Stan’s Obligatory Blog


Lida at lunchtime

Filed under: — stan @ 7:24 pm

Route map

Today was my first lunchtime bike ride of the new year. I went with Vikki and Eric from the Seismo Lab, and we did the Lida Loop.

We rode through Old Town and down past the Rose Bowl. Then, up Lida into Glendale and down Chevy Chase into La Cañada. Then back into Pasadena, passing by JPL and back across on Mendocino St. Finally, we had the nice two-mile downhill back to the office.

It was a perfect day for riding.

18 miles at lunch, 26 for the day.


Sunday Ride

Filed under: — stan @ 10:20 pm

Route map and photo locations

Today’s ride was a route that Gene made up that went all around, but never got very far from home. We’ve done this ride before.

We started out going east a bit, and then south into San Gabriel. Then we went west and back across San Marino and back into Pasadena. Then we rode past the Rose Bowl and up to Inverness to go up the hill. And that was a very nice hill. We even got to see the new road where they had to rebuild it after it washed out two winters ago.

At the top, we headed down the other side into La Cañada. That was where Jon caught up to us. He had been a few minutes late to the park in the morning, and he’d missed the start. So he rode for something like 20 miles before he caught us. Then we went up past Descanso Gardens and down Hospital Hill.

We stopped at the little bakery on Ocean View. I’ve mentioned before that their eclairs are quite good. Several of us ordered them, and they quickly ran out. But the one I got was good.

Leaving the bakery, we headed up the hill towards the mountains, and then back down through La Cañada to get back to Pasadena. Along the way, Gene remembered that Michael owed him a few bucks, so they stopped to settle up.

After that, we headed up Windsor Rd and up to Altadena Dr. That was where we saw the horse. There are stables near there, but still it’s not every day we see a horse walking down the street.

After that, we rode across Pasadena and back to the park.

42 miles.


Glendora Mountain

Filed under: — stan @ 9:32 pm

Route map

Today’s bike ride was planned to go up Glendora Mountain Road, and then down to East Fork and back out by way of Highway 39. The route map above is from the last time I went there. Today’s route was almost the same, except that we didn’t make it all the way up the mountain.

We met at Arcadia Park and headed east to Glendora. It was cool and overcast, but we thought the sun was going to come out.

In Glendora, we turned and headed up the mountain. Right away, we met up with some other riders coming down who said that the road was closed for construction about halfway up. So we just continued on, planning on going as high as we could.

Going up the mountain was nice. Kept us nice and warm. Everyone was smiles at the start, but then the group broke up. When we got to the closure, we just stopped for a minute to look at the view, and then we headed back down. For some reason, it had gotten colder since we started, and we all got kind of chilled on the way down. I had to put my Hoover Blanket back in for the descent.

When we got to the bottom, we went to the little French bakery that Gene knows in downtown Glendora. We had some snacks and sat for a bit before heading back.

The route back was straight west into Azusa, and then up Azusa Ave to the mouth of San Gabriel Canyon, where we got on the bike path and rode back down to the bridge into Duarte. Then we took the regular route home across Duarte, Monrovia, and Arcadia. When we got back to Pasadena, it was warming up a bit, and we even saw the beginnings of shadows. Of course, the sun came out right after I got home. Sheesh. Still, it was a fun ride.

50 miles.


San Dimas Race

Filed under: — stan @ 5:34 pm

Today’s ride was to go see the criterium stage of the San Dimas Stage Race. Vikki had been planning on riding in it, so we laid plans for an early start so that we could be there in time for the 8:30 start of the women’s race.

As it turned out, Vikki missed the deadline to sign up, so she wasn’t racing. But she came on the ride anyway. Along the way, she told us that we could root for Caitlin as a proxy. Caitlin rides for Claremont Colleges Cycling, which is my sentimental favorite, so this was fine by me.

It was cloudy and cool in the morning, but we all figured it would burn off when the sun came out. So we started out from the park, heading straight east through Sierra Madre and Arcadia.

After a very brisk ride to San Dimas, we got to the race just before the start. Vikki introduced us to Caitlin, and we told her we were going to cheer for her as a proxy for Vikki. She seemed to think this was pretty funny.

The race was the women’s Category 3 and 4, and it was easily the biggest women’s racing pack I’d ever seen. There were probably about 40 riders. I went up to the stand and put in a $20 prime. The second picture shows the rider who took it. She managed to stay away solo for most of the race, picking up several more primes. But she never got more than 10-15 seconds ahead of the pack, and they caught her just before the last lap. Then it was a pack sprint to the finish.

After the race was over, we stayed for just a few minutes more. It was getting colder, and the sun never did come out. I talked for a few minutes with one rather heavily-tattooed racer. We traded some tattoo stories, and I told him how my plan was that my tattoos will always be covered when I’m dressed for riding my bike.

Coming home, we took the most direct route again. It was cold, so we decided to skip the stop at the bakery in Glendora. It wouldn’t have been much fun sitting outside in the cold.

When we got back to Pasadena, the sun finally came out. But by then we were done. Still, it was a nice ride.

