Stan’s Obligatory Blog


Evening bike ride redux

Filed under: — stan @ 9:55 pm

I had another free evening today. And since I’m not going to be able to ride this coming weekend due to taking a trip out of town, I went for a ride now, since I had the chance. I rode down to South Pasadena and then up to the water tower on top of the big hill. Then up to the Rose Bowl. Noodled around the Bowl a few times before heading home by way of Altadena. It was a nice little evening ride.

36 miles.


Hills ‘n’ Heat

Filed under: — stan @ 9:36 pm

Today’s bike club ride was the “Glendale Hills” route. This one goes up and over through La Cañada into Glendale, up into the Verdugo Hills, and then down into Burbank. The snack stop was at Paradise Bakery in Glendale, and the route home was back up and over Chevy Chase and Lida into Pasadena. It was a nice day, albeit a bit on the hot side.

We started out from the park and headed up Altadena Dr to the top, riding across Altadena and then past JPL into La Cañada. Then up the hill into Glendale, where we got a nice view of downtown Los Angeles that showed a low inversion layer trapping the smog at about the 1,500 foot level. Then we went down the somewhat terrifying Mountain St. Crossing Verdugo Blvd, we headed up the other side into the Verdugo Hills. That was where we saw the coyote trotting around on the suburban streets. We rode up and down along the south side of the hills before dropping down and riding into Burbank. We took a quick vote about taking a small detour to see the pirate ship in Burbank. The “Arrr”s won, and we took a short side trip up Angeleo St to see the backyard pirate ship. Then we continued on to Paradise Bakery, where we got eclairs and Gatorade.

The trip back was fairly direct, with just the Chevy Chase/Linda Vista/Lida hill in the way. Then we rode past the Rose Bowl and back to Orange Grove. Then we rode back to the park. Don’s fancy bike computer said that we’d done a total of 3,400 feet of climbing, which is not bad for a ride that didn’t go up into any real mountains.

It was a nice ride.

40 miles.


This brought back memories

Filed under: — stan @ 9:44 pm

Today I had a rare free evening. No kid, no activities planned, no date, just free time. So I went for a bike ride. I rode down through San Marino and South Pasadena. I rode up the hill on Via Del Rey to pass the South Pasadena water tower. Then I headed up Arroyo to the Rose Bowl. I’d planned on just riding once around it and then heading up Lida St, but when I got there, the pack ride was just beginning. They were going slow, so I thought I’d just tag along while they did their warm-up. But like a frog in a pot of water, I didn’t even notice that the speed was ramping up. Until we were going 30mph. It was fun, and it brought back memories from 30 years ago when I was a Category 2 racer, and riding in huge racing packs was just a normal thing in my life.

I stayed with the pack for one full lap. Then I decided I’d had enough, and I didn’t want to push my luck. After all, the last time I did the pack ride, I got knocked down by a novice rider and ended up spending the night in the hospital with broken ribs and a collapsed lung. So one lap was enough. I dropped off the back and just rode at a leisurely pace. And then I found Michael, who used to do the regular Sunday club ride a few years ago. So we rode around several more laps while talking and generally catching up on things. Then I turned off and headed home by way of Altadena. By then, the shadows were getting long, and I was getting hungry. It was a very nice little evening ride.

36 miles.


You must remember this…

Filed under: — stan @ 11:48 pm

You must remember this
A kiss is just a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh.
The fundamental things apply
As time goes by.

And when two lovers woo
They still say, “I love you.”
On that you can rely
No matter what the future brings
As time goes by.

Today’s bike ride was another cultural history grave tour. Today we went to pay respects to Dooley Wilson, who is remembered best as Sam the piano man in “Casablanca“. Since one of the themes of that story is that of great unrequited love, it’s something that I and almost everyone else can certainly relate to.

It was a perfect day for riding. It promised to get hot later in the day, but it never did get very hot. So it was very nice.

We rode directly to downtown Los Angeles and then all the way through to the south end of downtown before turning west on Washington Blvd to get to the Angelus Rosedale Cemetery. We found Dooley’s grave near the entrance. I brought a shot glass along so as to be able to down some shots of Gatorade while reflecting on Wilson’s role as a cultural touchstone for our generation.

After leaving the cemetery, we rode north to Larchmont, where we stopped at Noah’s Bagels. Then we continued on north through Hollywood to Franklin Ave, where we turned east. Then I got a flat. So Jon took the obligatory picture before we continued on. The rest of the route was the most direct way home, up Eagle Rock Blvd and then across on Yosemite and then up the Colorado St hill into Pasadena.

It was a very nice ride.

40 miles.


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.


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.


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, 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.


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.


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.


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.

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