Stan’s Obligatory Blog

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3/26/2006

Around the world by gimpy bike

Filed under: — stan @ 9:02 pm

Route map and photo locations

Today’s ride went all over the world, and we were just riding around L.A.

The first part of the ride was down Huntington Drive and then across Ave 60 to Figueroa. Then we took Figueroa down to the river and into Riverside Dr. Then we went north a couple of miles to Alessandro St and took a left. That brought us to the first sightseeing stop of the day. The Fargo Street Hill Climb.

Fargo Street is reputed to be the steepest street in Los Angeles. In fact, it’s the steepest street I’ve ever seen anywhere. It’s funny, but in real life it looks about twice as steep as it does in the picture. I don’t know why that is. I tried to ride it last year but was defeated. This time I didn’t try. I’d pulled a muscle last week fighting with a stuck gas pipe fitting, and I didn’t think it wise to risk aggravating that further by trying to ride up a 33% grade.

Still, it was an entertaining thing to watch. And while we were there, I ran into an old friend who I know from somewhere else entirely. Lisa is someone I know from tattoo conventions, but it turns out that she has bike-riding friends, and she now lives just a few blocks from Fargo St. So I got to visit with her for a bit, which was fun, even if it was one of those ‘when worlds collide’ kind of things.

Leaving Fargo St, we headed south on Glendale Blvd, and then go on Sunset to head into downtown. At Broadway we passed the dragons that mark the gateway to Chinatown. Then we took a left on Alameda and passed Union Station. At Ord St we took another left and I once again heard that unmistakable “PANG!” sound that meant I’d broken another spoke. My bike went gimpy again, but I was able to make it the last couple blocks into Chinatown. After my experience last week, I had put a spoke wrench in my bag, so I was able to get the wheel straight enough to limp the rest of the ride.

In Chinatown we stopped at a bakery, right by the statue of Sun Yat-sen. Gene was looking around and he pointed out the sign for “Ooga Booga” around the corner. That was definitely worth a photo.

Leaving Chinatown, we went up Main to Daly and then turned south. The street turned into Marengo when we passed Mission and the L.A. County Coroner’s Office. I always say that Los Angeles is a unique place. How many cities have a gift shop at the Coroner?

Heading into East L.A., we came to the Evergreen Cemetery, and then the excavation next to it where they discovered the bones of 108 Chinese who had been buried in a potter’s field dating from the 1800s.

Continuing on, we went deeper into East Los Angeles. Newton is from El Salvador, and he remarked that the houses looked just like the ones he remembered from back home.

Coming out on Whittier Blvd, we came to the Home of Peace cemetery. We went in the gate and followed the streets back to Curly Howard’s grave.

The last part of the ride was north a bit to get to 3rd St, which we took east until it turned into Pomona Ave and then Potrero Grande. We took a left on Del Mar, which brought us all the way back up to San Marino. Then we got on Sierra Madre Blvd and then Altadena Dr for the last bit home.

It was a fun ride.

43 miles.
cycling

3/19/2006

San Dimas and a Gimpy Bike

Filed under: — stan @ 6:09 pm

Route map and photo locations

Today’s ride was out to San Dimas to see the third stage of the San Dimas Stage Race. This is a three-day affair, and today’s race was a short-course criterium around downtown San Dimas.

We started out from Victory Park and rode out through Arcadia and Irwindale to get to San Dimas. We had hoped to get there in time to see the Masters 45+ race, since they are my age, and some of them are even people I raced against back in my racing days. But when we got there they were running late, so we ended up seeing the finish of the Category 5 race and the beginning of Category 4.

As I usually do when we go to see a race, I’d brought along an extra $20 bill to donate as a prime for one of the races. So I went up to the stand and gave it to them for the Category 4 riders. They did a good sprint for it, but I missed out on getting a picture, since the batteries in my camera decided to go dead right at that moment. But it was a good sprint, and I hope the winning rider got some satisfaction from it.

