Stan’s Obligatory Blog

9/26/2010

Five Wrights, but no gelato

Filed under: — stan @ 9:52 pm

Today’s bike ride was the “Five Wrights” route through Hollywood to see five different Frank Lloyd Wright houses. We did this one back in June, so it seemed like it was time to go see them again. Of course, I had no idea just how hot it was going to be today.

We started out from Victory Park at our usual 8:00 time. It was pleasant, but it was promising to be warm. By the time we got to Hollywood, it was hot. And of course, all the houses designed by Frank Lloyd Wright are on top of big hills. But we rode up each of them and saw the houses. And then we rode up and over Sunset Plaza, stopping to admire the single most imposing-looking driveway gate I’ve ever seen anywhere. We passed some concrete alligators and then stopped for water at the Fryman Canyon Overlook on Mulholland Drive. Then we rode down into Studio City to the little gelato place there. But sadly, the freezer was broken and there was no gelato. We soldiered on, heading west across the Valley and back to Pasadena. By the time we got to Eagle Rock, we were all dragging. The ride up the Colorado hill was a slog. Our water bottles all had hot water in them, and it was generally pretty miserable. We made one more stop for water at a little park and then finished the ride home. It was fun, but it would have been a lot more fun if it wasn’t hot as hell.

52 miles.
cycling

9/19/2010

Larchmont

Filed under: — stan @ 3:11 pm

Today’s bike ride was the old “Larchmont Village” route. I’m going out tonight to see “The Nigerian Spam Scam Scam” at a little theater at the corner of Melrose and Larchmont, so I figured this would be a good way to scout it out so I know where we’re going tonight.

It was a perfect day for riding, and not much remarkable happened along the way. But it was a pleasant ride.

38 miles.
cycling

9/12/2010

Another architecture tour

Filed under: — stan @ 5:48 pm

Today’s bike ride was a return to the “Art and Architecture” route we did last January. This is a route that visits three of the Arts and Architecture Case Sturdy houses in the Los Angeles area. It was cool and even a little foggy when we started out. Later, the sun came out and it was a perfect day for riding.

We rode across Eagle Rock to get to the L.A. River bike path. Along the way, we saw a house with a catfish mailbox. This is sort of a companion to the large-mouth bass mailbox we saw back in July. If I can find a couple more fish mailboxes, I could put together another theme ride.

The first house was Case Study House #1. We stopped for a look and then headed on, up through Glendale to Montrose and our snack stop at Goldstein’s Bagels.

After a quick bagel, we rode up the hill into La Cañada to Case Study House #15. Then across La Cañada and back into Pasadena. The final house was Case Study House #20B, but on the way there, we took a short detour to see the Garvey House in Altadena. Then we turned down Santa Rosa Ave to see the final Case Study house before heading home.

It was a nice ride.

43 miles.
cycling

9/5/2010

The Topiary Tour

Filed under: — stan @ 9:34 pm

Today’s bike ride was a new version of the original Topiary Tour. I’d found a couple of new topiary sites to add to it, and we even found a couple more along the way.

We began with a short jaunt up to Altadena and the Bunny Museum with its big topiary rabbit on the front lawn. Then down to the Elks Lodge in Pasadena and the elk’s heads by the door. The pegasus at the Mobil station on Lake Avenue was badly in need of a trim. It was barely recognizable.

In Arcadia, we saw what we think was a topiary swan that looked a lot more like a bathtub rubber duck. And in Baldwin Park, we passed a house that has several topiary animals in the yard. Then we went by the original topiary site. The one that first gave me the idea to to a Topiary Tour. The topiary teddy bears in Covina.

Our snack stop was at Classic Coffee in Old Town Glendora. Then, on the way back, we spotted a topiary deer, two dolphins, and a teddy bear in front of two houses along Leadora Ave.

We continued on through Azusa and back into Monrovia, where we passed the topiary hearts on Colorado Blvd. And the final topiary stop was the big rocking horse on Grand View Ave in Sierra Madre.

It was a fun little themed ride.

47 miles.
cycling

8/24/2010

Tuesday afternoon bike ride

Filed under: — stan @ 8:12 pm

I got a rare Tuesday afternoon ride in today. Lucinda went to the beach with her friend, and they weren’t going to be back until later, so I go out my bike and went for a ride.

