Stan’s Obligatory Blog


Halloween preparations

Filed under: — stan @ 5:59 pm

Today’s bike ride was the “Glendale Hills” route. The idea was to take a tour through Glendale and see the Halloween decorations, and to see the beginnings of the single most elaborate display I’ve heard of yet. It was cool and generally a perfect day for riding.

The hills were every bit as difficult as we’d all remembered. But still much easier than any stair climb I’ve ever done. I’m finding that competitive stair climbing is making me a faster bike rider. Simply because I’ve learned to reach new levels of pain. Whatever works.

The Halloween decorations were amusing, although the giant steampunk drill wasn’t anywhere near complete. Our snack stop was at Paradise Bakery, and I had my usual eclair. It was good, as always.

It was a fun ride. Not as long as our usual, but it was plenty hard.

38 miles.


Rained out

Filed under: — stan @ 9:07 am

I had a bike ride planned for today, but when I woke up, it was raining. That’s a little odd for this early in the season, but not unknown. Still, I went down to the park just to see if anyone else was there. On the way, I saw the sprinklers going, which always looks absurd. Nobody was there, so I went home and that was that.


CicLAvia and the 442nd

Filed under: — stan @ 7:13 pm

Today was the day of CicLAvia. They closed 7 1/2 miles of Los Angeles streets to cars and let the bikes run wild. When I heard about this, I thought it would make for an interesting addition to the Sunday morning ride. And as it turned out, the route worked out well for a bit of sightseeing involving monuments to the 442nd Infantry. This was the Japanese-American unit in World War II. They were one of the most-decorated units in U.S. history. Was that just another case of typical Asian over-achievers?

It was a perfect day for riding. The route started in Boyle Heights, so we headed out from Pasadena, going south into Rosemead, and then over to East L.A. When we got there, we stopped at Evergreen Cemetery to see the memorial to the 442nd there. Then we headed over the Hollenbeck Park, which was the start of the CicLAvia route. The mayor was supposed to be giving a speech, but they said he wouldn’t be there until later, so we headed out. We rode into downtown and Little Tokyo. There, we stopped at the monument to the 442nd next to the Japanese American Museum. Then we rode across downtown and out to Mac Arthur Park. The route went north from there into the east end of Hollywood, where it ended.

We turned around and rode back along the route to near Mac Arthur Park, where we turned up Benton Way. We took that up into Silver Lake. Our snack stop was a LA Mill Coffee. Then we headed home by way of Figueroa St. In Highland Park, we saw an art project where someone had knitted covers for parking meters, signal boxes, and other things that are on the side of the street.

Coming home through San Marino, GT got a flat. This marks his first appearance in the Flat Tire Gallery.

It was a fun ride, and we’re hoping to see more events like CicLAvia in the future.

45 miles.


Turnbull Canyon, puercos, chivos, y conejos

Filed under: — stan @ 6:32 pm

Today’s bike ride was the old “Turnbull Canyon” route through Whittier and La Puente. It was a nice cool fall day. Perfect for riding.

We rode south, down the Rio Hondo bike path to Whittier Narrows. Then south some more to Whittier, where we rode up and over Turnbull Canyon. This is a pretty big hill, but all the way up I kept thinking, “No matter how fast I go, this doesn’t hurt anything like climbing stairs.”

We regrouped at the top and then headed down the other side. In La Puente, we passed a lot of houses with signs in Spanish advertising that they were selling “puercos, chivos, y conejos”. And I remembered the woman from “Roger and Me” – “You want pets or meat?

Our snack stop was at Merengue in Monrovia. I was admiring Carla’s nails and how they matched her phone. And she found my helmet hair very amusing.

The route home was the flattest way back, through Arcadia and back to the park. It was a nice ride.

45 miles.


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.



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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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