Stan’s Obligatory Blog

10/19/2008

Noodling #7 again

Filed under: — stan @ 9:08 pm

Today’s bike ride was the “Noodling-7″ route. We did this one last summer. Today’s route was modified slightly to make it a little bit longer, and it was a fun one.

As with all the “Noodling” series rides, we didn’t go anywhere in particular. The route had lots of turns, and it involved going up and down a lot of hills. But I think that kind of thing is fun.

We saw a cow mailbox in La Cañada, which I thought was funny. Then we rode up to the school at the top of St. Katherine, which was interesting in that we usually do that road the other way. Any familiar road will look different when we ride the other way on it. At the top, Silvio took my picture as I panted after beating everyone to the top.

Overall, it was a fun ride.

41 miles.
cycling

10/11/2008

A ride to Whittier

Filed under: — stan @ 9:04 pm

Today’s bike ride was down to Whittier, which is not an especially nice or scenic place, but it’s somewhere to ride to regardless. We last did this ride back in March. And today’s version was very nice, just like last time. And nobody got a flat this time.

It was kind of chilly in a fall-in-SoCal kind of way this morning. I wore a piece of bubble wrap as a Hoover Blanket for the first time this season. The ride down there was pretty uneventful. We went pretty fast for no particular reason. And when we got there, we went to Panera for pastries and bagels.

The route back was a lot like the route out, even though we took some different streets. I noticed that the Whittier Narrows Dam had the same kind of flood gauge signs that Santa Fe Dam has.

We came back up the San Gabriel River bike path, and we had to walk around where they were doing some construction along the way. Garett had to take his shoes off after that to get the dirt out of them.

Overall, it was a very pleasant ride.

56 miles.
cycling

10/5/2008

Another day at the races

Filed under: — stan @ 8:10 pm

Today, I took Lucinda down to the ADT Center velodrome in Carson to see the last day of the USA Cycling national championships. We went to see this last year, as well as the year before, and we’ve always had fun.

When we got there, they were doing the finals of the team sprint. After that was the women’s points race, which was a lot of fun to watch. The winner was part of a breakaway that lapped the pack. They each got 20 bonus points for doing that, and that was enough to clinch the victory.

The highlight and last race of the day was the Madison final. There’s a lot of action with the big group of riders doing their exchanges. It’s hard to photograph, since the light inside the building is not so good, but it’s still lots of fun to watch.

Lucinda and her friend also got to meet Sarah Hammer there, since she was at a table promoting the OUCH Pro Cycling Team.

It was a fun afternoon.

9/20/2008

The Portal of the Folded Wings

Filed under: — stan @ 6:57 pm

Today’s club bike ride was over Turnbull Canyon, which is always a fun time. But due to scheduling difficulties, there was no way I could make it to the start in time. So Susan, Steve, and I went on another ride. We went over to North Hollywood to see the Portal of the Folded Wings Shrine to Aviation at Valhalla Cemetery.

We rode out across Eagle Rock, Glendale and Burbank to get to Burbank Blvd, which took us across the 5 freeway to Victory Blvd. Then we rode west to get to the cemetery.

The cemetery is just off the end of the runway at Burbank Airport, which is a fitting place for a monument to aviation. There were planes taking off over our heads the whole time we were there. A lot of major figures of early aviation are buried there. And befitting the tribute to flight, there was a very large bird’s nest built near the top of the building, too.

Coming back, we headed south to Toluca Lake and then down the L.A. River bike path. Along the way, we saw the Motion Picture Costume Cleaners, which seemed appropriate, since there is a lot of movie business going on in that part of town.

We finished by coming across Highland Park and South Pasadena, and then back home to Pasadena. It was a fun little ride.

44 miles.
cycling

9/14/2008

Still No Tuna

Filed under: — stan @ 1:44 pm

The Sunday ride for this week was a slightly modified version of Gene’s “No Tuna For Me” route, which avoids the four-mile grade up La Tuna Canyon by taking a roundabout route through horse country in Sunland and Tujunga. It’s a nice route.

The day started out cool and overcast, but the sun did come out by mid-morning. On our way across Eagle Rock, we saw a guy riding his bike with two dogs. I was wondering how long it took him to teach them to do that and not run under the wheels.

I got a laugh from the church sign in Burbank. And then we passed the dump in Sun Valley and headed up into horse country. Some of the grades were pretty steep, but the streets were nice and quiet.

After cresting the hill in Tujunga, we headed down the other side. That was where Jon got a flat. While he was fixing it, we took a short straw poll and decided to make the snack stop at the bagel place on top of the last major hill, rather than the bakery at the bottom before the last major hill. That seemed like a nice idea.

After the stop, we headed home, and it was mostly downhill. I had to stop briefly to true up my back wheel, since it got knocked out by a bump and was rubbing on the frame. Then we headed home. It was a nice ride.