After that, we rode up to Gladstone and took that back west to go home. While we were riding through Glendora, suddenly I heard that unmistakable “PANG!” sound that meant that I’d broken a spoke. My bike immediately went gimpy, with the back wheel wobbling and rubbing on the frame. Vikki had the presence of mind to grab my camera and take a picture for the Flat Tire Gallery. It’s not technically a flat, but it’s a mechanical failure, so that’s close enough. Fortunately, Makoto had a spoke wrench, and I was able to call upon my old bike-mechanic experience and managed to get the wheel straight enough to limp home. It wasn’t rubbing on the frame, but it still was hitting the brake pads. That meant that I had some extra drag, and that made it impossible to do my usual track stands at the red lights. But my Gimpy Bike and I made it home just the same.

43 miles.
cycling

3/5/2006

Toluca Lake and the Last Stooge

Filed under: — stan @ 10:21 pm

Route map and photo locations

Today’s ride was out to Toluca Lake. It was kind of chilly this morning, but it looked like it was going to be a nice day.

We started out going west from Victory Park. We took Orange Grove to Colorado, and then went down the hill into Eagle Rock. We took the ’scenic route’ across Eagle Rock on Eagle Vista Drive, which is a lot quieter than riding on Colorado. Then we took Broadway and Wilson into Glendale, and then got on Glenoaks.

Glenoaks took us all the way across Glendale, and then a left on Sonora brought us into Toluca Lake. We passed the Bette Davis Picnic Area, and then Bob Hope Drive. Then we were into Burbank. Riverside Drive took us through the towers of the Burbank Media Center, and then we got to Priscilla’s in Toluca Lake. We stopped for a snack there. The bagels and fresh-squeezed orange juice there are very good.

After the stop, we decided to take a little side trip. Vikki wanted to know where the Bicycle John’s shop is on Hollywood Way in Burbank. So we rode up there. On the way, we passed the Warner Bros “Ranch“, where they have their big outdoor sets. A few of the big false-front buildings are visible from the gate. When we got to Bicycle John’s, the sign said, “Closed Sunday”, so Vikki could only window-shop.

Since we were all the way up in Burbank, we decided to take one more side trip. We took a left on Chandler and took the very nice bike path there over to Whitnall. Then a right turn brought us up to Clybourn Ave, and then we came out on Victory Blvd at Pierce Bros Valhalla Cemetery. We rode in through the gate and found the grave site of “Curly-Joe” DeRita, “The Last Stooge”.

Leaving the cemetery, we took Victory east to Burbank Blvd, and then followed the signs for “Downtown Burbank” We passed the big Media City mall and then ended up back on Glenoaks again.

We took Glenoaks back across Burbank and then up Verdugo to Hospital Hill. From there, it was all downhill back into Pasadena.

42 miles.
cycling

2/26/2006

Tour de Oozing Oil

Filed under: — stan @ 11:48 am

Route map and photo locations

Today’s ride was one that I came up with earlier this week. There was an article in the Los Angeles Times about how oil had come oozing up out the middle of Olive St in downtown L.A. My immediate thought was to make a bike ride to go and see it. So that’s what we did today.

We started out from Victory Park in Pasadena and headed down Sierra Madre Blvd in to San Marino. Then we turned on Huntington Drive and took that all the way to Mission Blvd on the edge of downtown L.A. There we took a right and rode a bit to Main St, which took us into downtown.

A quick right turn on Ord St brought us into Chinatown, and then a left on New High St sent us south, past City Hall. We rode south all the way past Pico Blvd. Then we took a right on 14th Pl and took that over to Broadway. That brought us to our first sightseeing stop, which was the St. James Oil Company site at 1325 S. Broadway. This is the set of oil wells that is most likely the cause of the seepage. I took a couple of pictures and then we moved on.

At Olive St, we turned north and quickly came to the 1200 block, which was closed to traffic. We hopped up on the sidewalk and went in to see. There were some cleanup tanker trucks parked there, and there was a backhoe digging up oil-soaked dirt from the middle of the street. I took some more pictures.