45 miles.


San Dimas South

Filed under: — stan @ 9:59 pm

Route map

Today’s bike ride was Gene’s “San Dimas South” route. This is a ride through the east San Gabriel Valley, and over just a little bit of the hills by Bonelli Park. It was a perfect day for riding. Warm and sunny.

We headed east from Victory Park, out to Arcadia. When we turned right on Holly St, I suddenly started channeling Bing Crosby, singing:

“Oh by gosh by golly
It’s time to take a right on Holly”

This was kind of silly.

Continuing on, we went east into Duarte and Azusa, and then headed south a bit into Covina. Then we got into the hills in San Dimas. We rode up Via Verde and down the other side into West Covina. This time we did the ‘extra credit’ section of the ride, which involved riding up some small streets with big houses on big hills. One of the houses even had a goat pen outside, which was kind of odd.

At the end of the ‘extra credit’ we regrouped at Grand Ave. Then we noticed that Jon was missing. I went back to look for him so I could take a picture if he’d gotten a flat. But it turned out he had just taken a wrong turn. So with the group reassembled, we headed for home.

In West Covina, we stopped at Panera for a snack. There was a long line there the last time we were there, but this time it was empty. That was kind of weird, but we got quick service this time, so it was all right.

From West Covina, we headed back through Baldwin Park and El Monte. Along the way, I saw one abandoned couch, but I wasn’t quick enough with the camera to get a picture. I also saw the liquor store with a big bottle-shaped sign. That was pretty funny.

We went through Arcadia and past the back side of the L.A. County Arboretum. There are always peacocks roaming around the houses there, but I didn’t get any pictures of them this time.

Finally, we rode back into Pasadena and back to the park. It was a very pleasant ride.

50 miles.


Turnbull Canyon

Filed under: — stan @ 10:57 pm

Route map

Today’s bike ride was down to Whittier and over Turnbull Canyon. This is a nice little piece of wilderness in the middle of the city. It was a bit chilly in the morning, so I left a few minutes early to warm up a bit and make sure I was dressed properly. I rode up to Lake and Woodbury and back. Along the way, I found a pair of abandoned couches for the Abandoned Couches Blog. And I also saw an Edison substation that I’d never noticed before. It was in a building that was made to resemble the houses around it. The only real clue was the little sign saying “Edison Substation” and the very thick bundle of wires going into it.

I rode down to Victory Park to meet the group. We rode east from the park, into Arcadia, and then south, passing through El Monte and Industry to get to Whittier. Then we went left on Beverly and rode up to Turnbull Canyon.

The climb up from the west side is perhaps a bit steeper than on the east side, and we’ve done it both ways in the past. Today, we all just rode up to the top. The group broke up on the way up, but we regrouped at the top. Then we headed down the other side. As always, I got the ’steel rollercoaster’ feeling on the down side. It was kind of fun.

At the bottom, we turned left and started for home. That was when I heard a phone ringing, and I was relieved that it wasn’t mine. Instead, it was another guy who had the pleasure of trying to ride and talk on the phone at the same time.

A bit farther along, we realized that we were missing a person. They had been with us when we started down Turnbull Canyon, but they were gone when we got to the bottom. So Gene and Philippe went back to find her. It turned out that one of her cleats had come loose, so they had to stop and try to tighten it before they could come back to rejoin the group.

Coming up Peck Rd, we went through Arcadia and into Monrovia, where we stopped for a snack social at Planet Cookies. And that was also where I saw Stan’s Vac and Sew. I always stop for a photo when I see places that have my name on them.

After the stop, we rode home through Arcadia and back to the park. The ride was a tiny bit longer than the usual Sunday rides, and with the little warmup I did beforehand, I had my Magic 50.

53 miles.


Tour of California

Filed under: — stan @ 8:22 pm

Today was the final stage of the Tour of California. We had gone last year and enjoyed it, so I took Lucinda down to Long Beach to see the race.

We got there just as the main event was starting. We found a nice spot with a concrete barrier to sit on, and we watched the race for a few laps. While we were there, we saw Vikki from my office. We all thought that was funny, since with the crowds there, it’s like seeing someone you know at Woodstock. So she took our picture before going back to her friends.

A little while later, we walked up to closer to the finish line and crossed over to the center divider of the road. That way we were able to see the racers twice on each lap. There was a booth where people could make their own signs to hold up for the racers, and we saw a girl holding a sign that said, “Go Tour of Calaifornia”. And people have the nerve to say the schools here are no good.

The end of the race was very exciting. The pack caught the breakaway at 1/2 lap to go, and then it came down to a pack sprint, which is always entertaining. We didn’t see who won, but that didn’t matter. It was still a fun time.


A simple ride

Filed under: — stan @ 7:54 pm

Tomorrow is the last day of the Tour of California, and I’m going to be taking Lucinda down to Long Beach to see the race. So I went riding today.

The ride was Gene’s “Corner Bakery” ride, which just sort of noodles around the San Gabriel Valley, with a highlight of going up the nice hill between La Cañada and Glendale.

