Stan’s Obligatory Blog

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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

12/4/2005

Sunday ride with one hill

Filed under: — stan @ 8:07 pm


Route map and photo locations

Today’s ride was one we haven’t done since last year. One of the roads on the route washed out in the rains last winter, so we’ve been avoiding it. But Gene recently heard that the road was closed to cars but passable by bike, so we went to do it today.

We started out going east to Arcadia and then south to Temple City. This was just to pad the ride out a bit, since it would have been very short if we just went and rode up the hill.

We made a loop back through San Marino and South Pasadena and then headed up into the San Rafael Hills. We rode past the burned-out mansion there. The mansion that burned is next door to the house that was used as “Bruce Wayne’s house” in the old “Batman” TV series. Original reports said that the Batman house had burned, but it later turned out to be the house next door.

Next, we headed down Linda Vista and passed the Rose Bowl. Then we turned up Inverness and started climbing. Right about here, we met up with Ben Bertiger, who was out riding with his parents. The decided to join us for the hill portion of the ride. Ben is the Southern California Junior 10-12 Track Omnium Champion. Track racers are not generally known for being good hill climbers, but he gave us all a run for our money. He may have been the first to the top, but I don’t know. He was well ahead of me.

On the way up the hill, we had to stop to portage the bikes past the fence where the road was closed. Then we stopped to admire the washed-out road. It was impressive. After that, there was one more fence to cross, and the the rest of the climb to the top.

At the top of the hill, we went down the other side and took Lida back down to the Rose Bowl. We passed the Bowl and then went into Old Town for a snack at Il Fornaio.

After the snack stop, we went past the Rose Bowl yet again, this time on Prospect St. Then we took Arroyo and Windsor Road up to Altadena Drive. From there it was a nice three-mile downhill back to the park.

46 miles
cycling

11/19/2005

Goodbye Norma Jeane

Filed under: — stan @ 10:51 pm

Route map and photo locations

Since I can’t do the regular Sunday ride this week, I contacted Gene and we arranged to do a ride today. The plan was to ride out to Westwood to visit Marilyn Monroe’s grave.

Today was another achingly beautiful Southern California day. It was clear. It was the kind of day when they take postcard pictures. It was amazing.

We started out going west and down through the arroyo, past the stables, and then up to York Ave. We took York to Eagle Rock Blvd, and then took that south. We crossed the L.A. River on Fletcher, then took Glendale Blvd and Rowena Ave into the Franklin Hills.

After crossing the Shakespeare Bridge we turned south and picked up Hollywood Boulevard. Riding a bike down Hollywood Blvd is always a unique experience. We passed the Thai hot dog. Then we got to the main tourist area and the Walk of Fame. Workers were putting up the holiday decorations over the street. We stopped where Marilyn’s star is, but they were digging up the sidewalk there and several of the stars were buried under a big pile of dirt. So we didn’t get to see her star.

Turning south, we took Hawthorn Ave for a bit and then went south some more to get to Fountain Ave. We took Fountain to its end and then went south one block to Holloway. Then we went up a little hill and got on the Sunset Strip. We passed all the usual landmarks there, and then crossed into Beverly Hills.

We rode halfway across Beverly Hills on Sunset, and then turned south a bit and took Elevado the rest of the way. Due to a miscalculation, we ended up on Wilshire, but we only had to ride on it for a block or so to get to Santa Monica Blvd.

Sadly, Santa Monica Blvd through Century City is being rebuilt. So it was kind of miserable to ride on. I immediately remembered why I used to always take Olympic instead. Fortunately, we only had to ride on it for about a mile. We passed the Los Angeles Mormon Temple with the nicely landscaped fault scarp in front of it. Then we turned off and went to visit my friend Kathleen at her house in Westwood.

We got some water and visited with Kathleen for a little bit and then got back on the road. We went north to the Westwood cemetery. It took us a while to find the entrance. We finally went down an alley between two high-rises and found a little gate that went in to the cemetery. Then it was pretty easy to find the crypt where Marilyn is buried.

Leaving the cemetery, we crossed Wilshire and went north into Holmby Hills. We passed Aaron Spelling’s modest little 56,000 square foot house. Then we crossed Sunset and took some small streets through the hills there to get to Benedict Canyon.