From there, we continued north on Olive St, up Bunker Hill, where we saw the sign for General Thaddeus Kosciuszko Way. I’d hate to have to give directions involving that street.

At 1st St, we took a left and headed out of downtown. We passed the Department of Water and Power building with the solar-powered parking lot. We also passed the entrance to the old Pacific Electric Subway at 1st and Glendale Blvd.

Continuing on Beverly, we passed the original Tommy’s hamburger stand, and then took a right on Benton Way. This is a small street that goes through Silver Lake and is a nice quiet alternative to riding on Silver Lake Blvd. The downside, so to speak, is that it goes up and over a steep hill. But that’s all right. I like riding up hills. At the top, we stopped to regroup, and that’s where I saw the ‘Ask Me About My Vow of Silence‘ bumper sticker.

From the top of the hill, we went down the other side, coming out on Silver Lake Blvd right by the reservoir and dog park. Then we continued on down the hill to Glendale Blvd. At Fletcher, we took a right and went across the river. We took Eagle Rock Blvd north to Yosemite, which took us across Eagle Rock. Then it was up the Colorado St hill and back into Pasadena.

On this ride, Spencer and I were racing up every hill. This was fun, but something seemed to be not quite right. On the way back into Pasadena I realized what it was. We passed Michael going the other way and I realized that that was what was missing. If Michael had come on the ride today, he would have been the King of the Hill, and Spencer and I would have been left in the dust. Still, we had some fun.

34 miles.
cycling

1/28/2006

Big Tujunga Canyon

Filed under: — stan @ 7:51 pm

Route map and photo locations

Today’s club ride was up Big Tujunga Canyon in the Angeles National Forest. Most people don’t realize just how close Los Angeles is to actual wilderness, and it’s a nice place to ride.

The ride started from Descanso Gardens in La Cañada, but I started out meeting Gene, Philippe and Rick at Victory Park. We headed west and up the hill to get to the ride start.

When we got there, we got our route slips and and we all headed out up Foothill Blvd through La Crescenta. I tried to take another picture of the “Poo Ping” restaurant sign, but the sun was at the wrong angle, so it didn’t come out.

We took a right on Tujunga Canyon Blvd and headed up the hill. At Hillrose, Gene and I took a little side trip up a steep hill to see Elliott’s house from “E.T.”. The view from up there was pretty spectacular.

Coming back down, we got back on the route and took Mt. Gleason Road north a bit and then got onto Big Tujunga Canyon Road. This was where we left the Los Angeles city limits and headed up into the mountains.

We couldn’t do this ride last year because a section of the road had washed out during the winter rains. So today we got to see the washed-out road and the little temporary detour they’d built around it.

Because of our little side trip, the rest of the group was now ahead of us. The group was pretty strung-out from riding up an 11-mile hill, and we caught up to several of them on the way up.

At one point, the road went across the canyon on a high bridge, which was quite spectacular. A bit above that, I stopped at an overlook to see the dam that was built in 1931 for flood control.

Continuing on up the canyon, we finally came out on the Angeles Forest Highway, where we turned right. The route slip said that this was ‘the top’, but it sure felt like we were still going uphill for the next four miles to the Angeles Crest Highway and Clear Creek Ranger Station.

When we got to the Ranger Station, we stopped for water. Then we headed down the Crest Highway, back to civilization. The road down was 10 miles, all downhill. Ordinarily, this would be cause for great rejoicing, but it was cold. So it was not an unalloyed pleasure.

At the bottom of the hill, Gene and I took a left on Foothill and headed back to Pasadena. We passed JPL and then took Woodbury east and then some small streets back to the park.

It was a fun ride. And when I got home, I realized that I had done the whole thing without shifting even once. It was 39×17 the whole way.

