Stan’s Obligatory Blog

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8/6/2005

Carbon Canyon

Filed under: — stan @ 4:14 pm

Route map and links to the photos

Back in my racing days at Claremont, Carbon Canyon was one of my favorite rides. From Claremont, it was a 42 mile loop with a nice hill on the Chino side of the canyon. So for old times’ sake, I wanted to do it again. I made up a route from Pasadena and Gene and I went and did it today.

We started out going east and south through Temple City and Azusa, and then went south through Covina. We passed by the spot where I got a flat tire last Sunday. Then we turned on Grand Ave to head south through Diamond Bar to Chino Hills. Now it turns out that Chino Hills is called that for a reason. Who knew? There were three big hills we had to go over to get to Carbon Canyon. At Valley Blvd they were doing construction, so it was bit of a challenge to get through. When we crossed the line into Chino Hills, I thought we were on Mars. Or at least the place where JPL tests its Mars Rovers. It was quite bleak-looking. We stopped at a park for some water, since it was already hot, and I’d finished all the water I started with.

Finally, we got to Carbon Canyon Road. The hill was nice, just like I remembered it. We rode up to the crest. At the top, we stopped for a minute to marvel at one apparently paranoid homeowner’s sign and take in the view.

When we started down, I saw what looked very much like a rattlesnake on the side of the road. I’d never seen a rattlesnake outside of the reptile house at the L.A. Zoo, so I doubled back to take a picture. It wasn’t moving, but it wasn’t obviously run over, so it may have been alive. I don’t know, and I didn’t poke it with a stick to find out.

Continuing down the canyon, we passed The Party House. Then we crossed the county line into The O.C. Coming back out into civilization in Brea, we saw two girls on horseback and oil wells.

After a quick ride through Brea, we turned on to Brea Canyon Road to start back. We stopped at an oil company and looked at the historical marker where Gaspar de Portolà camped in 1769. We also saw some oil derricks up on the canyon walls. We continued on through the canyon.

We climbed up out of the canyon and back into West Covina. We stopped again at another park to refill our water bottles with tepid water from a fountain. Then we got on Amar Road.

At Amar and Hacienda, we stopped at The Donut Hole. This is the big drive-through (or ride through) donut shop. I got one chocolate-frosted raised donut in honor of the occasion. Then we stopped at a 7-11 so Gene could get a drink and we could put ice in our water bottles.

Heading north from there, we stopped off in Baldwin Park we saw a Metrolink track inspection truck, and also the archway with the somewhat controversial writing on it.

Then, we continued on up to Lower Azusa Road and over the El Monte Ave and its nice big bike lane.

We stopped one more time in Arcadia to get water at the high school. Then we rode the last bit back home. It was a very nice ride.

75 miles
cycling

8/4/2005

More adventures of the reluctant bachelor

Filed under: — stan @ 10:17 pm

Route map and photo locations

I went for another ride today after work. This time I went west to the Rose Bowl. There is a big semi-organized group ride there every Tuesday and Thursday. It’s sort of a practice race, and it’s quite the sort of thing I would have done back in my racing days. But I’m no longer young, strong, and fearless, so I’m not interested in doing it any more. When we first moved to Pasadena in 1995, I did it a few times just to see what it felt like to be riding fast in a racing pack again, but after some guy who didn’t know what he was doing knocked me down and sent me to the hospital, I decided not to do it again.

I rode down to the Rose Bowl on Orange Grove, passing the Pasadena Fish Market. “U Buy, We Fry”. When I got there, I did one lap around the Bowl. Then I went up the little hill to Linda Vista and took that up to the bridge over the freeway below JPL. Then I took Woodbury Rd. back across Pasadena. That was where I passed the “Apartments for Rent” sign. Nothing says “home” like concertina wire.

16 miles
cycling

8/3/2005

Adventures of the reluctant bachelor

Filed under: — stan @ 9:18 pm

Route map and photo locations

Cathy and Lucinda went on a trip to visit Cathy’s friends in Austin, Texas. Being that I hate Texas, I elected not to go along. So I’m at home playing bachelor for a week.

After work, I went for a bike ride. I went out through Sierra Madre to Arcadia. Right near Santa Anita racetrack I snapped a picture of the oddly named “Analist Turf” sign. Perhaps it’s just me, but I think they really meant ‘Analyst’. The way they spelled it, it sounds more like an XRCO award category.