Benedict Canyon Road is one of the nicest roads in the Hollywood Hills. It has been repaved, and it has less traffic than most of the other roads. We took it all the way up to Mulholland Drive, and then we turned east for the trip home.

Mulholland is nice to ride from west to east, because it tends downhill in that direction. And the views today were fabulous. We saw some filming going on on one of the side streets. We also stopped for water at a park and had to admire the view of the Valley and also the view of Downtown L.A.

When we came out by the freeway in Cahuenga Pass, we took Cahuenga for just one short block and turned off onto one of the small streets to cut through the neighborhood there to get to Barham Blvd. Then it was the nice downhill and a turn on Forest Lawn to get to Griffith Park.

We rode through part of Griffith Park and then turned off to get to San Fernando Road. Then we took a route that Gene knew to take small streets across Glendale and Eagle Rock. Then the final test was to ride up the Colorado hill. That brought us back into Pasadena. We crossed the Colorado Bridge and then took Orange Grove back to the park.

65 miles
cycling

11/5/2005

Turnbull Canyon both ways

Filed under: — stan @ 11:09 pm

Route map and photo locations

Today’s ride was down to Whittier and then over Turnbull Canyon both ways. We were able to fully appreciate the climb in both directions.

I started out meeting Gene at Victory Park in Pasadena. We rode down to Temple City to Live Oak Park to meet the rest of the group. Starting out from Live Oak Park, we rode over to the Rio Hondo bike path, and then went south to San Gabriel Blvd, just above Whittier Narrows.

Getting on the San Gabriel River bike path, we went south some more to Pico Rivera. There we got off the bike path and took a small detour to Dork St. After that, we went west on Beverly Blvd to see the bridge over Rio Hondo that had caught fire earlier this week. Crews were busy tearing the bridge down in preparation for fixing it. We all found it amazing that a bridge for a major road was built of wood in this day and age.

Turning around, we headed east on Beverly Blvd into Whittier. We passed London Calling, which looked like a punk rock outfitter and seemed especially out of place in suburban Whittier.

Soon, the road turned up Turnbull Canyon and we started climbing in earnest. We saw lots of mountain bike riders on the fire roads in the canyon. At the top we stopped to regroup and take in the view.

Continuing down the other side, the road felt a lot like riding a steel roller coaster. It felt at times like the road was just suspended in the air, with sheer drops on both sides.

At the bottom, we took Los Altos and Vallecito to Camino del Sur and Colima Road. Our official snack stop was at McDonald’s at Colima and Hacienda. Most of us chose not actually eat anything there. I decided to tempt fate and have an Egg McMuffin. I thought about my old riding friend Tim who used to like to eat one of these in the middle of a 50-mile ride.

After that, we continued a bit on Colima and then took Stimson, Halliburton, Newton, and Joan streets to make a loop and get back to Turnbull Canyon Road. Then we started back up.

At the fire station there we saw a sign that said “Positively NO SMOKING” with a picture of a joint. I thought it was a bit funny that they would be so specific about it.

Near the stop, I stopped to pick up a flyer for a house for sale. The asking price was a cool $1.3 million. We stopped for one more regroup at the top. While we were waiting, I rode about halfway back down the hill to pick up the stragglers and then rode back up again. Remember, I like riding up hills. After everyone was at the top, we headed back down the west side of the hill.

At the bottom, we took Beverly to Workman Mill. At Peck we took a left and took that up to Rush St. That was where we passed through the sheet-metal-shop ghetto and saw the rocket sign at Kenny’s Sandblasting. We also saw Mike’s Liquors and Bait Shop, which seemed a bit out of place given that Southern California is not usually renowned for its fishing opportunities.

Getting back on the Rio Hondo bike path, we went back the way we came. Then we took El Monte Ave and its enormous bike lane up to Duarte Rd in Arcadia. At Holly we took a right to get up to Huntington and took that back to Sunset.

Turning north on Madre St we crossed back into Pasadena and took some small streets back to Sierra Madre Blvd and Victory Park.

