Stan’s Obligatory Blog

6/28/2009

The Octomom Art Project

Filed under: — stan @ 7:07 pm

Today’s bike ride was a specially modified version of the Turnbull Canyon route with a small detour in Whittier to see an art project dedicated to Nadya Suleman, the so-called “Octomom”. It was on the wall of Gold Mine VW Parts on Pickering St in Whittier.

It promised to be a hot day today. The route down to Whittier was about as direct as I was able to devise. Gene came along for the first part of the ride, before turning off to ride down to Manhattan Beach to see the bike race there today.

There is a clinic in South San Gabriel that seems always to have anti-abortion protesters outside it. But today, there were more of them than I’d ever seen before.

In Pico Rivera, we took a one-block detour to see Dork St. Keira got her picture taken with the sign. Then it was on to Whittier and the Octomom Art Project.

After that, we rode up and over Turnbull Canyon and then headed home by way of La Puente. Our snack stop was in Monrovia at Merengue. They have a lot of odd Cuban things there, and the watermelon soda was one of them. The cartoon picture on the can didn’t look like it could pass muster in current PC America.

From Monrovia, we rode straight home by way of Sierra Madre. It was a nice ride, and we got to take in some weird local culture, too.

43 miles.
cycling

6/27/2009

A Saturday afternoon quickie

Filed under: — stan @ 4:17 pm

On Saturday afternoon, I had about an hour and a half between dropping off Lucinda and having to be anywhere, so I went for a bike ride. It was hot, but still a nice day.

I rode over to the Rose Bowl, did about two laps, and then headed home by way of Altadena. It was a nice little ride.

20 miles.
cycling

6/21/2009

La Tuna Canyon on a perfect Sunday morning

Filed under: — stan @ 11:25 pm

Sunday’s bike ride was the classic La Tuna Canyon route. The one with the four-mile uphill stretch that I enjoy so much.

It was a perfect day for riding. We had a group of seven, and we headed out across Pasadena and Eagle Rock. Along the way, I was talking with Keira, and she told me about her ‘bike porn’ web site, pedalphilia.com. You know that that had to get my attention. Sort of like a Reese’s cup, it’s my two favorite things mashed together. So that was fun.

In Burbank, we took a quick side trip to see the pirate ship, since several of the people in the group hadn’t seen it before.

Then it was time for the Main Attraction. The four-mile hill up La Tuna Canyon. Such fun.

Our snack stop was at Goldstein’s Bagels at the top of Hospital Hill. Then it was (mostly) downhill back into Pasadena and back to the park.

When we got back to the park, I realized that I didn’t have anything to do or anywhere to be until dinnertime, so I just kept riding. I rode down to San Marino and San Gabriel, and then out to Arcadia and Duarte. All so that I could say:

70 miles.
cycling

6/15/2009

Metal fatigue strikes again

Filed under: — stan @ 9:00 pm

On my way to work this morning, I noticed the bike had picked up a new squeak. It was a very strange squeak. And when I got to the office, as I rode up the little uphill on the driveway, I heard a snap noise, and the bike felt weird. So I stopped to look. And I saw that the joint where the seat tube connects to the bottom bracket had broken. This is a Very Bad Thing. And it’s pretty much the end of the line for my old commuter bike. I’ve had the bike for 18 years, and been riding it to work daily for 14 years. So I figure I’ve gotten good use out of it.

At lunchtime, I rode home very carefully and got my car. Then, after work, I went to Performance Bike and had a look at what I could get that was suitable. I found a Fuji Absolute 2.0 that was a leftover from last year, so it had a clearance price. That was just the ticket. I took it for a test ride, and then brought it home. So I’m back in business for tomorrow.

6/14/2009

Glendora for an easy ride

Filed under: — stan @ 8:28 pm

Today’s bike ride was out to Glendora for a snack stop in Old Town there. I picked this one because it’s a little on the short side, and I wanted to get back a little early today.

There wasn’t much remarkable about this ride. It was cool and overcast the whole way. But it was very pleasant.

36 miles.
cycling

6/7/2009

Seeing stars in Hollywood

Filed under: — stan @ 4:36 pm

Today’s bike ride was my route that goes up to the Hollywood sign and then down the other side into Burbank. It was a nice day for riding. Cool and overcast, with the sun promising to come out later.

Heading down Eagle Rock Blvd, Scott got a flat. He decided that he didn’t trust his spare tire for the rest of the ride, so he turned back then. Ben and I soldiered on, crossing the L.A. River into Silver Lake, and then across the Shakespeare Bridge into Hollywood.

Turning up Beachwood, the climbing started. Then we turned left and the hill got much steeper. By the time we got to the stop, we were seeing stars. We stopped for a few minutes below the sign to take in the view. Then we rode down the other side to Lake Hollywood. The reservoir level looked pretty low, so I guess that’s why the Department of Water and Power is saying there’s a water shortage.