52 miles.
cycling

1/21/2006

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Oil Well

Filed under: — stan @ 11:40 pm

Route map and photo locations

Today’s ride was a tour of the west Los Angeles oil patch. It’s a little-known fact that most of Los Angeles from downtown out to Century City lies on top of an oil field. In the 1920s, the area near the La Brea Tar Pits was a forest of oil derricks. But years ago, the Los Angeles city council mandated that oil wells in the city have to be hidden. So they are disguised behind walls and inside fake buildings. And today Gene and I went to see just a few of them.

Starting at Victory Park in Pasadena, we rode down Sierra Madre Blvd to Huntington Drive. Then we turned right and headed towards downtown L.A. We turned on Mission and then on North Main St to get into downtown proper. Then we took Spring St past the homeless camp and City Hall down to Olympic Blvd.

It was a chilly morning, and I had suited up appropriately, even to the point of putting paper bags over my shoes. Who needs high-priced cycling-shoe-covers when a paper bag can do the trick? Besides, we can send pictures to the Weekly World News and tell them that we’ve found “Bagfoot”.

Turning right on Olympic, we headed out of downtown and into Koreatown. This is one of the special things about L.A. We can feel like world travelers, even on a simple bike ride. One shopping center had signs almost exclusively in Korean. The only exception was a big sign for “Porno Mania”. I tried to take a picture, but sadly, the lighting was wrong and we were too far away.

We took Olympic all the way out to just past Doheny, where we turned south to Pico Blvd and our first sightseeing stop. It was a pair of fake buildings, one which looked like a church, and the other that looked like a bank. But neither one had signs or a front door. There was just a small sign for Breitburn Energy on the side doors, some mechanical noises, and the smell of petroleum.

Heading back up to Olympic, we entered Beverly Hills. And at the edge of town we came to the second oil well. This one is inside a decorated tower just behind the playing field at Beverly Hills High School. The tower used to be just plain gray, but it’s been painted with flowers now.

From there, we went north on Spaulding to Charleville, and then east a bit to Crescent, which we took north past Wilshire to Foothill Rd and Burton Way. We took a left on Robertson and then a right on Alden to get to Cedars Sinai Hospital. That was where we saw the intersection of George Burns Rd and Gracie Allen Way.

Next, we stopped at the Beverly Center mall, between La Cienega and San Vicente. There is an oil field there, in a little crescent-shaped patch of land between the mall and San Vicente. It’s behind a wall, and we had to go up the parking garage ramp on the mall to see inside.

A left on 3rd St got us heading east again. At Fairfax, we stopped at the Ross Dress For Less store. This is the store that exploded back in 1985. Methane gas from the oil field had seeped up into the store. The explosion blew out the windows and for a time there were flaming cracks in the parking lot. Now the store has been repaired, and there is a vent pipe in the parking lot to safely release the methane.

We turned left on Stanley Ave and headed up into Hollywood. I stopped for a photo-op at the Villa Stanley retirement home. I always take pictures of things that have my name on them. Then we crossed over Melrose Ave and then went west two blocks to get to Genesee Ave, which we took north some more.

At Santa Monica Blvd, we stopped to look at the “Porn Walk of Fame” in front of the former Pussycat Theater. We saw the hand and foot prints of Harry Reems, Georgina Spelvin, John Holmes, and Marilyn Chambers. I took pictures and put them in my Random Photos Gallery. Then we continued on up Genesee to Hollywood Blvd.

Crossing Hollywood Blvd, we went up Nichols Canyon Road, and it was suddenly much quieter. This is one of my favorite roads up the Hollywood Hills, and it was also recently repaved, so it was a very nice climb all the way up to Woodrow Wilson Drive and Mulholland Highway.

Turning right on Mulholland, we rode down into Cahuenga Pass, stopping briefly for water at the Hollywood Bowl overlook. Then we turned on the bridge over the freeway and got on Cahuenga Blvd for one short block. Then we turned off onto some small residential streets to get around the hill and come out on Barham Blvd.