While I was taking the picture of the sign, a Boom Car pulled up the light, so I got serenaded by a very loud “Boomp Ba-Boomp! Boomp Boomp Ba-Boomp!” It was a catchy riff, so I ended up humming it for a good bit of the rest of the ride.

Continuing east through Monrovia, I got on the bike path along Royal Oaks. That was where I saw the ‘nun crossing‘ sign. I’ve been by there many times before, but this was the first time I noticed that sign, so I had to take a picture.

At the end of the bike path in Duarte, I turned around and headed back. I was heading into the setting sun, which made me feel like I was back in New York, racing at Kissena Velodrome. The back stretch of that track faced directly into setting sun, and it was my favorite place to attack. Sort of like the old WWI flying ace trick of diving out of the sun.

The last part of the ride was through the Monrovia foothills to get back to Arcadia and Sierra Madre Blvd. Then it was (mostly) downhill all the way home.

22 miles
cycling

7/31/2005

San Dimas and points south

Filed under: — stan @ 6:38 pm

See the route and photo locations

Today’s ride was out to San Dimas, passing next to Bonelli Regional Park there.

We started out heading south and east through Arcadia and Temple City and finally Covina. Along the way, we passed the 99-cent burger place, and also Inflictions Tattoo, which I’ve heard good things about in tattoo circles. Then we went south, passing by the edge of Bonelli Regional Park to Via Verde.

When we got to Grand Ave in Covina I noticed that my tire was going flat. Newton asked if I could make it another five minutes. We made it up a little hill and around the corner onto Cortez St. There was a nice shady spot to sit and fix the flat. John took the obligatory picture for the Flat Tire Gallery. I also managed to get a nice macro-focus shot showing the little wire that had punctured my tire.

Leaving the nice shady spot, we headed west until we got to Citrus. Then we went north past the freeway and stopped for a snack at a Starbucks there.

Next, we went west on Workman Ave until it ended, then we went north to Badillo St and took that west into Ramona Blvd and finally Lower Azusa Road. At El Monte Blvd, we turned north back up to Duarte and then west to Holly, right by Santa Anita racetrack. We took Fairview west some more to Golden West and rode up the western edge of the Los Angeles County Arboretum. We didn’t see any peacocks roaming the streets, though.

Coming out back on Michillinda, we went north, passed behind Sears, and then took Orange Grove back to the park.

50 miles.
cycling

7/24/2005

Glendora

Filed under: — stan @ 3:23 pm

Addendum: Here’s a map with the route plotted and photo locations marked.

Today’s ride was out to Glendora, with a stop at a little bakery there.

We started out heading east and south to get to Longden Ave. We took that all the way out to where it merged into Live Oak, and then that turned into Arrow Highway. We passed Arrow Radiator (aka “a damn good place to take a leak“) and also the hot rod mailbox.

When we got to Glendora, we sat down and had some pastries. Philippe spent some time chatting with the baker, who was also from France.

After the snack stop, we took a quick side trip to Rubel’s Castle to marvel at the sight of an actual castle sitting in the middle of a suburban housing tract. Then we came back down the hill a bit and took Sierra Madre west. That was where I saw the Fatboy Ice Cream truck. Is that an example of truth in advertising?

We crossed the San Gabriel River on the bike path and headed into Duarte. We took the standard route home, straight across Duarte, Monrovia, and Arcadia. Then we headed north a bit and took Sierra Madre Blvd back to the park.

At the park, Philippe, Spencer, Vikki, and I all kept going. I took them on my somewhat convoluted route to Caltech so that they could see the funky palm tree. Then Vikki turned off and headed for home.

We then went south into San Marino. We went all the way across San Marino and into South Pasadena, where Spencer turned off for home. Then Philippe and I took Fair Oaks Blvd south to Huntington Drive for the trip home. Fair Oaks and Huntington used to be a big junction for the Pacific Electric, and the modern street intersection still shows this.

It was a hot and humid day today, which is unusual for Southern California. We do hot all the time here, but humid is not common. So we did one more short stop so that Philippe could get a new, cold bottle of Gatorade. I snapped a picture of the store sign, since it looks like a throwback to a bygone era.

Continuing west on Huntington, we passed Twohey’s in Alhambra. They have a very nice neon sign outside, although I don’t know why the guy on the sign has a clothespin on his nose.

The last bit of the ride was back up Sierra Madre Blvd, and then I was home.

53 miles.
cycling

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