Stan’s Obligatory Blog

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11/28/2021

Henry Rollins’ House

Filed under: — stan @ 5:27 pm

A few days ago I saw an article in the Los Angeles Times about how Henry Rollins is selling his house in the Hollywood Hills. So of course, I said something like, “I know where we’re going this Sunday!”

The house is in Nicholls Canyon, which is my old favorite canyon from the days when I was living and bike riding in Hollywood in the late ’80s. This is the first time we’ve gone there in a long time. We took our standard route out of Pasadena and down through Atwater Village to get to the east end of Hollywood. We rode down Hollywood Blvd, which is always a bit of a surreal ride. The block from Highland to La Brea was closed in anticipation of the Hollywood Christmas Parade this evening, but we were able to sneak around on the sidewalk there. We passed Donald Trump’s Walk of Fame star there. Surprisingly, it was intact and undefiled today.

When we got to Nicholls Canyon, we turned and started up the hill. By then, it was pretty warm, so we had to stop and take off jackets and such. Then we rode up the hill. The house was right there, and it was a pretty impressively-large place. Then we rode the rest of the way up the hill to Mulholland, where we turned to head down to Cahuenga Pass. We stopped along the way to help a family of tourists get a group picture with the Hollywood sign. Then we continued down the hill, past Universal and Warner Bros to get to our snack stop at Priscilla’s.

After the snack stop, we took the direct route home, back across Glendale and Eagle Rock.

42 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

10/31/2021

Down for the Count 2021

Filed under: — stan @ 6:03 pm

This Sunday’s bike ride is the yearly “Down for the Count” ride for Halloween. This is a ride to Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City to visit Bela Lugosi’s grave. This year is the 15th time we’ve done this ride for Halloween. Last year, we found out that our favorite cafe in the Helms Bakery complex had closed, so this time we were going to try an new bakery in Culver City.

The route out has evolved over the years, and the current route going out on the Metro Expo Line bike lands is pretty good. For some reason, the Ballona Creek bike path was closed, but that wasn’t really a problem. We made it out to Culver City easily, and then into Holy Cross to see Bela Lugosi. His grave is always decorated for Halloween, but this time was the most decoration we’ve ever seen.

Leaving Holy Cross, we rode into Culver City and stopped at Grand Casino Bakery. We got drinks and empanadas, which turned out to be just the thing. Then we rode home by way of downtown L.A.

55 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

10/16/2021

Tanks a Lot

Filed under: — stan @ 4:03 pm

Todays’s bike ride was a visit to the American Military Museum in Rosemead. We’ve been by there many times, but never went in before. The group met up at Lacey Park in San Marino. In keeping with the military theme, the first two sights along the route were General George Patton’s childhood home, and the statue and memorial to him at the small cemetery in San Gabriel. Then we rode on south and made a big loop before coming back up through Whittier Narrows to get to the museum. It’s quite a collection of stuff they have there. We wandered around in there for a while before continuing on home. At the end, I didn’t go back to San Marino, but I took a more direct route home.

About 42 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

10/10/2021

CicLAvia 2021

Filed under: — stan @ 2:47 pm

Today was the first CicLAvia in a very long time, so today’s bike ride was a trip into the city to ride it. The route went from Boyle Heights out to MacArthur Park, so we padded it out a bit on the ride over. We took the route through Rosemead and East L.A. to get to the start. Then we followed the route through downtown out to Westlake before turning around and following it back up to the end in Chinatown. Then we turned off and went for drinks at Chimney Coffee outside of downtown. From there, we ride home by way of Highland Park, passing by the two giant dragonflies on Ave 52.

43 miles.

Route map and elevation profile.

9/26/2021

The Pink Motel

Filed under: — stan @ 2:18 pm

Today’s ride was out to Sun Valley to see the Pink Motel. This is an odd little thing that’s listed by the L.A. Conservancy as a historical oddity.

The ride out was complicated by the fact that today turned out to be the Pasadena Marathon, and so some of the streets were blocked off, and we had to take a detour that involved going up and down some fairly big hills. But in the end, we made it out there all right. And yes, it’s pink. After that, we rode through the equestrian neighborhood in Shadow Hills to get to Tujunga and the Back Door Bakery. We had some snacks and drinks and then headed home.

Along the way, my bike went gimpy, first by refusing to shift the the big chainring. That was odd. And a bit later, it started to feel like one of my cleats was coming loose. I checked them, but they were all right. But then, just about 1/4 mile later, I noticed that the left crank arm on my bike was coming loose. That explained everything, aside from why such a thing would be happening. Fortunately, Michael had a tool with an 8mm allen wrench, so I was able to tighten it back up, and made it the rest of the way home.