From there, we went down the hill into Burbank and turned on Forest Lawn Drive to get to Griffith Park. Then we took Zoo Drive past the Live Steamers and Travel Town to Riverside Drive.

From there, it was the standard route home across Glendale, Eagle Rock, and Pasadena.

56 miles.
cycling

1/8/2006

Tour de “Get Smart”

Filed under: — stan @ 8:47 pm

Route map and photo locations

Today’s ride was another ‘theme’ ride. We were going to try and visit a couple of sites associated with “Get Smart”.

We started off heading down Sierra Madre, all the way to Huntington Drive. Then we took Huntington towards Downtown. In El Sereno, we turned off onto North Mission and then onto Main St, passing by S&M Liquor on our way into Downtown.

When we got to Downtown L.A., we went through Chinatown to get to New High St. Then we passed a homeless camp before reaching the Hall of Justice on Temple St. This was the building used as the exterior for CONTROL headquarters in the title sequence for the third and fourth seasons. The building itself was damaged by the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, and it’s red-tagged and slated for demolition.

From there we went up Temple to Grand and then turned south. We passed the new Disney Hall and then passed between the towers on Bunker Hill. There was some filming going on there, but it wasn’t clear what they were doing.

When we got to Wilshire, we took a right and were immediately transported to Tokyo. The last three blocks or so of Wilshire are currently dressed up as Tokyo for filming “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift”, AKA “The Fast and the Furious 3″. It’s always fun to see our city dressed up to play a new part.

Going west on Wilshire, we went through MacArthur Park and Koreatown. Then we passed the old Ambassador Hotel, which is perhaps best remembered as the place where Bobby Kennedy was killed.

We took a right on Alexandria and went north to Second St. Then we turned left and took Second out to Larchmont Blvd.

We stopped for a bagel at Noah’s in Larchmont Village. Then we continued on north a bit, going east on Clinton so that we would come out on Melrose by the front gates of Paramount Studios, since that was where most of “Get Smart” was filmed.

Continuing west on Melrose, we turned right on Gower and went up to Santa Monica. Then we went into Hollywood Forever Cemetery to look for Don Adams’ grave. Sadly, the directions we had were not clear, and we were not able to find it. I asked at the front gate and at the flower shop, where they sell a map to the stars’ graves. But their map had not been updated yet, so they didn’t know. So we left. I guess we’ll have to come back again some time.

Going north, we went up Bronson to Franklin and then went east to the Shakespeare Bridge. Then we took St. George and Rowena to get to Fletcher, which we took through Atwater Village up to Eagle Rock Blvd.

We rode up Eagle Rock all the way to Yosemite. Then we took that over to Figueroa, and then took a right on La Loma. A few hills later and we were on San Rafael and then Linda Vista to go past the Rose Bowl. By this time, everyone else had turned off to go home, so I just continued on to just below JPL. Then I took Woodbury back across Pasadena, and some little streets to get home.

44 miles.
cycling

12/24/2005

The Ride Before Christmas

Filed under: — stan @ 11:29 pm

Route map and photo locations

(With major apologies to Clement C. Moore, and thanks to www.rhymezone.com)

‘Twas the day before Christmas, and here in L.A;
We went for a bike ride, no snow for a sleigh;

We rode from Pasadena, the Rose Parade town;
Orange Grove west, and soon we went down;

Colorado St. Hill, in to Eagle Rock;
Yosemite Drive was down the next block;

A right turn on Fletcher was just the right bill;
On into Silver Lake, down the big hill;

A brief stop in Silver Lake, in some nice shade;
The “Music Box Steps” where the movie was made;

Snow White’s wishing well was also some fun;
At Second and Larchmont it stood in the sun;

On Virgil!, on First St!, on Second! and Third!;
Across Hancock Park we rode undeterred;

To the big House of David with statues, fake snow;
A cheesy display, but impressive show;

North on Rossmore, we went to go see;
The Hollygrove Home, it is history;

