Stan’s Obligatory Blog

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.

cycling

5/11/2009

A Monday evening bike ride

Filed under: — stan @ 9:14 pm

This evening when I got home from work, I had an unusual situation. I had no kid, no date, and no pressing obligation to do anything in particular. So I got on my bike and went for a ride.

I rode over to the Rose Bowl. There are always a lot of people riding around there, so I figured I might find some company. And I did draft off one guy who was going about 100 miles an hour for a while, which was fun. Then, after about five times around the Bowl, I got bored and turned off. I headed up Lida St, past the Art Center College of Design, up into Glendale. Then down Chevy Chase into La Cañada. Then up Windsor Rd into Altadena, and back across on Mendocino. It was a very pleasant evening ride.

35 miles.
cycling

5/10/2009

Sunday morning’s flat ride

Filed under: — stan @ 5:25 pm

Today’s ride was a flat one. It’s a route I made up last year that tries to avoid most hills. We did this ride on this same weekend last year. I figured this would be a good choice, since I was up late last night, and didn’t get to ‘lights out’ until 2:00.

As it turned out, the lack of hills just made everyone go faster. So it was still a bit of a challenge. But it was fun. I added a few miles at the beginning as a warmup, and a few at the end to run a quick errand. And I was still home by 11:30. So it was a good ride.

46 miles.
cycling

5/3/2009

A golden oldie

Filed under: — stan @ 11:05 pm

Today was my first time officially at the helm of the Sunday Moderate Ride, so we did a Golden Oldie: Toluca Lake Inverse. This is a route out to Toluca Lake and Priscilla’s by way of Highland Park, and back by way of Hospital Hill and La Cañada. It’s one we’ve done a hundred times before, and it doesn’t have any real hills to speak of. For some reason, I have a reputation for picking rides with lots of ridiculous hills in them. So I promised that the Reign of Terror will begin next week. Or perhaps the week after that…

It was pleasantly cool and overcast when we started out. The ride out was pretty uneventful. We saw Chicken Boy in Highland Park. And we rode up the L.A. River bike path. Then we got to Priscilla’s, where we saw a sign for a ‘Girly Yard Sale’. I’m not quite sure what to make of that. We also ran into my friend Carol Elaine there. I was planning on going to the JPL Open House this afternoon to meet up with her and her friends, so that was fun.

By the time we left Priscilla’s, the sun was out, and it turned out to be a very nice day. We rode back across Glendale and up Hospital Hill. Then back into Pasadena and up to Mendocino Drive for the ride across Altadena. Then back down the hill to the park. It was a very nice ride.

43 miles.
cycling

4/26/2009

A ‘fun’ ride

Filed under: — stan @ 6:36 pm

Today I did something different. It was the City of Angels Fun Ride. We’d seen this ride go by last year. The idea of riding with a rolling road closure was appealing, since it meant that we wouldn’t have to stop at all. So I thought I’d try it. I guess I was expecting a well-disciplined group that could ride smoothly together, which can be a lot of fun. When I got there, I saw Ben from the Sunday Morning ride group, so we rode together.

As it turned out, this was a sort of different usage of the word ‘fun’ with which I was previously unfamiliar. Because of the rolling road closure, they required that we ride in one large group. This was a lot like riding in a large racing peleton, but with mostly riders who do not know how to ride in a peleton. So the end result could more accurately be described as ‘harrowing’. We toured around the city, but really couldn’t do any sightseeing, since I didn’t dare look away for even a second. During the first part of the ride, I only saw one rider crash. This was pretty remarkable, considering all the bumping and bonehead moves that I saw going on in the group.

They had a rest and snack stop at the Ford Theater in Hollywood. I grabbed an orange and a few cookies. Then, when it was time to go, several more riders fell while pulling out of the parking lot. They hadn’t realized that the street was uphill, and they were in the wrong gears. Turkeys.

For some inexplicable reason, the police escort we had forced us to go really slowly into Griffith Park. We rode through the park, and then made one lap around it. At the end of the lap, we were about to leave the park and ride back to the finish. But they made us all stop. They said we had to wait 10 minutes for some reason that they really didn’t make clear at all. At this point, I’d had enough. I wasn’t enjoying it. So I unpinned my number from my jersey, pulled out of the line, and rode home.

The ride home was very nice and relaxing. Even having to deal with cars and traffic signals was much mellower than my experience riding in that group. So overall, it was not an especially nice ride.

