Stan’s Obligatory Blog


Touring L.A.

Filed under: — stan @ 2:49 pm

Today’s bike ride was the Triple Crown route. This is a tour of central Los Angeles, with several nice hills to climb. Normally, the Saturday rides break up into faster and slower groups. But today, the faster group was just me. Oh well.

The route went down through Eagle Rock and Glassell Park to climb Mt. Washington by a different route than usual. I got to ride on Future St. There were some nice views on the way up the hill. And I saw some of the iconic houses on stilts that Los Angeles is known for.

Coming down the other side, I passed the Southwest Museum, and also the artwork at the Gold Line station there.

On the way to Montecito Heights, I passed the giant dragonfly. On the way up the hill, I saw a car parked in front of a “No Parking” sign. I wanted to put a big “FAIL” caption on the picture.

Next, I rode down into Chinatown and then up the hill to Elysian Park. Along the way I crossed over the Pasadena Freeway and got a nice view down between the tunnels. Then it was up and over the hill by Dodger Stadium.

The route then went back up into Eagle Rock, where it went up and over another steep hill on Ave 51. Then down the other side and around the same hill to get back to South Pasadena. Then I rode back across the Colorado St bridge and home.

It was a solitary ride, but not bad in other ways.

41 miles.


Riding to Upland

Filed under: — stan @ 6:04 pm

Today’s bike club ride was the “Molly’s Souper” route. This goes from Arcadia out to Upland for lunch at Molly’s Souper restaurant.

On the way to the start in Arcadia, I saw a couple on a recumbent tandem. They were going pretty fast, so I drafted off them for several miles.

When we started out from the park in Arcadia, we were passed by another group ride. Several people said that they saw Susan in that group. I missed her, since last night she’d said that she was still feeling sick and would not be riding in the morning. But it turned out that Friday night was the turning point, and she woke up feeling better on Saturday and decided to go riding after all.

Right after the start, the group broke up into smaller groups going different paces. Gene led the charge in the front group, and I followed along with a few others. We rode out to Claremont before picking up a new bike path that runs along an old railroad right-of-way out to Upland. It was pretty nice, aside from a few of the major street crossings. But we were wondering what was up with the big rocks they put in front of every pole along the way. Were they supposed to be cushioning to keep us from hitting the poles?

When we got to Upland we decided not to sit down for a long lunch at Molly’s. Instead, we went to a little bakery and had a snack there. That was where we saw the poster for “Menopause: The Musical”, as well as the sign for Skull Daddy, which was offering 50% off skulls. Yum.

The ride back was pleasant, since a lot of it was on long, straight roads with a slight downhill grade. Even though it was a fairly long ride, I was home by 1:00.

65 miles.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.

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