Stan’s Obligatory Blog

5/22/2011

Another architecture tour

Filed under: — stan @ 5:16 pm

I recently saw an item in the Los Angeles Times about the last remaining Greene and Greene house in L.A. being for sale. So I looked it up and we took a ride out to see it today.

We rode into downtown L.A., and then down through to Adams, near USC. Along the way, we passed the convention center and its sign for the “Everything to do with Sex” show. Then we headed west on Adams. The house itself is in the “Harvard Heights Historic District“. Which is apparently a fancy name for a former high-class neighborhood that’s kind of gone to seed. The house across the street was quite large and ornate, but it had broken windows and just did not look like it was being maintained.

Our stop was at Noah’s Bagels on Larchmont. Then we started for home. David got a flat, and while he was changing the tube, I checked the true on my back wheel. It was way off, and a closer look showed that one of the spokes had pulled out of the rim. This sort of thing is never a good sign. So I trued the wheel as best I could and we continued on.

After just about another mile, David said his tire was going flat, so we had to stop again. This time, I took a close look at his tire and found a staple stuck in it. Mystery solved.

Going up Benton Way in Silver Lake, I spotted a new topiary. I don’t know if it can be incorporated into one of the existing Topiary Tours that we do, but I will keep it in mind.

In Eagle Rock, my bike started making a weird noise. Turned out the spoke had come loose from the rim and was flapping around. So I stopped and twisted it around the spoke next to it to hold it still for the ride home.

When we got back into Pasadena, we saw a roadblock in Old Town, so we went to see what it was, and we rode into the middle of a Ferrari show.

It was a kind of strange, but very fun ride.

41 miles.
cycling

5/1/2011

The relatively flat ride to nowhere in particular

Filed under: — stan @ 1:44 pm

I didn’t have any particular destination in mind for this Sunday’s bike ride, so it seemed like a good time to do the Relatively Flat Ride. This is the route I made up that tries to avoid as many hills as possible.

It was a nice day, and overall, it was a pleasant ride. The only blot on the day was provided by the driver of a white Nissan Frontier truck, license number 7N63399, who was acting like an asshole. But he stopped doing it and took off when he noticed I was taking pictures of him. Such is life on the road.

Aside from the aforementioned asshole, it was a very pleasant ride.

42 miles.
cycling

4/24/2011

A shortened Sunday ride

Filed under: — stan @ 9:17 pm

Today’s ride was supposed to be a slightly shorter ride than usual, since I had to be back early to cook a big Easter dinner for family. But it turned out to be even shorter than that. We got rained out again.

We rode up through La Cañada and then down the big hill into Glendale. That was all just fine. But then it started to rain. Just a light sprinkle at first, but then it started raining in earnest. So we turned tail and rode to the Metro Rail station at Southwest Museum. From there, we were able to ride the train back to Pasadena. It wasn’t raining quite as hard as the last time we got rained out, but it was still enough that riding in it was No Fun At All.

In the end, we got home without getting too wet. But it was wet enough that my bike computer stopped working. So I don’t know exactly how far we actually rode.

20-mumble miles.
cycling

4/17/2011

In-N-Out purge

Filed under: — stan @ 8:44 pm

There was an article in Saturday’s L.A. Times about how In-N-Out Burger had recently demolished what was formerly their oldest location, across the freeway from their headquarters in Baldwin Park. So I immediately thought that this would make a good sightseeing bike ride. The article also mentioned that now the oldest In-N-Out location is now the one right near here in Pasadena, so I included that in the route.

It was a perfect day for riding. We started out going past the In-N-Out on Foothill Blvd in Pasadena. Then we headed south all the way to Baldwin Park, where we saw the remains of the former burger stand, followed by the gleaming new headquarters building across the freeway.

Our stop was at Panera Bread in West Covina. The sun was out, and it was just a nice day to sit outside for a bit.

46 miles.
cycling

4/10/2011

CicLAvia two

Filed under: — stan @ 1:11 pm

Today’s bike club ride was a route down into East L.A. to join in CicLAvia. This is the second time they’ve done this. We were there the last time, and it was a fun little outing.

We took a roundabout route to East L.A., so as not to get there too early. Even so, we were there by 9:30, so we just set out on the route across the city.

In Little Tokyo, there was a big crowd outside the Japanese American Museum. Lance Armstrong was there, and he spoke to the crowd for a few minutes.

Continuing on, we went out to Westlake and then up into east Hollywood. That was the end of the route, so we turned around and rode back into downtown. At Main St, we turned off to head for home. We stopped for a bagel at Union Bagel in Union Station, since they have the nice courtyard outside the station. It had turned into a very nice day, so we wanted to sit outside.

From there, we just headed straight up Huntington Drive for the trip home. It was a nice ride.

