Stan’s Obligatory Blog


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.


Noodling on a Sunday morning

Filed under: — stan @ 2:00 pm

Today’s bike ride was Gene’s “Noodling – 1” route. This is a route that doesn’t go anywhere in particular, but goes up and down a lot of steep hills in the process. The last time we did this ride was over a year ago, so it was time again.

It was a perfect day for riding. Sadly, I’m getting sick, so I wasn’t quite in the proper mood for racing up the hills. Still, it was a fun little ride. We saw the sights and got some nice views from the top of the hills. But in the end, I was starting to feel pretty sluggish, and so Susan and I cut the last part of the ride short and came home.

32 miles.


Just a couple hills…

Filed under: — stan @ 12:54 pm

Today’s bike club ride was the “Crown City Trainer“, which is another of those rides that doesn’t go anywhere in particular, but manages to go up and down a bunch of hills along the way there. Which I think is great fun.

This route starts at Story Park in Alhambra. On the way down there from my house, I met up with Silvio, and we rode to the park together.

The route starts out climbing up the hill to the water tower in South Pasadena. This is a nice warm-up. Then we rode through the San Rafael Hills area of Pasadena and up Patrician Way. Then back down the hill to Linda Vista before turning up Inverness to climb back up the hill again. As I said, this was all Great Fun.

On the way back, we passed a job site with a sign for Cementum Construction. I thought that this was easily a perfect name for a construction company.

The snack stop was at the Corner Bakery on Lake Ave in Pasadena. From there, the route went back to Alhambra, but several of us who live in Pasadena just headed home from there.

It was a nice ride.

34 miles.


Turnbull Canyon on a Sunday morning

Filed under: — stan @ 2:09 pm

Since last week was a flat-ish ride, it was time for a hill today. And Turnbull Canyon seemed like just the thing.

We started out from Victory Park in Pasadena and headed south. We hadn’t gone more than a couple miles when Ben got a flat. Of course, my first thought was to take a picture for the Flat Tire Gallery.

While Ben was fixing his flat, Philippe showed up. He had decided to ride with us today, and was just running a few minutes late. So after the tire was fixed, we headed out again. Philippe is a strong rider, and I believe it was his presence that led to today’s ride being much faster than usual. Which was just fine.

When we got to Turnbull Canyon, Philippe and Ben took off up the hill. I didn’t want to try to race them, so I stayed with Susan and Jon. But when we got near the top, I saw that we were catching up to Ben. So I had to see if I could catch him before getting to the top. As it turned out, I was just able to catch up by the top, but he saw me coming and sprinted the last 50 meters (Gotta speak metric, since Ben’s from Belgium.) or so, just enough that I couldn’t quite beat him to the top. Still, it was a fun little exercise.

We came down the other side and then headed back home by way of La Puente and Baldwin Park. Our snack stop was at Planet Cookies in Monrovia. From there, we headed straight home, taking the relatively flat route through Arcadia. Our average for the ride was nearly 17mph, which is pretty fast for our group, especially since we had the climb up Turnbull Canyon today.

It was a fun ride.

46 miles.


A nice ride to Claremont

Filed under: — stan @ 8:23 pm

Today’s bike club ride was to Claremont, and it was a perfect day for riding. I’d recently arranged so Susan could get a Caltech jersey, so we were twins today. At the start of the ride, I got Silvio to take a picture.

The route was very direct. We just went straight east, passing through Duarte, Azusa and Glendora before turning south a bit and then taking Bonita Ave out to Claremont. There really wasn’t much to it. But we still managed to miss a turn. Still, we found our way there just fine.

When we got to Claremont, we went to 42nd St Bagels. The rest of our group went down the street to Some Crust Bakery. But both are nice. I had a garlic bagel and some orange juice.

The ride back was pleasant. We went by the most direct route, which included the stretch of Gladstone St with the 1% downgrade. That’s always fun.

When we got home, our average was just about 16mph, which is not bad for this distance.

56 miles.

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