Stan’s Obligatory Blog

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Norman Lear

Filed under: — stan @ 2:54 pm

The big entertainment news this week was that Norman Lear died. He was a major force in TV back in the 1970s, so I thought a visit to the TV Hall of Fame in North Hollywood would be a good ride for the bike club this week.

We rode out there by a somewhat roundabout way. We stopped for snacks at Priscilla’s in Toluca Lake, and then rode the the TV Academy building in NoHo. It’s a testament to Norman Lear’s influence that Archie and Edith Bunker are the statues in the center of the garden there. Norman Lear is one of the busts of famous producers and other TV luminaries, and even Philo Farnsworth, the inventor of television.

46 miles.

Route map and elevation profile


F-86 Playground

Filed under: — stan @ 5:28 pm

Today’s bike club ride was a visit to the park in West Covina with the full-sized model of an F-86 fighter jet in the playground. We’ve been here before, but it’s been a while, and I wanted a route that headed east for this week.

It was a nice day for riding. A bit cool at first, but promised to warm up nicely. The ride out was fairly standard. We were treated to an impromptu lowrider car show along the way. Apparently there was some sort of lowrider event happening at the Irwindale Speedway, and a bunch of them passed us on the way there, and when we rode by, we looked into the parking lot and saw it going on.

The stop at the park was a chance for a few photos, and also a bathroom break. Then we headed over to Panera for snacks and drinks. By now it was a nice day, and the ride home was very pleasant, aside from a couple flat tires.

40 miles.

Rout map and elevation profile


Holodeck 9 Revisited

Filed under: — stan @ 2:41 pm

A couple weeks ago, the Saturday Foothill group did the ride to see the Brady Bunch house. On the way there, I saw that someone had recreated the Holodeck 9 control panels in North Hollywood Park. This had happened before, back in 2020. So today’s ride was to go there and see if they had made all four panels again and how they were different.

We rode out out usual route to Burbank and then took the Chandler bike trail over to North Hollywood. We had snacks and drinks at Groundwork Coffee, and then we rode to North Hollywood Park. And four of the irrigation control boxes had new stickers on them with holodeck controls. One panel had a list of available simulations to run, which were all based on movie storylines. Another showed the bounds of the simulation, along with a warning that the simulation might be erratic outside those bounds. All in all, it was pretty entertaining.

Riding home through Toluca Lake, we heard some very loud crashing noises coming from the 134 freeway. We pulled over on a side street with an overpass, and we saw that there had just been a multi-car crash on the freeway. Yikes.

45 miles

Route map and elevation profile


Down for the Count 2023

Filed under: — stan @ 5:46 pm

Every year since 2007, we’ve made a point to ride out to Culver City to visit Bela Lugosi’s grave for Halloween. This was one of the first ‘theme’ rides I came up with. We call the route “Down for the Count”. So that was the plan for today.

A few weeks ago, we did a ride to the California Science Center to see the Space Shuttle solid rocket motors being delivered. When we were riding by there, I thought we should take a short side trip to see them, since they are big enough that they wont fit into any of the existing buildings there. So we rode into the park and saw the nose cones for the solid rockets, as well as the solid rocket bodies lined up next to the main building.

From there, we picked up the bike lane that parallels the Metro Expo Line for the ride out to Culver City. Next to the La Cienega station, we saw the (W)rapper building. It’s an unusual and distinctive bit of architecture.

When we got to the cemetery, we rode up and over the hill to get to the Grotto. Somebody comes and decorates Bela Lugosi’s grave for Halloween every year, and this year was a good one. The decorations make it very easy to find.

After the cemetery, we went to Grand Casino Bakery for snacks and drinks. Then we rode back to downtown. When I got to downtown, a few of us decided to bail out and take Metro Rail home for the last bit.

42 miles, plus two more to get home from the Metro station

Route map and elevation profile


The Brady Bunch House

Filed under: — stan @ 3:05 pm

The Saturday Foothill Cycle rides go lots of different places, but I make a point to go along when they are doing one of my rides. Today, it was the ride to Studio City to see the house from “The Brady Bunch”. We’ve gone to see this several times over the years, and today we even got a little bonus sightseeing. We rode out to North Hollywood for snacks and drinks at Groundwork Coffee. After we left there, we went by the park that was turned into Holodeck 9 a few years ago. As we were riding by, I saw that someone, most likely the same person as before, had made new holodeck control panels for the park. It made for an entertaining ride.

45 miles.

