Stan’s Obligatory Blog

9/13/2009

5/7 of the Right Stuff

Filed under: — stan @ 1:05 pm

Today’s bike ride was the old route out to San Dimas for a bagel, but reversed. The plan was to ride out there, get a bagel, and then stop off for minor sightseeing on the way back. A few weeks ago, I’d see a trailer park on Covina Blvd where the streets were named for the original Mercury astronauts. Or at least five of the seven original Mercury astronauts. There was no clue why Gordon Cooper and Wally Schirra didn’t get streets. I looked it up, and there’s a Cooper Court in San Dimas, but I’m pretty sure there isn’t a Schirra St.

On the way back, I got a laugh out of the Chinese billboard for the Venitian in Las Vegas. I guess they’d heard about all those stereotypes about how much Chinese people like to gamble. Being Chinese, I can feel free to poke fun at the stereotypes, like when I see a Chinese restaurant with a health department grade of “B”.

Aside from that, there wasn’t much memorable about the ride. It was pleasant, but not remarkable.

42 miles.
cycling

9/12/2009

A quick afternoon bike ride

Filed under: — stan @ 7:16 pm

On Saturday afternoon, I suddenly found myself with a couple free hours, so I went riding. I did my usual route down to South Pasadena, over the water tower hill, and then up to the Rose Bowl. I noticed today that they’d put up signs making it more explicit which way the pedestrians are supposed to walk there. And that despite there being a clear sign about every 50 yards, people were still ignoring them and walking the wrong direction. Makes me want to carry my riding crop when I’m riding there.

More local bike sightseeing

Filed under: — stan @ 12:09 pm

On Saturday morning, Lucinda and I went for a bike ride. This time we went a bit farther than we’ve done before, and we rode down to see the weird palm tree near Caltech. She thought it was pretty entertaining, so we had a nice time.

9/6/2009

Riding away from the brushfire smoke

Filed under: — stan @ 12:25 pm

Sunday’s bike ride was a route I made up that took us as far away as we could go from the smoke of the Station Fire, which has been burning in the Angeles National Forest for the last 10 days. We rode down into Downtown Los Angeles, and then out on Wilshire for a bit before turning north to get to Larchmont Village. Then home through Hollywood and Eagle Rock.

It was a nearly-perfect day for riding. There was just a hint of smoke smell in the air when we left Pasadena, and we quickly left that behind as we rode down Huntington Drive toward downtown L.A.

In downtown, we rode down Grand Ave, past the skyscrapers on Bunker Hill. I got a good look at the U.S. Bank Tower, which was nice. I’ve signed up to do the “Stair Climb to the Top” there in a few weeks, so I will be getting more acquainted with it then.

In Larchmont, we usually go to Noah’s Bagels, but this time we did something different. There is a farmer’s market there on Sundays, so we went and got snacks there instead. It was pretty nice. Then we headed up into Hollywood, passing the stage for “Divorce Court“, and also the Suicide Girls office.

As we rode back into Pasadena, we could faintly smell the smoke from the fire again, but it wasn’t bad. So overall, it was a nice ride.

40 miles.
cycling

8/30/2009

Carbon Canyon

Filed under: — stan @ 10:26 pm

This morning, I’d planned on doing a bike ride to the south, away from the mountains and the smoke from the Station Fire. But when I went outside, the smoke was so thick I could barely see to the end of my block. So riding around here seemed like a really Bad Idea. So I hatched a plan to go riding somewhere else. I called Newton, who lives out in West Covina, and I asked him what the air was like there. He said it was fine, but that he could see that Pasadena was completely invisible under a blanket of smoke. So I figured out a route to start in Covina and go over Carbon Canyon into Brea. It was 41 miles, and would be nowhere near the smoke.

I went down to the park just to see if anyone else would show up. I figured we could all go in my car and go riding out there. But nobody else was there, so I just headed out by myself. The first picture shows the view from the park, looking towards the mountains. And there are mountains there, even if you can’t see them. They are only about 2 miles away, which gives you an idea how thick the smoke was. As soon as I got a few miles east, the smoke cleared, and it was a pretty nice day. I parked at Covina Park and mounted up to ride.

I passed Alpha Omega Burgers, which I thought was funny, since that was the name of the doomsday bomb in “Beneath the Planet of the Apes“. Perhaps they should have a slogan, “Our Burgers are the Bomb”.

When I got to Chino Hills, I saw some people playing rollerblade hockey. That was kind of novel, since I’ve only ever seen hockey played on ice before.