Marilyn Monroe lived there as a child;
Seeing it in person, we were quite beguiled;

West to La Brea, it was just a short jog;
To stop and see Pink’s, the famous Hot Dog;

North into Hollywood, we passed my old house;
The garage where I once had run over a mouse;

Then Hollywood Boulevard, the glittery street,
Was next on our route, it’s always a treat;

A left turn on Bronson, and up a slight hill;
We turned left on Franklin, the climb was near nil;

Riding up Beachwood, ahead was a sign;
It said “HOLLYWOOD“, letters all in a line;

A left turn on Ledgewood and the hill was so steep;
We soon found ourselves almost ready to weep;

Right on Durand, the last part of the climb;
Up to just right below the big Sign;

The street said “No Outlet”, which caused us to frown;
At the top of the hill, so we turned and rode down;

A right turn on Ledgewood, and up once again;
To Mulholland Highway, which was there at its end;

Down off the hill, we passed the dog park;
Then turned left on Tahoe, without a remark;

We rode past Lake Hollywood, and then up the hill,
So hard and so steep it about made me ill;

Down in to Burbank, then Forest Lawn Drive,
And on into Glendale, riding under I-5;

On Kenneth and Mountain, rolling eastward until;
Verdugo Drive north, up Hospital Hill;

Then down back to home, a nice downhill glide;
Merry Christmas to all, and it was a good ride!

51 miles
cycling

12/18/2005

Trying to make Newton say ‘uncle’

Filed under: — stan @ 11:01 pm


Route map and photo locations

Today’s ride was a new route that Gene made up. Newton had been saying he wanted to do more hills, so today we did hills. Fortunately, I like riding up hills, too.

It was kind of a chilly day by SoCal standards. About 50 degrees, so we were all relatively bundled up.

We started out heading east to Sierra Madre. But where we usually just go through the town to get to Arcadia, we turned and went up into one of the canyons above the town. It was a steep climb. The route made a loop, and we came out of the canyon at the same place where we’d gone in. Then we went east a bit more and then headed down Mountain Trail.

We rode all the way down the hill, almost to the 210 freeway. Then we went east a bit to Santa Anita. A left turn pointed us back up the hill. We rode up the hill and into another canyon. Up near the top we hit a portion with an 18% grade. It was about here that I said ‘uncle’ and shifted to a lower gear. Normally, I never shift, and apparently I have something of a reputation for riding up hills in ridiculous gears. But this time I shifted.

At the top, we got onto Highland Oaks and rode down the long hill all the way to Foothill Blvd. There, we turned left and went just a bit to 5th Ave. Then we turned left and headed back up towards the mountains.

Crossing into Monrovia, we went up yet another canyon. This one was also steep, and I had to shift again near the top. Shifting twice in one ride is nearly unheard-of for me, so I took a picture.

The roads in the canyon made a loop again, and we came down into Hillcrest right by where we’d turned off to go up. Then we turned left and continued on into Monrovia.

We took Hillcrest and Greystone and then turned on Norumbega. This made yet another loop up into a canyon. This time the climb wasn’t quite as hard as the others. I managed to make the whole thing in my 39×17, which is my usual all-purpose gear. And on the way down out of the canyon, we saw three deer grazing near some houses. This was quite novel to see, since the San Gabriel Valley is generally pretty urban, and we don’t see actual wildlife very often aside from the occasional coyote early in the morning. So I took some pictures of the deer as we rode by.

At the bottom of the hill, we turned left on Mountain and then headed east a bit more through Bradbury to Duarte. Doug got a flat on the bike path in Duarte, and so became the latest entry in the Flat Tire Gallery. We rode all the way out to the edge of the San Gabriel River wash. Then we went south on Encanto to Foothill Blvd. Turning right, we made our way back to Monrovia. We stopped for a snack at the Coffee Bean at Myrtle and Foothill.

