Stan’s Obligatory Blog

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

8/10/2008

Meandering

Filed under: — stan @ 1:30 pm

Today’s ride was Gene’s “La Cañada Flintridge” route. This is a meandering route that goes all over the place, but not to anywhere in particular. Unless you count the tops of several big hills as ’somewhere’. It was a nice day for riding.

We headed out from Victory Park and went south into Temple City. That’s where we saw a big group of the feral parrots that live there.

Heading back north, we passed through Pasadena, and then up the big hill on Inverness above the Rose Bowl. We rode up and over, and then down into La Cañada. Going over Hospital Hill, we went down into Montrose to our snack stop at Oven Fresh.

Leaving the bakery, we made a loop back to La Cañada by way of Foothill Blvd, and then back into Pasadena. There, we went up Loma Alta to the top of Lake Ave. And from there, it was downhill all the way home.

It was a fun ride.

40 miles.
cycling

8/9/2008

La Tuna Canyon and a tour of the valley

Filed under: — stan @ 5:56 pm

Today’s bike ride was the “La Tuna Sandwich” route. We did this one last summer. And just like last time, we modified the route slightly to avoid riding home on Los Feliz Blvd, since that’s really not a nice place to ride.

It was a perfect day for riding when we set out from the Pasadena Elks Lodge. We rode up through La Cañada, Montrose and Tujunga. Then it was four miles downhill through La Tuna Canyon. At the bottom, we just went straight ahead, ending up on Tujunga Ave for the ride across the Valley. Along the way, we passed a monument to Amelia Earhart in North Hollywood. We also passed the Barris Kustom showroom in Toluca Lake before our snack stop at Priscilla’s.

The route back was down the L.A. River bike path, and then home through Highland Park and South Pasadena.

It was a pleasant ride.

50 miles.
cycling

8/3/2008

Sunday South Lake Ride

Filed under: — stan @ 6:06 pm

Today’s bike ride was Gene’s “South Lake” route, which is one of those meandering routes that doesn’t go anywhere in particular, but still covers a lot of ground.

For historical interest, this was the route we did the first time Susan rode with our group.

In Monrovia, we saw a group of turkey vultures circling overhead. We were moving at a brisk pace, so I’m pretty sure they weren’t there for us.

Our snack stop was at the Corner Bakery on Lake Ave in Pasadena. We found a table in the shade and had some snacks.

Finally, we saw a failed topiary Pegasus at the Mobil station on Lake Ave. They’ve been growing this one for about ten years, but it seems that they haven’t been maintaining it recently.

Overall, it was a pleasant ride.

39 miles.
cycling

7/20/2008

Up Montecito

Filed under: — stan @ 6:25 pm

Today’s bike ride was Gene’s “Up Montecito” route. The name comes from the fact that we ride up the hill on Montecito Drive. We’ve ridden down that hill on the “Noodling 1” ride, but today we did it the other way. It was cool and overcast this morning, so it was just about perfect for riding.

We rode across Pasadena and down to Highland Park. We passed Chicken Boy on Figueroa. We crossed back over the arroyo, where we passed the giant dragonfly. Then we turned left and headed up the hill on Montecito.

The hill was nice. Not as steep as going the other direction. So we were able to maintain a pretty brisk pace all the way to the top. Then we headed down the steep side, where we saw some abandoned couches, which I collected for the Abandoned Couches Blog.

Heading north and east again, we crossed into South Pasadena, where Steve got a flat.

Continuing east, we went as far as El Monte. At that point, Susan and I turned off to head for home. We were going to go to the big tattoo show at the Fairplex this afternoon, so we wanted to get back a bit early.

It was a nice ride.

36 miles.
cycling

7/13/2008

Balls!

Filed under: — stan @ 9:51 pm

Today’s bike ride was a variation on our usual Larchmont Village ride. The variation was a detour around the north side of Silver Lake reservoir to see the balls. I’d recently read that the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power had decided to cover Silver Lake reservoir with 3 million floating plastic balls. This is to shade the water from the sunlight and keep birds from landing. But I just thought that it was something that we had to see.

