Stan’s Obligatory Blog


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.


Sunday morning in Glendora

Filed under: — stan @ 11:59 am

This morning’s bike ride was the “Old Glendora” route. A straight ride out to Glendora, with a stop for a snack there. Then a straight ride back. It’s a relatively flat route, which was just the thing for today.

It was cool this morning when we gathered at Victory Park in Pasadena. We started out going south to Temple City, and then turned east on Longden, and we just headed east all the way to Glendora. When we got there, we saw a house with a big collection of weird stuff on the front lawn. I figured that was worth a picture.

In Old Town Glendora, we were going to go to the French bakery there, but when we got there, we saw that it had gotten a “C” grade from their last health department inspection. Since none of us were ever all that crazy about the food there, we decided to try something different. We went back down the block to Classic Coffee, which turned out to be quite good. The food and drinks were good, and the service was good, too. So I changed the route slip for the future. We also got a little chuckle out of the mirror ornament in the car parked next to our table.

The ride back was nice. Just straight west all the way back. We took Sierra Madre Ave across Glendora and Azusa, since it’s open again after being closed for reconstruction for the last couple of years. And we got back to the park by 11:00, which is pretty early for us. But the ride was a little shorter than we usually do, and we were going pretty fast. So it was a fun ride.

38 miles.


Mt Washington once again

Filed under: — stan @ 7:02 pm

Sunday’s ride was the Mt Washington route. We’ve done this one before, and it’s always fun. It was hot today, so this seemed like a good choice.

Before we even left the park, there was a sudden, loud hissing noise, and Silvio’s front tire went flat. So he had to fix it before we could even start the ride. But this turned out to be a good thing. Jon was a couple minutes late to the start, so we were still there when he pulled up.

We started out heading up into La Cañada, and then down Hospital Hill, and down Verdugo all the way through Glendale. Then we took a detour to cross the L.A. River and go down Riverside Drive. There’s no real reason for this diversion, but it turns a 36-mile route into a 39-mile route.

The ride up Mt Washington is nice, especially since they repaved the road. So it’s a fun climb. Just look how Susan is smiling in the picture. Or perhaps that was because we were within sight of the top. When we got to the top, we stopped in the shade in front of the Self-Realization Fellowship gates. Then we headed down the other side.

At the bottom, we turned to head into Highland Park, with another short detour to Eldred Street, which is reputed to be the second-steepest street in Los Angeles. But we didn’t see any bighorn sheep there.

Our snack stop was at Kaldi’s in South Pasadena, which has a nice shady spot for the tables outside. And after that, we rode across San Marino and then back up to Victory Park.

It was a nice ride.

39 miles.


La Verne on a very hot day

Filed under: — stan @ 7:25 pm

Today’s ride was out to La Verne. It seems that when we go there, it’s either very hot or very cold. Keeping with that tradition, today was very hot. The bank thermometer in San Dimas said 95 at 10:00 in the morning, and my back porch thermometer read an even 100 when we finished the ride.

The ride started at Live Oak Park in Temple City, which is a nice seven-mile mostly-downhill ride from my house. From there, we headed straight east, mostly by the flattest route, which was nice on a day like today. On last Sunday’s ride, we’d passed by Random Lane in Duarte on the way back, so I made a point today to stop for a picture.

When we got to La Verne, some of the riders wanted to eat a full breakfast at a restaurant. The rest of us went down the street to Coffeeberry, which has a nicely shaded patio. We had iced tea, iced coffee, and juices there. There was also a rock shop next door with some nice fossils on display in the window.

After the stop, we headed back. The route back was down through Bonelli Park, but by way of the bike path around the lake, so it avoided all the hills in the park. Again, this was nice on a day like today. We saw people jet-skiing on the lake, and a lot of people walking in a fund-raiser for cystic fibrosis. Then we got on Cypress St and rode all the way back to Irwindale. At that point, we left the official route and headed for home by way of Santa Fe Dam and the bike trail there. We stopped at Encanto Park in Duarte to get water and sit in the shade for a bit. We also met another rider who was on his way from Anaheim to Santa Clarita, which is a fairly ambitious ride on any day, even if it’s not 100 degrees. We helped him out a bit with some pointers on the route to take, and also where to stop for water.

It was a nice ride, even if it was very hot.

58 miles.


