Stan’s Obligatory Blog


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.



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.


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.


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.


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.


La Tuna Canyon

Filed under: — stan @ 12:41 pm

Sunday morning’s ride was the La Tuna Canyon route, complete with the four-mile uphill that I love so much.

The ride out was pretty uneventful. We caught up with a group of three riders on Glenoaks. They turned off and took a shortcut to La Tuna Canyon Road. When we started climbing, Jon caught up with them. The rest of us were catching up to them when I got a flat. So that was that. Susan took the picture for the Flat Tire Gallery.

A little farther up the canyon, we saw a nice set of abandoned couches on the side of the road. At the top of the hill, we stopped for a few minutes before heading down the other side into Montrose. We rode around the weekly street fair there, and then up Hospital Hill to our snack stop at Goldstein’s Bagels.

After the stop, we rode down the hill and back into Pasadena. We took a left at Windsor Road to go up into Altadena. We took a small detour to see Charles Richter’s old house. Then we took Mendocino back across Altadena and then down the hill back to the park.

41 miles.


La Mint

Filed under: — stan @ 2:58 pm

Today’s club ride was the “La Mint” route. This is a bit of a misnomer, in that the La Mint restaurant no longer exists, and then we stopped at the Bagelry instead of the restaurant that was formerly known as La Mint. But it was still a nice ride.

We met at Arcadia Park in Arcadia. While we were waiting, I saw some women doing some sort of training that involved them taking turns looping an inner tube around each other and running while pulling the other along.

The route went pretty much straight east all the way to San Dimas. We stopped at the Bagelry on Lone Hill Ave, which was pleasant. From there, we had a choice of routes home, and we chose the longer one.

Riding back through Covina, we had to stop along the way because Silvio got a flat. So I took the picture for the Flat Tire Gallery.

After fixing the tire, we turned south and headed into the hills near Bonelli Park. We took a somewhat roundabout route through there, which was nice, even though a few of the hills were pretty steep. By the time we made the top of the last hill, I was running out of time. I needed to be home by 1:00, so Susan and I didn’t stop to wait for everyone else. We just kept going and headed straight for home.

Around Encanto Park in Duarte, my phone rang, and I found out that I had more time than I’d thought. So we were able to slow down a bit. We stopped for water at the park, and then when we left, I heard that unmistakable “PANG!” sound of a spoke breaking. My back wheel went gimpy, and I had to stop to mess with it with the spoke wrench so the tire wasn’t rubbing on the frame. Then we continued home, albeit at a reduced pace.

In Arcadia, we saw Gene on his way home. He must have been riding pretty fast, since we’d last seen him miles back in Covina. Then we turned and headed back across Sierra Madre to home.

It was a nice ride, even with the broken spoke. And we made it home at 1:01, which wasn’t bad.

57 miles.


Sunday ride to look for E.T.

Filed under: — stan @ 12:54 pm

This Sunday’s ride was a route that I made up a couple of years ago. It’s a ramble through La Crescenta and Tujunga, with a sightseeing stop at the house where they filmed “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial“.

It was hot today, and that made riding up the hills even more of a joy than usual. But it was still fun. We rode up through La Crescenta, and then straight up Rosemont to the top. There was a sign near the top warning us that mountain lions have been seen there. So we attempted to maintain a brisk pace. Then west across to Tujunga, where JJ got a flat.

After fixing the tire, we headed up the hill going up to Elliott’s house. That’s something like a 15-18% grade. There was a house with sprinklers that were watering the street, so we all rode through the spray to cool off. At the top, we took a picture in front of the house before heading back down.

Coming down Tujunga Canyon Road, we stopped at a little park to get water, since we were running out. Then down into Montrose, where we stopped at Oven Fresh Bakery.

After the stop, it had gotten quite hot. So we had a secret ballot and voted to take a shortcut home. It was a nice ride, but pretty hot today.

37 miles.


Toluca Lake and the Bicycle John’s race

Filed under: — stan @ 7:03 pm

It’s Father’s Day, which means it’s time for the annual Bicycle John’s Grand Prix race in Glendale. We’ve been to see this race several times before: 2007 2006 2004

The route was the now-classic “Toluca Lake Inverse” ride.

It was a perfect day for riding. We headed out from Victory Park, down into San Marino and South Pasadena. Then over across Highland Park to the L.A. River. Then we got on the bike path. There was a guy fixing a flat right at the bike path entrance. He wasn’t part of our group, but he had a flat tire, so I took his picture for the Flat Tire Gallery.

We rode the bike path to the end at Riverside Dr. Then went through Griffith Park to get to Barham Blvd by Warner Bros. Our snack stop was at Priscilla’s on Riverside.

After the stop, we headed back, taking a small detour to see the race in Glendale. I watched for a little while, but I needed to get back on the early side, so Susan and I left early to go home.

The route back was up Verdugo into Montrose, and then home by way of La Cañada. It was a fun ride.

42 miles.


A bike ride to Point Loma

Filed under: — stan @ 7:01 pm

This weekend, Susan and I were visiting my father in San Diego. We brought our bikes along, and on Saturday morning when he was playing bridge, we went for a ride down to Point Loma. I did this ride last year when I was there when he had knee replacement surgery.

It was a cool and overcast morning, which was nice for bike riding.

We headed over to La Jolla, and then took the coast route there, stopping at the cove to see the seals on the beach. Then we rode through Pacific Beach and Mission Beach to Mission Bay. Then through Ocean Beach to get to the road to Point Loma. At the entrance to Cabrillo National Monument, we paid our $3 to get in and took a moment to grouse about Ronald Reagan and the Republican Party for instituting fees for that area. Then we rode down the hill to the tide pools.

After looking at the ocean and the cliffs there, we rode back up the hill to the lighthouse. Then we left and headed back down to Mission Bay. We took the road around the east side of the bay to the Rose Canyon bike path. Then back up into La Jolla Colony and back to my father’s place.

It was a fun ride.

42 miles.

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