We rode out to Arcadia, and then south to Temple City. Then back west to San Marino. Along the way, I spotted an abandoned couch on Camino Real. So I got a picture for the Abandoned Couches Blog.

After passing through San Marino and South Pasadena, we turned north and rode through the San Rafael Hills. Then we went down Linda Vista and passed the Rose Bowl and continued on into La Cañada.

We started the climbing with a left on Corona Dr. The route sheet warned: steep. And it was. The guys with the fancy bike computers said it was about 14%. It was a steep couple of blocks, but I made it up in my 39×17, which I continue to insist is a fine hill-climbing gear.

At Inverness we went left, passing by the place where the road washed out two years ago. It looks like the repairs are almost done. Then we continued on up the hill on St. Katherine to the top. We regrouped at the top, and I marveled at the view. The air was very clear. I could see San Gorgonio, San Jacinto, and Saddleback all at the same time. And I even got all three in one picture.

Coming down the other side, we rode around the Rose Bowl and back into Pasadena. We stopped at The Corner Bakery for our rest and social time. Then we rode back to the park and we were done.

It was a pleasant ride, even though it never really did warm up all that much.

40 miles.


Toluca Lake

Filed under: — stan @ 10:03 pm

Today’s bike ride was out to Toluca Lake and back, with a stop at Priscilla’s for orange juice and a bagel. It was a very nice day for riding. We’ve done this ride many times before, so there’s no need to describe the route. But here are the highlights.

In Glendale, we saw an unusual car on the road. So Steve was talking to the driver at a light to find out more about it.

Right next to Priscilla’s I saw a poster for “Rocket Men“, which sounds like it could be fun.

On the L.A. River bike path, there was a Call Box. This was odd. I’ve never seen one anywhere but on a freeway. The bike path runs between the river and the 5 freeway, and right across from the Autrey Museum I saw a couch on the side of the freeway. It looked like it had fallen off a truck and been abandoned there. So of course I had to stop for a photo for the Abandoned Couches Blog.

In Highland Park, I came across another couch on Ave 50. It didn’t have the same sense of drama as the other one, but I collected it just the same.

At the end of the ride, I took a little trip out to Arcadia and back, since it was a very nice day for riding. That was where I saw the pickup with the pinup girls on the back.

As I said, it was a perfect day for riding.

50 miles.


Why do birds suddenly appear…

Filed under: — stan @ 8:49 pm

Route map and photo locations

Today I took a sightseeing bike ride to go visit some Americana. There were three targets for the day: The 1953 McDonald’s, the “Close to You” and “Only Just Begun” apartments, and Johnie’s Broiler, all in beautiful Downey, California. It was a cool day, but forecast to warm up nicely. A perfect winter’s day in SoCal.

I started out heading south, through San Marino and San Gabriel. I rode down through Whittier Narrows and then turned south again on Rosemead. Then I just went straight, all the way to Downey.

At one light, there was a very shiny tanker truck in front of me, so I took my picture reflected in it. Then I continued on to the where Rosemead turned in to Lakewood, and the 1953 McDonald’s. We’d visited there before, so I didn’t go inside to see the Ray Kroc museum this time.

Continuing on down Lakewood, I took a right on 5th St. That was where I saw a house undergoing a fairly drastic remodel. Only the front wall was still standing. Then I rode a short distance farther and found the “Close to You” and “Only Just Begun” apartment buildings. They are a pair, right across the street from each other, and they were bought by Karen and Richard Carpenter with their earnings from their first big hit songs, back in 1970.

I went a bit farther on 5th St to get to Firestone Blvd and Johnie’s Broiler. This is a 1950s Googie-style coffee shop that was being used as a used-car lot promising “BAJO MILLAGE” cars. It was also being considered for historic status. Apparently, the owners weren’t too happy about this, because they hired a bulldozer to start knocking it down without a permit. So the building is still half-standing, but in ruins.

Leaving Johnie’s, I backtracked to get to Paramount Blvd and headed north. At Mines Ave, I went right and went back to Rosemead. That was where I saw it. Shangri-L… Oh. It said Shangri Lodge. Never mind. The place was kind of scary, with bars and bulletproof glass around the manager’s office.

I took a left on Beverly to take the scenic route back up through Montebello. That was where I saw yet another abandoned couch for the Abandoned Couches Blog.

At San Gabriel Blvd, I turned left, and immediately heard that telltale hissing sound. I had a flat. Since I was riding alone, I had to take the obligatory picture Myspace-style, with the camera held at arm’s length. I put on a spare tire, and continued on.

I went up Walnut Grove to get back up to San Gabriel, and then went west a bit on Longden to get back to Del Mar. Then it was straight up through San Marino and back to the park.

It was a pleasant ride.

Addendum: I fixed my flat tire this evening. I was riding my old racing bike today. So I was riding Old School. This is the first time in three years that I’ve fixed a sew-up tire. I’m out of practice. I used to do this all the time and didn’t think anything of it. But it was hard.

42 miles

Powered by WordPress