Stan’s Obligatory Blog


Glendale Vistas on a January day

Filed under: — stan @ 7:18 pm

Today’s bike ride was the “Glendale Vistas” route. This has some nice hills, and also a stop at Paradise Bakery in Glendale. I checked the calendar, and we hadn’t done this route for almost a year, so it was time.

It was a perfect day for riding. One of those achingly nice days we get in the winter here. We took a meandering route up through La Cañada and then all the way down Chevy Chase through lower Glendale. Then back up to Glenoaks and Paradise Bakery. One of the guys got the “Chocolate Mouse”. It had a little mouse made of icing on top of it.

When we were leaving the bakery, I noticed a small wire sticking out of my back tire. I tried to pull it out, but it broke off, leaving the rest of it embedded in the tire. The tire seemed not to be losing air, so I just let the proverbial sleeping dog lie.

We headed up into the hills. This ride has some steep ones, including the one where I broke my cassette two years ago. No such drama today, though. Just a nice view of downtown L.A. from the top.

The route home went through Montrose and up Hospital Hill. Then back home across Pasadena. And when I got home, I took a closer look at my tire. It turned out that the wire was just embedded in the wall of the tire, and never punctured all the way through. So I got some pliers and pulled it out. It was a nice ride.

40 miles.


2009 Bike Report

Filed under: — stan @ 6:42 pm

I just added it up, and I rode my bike 5,199 miles this year. This is pretty good compared to the 6,013 miles I did last year. Under the new scheduling regime, I rarely get a chance to ride on Saturdays any more, so I’m pretty happy that I still got in a lot of miles.

Sadly, this year, this total was less than the distance I drove my car. I don’t even have an accurate count of that. I estimate that I drove between 8,000 and 10,000 miles this year. And the curse of my life this past year has been that each girlfriend lives farther away than the one before. But on the other hand, my new car is quite comfy. So I’m not complaining.


The Case Study Houses

Filed under: — stan @ 8:05 pm

From just after World War II until the mid-sixties, Arts and Architecture magazine did a series of articles on the “Case Study Houses“. These were houses that they had designed and built by the top architects of the day. Most of them are in the Los Angeles area, and today we rode to see three of them.

The basic route was our “Toluca Lake” ride. We rode down through Eagle Rock and then up the Los Angeles River bike path. Then past Griffith Park and Forest Lawn to get to Toluca Lake and Case Study House #1. Fortunately, David had read the articles about the houses we were visiting, so he acted as docent, telling us the story of the house and why it was designed the way it was.

Leaving Toluca Lake, we headed up into La Cañada to Case Study House #15. This one was built at a slightly odd angle on the lot in order to take advantage of views of both the mountains behind it, and, on clear days, a view of the ocean off in the distance.

Coming down off the hill, we rode over to Altadena for the final stop on the tour at Case Study House #20B. This one is on the somewhat-famous “Christmas Tree Lane” in Altadena.

Finally, we rode across Altadena and back down the hill to the park. It was a very nice ride.

43 miles.


The Never Open Store

Filed under: — stan @ 4:50 pm

A couple of weeks ago, the Los Angeles Times had an article about the Never Open Store. It’s in Hollywood, just off Melrose Ave, and I immediately thought it would make for an amusing sightseeing bike ride. And as an added attraction, we could go by the House of David to see the Christmas decorations. So today was the day.

It was chilly, but sunny, and basically a nice day for riding. We headed out across Pasadena, passing the preparations for the Rose Parade next week. Then we took a direct route down through Eagle Rock to get to Silver Lake Blvd. We rode across on 1st St and 2nd St to get to Larchmont Village, and then went one block west on 3rd St to the House of David. And it did not disappoint.

Continuing west on 4th St, we turned north on Alta Vista to get up into Hollywood. And then we arrived at the Never Open Store. As we expected, it was closed. We spent a few minutes looking in the windows at the strange things inside, and it was very amusing. Then we headed off to our snack stop at Groundwork Coffee on Sunset Blvd.

By now, it was getting almost warm, and it was perfect for riding. The route back was direct across Hollywood, and then back up through Eagle Rock. We rode through the San Rafael Hills in Pasadena to get back to where we started. When we passed the Rose Parade bleachers again, Jon practiced his ‘parade wave‘.

It was a nice ride.

44 miles.


Christmas morning bike ride

Filed under: — stan @ 12:21 pm

On Christmas morning, I went for a bike ride. I didn’t have to be anywhere until afternoon, and it was a nice day. I rode over to Arcadia to meet up with the Foothill Cycle group. The ride was one of those rambling ‘rides to nowhere’. Just a loop around Pasadena to the snack stop in Alhambra. When we got there, I decided to skip the stop, since I had to get back to get ready to go out. So I rode directly home from Alhambra, pausing only briefly to admire the view of Mt Baldy covered with snow in the distance over Alhambra Road.

