Stan’s Obligatory Blog

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7/22/2018

“Here’s a story…”

Filed under: — stan @ 2:29 pm

Last week, I saw an article in the L.A. Times about how the house from :”The Brady Bunch” is on the market again for the first time in 45 years. Here’s the listing:

garysteinberg.com/listing/81933604

Needless to say, when I saw this, I knew where we were going to ride this Sunday. For a route, I started with the route we used for the Amelia Earhart tour last March.

When we got to the house, there were two other groups of people already there to look at it. Apparently, it’s supposedly the second-most-photographed house in the country. So we took our photos and moved on. We stopped for snacks and drinks at Sweet Salt in Toluca Lake.

Usually, we’d take the L.A. River bike trail on the way home, but the stretch of the river trail by Griffith Park is closed for the construction of the North Atwater Bridge. So we rode through the park and got on the bike path at Los Feliz. Then we headed home by way of Highland Park and South Pasadena, with one brief stop at my office to have some ice water from the water cooler.

46 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

7/15/2018

Mack Sennett Studios

Filed under: — stan @ 1:58 pm

This past week, I saw an article in Atlas Obscura about Mack Sennett Studios and how they were behind pie fights becoming a comedy staple back in the 1920s:

www.atlasobscura.com/articles/why-do-people-throw-pies

It said that one of the buildings from the old studio still exists, and that it has a small historical marker out in front of it. So with that, we had a bit of sightseeing for today’s ride.

We took a slightly roundabout route to get to Huntington Drive for the ride into downtown. Along the way, we saw that the wrecked car we saw last Sunday was gone, and most of the debris was cleaned up, but I still made a point of staying as far away from that crushed glass as I could. Then we rode the last bit into downtown. We stopped briefly to look at the construction site where Metro is building the entrance to the tunnel on 1st St for the Regional Connector.

We rode across downtown and then up to Echo Park. We took the small side trip to see the old Mack Sennett Studios building. Then we doubled back, passing by Randyland to our snack stop at Pollen. We’re all still a bit shell-shocked by Chango Coffee closing, so we d wanted to try yet another place in the same neighborhood. It was nice, but table service only, which is a little inconvenient from our point of view.

On the way out of Echo Park, we saw yet another car that looked like it was wrecked while being peacefully parked.

At the south end of the L.A. River bike path, we got on Figueroa St, only to ride right into a monumental traffic jam. We later found out it was caused by some guy who was threatening to jump off the Ave 26 bridge over the Pasadena Freeway. So both sides of the freeway were closed, and all the traffic spilled over onto Figueroa. It was a mess, although I read later that they managed to save the guy.

40 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

7/8/2018

Santa Monica

Filed under: — stan @ 2:41 pm

This past Friday, the temperature in my back yard peaked at 120 degrees. While it’s not supposed to be that hot today, it’s going to be seriously hot. So we’re doing the one-way ride to Santa Monica to escape the heat.

We headed down Sierra Madre to Huntington Drive for the first leg, into downtown. At Soto St, we saw a car that apparently had been parked on the side of the road and then hit very hard. There was glass and little pieces of car all over the road. More on that later.

When we were going through downtown, I took a few pictures of some old neon and electric signs, and one new electric sign that was designed in the same style as the old ones.

We rode out to the west side on the bike lanes that parallel the Metro Expo Line, and then down Ballona Creek to the ocean at Marina Del Rey. As it got later in the day, the heat rose, but as we got closer to the ocean, it got cooler. And the two effects roughly canceled each other out. So when we got to Marina Del Rey, it felt nice and cool to us, but it was still hot enough that the locals were all suffering. We rode the Braude bike path to Venice, and then took a short detour to go by the canals. And then up Main St to our snack stop at Dogtown Coffee.

When we finished at Dogtown, I discovered that my front tire was flat. I fixed it, and discovered that one tiny flake of glass, probably from the wrecked car, was embedded in the tire and had worked its way through. You can see in the photo how small it was. But I got my tire fixed, and then we rode the last mile or so to Santa Monica, and we got on the Expo Line for the ride home.

37 miles, including the two miles home from the Metro station in Pasadena.

Route map and elevation profile

7/1/2018

More Word on the Street

Filed under: — stan @ 1:43 pm

Last fall, we did a ride to go see some of the installations of the “Word on the Street” art project. At the time, not all of the signs had been installed. So today, we did another ride to go see some of the signs that have been installed since then.

The first part of the ride took us down to the L.A. River, and then up through Griffith Park, ultimately to end up at Groundwork Coffee in the old Pacific Electric depot in North Hollywood. There was another big bike riding group there, as well as the usual assortment of people with their dogs.

After snacks and drinks, we started back. We stopped at the Glendale Narrows Riverwalk, as well as in two small parks in Glendale to see the street signs. Then we came home by way of going up and over Chevy Chase and Linda Vista.

47 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

6/24/2018

The Former Lockheed Factory

Filed under: — stan @ 2:14 pm

For years, I’ve noticed that there’s a giant shopping center next to the 5 freeway in Burbank, and it has big cutout models of famous Lockheed airplanes on top of the signs. I recently found out that that land was the site of the main Lockheed airplane factory, so I wanted to go see it, just to appreciate just how enormous it was.