The ride down there was pretty routine. Then we took the route around the back side of the reservoir to look at the balls. Then we rode down to Silver Lake Blvd. That was where I saw the LA Doggie Style groomers.

In Hancock Park, I saw the truck with the sticker promoting Universal Celibacy Day.

When we got to Larchmont, we stopped at Noah’s Bagels for our usual bagels. Then we rode back through Hollywood to get back to the L.A. River. Then we rode up through Eagle Rock and back to Pasadena.

It was a nice ride, and we saw the balls.

39 miles.
cycling

7/12/2008

La Verne on another hot day

Filed under: — stan @ 4:50 pm

Today’s club ride was out to La Verne again. It wasn’t as hot today as the last time we went there, but it was still on the warm side for SoCal.

We had barely gotten started when I heard the unmistakable “PANG” of a spoke breaking. My back wheel went gimpy, and I had to stop to true it up enough to go on. I was able to get it pretty straight, even with the broken spoke. The spoke was on the non-gear side of the wheel, so I figured we’d look for a bike shop along the way to get a replacement.

After fixing my wheel, Susan and I set out to try and catch everyone. The big group we started with had fragmented, and we caught up with some of them right away. Then it was a long haul up Gladstone St with nobody from our group in sight. In San Dimas, we caught up to Charley. But we never did catch the front group. When we got to Coffeeberry, they were already there. They said they hadn’t been there for long, though. If the ride had been a bit longer, we might have caught them.

While we were sitting on the nice shade patio at Coffeeberry, Gene mentioned that the San Dimas Incycle was pretty close by. So we decided to alter the route to go back with a stop there so I could get a replacement spoke. We rode over there, and I got three new spokes. I figured that I’d replace the broken one right now. And if I had two spares, that probably meant that I wouldn’t break any more on the way home. So I put the new spoke on and trued the wheel up right there in front of the store. And then we headed out for home.

The way back was pretty uneventful. We took the route back through Santa Fe Dam and the nature center there. We’re having a small monsoon condition here the last few days, and the humidity is on the high side for L.A. And the San Gabriel River actually had water in it today. I think there must have been thunderstorms last night up in the mountains.

We stopped at Encanto Park in Duarte for water. Then we rode the last few miles home across Monrovia and Arcadia.

It was a pleasant ride, even with the broken spoke.

53 miles.
cycling

7/6/2008

A nice ride with (virtually) no hills

Filed under: — stan @ 12:18 pm

Today’s ride was the route I made up last May. The intention was to come up with a route with as few hills as possible.

We started out from Victory Park in Pasadena and headed east. The route goes all the way out to Glendora, and then makes a loop back through Covina to Irwindale. This includes a couple of nice roads that are just slightly downhill. Just enough that we can feel strong and ride fast.

Of course, I got the obligatory picture of Susan with a packet of Gu.

Our snack stop was at Planet Cookies in Monrovia. Then we headed home through Sierra Madre. This involved a little bit of uphill riding, but it was still a pretty flat ride. Our average was about 16mph, and we were home by 11:00.

43 miles.
cycling

7/4/2008

Santa Fe Dam: aka Another bike ride to nowhere in particular

Filed under: — stan @ 1:50 pm

Today is the July 4th holiday. Lucinda is off at the Sierra Madre parade with her friend from school. And there’s no official bike club ride. So Susan and I made our own.

We started out from my house, and almost immediately, I got a flat.

In Monrovia, we saw some people riding horses. The adults had big horses, and the kids had little kid-sized horses. Then we crossed the San Gabriel River and took the Santa Fe Dam bike path down around the top of the dam. We rode all the way to the far end of the dam just to see where the path went. Apparently, it just goes until the dam ends, and there’s just a little turnaround loop.

On the way back around the dam, we noticed the flood gauge on the inside slope of the dam. I guess the numbers indicate elevation above sea level.

We stopped for water at Encanto Park in Duarte on the way back. It was pretty hot. But it was a fun little ride.

37 miles.
cycling

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