Stan’s Obligatory Blog


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.


San Dimas and around Bonelli Park

Filed under: — stan @ 8:34 pm

Today’s ride was the Around Puddingstone Reservoir route.

It was a perfect day for riding. We had a big group today. Steve said something like, “we have a lot of people to drop today” or something like that. The Saturday rides go that way. We start out with a big group, and then it breaks up into smaller groups who go at different paces.

We headed out from Live Oak Park and got on the Rio Hondo bike path for a short time. Then we took Lower Azusa Road east some more before going south a bit. Then we took Badillo St all the way out to San Dimas. There, we turned south on San Dimas Ave. All of us except for Steve and Susan, who missed the turn and rode off into the distance. I went and looked for them, but they were out of sight, so I figured they’d take another street south and meet us by the L.A. County Fairgrounds. So I rode back and followed the route around the reservoir to the point where we would have met up again, and we waited there. A few minutes later, they came down the street. They had realized that they’d missed the turn, so they doubled back and followed the route to where we were waiting.

From there, we took a ’shortcut’ past Brackett Field and into the park. It’s shorter, but a bit steep in places. We had to go around a few fences, but we got to see some nice flowers blooming, which was nice. Then we got on Via Verde for the ride through the park and on into West Covina. That was where we caught up with Charley, who’d left about a half-hour before us.

Our snack stop was in Baldwin Park. Most people just had coffee or some other drink, but some of us had lunch. Susan and I both ordered food, since we were planning on going to the JPL Open House later in the afternoon. We figured that we had to have lunch somewhere, so it might as well be there.

After the stop, we headed back home. When we got back to Pasadena, Susan got a flat. This marks her first appearance in the Flat Tire Gallery, so it was an auspicious occasion.

It was a fun ride.

55 miles.


Nowhere in Particular

Filed under: — stan @ 4:51 pm

Today’s ride was one I just made up that I called “Nowhere in Particular”. We did rides with some substantial hills the last two weeks, so it was time for a slightly flatter ride. Also, Gene said he was going to come and ride with us for the first time since his accident last November.

There is a fire burning up Santa Anita Canyon above Arcadia. It started yesterday, and it spread last night. The first picture shows a car hood with the deposit of ash that fell from the sky outside my house on Saturday night. When we met at the park, the air smelled of brushfire smoke, and we could see tanker airplanes flying overhead. So we decided to alter the route a bit just to avoid going through Sierra Madre, since part of the town was evacuated, and there were fire department staging areas set up there. Also, we could see the smoke from the fire, and we figured it was better if we could stay away from it as far as possible.

When we were in Arcadia, Gene noticed that I’d cleaned my bike. Normally, I never clean my bike. But I’d been talking to Susan about this yesterday, so I thought I’d surprise everyone by wiping off some of the dirt. This was shocking enough for everyone that I handed the camera to Susan to take a picture. Just to record the occasion for the ages.

When we got out to Duarte, we stopped at Encanto Park to top off our water bottles, since it was a very hot day already. Then we got on the San Gabriel River bike path and headed south. That’s the nice way to go, since the trend is downhill. We rode that all the way down to Whittier Narrows before we got off and got back on regular streets.

We turned down Lincoln Ave towards Montebello, where we say one of the many bells set up around California with historical markers for El Camino Real. The bell we passed was the “San Gabriel Archangel” bell.

In Montebello, we went over the only substantial hill on the ride. It was short, but a bit steep. But it was over quickly, and we headed down the other side. Then we went straight north through San Gabriel all the way back to Pasadena, where we stopped at Noah’s Bagels on Lake Ave.

After the stop, we headed straight back to the part. By this time, the wind had shifted, and Pasadena didn’t smell like a brushfire any more. It was hot, but it was still a fun ride.

44 miles.


Hot day at the Corner Bakery

Filed under: — stan @ 3:28 pm

Today’s ride was the “Corner Bakery” route. We’re having another spring heat wave now, so it was already warm in the morning, and promising to get hot later.

We started out and headed east. Almost immediately, YK got a flat. For some reason, it took everyone a long time to fix it, but we were finally going again.

We rode out to Arcadia, passing the park where we sometimes meet to start rides. That’s where we saw the inflatable slide that looked like the sinking Titanic. Then we headed south into Temple City before turning west again to make a big loop.

We crossed South Pasadena and then headed back into Pasadena, passing above the Rose Bowl. Then we hit the hills in La Cañada. We rode all the way up the hill to the school at the top, and then came back down all the way to the Rose Bowl. There was some sort of charity walk going on there, so the road was closed and packed with people. We rode slowly through the crowd for a short distance before deciding it would be better just to go back up the hill and take Linda Vista around to get where we were going.

Back in Pasadena, we stopped at the Corner Bakery on Lake Ave. I found us a table with an umbrella, so we had a bit of shade. We sat and talked for a bit before headed back to the park.

It was a nice ride.

38 miles.


No Tuna, Bagel Instead

Filed under: — stan @ 4:47 pm

Today’s bike ride was the “No Tuna for Me” route that Gene made up last year. It’s got just as much climbing as La Tuna Canyon, but it’s broken up into little pieces, so it doesn’t feel like the 4-mile grind up La Tuna Canyon Road.

We headed out to Eagle Rock. At the bottom of the Colorado hill, we usually turn right up Figueroa to Eagle Vista. But today we tried something different. We went straight and then turned right on Monte Bonita. This got us to the same place, but without that sharp off-camber turn on Figueroa.

We rode across Glendale on Kenneth. When we got into Burbank, we took a quick detour to look at the backyard pirate ship again.

When we got on to Glenoaks, Steve got a flat tire. So I took a picture for the Flat Tire Gallery.

In Sun Valley, we turned right on Peoria St. This street runs along the edge of the big garbage dump there. And right along the fence, we saw two pieces of a formerly-nice black sectional couch. Then, just a short distance up the street, we saw two chairs that matched.

Leaving the dump, we headed up into Horse Country. It’s always a bit odd to be riding down a residential street and see horses within the city limits of Los Angeles. We rode up, winding our way back into Sunland, where we turned and headed up toward Tujunga. We stopped for a moment at a little park. Then we rode on, coming out on Tujunga Canyon Road for the fast descent into Montrose.

We usually stop at one of the bakeries in Montrose, but today we decided to try an experiment. The bakeries are all at the bottom of Hospital Hill, and we always have to ride up the hill after the stop. So today, we rode up the hill first, and we stopped at Goldstein’s Bagels instead.

Inside, Susan pointed out the specials board that listed a “Reese’s Peanut Butter ‘n’ Cream”, which is truly not a traditional bagel flavor. But Susan and I got a laugh out of it because — well, I guess you just had to be there… We also got a laugh about the ATM that was apparently on its break, and the stickers on the back of one of the signs out front. “Andre the Giant Has A Posse“.

We all liked the fact that after the stop, we were already at the top of the last hill. And it was all downhill back to the park. It was a nice ride.

45 miles.

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