Route map and elevation profile


More Space Shuttle

Filed under: — stan @ 5:08 pm

Back in 2012, one of our regular Sunday bike club rides went to see the space shuttle Endeavor as it was being moved to the California Science Center. And in 2016, we rode to Exposition Park to see the external fuel tank for the shuttle, on display next to the building where the shuttle is. I recently read that they have started construction of the new Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center, where the shuttle will be on display in the full vertical ’stack’, with two solid rocket boosters, the external tank, and the orbiter, all mounted as if ready for launch. So today, the bike club did a special ride to Exposition Park to see the two solid rockets, which were on a pair of very large trucks for transport into the museum.

30 miles.

Route map and elevation profile


John Waters on Hollywood Blvd

Filed under: — stan @ 3:02 pm

Last Monday, I read that John Waters was going to be getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. I watched the livestream of the unveiling ceremony, and then I said, “I know where the Sunday bike club ride is going this week…”

We rode out by our usual route across Highland Park and Silver Lake to get to Hollywood. We stopped briefly to see Carol Burnett’s star, just because there’s a funny story associated with it. (you can read it here) John Waters’ star itself is in front of Larry Edmunds Bookshop at 6644 Hollywood Blvd. As we were about to cross the street to get there, I noticed that Leonard Nimoy’s star is right there on the corner of Hollywood and Cherokee Ave. We’ve been out to visit his grave at Hillside Memorial in Culver City before.

Leaving Hollywood, we rode to Larchmont Village and had snacks at Noah’s Bagels. Then we headed home by way of downtown L.A. and the Arroyo Seco.

43 miles.

Route map and elevation profile


Star Garden

Filed under: — stan @ 4:48 pm

A few weeks ago, I saw an article about Star Garden in North Hollywood. This is a topless bar that recently reopened after being closed for some time, and it now has the distinction of being the only unionized strip show in the U.S.

So of course I figured this should be a bike club ride. I made up a route, and here it is. It was kind of wet and misty this morning, but after a little while it cleared up. Of course, that meant that it was like 100 degrees by the time we got back, but it was still a nice ride.

42 miles.

Route map and elevation profile



Filed under: — stan @ 4:09 pm

It’s almost Halloween, so this Sunday was time to do one of our Halloween-themed rides. It was a trip through downtown Los Angeles and nearby areas.

We rode into downtown by our regular route, and then did the short side trip to 5th St and the firehouse where a good bit of “Ghostbusters” was filmed. Then we rode down to follow the Metro Expo line for a bit, where we saw car number 1003 again. This car is special, since it’s the one that Carla and I got our pictures taken on in 2015 when we went to the open house at the new Metro Operations Campus in Monrovia.

Next up was a visit to Angelino Heights to see the house that was in the “Thriller” video. Apparently, even though it only appears briefly in the video, the neighbor across the street told us it’s a pretty big tourist draw.

Next, we rode back to downtown for drinks and snacks at Chimney Coffee. That was where we met the very friendly little cat that lives there, and just happens to look like Hitler.

The final sight was in South Pasadena, where we rode by Michael Myers’ house from “Halloween”. We’ve been to see it before, and pictures are there.

47 miles.

Route map and elevation profile.


Santa Monica

Filed under: — stan @ 3:16 pm

This week has been brutally hot, at least by Los Angeles standards. And today was forecast to be about 110F again. So the Sunday bike club ride was a one-way trip to Santa Monica. It’s mostly downhill to the beach, and the beach is slightly less hot than here in Pasadena. So that was the plan.

In the past, we’ve done this route by taking Huntington into downtown L.A., but today I modified this so we started out by going down to East L.A. and Boyle Heights. This is also mostly downhill, but pads it out slightly to make the route longer. We also got to go over the new 6th Street bridge. After that, we went through downtown and down to USC before following the Metro Expo Line west. We stopped at Western Ave and got a couple gallon jugs of cold water to refill all our water bottles.

Continuing on, by the time we got on the Ballona Creek bike trail, we could feel it was getting to be slightly less hot, since we were just a few miles from the ocean at that point. In Marina Del Rey, we were all enjoying the (relatively) cool ocean breeze. The locals weren’t enjoying it, since it was still pretty hot by beach standards, but we thought it felt good. We rode by the canals in Venice, and then up Main St to our snack stop at Dogtown Coffee. We found out today that the coffee shop has a patio out back that we didn’t know about. So that was nice. After that, we rode the final mile or so to the Metro Station at 4th and Colorado in Santa Monica. The we got on the train to come home.

43 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

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