77 miles.
cycling

4/19/2009

A ride to nowhere with no hills

Filed under: — stan @ 7:55 pm

Today’s bike ride was one of Gene’s routes that basically goes nowhere in particular, and it does it without going over any substantial hills at all. After yesterday’s adventure, this was just the thing I needed. It was a perfect spring day. Cool in the morning, and warming up nicely.

We headed out east through Arcadia and Monrovia, and then up the San Gabriel River bike path. Then back down into Azusa and out into Glendora. Turning south, we went down into West Covina before turning back west and making a loop back to Monrovia, where we stopped for a snack at Merengue. Then straight back home through Arcadia. It was a nice little ride. And I was glad for the lack of hills, since my legs were a bit weary from the stairs yesterday.

41 miles.
cycling

4/12/2009

Sunday morning, riding uphill

Filed under: — stan @ 11:30 am

Sunday’s ride was another of Gene’s ‘rambling around’ rides. It was cool and clear in the morning, but it warmed up fast.

Riding down to the park to meet the group, I saw a special Easter service going on in the park. They had a big blue banner proclaiming, “He is Risen”, and for some reason, I thought that it was blue because that’s the color of a Viagra pill. I’m pretty sure that’s not what they had in mind.

The first part of the ride was pretty level. We practiced our double pace line on Huntington Drive and Monterey Road. Then we started going up hills. We rode up Fortune Way and made our way up to Colorado, and then up Patrician Way. At the top we kept going on down the other side to Linda Vista. Then we went up the Lida hill. We went over the top and part-way down the other side before taking a small street across to meet Chevy Chase, which we rode back up to the top. From there it was downhill (almost) all the way.

At the bottom we rode two laps around the Rose Bowl before heading over to the Corner Bakery on Lake Ave. I skipped the stop, since I needed to get back early. But when I got home, I had 38.2 miles, so I rode around a little bit more just to get to 40. Good fun.

40 miles.
cycling

4/11/2009

Saturday to Whittier

Filed under: — stan @ 5:46 pm

Today’s bike ride was to Whittier, which is not exactly a garden spot, but it’s not a bad ride at all. It was cool and overcast, which was actually very pleasant for riding.

When we got there, we stopped in at Panera Bread for a bagel and some orange juice. Then a small group of us headed back early, since I had a sitter with Lucinda, and I didn’t want to waste time. We maintained a brisk pace all the way back.

It was a nice ride.

55 miles.
cycling

4/5/2009

A nice ride out of town

Filed under: — stan @ 7:31 pm

For a year now, Susan has been telling about the rides she used to do with the Channel Islands Bicycle Club when she would visit Ventura. So this weekend, we headed up there for an overnight micro-vacation complete with a bike ride on Sunday morning.

The ride started at the park next-door to the hotel, which was very convenient. It was relatively warm for 8:00AM. The ride went up to Ojai and back, including a gratuitous climb up the Dennison Grade on Highway 150.

We started out on the Ventura River bike trail, which paralleled the 33 Freeway. We rode through some oil fields on the way out of town, but we were out in the country very quickly. We went up past Lake Casitas, which had some very nice views from the road. Then it was down into Ojai. That was where I saw the Muffler Horse. I’ve seen Muffler Men before, but never a horse.

A bit later, we saw a house with the front yard turned into a large found-object art project. That was pretty amusing.

Then it was time for the gratuitous climb. It was a pretty nice uphill, with a nice viewpoint near the top, complete with a wall I could balance the camera on for a picture. Then we turned around and went back down.

At the bottom, we picked up a stiff tailwind, and we were able to cruise at 30mph easily. That was fun for a few miles. Then we got to the snack stop. We loitered around for a bit until a group decided to head back. We rode pretty much straight south back to Ventura. It was mostly downhill, but with a weirdly varying wind that kept changing direction on us.

The last part was back down the bike trail we’d started on, which let us off right by the park where we started.

It was a very nice ride with some very pretty scenery.

41 miles.
cycling

4/4/2009

And we were nowhere near West Hollywood…

Filed under: — stan @ 2:07 pm


Gaybar Ave

On Saturday, I went on the Foothill Cycle ride out to West Covina. This was a pretty mundane, basic ride. But suddenly, I saw a photo-op. It was Gaybar Ave in West Covina. Who knew there would be such a place? I stopped to take a picture for my collection of signs.

I needed to get home by noon, so I skipped the stop and rode home. It was a nice day, so it was a good ride.

49 miles.
cycling

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