one man with a vision, as well as a lot of time on his hands.

The ride up there was pretty straightforward. Across Eagle Rock, Glendale, and Burbank. We did one short side trip in Burbank to see the house with the backyard playhouse in the shape of a pirate galleon. Then we continued on up into the auto-wrecking-ghetto of Sun Valley, and then turned off on Sheldon St to get to the Stonehurst neighborhood. We rode around randomly on some of the streets there to see a few of the stone houses. Then we continued on through the horse neighborhood around there. Seeing and smelling horses, it felt like we were out in the country, not inside the city limits of Los Angeles. This was the same neighborhood we visited once to see a llama named Lorenzo.

44 miles.

Route map and elevation profile.

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.

5/12/2019

The Wall of (Un)-Fame

Filed under: — stan @ 6:10 pm

Today’s bike ride was a trip to Downey to see the Wall of (Un)-Fame at the Downey Metro Rail station, and also to see the two apartment buildings in Downey that the Carpenters bought with the profits of their first two big hit songs back in 1970.

It’s a very flat route, and basically goes straight south to Downey, and then straight north back home. We stopped for a few minutes at the Wall, and then went to 3rd St Coffee in downtown Downey. After that, we went to see the Carpenters’ apartment buildings, and then over to the Rio Hondo bike path for the trip home.

47 miles.

Route map and elevation profile.

5/5/2019

Obama Boulevard

Filed under: — stan @ 2:49 pm

This past week, I saw an item in the L.A. Times that the city was going to have a street fair and party to celebrate renaming Rodeo Road in Leimert Park to be Obama Boulevard. So I thought that this would make for a good destination for the Sunday bike ride.

We rode our usual route to downtown L.A. Along the way, I got a flat, which caused a little delay. But aside from that it was fine. While I was fixing my flat, part of the group kept going. I figured we’d find them later on the route. We rode down past USC and out Exposition Blvd. Just after Western Ave, we saw the signs for the fork in the road where Obama Blvd begins. We rode on it for about a mile to just past Crenshaw, and then turned north to get to Noah’s Bagels. When we got to the bagel shop, the rest of the group wasn’t there. I was just wondering what could have happened to them when they rolled up. They had taken a wrong turn due to the fact that the city has only changed a few of the street signs so far, and most of the signs still say Rodeo Rd. Still, it was a fun ride.

44 miles.

Route map and elevation profile.

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