Stan’s Obligatory Blog


Turnbull Canyon from the east

Filed under: — stan @ 10:17 pm

Today’s bike ride was “Turnbull Canyon, East to West“. It was cloudy, but not feeling like rain, and it wasn’t too cold, so it was all right for riding. There are no pictures today, since Susan had volunteered as a course marshal for the Tour of California stage today in Pasadena, and I’d given her my camera to take to the race.

I rode down to Live Oak Park in Temple City for the start. Along the way, I had to do a little detour around a parade, but that wasn’t that big of a deal.

The Saturday rides usually break up into a faster group and a slower group, but none of the other usual faster riders were there today. So I just took off and hoped someone would come along. As it turned out, nobody else did, so I did most of the ride by myself.

Going up Turnbull Canyon, the route slip had a variation for a ’shorter but steeper’ route to the top. So I tried it out. And it was indeed steeper. I don’t know about how much shorter, but it was still nice for a change. At the top, I decided to wait two minutes just to see if anyone from the main group would show up. As it turned out, three guys rolled up to the top then. One was a guy visiting from Northern California, and we decided to ride back together, since we both wanted to get back sooner. We rode down into Whittier, skipping the snack stop, and headed back.

By the time I got home, it was actually quite warm. I hadn’t expected it, but it actually got up to about 72 degrees, and it was quite pleasant. So overall, it was a nice ride.

49 miles.


Village Vault

Filed under: — stan @ 10:13 pm

Today’s bike ride was the “Village Vault” route. This is a meandering route that goes out to Glendora and back. It was a nice day, albeit a bit chilly, at least by SoCal standards. But we all bundled up and then it was all right.

There wasn’t a lot remarkable about this ride. It was pleasant, and the new snow on the mountains was pretty. But that was about it. We rode out to Glendora, and then we stopped there for a few minutes at Classic Coffee. Then we headed back. It was getting late, so some of us didn’t feel like sitting for a long time.

But it was a fun ride anyway.

37 miles.


La Tuna Canyon my favorite way

Filed under: — stan @ 9:46 pm

Today’s bike ride was around through Burbank and then up the four-mile hill in La Tuna Canyon. As always, I thought that this was Great Fun. It’s another perfect Santa Ana winter day in L.A., so the weather was perfect for riding.

On the way through Burbank, we saw the biggest Hummer limousine any of us had ever seen. It was pretty ridiculous.

When we went up La Tuna Canyon, we passed the roadside memorial for a cyclist who was killed recently when he lost control of his bike on the descent. As luck would have it, as I snapped the picture of the memorial, a rider was zipping past it, which was kind of fitting.

At the top I had Jon take a picture of me, since I rarely appear in the pictures from my bike rides. Then we headed down into Montrose. We rode up Hospital Hill and stopped at Goldstein’s Bagels. From there we rode back across La Cañada, where I saw a fine abandoned couch, and then back into Pasadena and back to the park.

40 miles.


At least I got to go riding a little bit

Filed under: — stan @ 4:43 pm

This afternoon Lucinda went to play at her friend’s house up the street for a while, so I got to go for a short bike ride. I had an hour and 45 minutes, so I rode out to Duarte and back. The weather was perfect, and it was a nice time. And on the way back I passed a couple of houses in Arcadia that had trees in the yard that looked like something out of a Dr. Seuss book.

24 miles.


Another ride to nowhere

Filed under: — stan @ 4:53 pm

Today’s ride had a fairly low turnout. Probably because the weather looked pretty threatening. There were six of us at the start, and we figured we’d just go and see what happened.

What happened first was that Jon got a flat. His tire just went flat, when we had a look at it, it was completely worn out. I’m not sure how he managed to miss that before going riding, but you can see it in the picture.

Continuing on, we rode down through El Monte to Whittier Narrows and then into Montebello. That’s where I got the obligatory picture of Susan with her packet of Gu. Then we turned back north, going over a couple of short, steep hills to get back to Alhambra. At that point, it had become a reasonably nice day. Still cloudy, but it didn’t look like rain any more.

We stopped for a snack at Noah’s Bagels near Caltech. Then we headed home. We cut the route short a little bit because a couple of people wanted to get back early.