A relatively flat ride

Filed under: — stan @ 12:02 pm

Today’s ride was a variation on one of Gene’s routes. I modified it slightly to avoid a couple of hills and also to avoid riding on Peck Road. I called it “A Relatively Flat Ride“.

We started out from Victory Park in Pasadena and headed east. We took the low road through Arcadia to Monrovia, and then rode around the small hill on Lemon Ave. Then we took the bike path and then Royal Oaks out to Duarte, where we got on the San Gabriel River bike path. We rode up to the mouth of San Gabriel Canyon, where we turned around and headed back down. Then it was east again out to Glendora along the side of the 210 freeway. When we got to Glendora Ave, we turned south, which was nice, since it was slightly downhill all the way to Cypress St, where we turned west. From there, it was still slightly downhill all the way back to Irwindale. Then we went north into the Santa Fe Dam recreation area. There was a small uphill to get over the dam, and then we were back on the bike path. We took that back to Duarte.

We took Duarte Road back to Myrtle Ave in Monrovia, where we turned north. This took us up into Old Town Monrovia. That was where we saw the vanity license plate slightly altered to say “GOT GAS?”. They used some white something on the “P” at the end to make a question mark.

Our snack stop was at Planet Cookies in Monrovia. After that, we headed straight back to Arcadia, and then up into Sierra Madre and Grand View Ave, which was the only real hill on the ride. Then it was straight back across Sierra Madre to the park.

At the end, the sun was starting to peek through the clouds, so it was a nice finish to the ride.

44 miles.


A ride through Montrose

Filed under: — stan @ 1:46 pm

Today’s club ride was the “Montrose Madness” route. This is another pleasant ride that doesn’t go anywhere in particular, but manages to go up and down a lot of hills in the process. It was cool and overcast today, with a little bit of light mist near the mountains. In fact, it was cold enough that when I left my house, I only got two blocks away before I had to go back to get my jacket.

We met at Michillinda Park in Arcadia and set out. We rode back up into Pasadena, passing right by my house. Then it was up into Altadena and on into La Cañada. Then down Hospital Hill into Montrose, and around a loop there to end up down in Glendale.

We took Glenoaks up and over a short, steep hill to get to Chevy Chase, and then up the hill. About half-way up the hill, we stopped for the official snack stop at a little convenience store near the golf course. While we were sitting there, we saw Charley riding by. He had somehow gotten ahead of the rest of the group, and he didn’t stop. We figured that we’d catch up to him later. I also had Silvio take a picture of me with Susan while we were sitting there.

Continuing on up, we got to the top of the hill in La Cañada. We took a short rest there, and then headed down the other side. We took Highland back to the freeway, and then crossed over to get on Oak Grove, which brought us back into Pasadena. By the time we were going down Allen, Silvio and I turned off to go home. We both live close to there, and we didn’t feel like riding all the way back to the park in Arcadia just to ride back up the hill to Pasadena.

It was a pleasant, if slightly chilly ride.

40 miles.


Mt Hollywood on a Sunday morning

Filed under: — stan @ 7:52 pm

Today’s ride was down to Griffith Park and then up and over Mt Hollywood, with a short sightseeing stop at Griffith Observatory. It was cool and overcast in the morning, and it never really did warm up.

We rode down through South Pasadena and Highland Park, passing Chicken Boy along the way. Then up Riverside Dr towards Griffith Park, where we headed up the hill to the Observatory.

At the observatory, we stopped to regroup. Susan and I were matching in our Foothill Cycle jerseys today, so we took a souvenir picture in front of the Hollywood sign. Then we all headed on up the road to the top of the hill. We stopped to look at the view for a minute, and then we headed down the other side. On the way down, there was a big tree that fell on the road, as well as lots of potholes, sand, and so forth. It’s a nice descent, but you have to pay attention. And when I got to the bottom, my back brake cable was feeling weird, like it was about to break. This was not a Good Sign.

Riding by Forest Lawn, we saw the City of Angels Fun Ride pass by going the other way. Then we stopped at Priscilla’s in Toluca Lake for the requisite bagels, orange juice, and so forth.

The route home was supposed to go up Linda Vista and down Lida to the Rose Bowl. But with my gimpy brake cable, I thought it might be better to not have any big downhills on the way. So we came back by way of Eagle Rock, where I saw a nice abandoned couch on Yosemite Dr. Then we headed up the Colorado St hill and back to Pasadena.

It was a nice ride, although I need to visit the bike shop to get a new brake cable.

44 miles.

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