Along the way, we took a short detour to see the F-104-on-a-stick in the park in Burbank. That was one of the planes built in the old Lockheed factory. Then we took the short ride down Empire Ave to the site of the former factory. It’s a huge piece of land. I’ve seen pictures of lines of B-17 bombers being built inside there during the war.

After that, we headed west, passing by Burbank Airport and the airplane topiary at the entrance. The new topiary is jasmine, and it was blooming. An airplane covered in flowers looks a bit odd, but it smelled nice. On the way down Clybourn Ave, we saw that it looks like the kiddie-ride boneyard has been cleaned out. No more killer clowns, I guess.

The route home went down the L.A. River bike path. When we got there, we found out it was closed from the end near the zoo all the way to Los Feliz. So we ended up riding through Griffith Park to get to where we could start on the path again. Apparently, they’re building some sort of bridge to connect the bike path to Atwater Village on the other side of the river.

46 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

6/3/2018

Rubel’s Castle

Filed under: — stan @ 1:09 pm

Today’s bike club ride was another visit to Glendora to peek in on Rubel’s Castle. As it turned out, there was a group there about to take a tour given by the Glendora Historical Society, so we got to talk to them for a bit about the castle. So that was entertaining. Then we rode back down the hill for snacks at Classic Coffee before heading home.

39 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

5/27/2018

Maywood Again

Filed under: — stan @ 1:32 pm

It’s been a few months since we visited the giant shiny new pot shop in Maywood, and I’ve gotten some requests to go see that again. So that’s what we did today.

On the way into downtown, I stopped to take a few pictures of the warehouse-turned-gallery where the “Beyond the Streets” art show is being held. I’ve heard good things about it.

When we got to Maywood, the security guards at the pot shop remembered us from when we’d visited back in January. I guess they don’t get a lot of bike clubs visiting.

Heading back into downtown, we went out 7th St, and then up Bonnie Brae to Echo Park. And when we got there, we found out that Chango Coffee was no more. So we went a few blocks up the street to another hipster coffee shop and bakery. It was pretty good, but we really did like Chango.

46 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

5/20/2018

The ride to Whittier – Now with more teapot!

Filed under: — stan @ 1:23 pm

Today’s bike club ride was our regular route to Whittier, but this time with a short side trip to see a giant suspended teapot fountain outside an Asian shopping center in Temple City. When we started out, it was kind of misting and damp, but thankfully, that stopped once we got a few miles away from the mountains. We also discovered two new topiaries in front of a preschool in Temple City. And finally, we did the photo-op with Jen at Dork St in Pico Rivera. So all around, it was a fun little ride.

46 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

4/22/2018

Ciclavia Foothills Edition

Filed under: — stan @ 3:26 pm

Today’s bike club ride was the Ciclavia “Heart of the Foothills”. This was the first time that there was an official Ciclavia event inland. The route went from San Dimas to Claremont. When we ride to Claremont, it’s about a 58 mile round trip, which is a bit beyond our normal 40-45 for a Sunday ride. So the plan for today was to start by taking Metro to the end of the line in Azusa. From there, we rode to San Dimas, where we picked up the Ciclavia route. We rode the route out to Claremont and back. We didn’t stop in Claremont, since we wanted to get back before it got too crowded.

Back in San Dimas, we stopped for snacks at the Bagelry. Then we rode back to Pasadena. This made a total of 44 miles riding. When we first got off the train in Azusa, I forgot to turn on my GPS thingy, so it missed the first few miles. And it also didn’t count the initial two miles from the park where we start to the Metro station at Allen.

44 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

4/15/2018

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Filed under: — stan @ 2:14 pm

Yesterday, I was at the Aon building stair climb. While we were there, there was a crew setting up for shooting a scene for Marvel’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” on Wilshire Blvd. They had lots of fake rocks and fake broken chunks of pavement, as well as a couple of fire cars, like the ones we saw in Griffith Park once that turned out to be for an episode of “Grey’s Anatomy”. The setup crew said they were going to be working all day to set the scene, and the actual filming would be done of Sunday morning, so that was our sightseeing destination for today.

We got an early start today, so we made it downtown in time to see the 8:46 Metrolink train to Lancaster go by. If we see that train, that means we made good time getting downtown.

When we got down to Wilshire, it was pretty obvious that this shoot was a Big Deal. There were a lot more prop cars, and hordes of extras in business suits with dirt smeared on their faces milling about. We even saw Chloe Bennet as Daisy Johnson there. Apparently, her super power is the ability to create earthquakes, which Jen and I thought was pretty funny, since that meant her character had the power to make us have to go into work.

After gawking at the shoot for a few minutes, we continued on our way. We made a loop out and back through Hancock Park. Then up Benton Way through Silver Lake and then to the L.A. River bike path. We stopped for snacks at Spoke. Then we headed home by way of the Arroyo Seco bike path.

41 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

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