After the snack stop, the group sort of split up. Some people had to head directly home. The rest of us went south a bit to Colorado and took that back to Pasadena. I rode with Vikki all the way to her street near Old Town.

Passing through Old Town, I took Prospect to get to Arroyo and Windsor Road. At the trailhead across the arroyo from JPL, I saw some people with horses. This is also a bit novel, although it’s still more common than seeing deer.

Heading east on Ventura, I started for home. I went up to Mendocino St. At Fair Oaks I had to go north a couple of blocks to get to Mariposa. That was where I passed the Little Red Hen CoFFee Shop.

After crossing Lake Ave, I went down to Mendocino and headed west across Altadena. At the country club they were having a snow day. They’d brought in a huge amount of shaved ice to make an ersatz snow slope for the kids to sled on.

The final part of the ride was to head down the hill and back to Victory Park.

It’s a good thing I like riding up hills. This was a fun ride.

46 miles
cycling

12/10/2005

Bike Riding on Dicks Street

Filed under: — stan @ 11:30 pm
playing tourist
my bike decorated for the holidays
Dicks St
a plea for quiet
the view from Sunset Plaza
steel giraffe
an imposing gate
the flying saucer house
The Void: For Sale By Owner


Route map and photo locations

A couple of weeks ago, I read an item in the paper about Dicks Street in West Hollywood, and how the neighbors are lobbying to have the name changed. It turns out that Dicks St. is just off the stretch of Santa Monica Blvd which is commonly known as “Boys’ Town”, due to the large number of gay bars there. And of course, just like when I heard about Dork St., I started planning a ride to go and see it. I figured it would be a nice 50-mumble mile ride from Pasadena.

I met Matt at Victory Park at 7:30 and we set out on our pilgrimage. We went west on Orange Grove, intending to go across the Colorado Street Bridge. But when we got there, the bridge was closed off and a sheriff’s deputy indicated that we should take the other fork, which was the freeway entrance. We decided that we didn’t really want to try riding on the 134 freeway, so we took Grand Ave down into the Arroyo. A right turn on La Loma and a couple of hills later, we were in Eagle Rock.

After a turn on Fletcher, we crossed the L.A. River and headed into Silver Lake. A few turns and one small hill later, we were on Hollywood Boulevard. At this point, Matt pulled out his camera and played tourist a bit.

We rode down Hollywood Blvd all the way to the Chinese Theater. Then we headed south a bit to get on Fountain Ave. We took this all the way to its end at La Cienega.

A few quick turns later, we were at Dicks Street. I took a picture of the sign for my collection. Then we headed up the hill on Doheny up to the Sunset Strip.

Riding on the Sunset Strip is always a strange experience. We rode just a few blocks east to get to Sunset Plaza, then we turned left and headed up the hill.

On the way up the hill, we stopped to look at a sign that pleaded for quiet on the streets. We also stopped at the top to admire the view of Century City and West L.A., as well as to look at the steel giraffes and ostrich in front of one house. Also, we saw a house that had what has to be the single most imposing-looking front gate I’ve ever seen on a private residence.

Continuing down the other side, we went down towards Laurel Canyon. Then we turned left and headed up Laurel Pass Rd and Allenwood, coming out on Mulholland Drive at Fryman Canyon Park.

After a brief stop to refill our water bottles, we headed east on Mulholland. We stopped again for some more sightseeing at the Universal City overlook. I snapped a picture of the flying saucer house up on the hill above us. A little bit farther down the road, we saw a sign offering us the void, For Sale By Owner.

At the bottom of the hill in Cahuenga Pass, we crossed the freeway and headed up Wonder View toward Lake Hollywood. Coming down off the hill, we got on Barham Blvd and cruised down into Burbank. A quick right took us past Forest Lawn and into Griffith Park.

After the park, we went into Glendale, going up Sonora and Graynold to get to Kenneth and Mountain. We took Mountain over to Verdugo and headed up to Hospital Hill. From there, it was all downhill back to Pasadena and home.

56 miles
cycling

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