It was a pretty nice ride.

32 miles.


Another bike ride to Point Loma

Filed under: — stan @ 8:29 pm

On Sunday morning, Susan and I went for a bike ride in San Diego. My favorite ride there was the one to Point Loma, so we did it again. Strangely enough, the weather today was better than when we did it last June, and also better than when I did it in April, 2007.

We took the coast route through La Jolla, and suddenly my phone rang. It was Vikki, who was there for work, and had seen us ride by from the balcony of her hotel. So we doubled back a block to visit with her. She and her friend had ridden down from Los Angeles yesterday.

There was a sign up at the beach that the seals have taken over, warning us that it was “pupping season” and that we should not disturb the seals. While we were there, I bought a seal T-shirt to take home for Lucinda.

Continuing on, we went through Pacific Beach and Ocean Beach, and then up the hill to the road out to Point Loma. We didn’t pay the $3 to go in this time, since we were a bit short on time and didn’t feel like riding down and back up the big hill to the tide pools. So we turned around and headed back.

On the road around Mission Bay, we saw the truck with “Jesus Christ is Lord” on it. I wonder what they were hauling in there?

When we were almost back to the hotel, Susan got a flat. So I took the picture for the Flat Tire Gallery. Then we rode the last mile back to the hotel. It was a very nice ride.

37 miles.


Toluca Lake

Filed under: — stan @ 5:08 pm

Sunday’s bike ride was the classic Toluca Lake route. West through Eagle Rock and Glendale, and then through a bit of Bubank to Priscilla’s in Toluca Lake. Then back by way of the L.A. River bike path and South Pasadena.

The only amusing things we saw along the way were some people filming something across the street from Warner Bros, a homeless guy with a very large cart of stuff on the bike path, and a long line of birds down in the river bed, all standing at attention on one leg.

It was a very nice day. By the time we were heading back, it was quite warm and very pleasant. And that alone made it a very nice ride.

40 miles.


La Tuna Canyon and the Valley

Filed under: — stan @ 3:57 pm

Today’s bike ride was through La Tuna Canyon and then across the San Fernando Valley with a snack stop in Toluca Lake.

We met at the Elks Lodge in Pasadena. The Rose Parade grandstands were still up, and they were apparently filming something there. There were some police cars for a fictitious police department in the parking lot.

The ride up through Montrose was nice. At the top of La Tuna Canyon we caught up with Gene and Charley. Then we all headed down the other side. At the bottom, we rode across Sun Valley to get to Coldwater Canyon Road, which we took south all the way across the Valley. The road was pretty wretched, like many Los Angeles city streets. It was also windy, since we’re having a Santa Ana right now. But that also meant that the air was very clear, and we could see the mountains very well. Along the way, we passed the Great Wall of Los Angeles.

In Toluca Lake, we stopped at Priscilla’s for bagels and such. Then we headed home by the direct route across Glendale and Eagle Rock. Then back up the Colorado hill into Pasadena.

It was a nice ride.

51 miles.


2008 Bike Report

Filed under: — stan @ 10:01 pm

Since I posted my 2008 Car Report, here’s the comparable report for my bike. In 2008, I rode 6,013 miles total. Despite all the upheaval in my personal life this past year, I was still able to ride my bike to work nearly every day. Commuting accounted for about 2,000 miles. The remainder was my weekend rides for fun.

This is comfortably more than the 5,703 miles I put on my car, so the balance of the universe is still correct.


Mt Washington on a Sunday morning

Filed under: — stan @ 7:57 pm

Today’s bike ride was to Mt. Washington in Los Angeles. We started out from Victory Park and headed up into Altadena. From there, we rode over into La Cañada and then down Verdugo Blvd all the way to Glassell Park. Then we headed up Mt. Washington. They repaved the road last year, and it’s really pretty nice now. It’s a pleasant climb with some nice switchbacks.

Coming down the other side into Highland Park, we headed north, back to South Pasadena. When we crossed the Gold Line railroad tracks, I got a flat. Fortunately, it was a slow leak, so I was able to make it to the snack stop at Kaldi’s before I had to fix it.

Finally, we rode across San Marino and back up Sierra Madre Blvd to the park. It was a nice ride.

37 miles.

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