47 miles.
cycling<>/ttag>

4/9/2011

A nice Saturday morning ride

Filed under: — stan @ 12:04 pm

Once again, I had a kid sleeping in on Saturday, so I went for a little bike ride. It was basically the same route as last week, taking in some nice hills. About the only thing new that I saw was the half-built house at the top of the last hill. I don’t know how I’ve missed that all this time. Based on how weathered the wood is, it must have been sitting there half-built for at least a year or more.

29 miles.
cycling

4/3/2011

Lookout Mountain

Filed under: — stan @ 8:00 pm

Today’s bike ride was another trip up the Hollywood hills to see the former Lookout Mountain Air Force Station. I recently got a DVD of a documentary about their work filming all of the nuclear bomb tests in Nevada and also the South Pacific. We’d done this ride before, but I figured out an easier way to get there this time.

On the way to Hollywood, we ran across the Thai New Year festival. That was kind of entertaining. Then we headed up into the hills. On the way up, I saw a fire engine. I’ve often wondered if they could fit those things up those narrow winding roads in the hills.

At the top, we took a quick turn through the portion of the street with the sign saying it had been “withdrawn from public use”. I have no idea what that means, but we still were able to get through. And that was a good thing. That put us at the top of Wonderland Dr, and it we didn’t have to do the uphill slog to get to the old Air Force building.

The former Air Force film studio is now a private house, so there’s not a lot to see from the outside. But it still looks like a 1940s military building, which makes for one odd-looking house.

We rode the rest of the way down Wonderland to get to Laurel Pass, which took us up to Mulholland Dr. Along the way, I saw the house with the alligators in front.

We rode a short distance east on Mulholland before taking some little streets down into Studio City. We stopped off at the gelato place. Sadly, it was kind of chilly today, so nobody was really in the mood for gelato. Doubly sad, since the last time we were there, it was 105 degrees and the gelato freezer was broken.

The rest of the ride home was pretty unremarkable. Pleasant, but not outstanding.

47 miles.
cycling

4/2/2011

Had a couple free hours…

Filed under: — stan @ 4:34 pm

Lucinda is really enjoying sleeping in on weekends. So I had a few hours in the morning to go riding. I did a variation of the Foothill ‘Crown City Trainer’ ride, since I was in the mood to do some hills.

I got an action shot near the South Pasadena water tower. One of the houses there had a flat-topped mailbox that I could balance the camera on for a picture.

By the time I got up to the top of the big final hill, the sun was out, and it had turned into a very nice day. I stopped to look at the view and take another picture with the help of another mailbox. Then I headed home by way of Altadena.

At the corner of Mendocino and Lake I saw a sign advertising ‘Marcial Arts’. That’s a FAIL. Right up there with the exceedingly stupid TV movie they screened at my office a few years ago.

It was a nice ride.

32 miles.
cycling

3/6/2011

The Stonehurst Cottages

Filed under: — stan @ 6:35 pm

Today’s bike ride was a sightseeing trip up to Sun Valley to see the Stonehurst Cottages. These are a set of houses and a community center built in the 1920s by a local mason who collected all the stones from the nearby Tujunga Wash. I read about them in a recent issue of Los Angeles magazine, and they sounded like an interesting thing to see.

We rode out through Glendale and Burbank and up into Sun Valley. When we turned off Glenoaks, we saw a giant pair of hands by the side of the road. This turned out to be a prop warehouse. They had a lot of weird stuff sitting outside, and I’m sure there were even more strange things inside.

We took a looping roundabout route through the Stonehurst neighborhood so that we could pass by all of the houses. The map on the city web site shows which ones are original and which ones have been modified over the years. We also saw a beer-keg mailbox, which was amusing.

The route back went through the horse neighborhood and out onto Sunland Blvd. Then back by way of Tujunga to our snack stop at Goldstein’s Bagels at the top of Hospital Hill. Then it was downhill all the way back to Pasadena.

It was a fun little ride.

45 miles.
cycling

2/20/2011

Always good to have an exit strategy…

Filed under: — stan @ 7:20 pm

Today’s bike ride was one that didn’t go anywhere in particular. The weather forecast was a bit uncertain, and there was a chance we might get rained out again. So I devised a route that went 40 miles through Los Angeles, but was never more than about a mile from the nearest Metro Rail station.

It’s good to have a way available to bail out if the weather goes bad.

It rained hard on Saturday night, and it was cold in the morning. The snow was down quite low on the mountains. I guess this scared a lot of people off. So it was just me and Silvio who were hard-core enough to go riding. We headed out, into downtown Los Angeles. I got a nice view of my nemesis: the U.S. Bank Tower. Then we headed out through West Adams and then up into Larchmont.

We stopped for a bagel at Noah’s in Larchmont before heading east into Silver Lake for the ride home. The route back went up Figueroa St, which basically parallels the Metro Gold Line. By this time, it was fairly clear, and we were pretty sure it wasn’t going to rain. But it was still cold.

All in all, it was a nice ride. The route wasn’t bad, so I’ll probably keep it for other times when there is a chance of rain.

41 miles.
cycling

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