Stan’s Obligatory Blog

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9/15/2019

The Maywood Pot Shop

Filed under: — stan @ 3:39 pm

Today’s bike club ride was a trip to Maywood to visit the big Cookies L.A. pot shop there. We’ve been there a few times before, and it’s also a chance to see how the construction of the new 6th St bridge is coming, and also to see the hog mural on the Farmer John packing plant in Vernon.

We rode our usual route into downtown L.A., and then south on Santa Fe St through the Arts District to get to Vernon. When we got to the pot shop, the security guys in the parking lot remembered us. I guess they don’t get many bike club groups who ride there from any distance away.

After leaving Maywood, we headed over to Hill Ave and then back into downtown. Then we went out 7th St to Bonnie Brae, and then took that up into Echo Park. We stopped for a moment to see the sort-of-famous old neon sign at the House of Spirits. We stopped for snacks and drinks at Valerie Confections in Echo Park. It’s a pretty nice place, although we still miss Chango Coffee.

Our route home went up through Highland Park and South Pasadena.

45 miles.

Route map and elevation profile.

9/8/2019

Here’s a story…

Filed under: — stan @ 2:19 pm

A bit over a year ago, we rode out to Studio City to see the “Brady Bunch” house. It was only seen as the exterior shot in the TV show, and none of the actual filming took place there. But HGTV bought it last year, with the intention of remodeling to make the inside of the house match the ‘inside the house’ sets that used to exist on a soundstage somewhere. So now the remodel is done, and the TV show is scheduled to show, starting tomorrow. So today’s ride was another visit to see the house.

We rode out to Burbank first, then made a loop and headed south to Studio City. Sadly, the house still had the construction fence around it. I guess maybe that’s because they want to keep it under wraps until the show airs. Still, we were able to see several obvious differences compared to the house as it looked last year.

We stopped for drinks and snacks at Sweet Salt in Toluca Lake. Then we rode home by way of Griffith Park and Highland Park.

46 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

9/1/2019

More aerospace history

Filed under: — stan @ 9:23 pm

Since this year is the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, today’s ride was to see a bit of aerospace and space program history. The goal was Exposition Park to see the DC-8, F-104, F/A-18, and the space shuttle external fuel tank on display at the science museum.

The ride downtown is pleasant, with 14 miles of gentle downhill. We tried an experiment this time and tried taking Figueroa south through downtown, rather than Spring St. But it turned out that Figueroa turns into one-way northbound at 3rd St, so we ended up having to turn off and take Flower St.

We paused a few minutes at the park to look at the exhibits. Then we continued west on Exposition. That was where we saw the signs for Obama Boulevard. After that, we turned north to our snack stop at Noah’s Bagels in Larchmont Village. While we were sitting there, we saw a Jeep go by with a man, and with his dog wearing a big hat and sitting next to him. I guess with a big enough hat, nobody knows you’re a dog.

46 miles.

Route map and elevation profile.

8/25/2019

Apollo History

Filed under: — stan @ 2:00 pm

Today’s bike club ride was a visit to Downey to see the oldest McDonald’s, and also a bit of history from the Apollo Program. The Apollo Command and Service Modules were build by North American Aviation at their big plant in Downey. The land the plant was on is now a mix of shopping centers, some park space, a hospital, and various other things.

On the way there, we stopped to see the oldest operating McDonald’s, and the Apollo Center shopping center next door. When we go to the Columbia Space Center museum, we saw the boilerplate command module model on display outside. Then we headed over to our snack stop at 3rd St Coffee in Downey.

This was a pleasant and also very flat ride.

46 miles.

Route map and elevation profile.

8/4/2019

The Coliseum Mural

Filed under: — stan @ 4:02 pm

Last week, I saw an article in the Los Angeles Times about how they recently rediscovered the story behind the mural painted inside the arched entrance to the Coliseum. It was apparently painted in 1969, as part of the city’s bid to host the 1976 Olympics.

www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-coliseum-mural-20190712-story.html

In any event, I knew we needed to ride down there to go see it. The route took us into downtown L.A. We stopped to see the progress on the Metro Regional Connector. They are making good progress on the tunnel entrance on 1st St. Then we continued down Santa Fe Ave, pausing to see the progress on the new 6th Street Bridge. We rode down to the edge of Vernon and then turned west. We passed the currently-closed Metro Blue Line. Then we also saw the fossilized steel rails embedded in a sidewalk on Grand Ave. These are relics of the former Pacific Electric Air Line to Santa Monica. We’ve been to see them before. Then we arrived at the Coliseum. We couldn’t get inside the fence, but we were able to see the mural from outside.