It was a nice ride.

33 miles.


New topiary

Filed under: — stan @ 6:52 pm

Today’s bike ride was the “San Dimas South” route, which is a fairly flat route that goes out to Bonelli Park, but not through the park and over the hills there. It was chilly, but basically a nice day for riding.

The route out was pretty direct. We passed by the house that had had a big tree decorated with big Christmas ornaments last year. This time, they didn’t do it, although they still had the rest of the house decorated.

The stop was at Panera Bread in West Covina. By then, it had warmed up enough that it was pleasant sitting outside.

On the way back, we saw a house in Baldwin Park with some topiary animals in the yard. That will have to be added to the Topiary Tour route for next time.

It was a very nice ride.

45 miles.


Aw, crap

Filed under: — stan @ 9:25 am

This weekend’s schedule worked out that I was going to have both Saturday and Sunday mornings available to go bike riding. But I woke up this morning to the sound of heavy rain outside. Crap.


Turnbull Sunday Morning

Filed under: — stan @ 8:16 pm

Today’s bike ride was down to Whittier and the up and over Turnbull Canyon. We haven’t done this route on a Sunday since last June, when we went to see the Octomom Art Project. It was chilly and overcast, and not promising to warm up. So we were all pretty bundled up.

Before we left, I noticed that Silvio’s fork had “Damocles” on it. That struck me as odd. After all, if I were riding fast down a mountain, I’m not sure I’d want my bike to have the Fork of Damocles on it. Somehow, it’s just not the mental image I’d want my bike frame to evoke.

We rode down to the Rio Hondo bike path and took that down to it end to get to the San Gabriel River bike path. That brought us down to Pico Rivera and Beverly Blvd. We rode across Whittier and started up Turnbull Canyon. As I expected, Scott pretty much left us in the dust going up the hill. But that’s all right.

At the top, we regrouped before heading down the other side. Then we made a big look through La Puente to get back. Our snack stop was at Merengue in Monrovia. Normally, we sit out on the patio, but it was too cold for that. While we were eating, Keira mentioned that she didn’t want to go back outside because of the cold. I got a small newspaper and gave it to her to make a Hoover Blanket. And she said it worked.

From Merengue, we took the direct route home. When we got back to the park, I had 46 miles and nowhere in particular I had to be. So I noodled around the neighborhood a bit just to get to 50. Because it just looks nice on the bike computer display.

50 miles.


El Pavo

Filed under: — stan @ 5:59 pm

Since it’s Thanksgiving weekend, it seemed appropriate that today’s bike ride should be the route that ends up at El Pavo bakery.

It was a perfect day for riding, and the route meandered around from Pasadena down almost to downtown L.A., and then back out on Huntington Drive all the way to Monrovia. For some reason that was not apparent, we were going especially fast today. We turned south into El Monte, and then west to get to El Pavo in San Gabriel. We stopped and had snacks there. I thought it was a bit amusing that the sign showed a peacock, which the dictionary tells me is pavo real, but the girl at the counter said that ‘pavo’ can mean any large bird.

Before we left, we had a look across the street. There was an impromptu memorial there for the pilot of a small plane that crashed there a couple weeks ago.

The ride home was pretty straightforward. It had warmed up nicely, and it was very pleasant.

43 miles.


Fern Dell and The Trails

Filed under: — stan @ 7:33 pm

The route for today was a new one I’d cobbled together to go to The Trails in Griffith Park, and then over Mt Hollywood. It was a nice day for riding. A bit chilly in the morning, but it warmed up very nicely.

We started out from Victory Park and rode across the Colorado bridge and down into Eagle Rock. We took a short detour to look at Nolden St and contemplate trying Fargo St next spring. Then we rode down Eagle Rock Blvd to Atwater Village, across the Los Angeles River, and through Silver Lake to Griffith Park.

The ride up to the observatory is pretty steep, and our group spread out a lot. At the top, we regrouped and got a souvenir picture with the Hollywood sign behind us. Then we rode down Western Canyon Rd to The Trails. We found a bench in the sun and had some snacks and drinks. Then it was back up the hill and over Mt Hollywood Dr to the far side of the park.

We rode around Travel Town to get to the L.A. River bike path, which took us back down to Fletcher. From there, we took Riverside all the way to where it crosses the river and becomes Figueroa St. Then we rode home by way of South Pasadena and San Marino.

On the way home, I found a nice white couch abandoned on the side of the road.

It was a very nice ride.

45 miles.

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