Stan’s Obligatory Blog

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8/7/2022

Vin Scully Memorial

Filed under: — stan @ 2:15 pm

Big news this week was the Vin Scully, the long-time announcer for the Dodgers had died. Apparently, he was the voice of the team for nearly 70 years. Later in the week, I read that an impromptu memorial had been constructed at the entrance to Dodger Stadium, so that was the sightseeing goal for this week.

We rode down through East L.A. to get to downtown, and then up through Echo Park to get to the stadium. The memorial was a random collections of items left by fans, with things going back to the Brooklyn days, and personal notes from fans. Even though I don’t follow baseball, it’s still amazing to see that any one person can cast such an impact on our culture.

We stopped at Chimney Coffee before coming home. That’s where they were plugging the Larb Burger. “Larb and in charge”

40 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

7/10/2022

The New 6th Street Bridge

Filed under: — stan @ 4:41 pm

Back in 2015, we took a bike ride to go see the 6th Street Bridge over the Los Angeles River. The old bridge had just been closed, and was going to be demolished and rebuilt. The demolition process led to a bike ride to see a closed-down section of the 101 freeway. Ever since then, every time we’d pass through the Arts District east of downtown, we would stop and see how the construction of the new bridge was coming along. And this weekend was the grand opening of the new bridge.

There was also a CicLAvia going on today on Western Ave in south L.A., so the plan was to go there first. Then we’d head back into downtown for the chance to ride over the new bridge, starting at 11:00.

We rode downtown by our usual basic route down Huntington Drive. Then out on Exposition to Western, where we picked up the CicLAvia route. We rode to the far end of that, and then headed back to downtown. We got to the bridge a few minutes before the 11:00AM opening. We rode across the bridge to Boyle Heights, and then back. All told, they did a pretty good job on it.

We stopped for drinks and snacks at Chimney Coffee outside downtown. Then we came home by way of the Arroyo Seco.

48 miles.

Route map and elevation profile.

7/3/2022

Turnbull Canyon

Filed under: — stan @ 1:52 pm

Today’s bike ride was a trip up and over Turnbull Canyon in Whittier. We haven’t done this one in a while, but today was supposed to be a nice day, and not hot. So it seemed like the thing to do.

For some reason, we had big group today, so we took the short side trip in Pico Rivera to go see Dork Street. And we were pleasantly surprised to see that the street sign that was stolen years ago has been replaced. So we were all set for the obligatory photo-ops with the street sign.

After that, we rode across Whittier and up and over the canyon. Our snack stop was at Merengue in Monrovia, and then we headed home.

43 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

6/5/2022

The 40th Anniversary of E.T.

Filed under: — stan @ 3:41 pm

June of 1982 was 40 years ago, and that was when “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” was released. At the time, it was just a nice little movie, but over time, it’s taken it’s place in our culture. We’ve been to see Elliott’s house from the movie before, but not for some years. So it was time to go again.

I pared the route down a bit from last time to cut down on the amount of climbing. It was still an impressively steep hill to get up to the house, but we made it.

36 miles.

Route map and elevation profile.

6/4/2022

The Daily Show Strikes Again…

Filed under: — stan @ 7:26 pm

On Friday, I heard that “The Daily Show” had set up another art project honoring “Heroes of the Freedomsurrection” for all the brave patriots who fought against the United States. And after displaying it in New York, they were bring it it to Los Angeles. So of course we had to go see. Heh… “Lion Ted”…

This was another “Daily Show” stunt along the lines of the “Presidential Twitter Library” they did a few years ago. And as that was, this one was pretty funny, since the actual underlying reality of it is pretty horrifying.


5/29/2022

The Berlin Wall

Filed under: — stan @ 7:30 pm

Today’s bike club ride was a visit to the Berlin Wall on Wilshire Blvd, across the street. It’s there because of the Wende Museum, and it’s the largest piece of the Berlin Wall outside of Germany.