I found a hot-rod mailbox on Carbon Canyon Road. At the top of the hill, I balanced the camera on a fence post for a picture. Then I headed down the other side into Brea. When I saw the oil wells, I knew I was there. I rode around to Brea Blvd and turned right. This brought me into Brea Canyon, where I saw the historical marker for Don Gaspar de Portola’s 1769 campsite. I also saw the small forest of oil derricks in the canyon.

On the way back on Grand Ave, there was a speed sensor sign. It said I was going 11mph. It was uphill. At least it didn’t tell me to slow down.

Back in Covina, I saw a warning sign to watch for deaf children. That was an unusual sight, but I guess there must be a reason for it.

It was a nice ride. Clear air, even if it was pretty hot.

41 miles.
cycling

8/23/2009

Another local sightseeing outing

Filed under: — stan @ 11:36 pm

On Sunday afternoon, Lucinda asked if we could go on another bike ride. So I took her on another local sightseeing ride. This time to see the Bunny Museum. It’s only about a mile or so from our house, although it’s all uphill to get there. So I took her there by a roundabout route that broke the climbing up into small chunks. The we stopped to admire the giant topiary rabbit in the front yard, and all the other bunnies around the yard. Then we rode home, which was all downhill.

The Donut Hole

Filed under: — stan @ 7:17 pm

Today’s bike ride was another little sightseeing ride. This time, the destination was The Donut Hole in La Puente. This is a prime example of programmatic architecture, which in this case is a building shaped like the product sold there.

The actual route out there was pretty straightforward and flat. This was a minor variation on a route we did last summer.

When we got to The Donut Hole, we each took a souvenir photo in front of the big donut, and then a group shot, with the camera balanced on a rock.

The snack stop was at Panera in West Covina, and the route home went over Santa Fe Dam and up the bike path. Then home across Monrovia and Arcadia. It was a fun ride. The route itself wasn’t all that exciting, but the Donut Hole made it amusing.

45 miles.
cycling

8/22/2009

A rare free Saturday bike ride

Filed under: — stan @ 1:31 pm

Today, I got to go on the Saturday club ride for the first time since March. The ride was out to La Verne. It was a nice day, but the humidity was high by SoCal standards, so everyone was complaining about it.

As always, the group fragmented immediately at the start. Gene and I were the fast group. When we got to Gladstone St, we saw the PAA Coach Rick ride go by. This was the ride that I went on once last March. A couple of the guys in the group were people we knew, so we chased them for a couple miles to catch up and talk. Then they turned off and we continued on to La Verne.

We stopped at Coffeeberry, since they have a nice shaded patio. Then we continued on past the L.A. County Fair Grounds. I told everyone how I’m entering my blueberry muffins in the fair this year. Then we rode into Bonelli Park, around the lake and then headed for home.

On the way back, I saw a trailer park where the front street was “Space St”, and the cross streets were named for the original Mercury astronauts. I think this will have to be a sightseeing trip some time in the future.

It was a nice ride.

58 miles.
cycling

8/16/2009

Lorenzo the Llama

Filed under: — stan @ 12:50 pm

A week or so ago, my girlfriend was telling me about her friends who live in Shadow Hills. That’s the horse neighborhood off Sunland Blvd in the northeast San Fernando Valley. She said that their neighbors have an emu and a llama named Lorenzo living in their front yard. So of course I had to find out where so we could do a sightseeing ride up there. It turned out that it was only about a three-block detour off the “No Tuna for Me” route that we do. So this was today’s bike ride.

It was a perfect day for riding. We started off across Pasadena and Eagle Rock, and then across Glendale into Burbank. We took Glenoaks Blvd up to Sun Valley and turned on Peoria St, just before the big dump. And then we headed into horse country. We wound around in there a bit before we ended up in front of the llama house.

There was a sheep, a goat, an emu, and then Lorenzo the Llama. They were all friendly and curious, and they came up to the fence to check us out. So we all got souvenir pictures with them. It was a good piece of weird Los Angeles sightseeing.

The route back went through Tujunga and Montrose. Then we stopped at Goldstein’s for a bagel before heading home.

It was a nice ride.

44 miles.
cycling

8/15/2009

First time local bike sightseeing

Filed under: — stan @ 3:20 pm

I bought Lucinda a new bike last Monday, and she’s been excited to go riding. So we’ve gone on a few short rides in the evening, and today, I took her on a small sightseeing ride. She asked to go somewhere without hills, and not too far away. So we rode down to see the weird castle-house I found in Pasadena some time ago.

It was a nice day for riding, and we even stopped off on the way home and got a new lamp for the house at a yard sale.

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