I did my usual afternoon route. South through San Marino and South Pasadena, and up the hill to the water tower. Then back up the arroyo to the Rose Bowl. I noodled around the Bowl a few times before turning off to head home through Altadena.

It was a pleasant ride.

27 miles.
cycling

8/22/2010

Sunday ride along the river

Filed under: — stan @ 4:56 pm

Today’s ride was an old route with a new variation. It was the old “Toluca Lake” route, but we modified the route to take in the new extension of the L.A. River bike path.

We rode out by way of San Marino and South Pasadena, and then down Figueroa St through Highland Park to the river. Along the way, we passed Chicken Boy. Then, when we got to the river, we got on the newly-extended bike path.

At Fletcher, the gate was closed, and we had to walk around it to continue on the bike path. We saw a lot of snowy egrets and blue herons in the river, along with some people on horseback. At the north end of the bike path, we got off and rode through Griffith Park to get to Priscilla’s, where we had a nice snack in the shade.

The route back was the usual across Glendale and then up Hospital Hill in Montrose. From there it was pretty much all downhill back to the park. Which was good, since it had gotten to be pretty hot by then.

In Altadena, we passed a street that was posted for filming on Monday. More gratuitous use of quotes. Is “Anytime” different from Anytime?

It was a nice ride.

44 miles
cycling

8/15/2010

The ‘Flat’ Ride

Filed under: — stan @ 5:04 pm

Today’s ride is the one that I refer to as ‘The Relatively Flat Ride’. It’s a route I made up a few years ago that avoids as many hills as possible. Since I was sore all week from last Monday’s stair practice, I thought it best to do an easier route on Sunday.

On the way out, we passed some topiary hearts in Monrovia that Carla had told me about recently. They are now part of the Topiary Tour East route.

On the way back through Covina, we passed Lark Ellen St. I told everyone how I’d recently been researching a possible new grave tour ride, and in the process, I’d found out who Lark Ellen was.

A short time later, I ran over some metal debris in the road. It turned out that it contained a razor blade. And of course, I got a flat. We had to use two tire boots to get it to hold together enough to get back on the road. So we decided to take the most direct route home, cutting off a few extra miles. But I made it home, and the thumping of the bulge in the tire was only mildly annoying.

Aside from the flat, it was a pretty nice ride.

41 miles.
cycling

8/8/2010

Fern Dell and Mt Hollywood

Filed under: — stan @ 2:26 pm

Today’s ride was over to Griffith Park for a stop at The Trails in Fern Dell. It was cool and overcast, and pretty much a perfect day for riding. We had a big group again this week.

When we stopped at The Trails, Carla gave Don a “Team Estrogen” post-it pad for his desk.

Near the top of the pass over Mt Hollywood, I got a picture at a nice overlook. I also got some action shots on the descent, since there are some good curves there.

We rode home by was of Figueroa St and South Pasadena. That’s the flattest way home from there.

45 miles.
cycling

8/5/2010

Thursday evening bike ride

Filed under: — stan @ 8:48 pm

Lucinda was over at a friend’s house when I got home from work today. So I had a couple of hours to go for a ride. I did my usual loop over the hill by the South Pasadena water tower, and then home by way of the Rose Bowl and up through Altadena. It was a very pleasant evening for a ride.

23 miles.
cycling

8/1/2010

The Random Ride to Whittier

Filed under: — stan @ 5:15 pm

Today’s bike ride was the ‘Random Ride to Whittier’, which is a nice flat route that doesn’t really go anywhere in particular. After last week’s big hills, it seemed like the thing to do.

We had a big group today. On the way down, we stopped for a photo-op at Dork St. in Pico Rivera. Then on to Whittier and back by way of the San Gabriel River bike path. Just below Whittier Narrows dam, I saw a pile of sticks just below the floodgates and I thought, “That’s one ambitious beaver…”

Our snack stop was at Merengue in Monrovia. The window said, “Food That’ll Make You Dance” We’re not sure if this is a good thing or not. I had a little pastry called a “Refugee”. I was sort of expecting it to be shaped like an inner tube or something. But it was good.

It was a nice ride.

45 miles.
cycling

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