This morning, I read that the city of Los Angeles had arranged for the original artist to come back and repaint the Micheltorena Stairs, after they had been painted over by unknown vandals a few weeks ago. So we decided that we’d also take the short side trip to see them on the way out to the Berlin Wall. The stairs look good, and apparently the city has arranged for them to treated with an anti-graffitti coating so that if they are vandalized again, it can be washed off easily.

We made it out to the Berlin Wall and took in the sight. We also saw that the main building for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art across the street has been completely demolished. I’d heard that they were rebuilding it, but I didn’t realize that that meant it was going all the way to bare ground.

We went for snacks at the Curson Cafe in Park La Brea. We’ve been there before, and it’s nice sort-of-hidden place.

On the way back, we were about halfway back to downtown Los Angeles when I broke a spoke. Of course it was on the back wheel, and of course it was on the gear side. I took out my spoke wrench and managed to tune the wheel enough that it wasn’t dragging on the brake or the frame, and we continued on until we got downtown. Then I said ‘uncle’ and we got on Metro Rail to go back to Pasadena.

34 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

5/13/2022

B-17

Filed under: — stan @ 7:15 pm

Back in 1998, I went to an airshow with some restored WWII bombers. Over the years, I went to see them a couple other times:

bombers in Burbank 2003

bombers in Burbank 2012

Each time, they offered rides in them, but was only this time that I decided to sign up for the ride.

The actual flight was only about a half-hour, and it was impossible to forget for even a second that we were flying in an actual antique airplane. These machines were built for a very specific purpose, and the comfort of the occupants was very low on the list. It was amazingly loud in there, even with some pretty serious earplugs. Once we were stably airborne, they let us get up out of our seats and walk around, with the important caveat to always, always be holding on to something. This airplane is really quite small by today’s standards, and it bounced up and down a good bit. We never got terribly high up. They said we had to be at least something like 2,000 feet above the ground, since we were flying over suburbia. I’ve been through that area many times on the freeway, but you just don’t get a sense of how many houses have been built all over the hills there. And any place that didn’t have houses on it, was obviously graded and set up to build streets and still more houses.

In any event, it was in interesting adventure, and I now have much more of an appreciation of what the guys who flew those planes during the war went through. Sure, when they were flying them, the planes weren’t antiques, but at the same time, they were being shot at, which is far, far worse.


5/8/2022

Holiday Bowl

Filed under: — stan @ 2:35 pm

I was watching an episode of “Lost L.A.” the other day about how the Crenshaw neighborhood was a mixed Black and Japanese area after the Japanese came back to Los Angeles after the war.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9TyxQy57Q4

After seeing the part about Holiday Bowl, I figure that was going to have to be the Sunday bike ride for this weekend. So here we are. We rode out to Crenshaw to see the building that used to be Holiday Bowl.

45 miles.

Route map and elevation profile.

5/1/2022

The Los Angeles Riots

Filed under: — stan @ 2:28 pm

It’s been all over the news this week that this is the 30th anniversary of the 1992 Los Angeles Riots. So it seemed appropriate that we should take a ride back to where it all started, as it were. So we rode over the Forest Lawn to see Rodney King.

Afterward, we rode over to Burbank and Priscilla’s for drinks and snacks.

46 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

4/24/2022

This is why we can’t have nice things…

Filed under: — stan @ 9:13 pm

This week, I saw a news item about the Micheltorena Stairs in Silver Lake. This staircase had been painted with hearts and rainbows, and it’s on the list of ‘the most Instagrammed places in Los Angeles.’ We’ve been to see them before. But this week, the news was that the stairs had been painted-over.

This is why we can’t have nice things.

So I figured it was time for us to go visit again.

We used the mostly the same route as last time, just without the extra bit to West Hollywood to see the Pink Wall. When we got there, we could see that the designs painted on the stairs had been painted over. I walked up to the second set of stairs to see if they had been painted over, but apparently they had not. The article I read said that the city is talking to the artist who painted the stairs originally, and she may come back to re-do them. If so, we’ll have to come see them again.

After seeing the stairs, we made a quick stop to see the “Music Box” stairs, since they’re just a couple blocks away. Then we went to Noah’s Bagels in Larchmont for drinks and snacks. And then we headed home by way of downtown L.A.

42 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

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