62 miles
cycling

10/23/2005

Hollywood Hills and The T. Marvin Hatley Estate

Filed under: — stan @ 4:16 pm

Route map and photo locations

Today I got to play ride leader for the Sunday bike ride. I made up a route to go to the Hollywood Hills and pass by the former T. Marvin Hatley Estate. T. Marvin Hatley was a composer, and he did the music for a lot of movies from about 1930 to about 1950, and he wrote the Laurel and Hardy theme song. His house had a very large sign painted on the front wall that said, “The T. Marvin Hatley Estate”.

We started out taking the direct route west on Orange Grove, Colorado, and Yosemite across Eagle Rock. Then we turned and went down Eagle Rock Blvd. That was where we saw the church sign asking if we wanted to spend eternity “smoking or non-smoking”.

Turning off on Fletcher, we crossed the L.A. River into Los Feliz. A quick bit on Rowena and St. George brought us to Franklin Ave and the Shakespeare Bridge.

Continuing west on Franklin, we passed the über-creepy Scientology Celebrity Center and moved on into the center of Hollywood. There, we took a right on Cahuenga and headed up into the pass. The road was right next to the Hollywood Freeway, and it was loud, but there was very little traffic on the road with us, so it was all right.

At the top of the pass, we turned off and crossed the bridge to get to Mulholland Drive. From there, there are two ways to climb the hill. Mulholland is a long and gradual climb, and Woodrow Wilson is two steep sections with a flat bit in between. The general consenus is that Mulholland is the easier way to go. So we took a right there and headed up Woodrow Wilson.

When we got to the top of the hill, we stopped to catch our breath, and I had a look to see if I could remember which house was the former T. Marvin Hatley Estate. Since Mr. Hatley died in 1986, I figured that the new owners of the house would have probably removed the painted sign on the wall. In the end, I think I identified the house, but being that this was the first time I’d been up there in 15 years, my memory was a bit fuzzy. And being cross-eyed and seeing stars from the hill climb probably didn’t help.

A left turn on Mulholland took us back down to Cahuenga Pass. Along the way, we passed the Hollywood Bowl overlook, and we also got to dimly see the Hollywood sign through the fog. Then we crossed the bridge over the freeway. That was where I saw the signal-box graffiti about “So many things, too little poetry”.

Next, we headed up Wonder View toward Lake Hollywood. This is another stiff climb, but it’s worth it to avoid having to ride any more on Cahuenga. It’s quiet, and there is very little traffic. Also, at the top of the hill we got to see the bright-orange house. You don’t see one of those every day.

Heading down into Burbank, we passed Warner Bros and the somewhat shabby-looking Starlet Apartments. Then we stopped at Priscilla’s for a bagel and orange juice. They have very good fresh-squeezed orange juice there. And it’s definitely worth the extra $0.25 to get the large size. If they offered a “Super Size” I’d even get that.

After our snack stop, we came home by the standard route across Glenoaks and up Verdugo to La Cañada. Then down Descanso and Chevy Chase and back into Pasadena on Woodbury Road. Finally, we went down New York Drive and came back to the park.

49 miles.
cycling

10/15/2005

Laurel and Hardy and some T&A

Filed under: — stan @ 8:43 pm

Route map and photo locations

Since the weather forecast for Sunday involves rain, I thought that a ride today might be just the thing. Gene and Philippe were game, so we set out from the park at 8:30.

The plan was to do the grand tour of Laurel and Hardy, visiting both their grave sites and the staircase where they filmed “The Music Box“.

We started out going west through Eagle Rock and Glendale. When we got to Burbank, we took some small streets behind IKEA and then got on Burbank Blvd. Crossing the freeway, we turned off onto Victory Blvd. That was where we saw our first T&A. It was T&A Hobby Lobby. We decided that this was in the same class as S&M Liquor, and I may have to start a gallery of funny business names.

Continuing on, we got to Valhalla Memorial Park. I got out my portable GPS unit. I’d written down the coordinates of Ollie’s grave, but it turned out that I’d written them down in decimal degrees, and the GPS unit was displaying degrees, minutes, and seconds. Not having a calculator or the GPS unit manual handy, we were stuck. So I just looked for the low wall and clump of trees I’d seen in the Google Maps satellite view. Fortunately, I’m pretty good at seat-of-the-pants orienteering, and a peek over the wall brought us Ollie’s plaque, placed by his grave by the Sons of the Desert. We paid our respects to Ollie, reflecting on seeing his movies when we were kids, and also about how we was not very old when he died.