After the stop, we headed north to our snack stop at Valerie Confections in Echo Park. Then we headed home by way of Highland Park.

42 miles.

Route map and elevation profile.


7/28/2019

Covina Bowl

Filed under: — stan @ 7:44 pm

This past week, I saw an article in Curbed L.A. with a map and list of some of the best still-surviving examples of 1950s Googie architecture. We went to see the Premiere Lanes bowling alley sign, the former Johnie’s Broiler in Downey, as well as others. So, looking at the list in the article:

https://la.curbed.com/maps/googie-map-los-angeles

I saw that Covina Bowl is on the list, and we’d never been to see it. So that was today’s bike ride.

We started out going south, for no particular reason other than to pad the mileage out a bit. Then we headed east and made a loop Through Covina and West Covina. We saw the former bowling alley, and then went for snacks at Panera in West Covina. Then we headed home by way of Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area.

42 miles.

Route map and elevation profile.

7/21/2019

Whittier – Including more teapot!

Filed under: — stan @ 3:07 pm

Today’s ride was a visit to Whittier, and the Whittier Greenway Trail. Along the way, we also went to see a couple of odd landmarks, including the hovering teapot in Temple City, and Dork Street in Pico Rivera. We’ve been to see both before, but we revisit them from time to time, just because they’re entertaining little landmarks.

In Whittier, we rode most, but not all of the Greenway Trail. At Greenleaf Ave, we turned north and went in to Uptown Whitter for snacks at Mimo’s Cafe.

Coming back, we took the Rio Hondo bike trail, and at the northern end, we found the trail partially flooded. This has happened before, but this time we thought it was probably not to deep to ride through. So that’s what we did, and it wasn’t too bad.

45 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

6/30/2019

Ciclavia Pico-Union

Filed under: — stan @ 1:42 pm

Today’s bike club ride was a visit to the Pico-Union area of Los Angeles. There is a Ciclavia going on there today. And besides that, the start of the Ciclavia route is just a block or two from Powers Place, which has the distinction of being the shortest street in Los Angeles.

Riding downtown, we made good time, and for the first time in a long time, we made it to the L.A. River in time to see the Metrolink 8:46 train to Lancaster go by. Then we rode through downtown L.A., where we saw that the north end of the Metro Blue and Expo lines is shut down for maintenance. The Pico station had signs warning us that there were no trains running there right now.

The Ciclavia route was like the time they did the Ciclavia to the Sea in 2013. We rode the length of the route, and then headed north to get to Hancock Park and our snack stop at Noah’s Bagels. After that, we headed back by our usual route through Silver Lake, pausing briefly to check out the Happy Foot/Sad Foot sign on Sunset. Apparently, it’s going to be moving away soon.

44 miles.

Route map and elevation profile.

6/23/2019

The Stonehurst Cottages

Filed under: — stan @ 2:18 pm

Today’s bike club ride was a trip to Sun Valley to see the Stonehurst Cottages. There are a collection of stone houses, all built by one man in the 1920s. It’s a testament to what can happen when you have one man with a vision, as well as a lot of time on his hands.

The ride up there was pretty straightforward. Across Eagle Rock, Glendale, and Burbank. We did one short side trip in Burbank to see the house with the backyard playhouse in the shape of a pirate galleon. Then we continued on up into the auto-wrecking-ghetto of Sun Valley, and then turned off on Sheldon St to get to the Stonehurst neighborhood. We rode around randomly on some of the streets there to see a few of the stone houses. Then we continued on through the horse neighborhood around there. Seeing and smelling horses, it felt like we were out in the country, not inside the city limits of Los Angeles. This was the same neighborhood we visited once to see a llama named Lorenzo.

44 miles.

Route map and elevation profile.

6/2/2019

Twin Pines Mall

Filed under: — stan @ 3:56 pm

The Sunday bike club ride was rained out the last two Sundays. This is almost unheard-of here in SoCal. Usually, we can tell the weather by looking at the calendar, and if it’s after May 1st, we don’t have to worry about rain until October. But we were rained out.

So this week’s ride was a trip to Puente Hills Mall, which played the Twin Pines Mall in “Back to the Future”. It appears at the beginning and the end of the movie. It was where Doc Brown first showed Marty the DeLorean time machine. So that was our sightseeing for today.

On the way out there, we passed by the In-N-Out Burger museum in Baldwin Park. We’ve been there before for the tour.

The route was very flat almost the whole way. It turned out to be a bit longer than I’d expected, but that wasn’t a problem. And it was a nice day for riding, even if we couldn’t get our bikes to 88 mph to travel through time.

50 miles.

Route map and elevation profile.

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