To get to the road down into Burbank, we had to climb up from Lake Hollywood. This is the hill that I always forget about, until it’s time to ride up it. And then I remember. It’s actually harder than the climb up to the sign.

We stopped for a bagel at Priscilla’s in Toluca Lake before heading back by way of Glendale, Montrose, and Hospital Hill. Then it was (mostly) downhill all the way home. We stopped to look at the house that has the plastic cows on the front lawn. They’ve added a second calf to the herd.

It was a very nice ride.

44 miles.
cycling

5/31/2009

Out for bagels

Filed under: — stan @ 9:05 pm

Sunday’s bike ride was another classic with no hills to speak of. We rode out to San Dimas to get a bagel at the Bagelry.

Along the way, we saw this abandoned couch.

It was cool and overcast the whole way, and it never really warmed up. The jacaranda trees are in bloom now, and the purple flowers made a nice contrast with the gray day. Still, it was a nice ride.

46 miles.
cycling

5/24/2009

I bagged another mailbox today

Filed under: — stan @ 4:37 pm

Today’s ride was the “No Tuna For Me” route. The last time we’d done this route, I noticed another hot-rod mailbox along the way, but I wasn’t able to get a picture of it that day. So today’s mission was to find the mailbox and add it to my collection.

It was a small group today. Just Silvio and me. But this worked out all right, since we’re pretty evenly matched, and so we didn’t have to wait for any slower riders. We just cruised through the route at a nice, brisk pace.

We rode across Eagle Rock, where we saw a large oak tree that had apparently fallen over. Then it was on, across Glendale and into Burbank. We briefly met up with a large group of riders there, but then they turned off to go up La Tuna Canyon. We went straight, into Sun Valley and the auto-wrecking ghetto there, and then past the dump and on into horse country. That was where we saw the chicken mailbox, which was pretty funny.

Coming out on Sunland Blvd, I spotted my quarry. I bagged that mailbox, and now I have nine in my collection. So the day was a success.

We rode across Tujunga and then down into Montrose. Up Hospital Hill, where we stopped at Goldstein’s Bagels for a snack. Then it was (almost) all downhill back into Pasadena and home. It was a nice ride.

43 miles.
cycling

5/17/2009

Elliott…

Filed under: — stan @ 2:05 pm

Sunday’s bike ride was my route up to Tujunga to see the house where “E.T.” was filmed. It’s at the top of a very steep hill, which is the real point of the ride. The last time we did this route was last summer on a very hot weekend. This time it was hot, but not nearly like last year.

We started out from the park and rode up into Altadena. Then over to La Cañada. It was there that Don spaced out and ran into a jogger. The jogger was fine, but Don fell and hurt his knee. So after a quick cleanup, he headed back home. We continued on, up the hill.

In Montrose, we saw a deer trotting down the street, followed closely by a truck from L.A. County Animal Control. The deer turned off down a side street, and the truck followed it.

Heading up La Crescenta Blvd, we ground up the long hill. Then John’s chain started skipping. We had a look at it and saw that one of the pins was coming out, and the chain was about to break. So he turned back.

When we got to the top, we rode across into Tujunga, and finally up the hill to Elliott’s house. At the top, we looked at the view for a few minutes before going back down. Then it was all downhill back to Montrose and and our snack stop at Oven Fresh.

The most fun thing about Oven Fresh was always the orange juice machine. It was terribly entertaining to watch, and the juice was good. But this time, it was gone. They said that it had broken down, and that they were not going to fix or replace it. So I guess that about wraps it up for that place.

After the snack stop, we went down the long hill into Glendale, and then turned and rode Chevy Chase back up and over to La Cañada again. Then east into Pasadena, and back to the park. It was a nice ride, and we did something like 3,700 feet of climbing.

42 miles.
cycling

5/16/2009

A little sightseeing

Filed under: — stan @ 4:42 pm

Today’s bike ride was a little sightseeing trip around northeast Los Angeles. We met at Live Oak Park in Temple City and then set out to the west.

The group quickly broke up, and the ‘fast group’ consisted of me and Gene. We rode across San Marino and South Pasadena into Highland Park. We had a quick side trip to peek into Heritage Square. Then we crossed the freeway and headed up Mt. Washington to pass the Self-Realization Fellowship at the top. Then down the very steep and rough route back into Highland Park.

From there, we headed north, back into Pasadena. The actual ride route had us going back to Temple City, but Gene and I both bailed and went home. It was a nice ride.

34 miles.

Addendum: There was one bit of unpleasantness on this ride. On my way down to Live Oak Park, I was run off the road by a jerk in a minivan. I yelled at him, and he just moved over into my lane and pushed me off the road. Memo to motorists: If you’re going to drive like an asshole, don’t do it in a car with an easily-remembered vanity plate. Yes, “SQSH NUT”, I’m referring to you. And I’ll be looking for you.

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