45 miles.
cycling

9/13/2008

A ride to Griffith Park

Filed under: — stan @ 1:33 pm

Today’s bike ride was a rather nondescript route across Glendale to Griffith Park, down the L.A. River bike path, and home by way of Eagle Rock Blvd and South Pasadena.

It was cool and overcast, so it was a bit chilly. And that was that. About the only memorable thing from the ride was the church sign in Eagle Rock.

39 miles
cycling

9/10/2008

Tour de Tahoe

Filed under: — stan @ 6:31 am

bikeThis past weekend’s cycling adventure was a bit different. Susan and I did the Tour de Tahoe, which is a 72-mile ride around Lake Tahoe.

The weather was perfect, albeit a bit chilly when we started out at 7:15. But as soon as the sun came up over the mountains, it was quite pleasant.

The ride itself was very spectacular. Sadly, some of the best vistas were on downhill stretches where it wasn’t practical to stop and look. But in any event, the views were very good all the way around.

There were really only two big climbs. The first was up the switchbacks to the overlook by Emerald Bay. The second was where we went part-way up the mountains on the east side of the lake to meet highway 50 for the final descent back to the finish at South Lake Tahoe. Each of these was about 1,000 feet of climbing. The lake level is about 6,200 feet above sea level, so the tops of the climbs were both close to 7,000 feet. We were able to notice that the air was a bit thinner than what we’re used to here in Pasadena, but we hoped that the lack of smog may have helped make up for the lack of oxygen.

I took so many pictures on this ride that I had to make a separate album for them.

It was a very nice ride.

74 miles.
cycling

8/30/2008

Pedal to Paradise

Filed under: — stan @ 4:35 pm

Today’s ride was the “Pedal to Paradise” route. I guess it’s named that because it goes to Paradise Bakery in Glendale.

On the way to the start, we saw a moving truck with “S&M Moving“. That’s a good companion to S&M Liquor and B&D Auto Center.

There was a truck in the parking lot where we met that had some fake trees in it. I guess they were filming something there.

The ride out was pretty uneventful, aside from Don getting a flat coming down Chevy Chase in Glendale.

At the bakery I had a single chocolate eclair. I knew we were going to be riding up the big hill on Mountain St on the way back, and I didn’t want to take a chance on horking up two eclairs on the way up.

Note the pictures where Susan and Garett are smiling as we head up Mountain. And then see how everyone is smiling even more when we got to the top and started down the other side.

At the bottom of the hill, several of us turned off to go home. Susan had to get back early so she could go in to work this afternoon, so we skipped the rest of the ride.

35 miles.
cycling

8/17/2008

“A relatively flat ride…”

Filed under: — stan @ 9:05 pm

Sunday’s ride was billed as ‘relatively flat’. And this turned out to be a good thing, since I had to get a babysitter for Lucinda, and she got lost on the way to my house. So I started out 15 minutes late. Susan waited for me, and we set out together to try and catch the group. We put the hammer down and rode as fast as we could. And fortunately, the group was sort of loafing along, since they knew we were chasing them. So we caught them in El Monte, just about 12 miles into the ride.

We rode over into Baldwin Park, and that’s where I saw In-N-Out University. This is the world headquarters for In-N-Out Burger. I stopped for a picture, and then I got caught at the longest red light in the world. So I had to catch up all over again.

When I caught up to the group, they were just stopping at a light, and as a rolled to a stop, I heard that distinctive “PANG!” sound of a spoke snapping. Fortunately, I had some spares, and there was a park with a shady spot for fixing the wheel. So I replaced the broken spoke and trued up the wheel. And we were on our way again.

We rode down into Industry, and then over to West Covina. I’m not exactly sure where we were, but we made a big loop to end up back at Santa Fe Dam in Irwindale. Then we got on the bike path to get back to Duarte. And then we took the standard route home to Pasadena.

It was a nice ride, even if I did have to fix my wheel in the middle of it.

45 miles.
cycling

8/16/2008

Monrovia

Filed under: — stan @ 1:50 pm

Today’s bike ride was the “Monrovia Madness” route, which is a meandering route that goes to Monrovia. Who knew? And then it goes up a couple of the little canyons there, so there are some nice hills.

We met at Live Oak Park in Temple City. On the way there, I collected one nice abandoned couch. for the Abandoned Couches Blog. I manged to get the picture without having to slow down while riding by, which was pretty remarkable, since we were going pretty fast at that point.

The ride up to Monrovia was pretty straightforward. When we got there, we rode up two of the canyons in the foothills there. At the top of the second one, I saw some lawn flamingos and a squashed rattlesnake.

When we came down out of the hills, we stopped at T Burger in Monrovia. I got a big chorizo breakfast burrito, which was huge. I didn’t even have to have lunch after the ride.

The last part of the ride went down the San Gabriel River bike path and back to Live Oak Park. Susan and I decided to skip that, and we just went back to Pasadena directly.

It was a nice ride.

51 miles.
cycling

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