When we left, we noticed a set of four adjacent markers for four members of the Stiff family. Talk about having an unfortunate name.

Heading south through North Hollywood and Burbank, we passed the Warner Bros ‘ranch’ where they have their big outdoor sets. Then we went past the main Warner Bros studio and turned on Forest Lawn Dr.

At the main entrance to Forest Lawn, we turned and went up the hill. Just above the church we came to the terraced area where Stanley is buried. We had to walk our bikes up two sets of stairs to find him. We paid our respects to Stan, remarking on how they were among the pioneers of film comedy.

Leaving Forest Lawn, we went up the back side of Mt Hollywood. We rode up the long hill and then down the front side, passing through the Griffith Park tunnel and coming out by the Greek Theater. Continuing down the hill, we came into Silver Lake and Sunset Blvd.

We rode down Sunset, but somehow we missed the turnoff for Vendome St. Before we knew it, we were at Alvarado and we realized that we’d gone too far. Since it was getting late, we didn’t have time to go back, so seeing the stairs will have to wait for another time.

We took Glendale Blvd north to Fletcher, and then took Fletcher to Eagle Rock Blvd. That was where we saw the last bit of T&A. This time it was T&A Seafood.

Going north, we went around Occidental College and then took Meridian St across Eagle Rock. At the end, we took Ave 64 down to York and took a left to go over the bridge to South Pasadena. Then we took Monterey Road across San Marino to Sierra Madre Blvd. Then it was straight north on Sierra Madre back to the park.

52 miles
cycling

9/25/2005

Mt Washington and Self-Realization

Filed under: — stan @ 8:36 pm

Route map and photo locations

Today’s ride was to Mt Washington in Los Angeles. This is a little hill neighborhood just northeast of Downtown.

We started out heading up the hill into Altadena. Then we took Woodbury Road across to La Cañada and went up Chevy Chase and Descanso. Then it was down Hospital Hill to Montrose and then the long downhill on Verdugo Blvd.

Verdugo took us all the way down into Glassell Park and Eagle Rock Blvd. We took a right there and took Eagle Rock down the Cypress Park. There wasn’t a whole lot of interesting stuff to take pictures of along the way. And even where there was something, I was too slow in getting the camera out. So I missed a picture of the sign advertising the “Happy Dolling Doll Show”, among others.

When we got down almost to the L.A. River, we got on Figueroa St, which was newly repaved. That was nice. We took that north a bit and then turned up Mt Washington. The street got very narrow and winding, which was a nice change of pace from the big streets we’d been riding on. We climbed all the way up the hill, and at the top, we stopped by the gates of Paramahansa Yogananda’s Self-Realization Fellowship. We paused to meditate briefly before heading down the other side of the hill.

At the bottom of the hill, we headed north some more, back into South Pasadena. There we stopped at a little cafe and bakery. They had a sign advertising “Pastries Fresh Daily”, but then I noticed that they had a jar of Twinkies next to the biscotti. I asked them about this, and they said that they usually also had Ding Dongs, adding that they were actually pretty popular. Hmm. I had a bagel.

Leaving the cafe, we headed east across San Marino. Newton had ridden in from Covina, so we decided to follow him part way back. We took Colorado across Arcadia, and then went one block south to Santa Clara St, which is a nice quiet street that goes across Arcadia and Monrovia. That was where we saw the hot rod parked on the side of the road. We all agreed that it looked like it would probably be a fun car, but that you’d need to wear earplugs while driving it.

When we got to Duarte and the Nun Crossing sign it was time to turn around. Philippe and I turned around and retraced our route back to Pasadena, pausing only briefly to snap a picture of the AMME sign. Now that we’ve seen it, it seems obvious that there would be a group such as the “Worldwide Association of Mexicans Abroad”, but who knew it would be in a strip mall in Monrovia?.

The last bit of the ride was back through Sierra Madre. Then I was home.

52 miles.
cycling

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