48 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

9/19/2021

The Playground F-86

Filed under: — stan @ 2:47 pm

Today’s bike club ride was a trip to West Covina to the playground with the F-86 model for the kids to play on. We’ve been to see this before, but not recently. It’s a nice flat route.

41 miles

Route map and elevation profile

9/12/2021

Angelus Rosedale Cemetery

Filed under: — stan @ 7:56 pm

I recently figured out how to access the Huell Howser Archives at Chapman University, and I’ve been watching a lot of his old shows. And one of them was an episode of “Visiting” from 1997 where he visited Angelus Rosedale Cemetery to learn about some of the history there. It’s a very old cemetery by Los Angeles standards. We’ve visited here before, to see Dooley Wilson, and also to see the two pyramid crypts there.

So today’s bike club ride was a visit to Angelus Rosedale to see some of the graves Huell Howser had talked about in his show. We rode downtown by our standard route, and then just a bit west to get to Washington and Normandie and the cemetery. We made a loop around, based on information from findagrave.com. Finding Hattie McDaniel and Dooley Wilson was fairly easy. But Tod Browning turned out to be in the small mausoleum, and I wasn’t able to find him until I did a search and found a photo of his niche and its surroundings. Caroline Severance was relatively easy, with a fairly large vertical stone. We had a lot more trouble finding Anna Wong and Maria Rasputin, which in the end turned out to been because the map I had was outdated, and one of the roads on the map had been taken out and used as space for more graves. But in the end, we found them all.

All of this turned out to have taken a fair amount of time, so we decided to forego the usual snack and drink stop, and we just headed home from there. It was getting very hot, so we figured that was the prudent course of action.

41 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

9/11/2021

20 years…

Filed under: — stan @ 2:02 pm

I don’t always go on the Foothill Saturday rides, but I generally make a point of going when they’re doing one of my routes. And since today is in fact September 11, it seemed appropriate to do the ride that visits two 9/11 memorials in the Los Angeles area.

The first is in Rosemead, and it’s one I found through Roadside Americal. It’s thousands of little stainless steel doves, one for each person who died in the attacks, all welded together to form pair of hands, holding a bent steel girder from the World Trade Center towers. It’s simple and elegant.

From there, we rode west into the city, going through East L.A. and downtown, and then up through Echo Park to get to just outside Dodger Stadium, which is where the fire department training center is. The gates there are usually locked on weekends, but they had them open today, and there were some firefighters there to answer questions about the memorial there. It’s a part of the steel exterior structure of the lobby level of the South Tower.

After that, we rode through Chinatown and stopped for drinks and snacks at Chimney Coffee.

44 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

9/6/2021

A bit of Disney History

Filed under: — stan @ 7:02 pm

This is the bike club ride from August 29, 2021.

I’d read recently that the city of Los Angeles had bought and was refurbishing the house that Walt and Roy Disney lived in when they first moved here from Missouri.

So, of course I said, “I know where we’re riding this Sunday.”

The house is in the Los Feliz area, and we’ve never been down that street, despite riding by a block away countless times over the years.

When we got near the house, we took a short side trip to see the “Snow White cottages”. The story is that Walt brought his animators over there to see those houses, and he told them that the house in “Snow White” should look that them. Then we headed over into Los Feliz to see the actual house. It’s a pretty typical house for the neighborhood, but now it’s special. And just a block or so down the same street is the building where Walt set up his first studio.

From there, we rode back into Griffith Park and then up to Burbank. We went down Alameda to see the giant imposing gate that is now the face of the corporate behemoth that Disney has become. They’ve planted trees that have grown quite large, so it’s difficult to see the main building with the Seven Dwarfs holding up the roof.

Anyway, no matter how you slice it, it’s an amazing success story. And a little piece of what makes living in Los Angeles tremendously entertaining.

42 miles.
Route map and elevation profile

12/27/2020

The Crapi Apartments

Filed under: — stan @ 3:51 pm

Today’s bike club ride is one we haven’t done since 2014. In the Palms section of west L.A., there is an apartment building called “Crapi Apartments”. It’s a real place. The first time I saw a photo of it, I thought it was a Photoshop gag, but it’s real. So we went to see it today. It was a relatively long ride for us, but it’s quite flat. The day started out cold-ish. It was cold enough that when I saw a shopping bag full of takeout container trash, I tore one side off the bag and stuffed under my jersey. And then I wasn’t cold any more. And by the time we were headed home, it was pretty warm, so it was a good day for riding.

52 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

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