Stan’s Obligatory Blog

10/9/2016

Back in the saddle

Filed under: — stan @ 2:34 pm

It’s been just a bit over three weeks now since I had the surgery for the pituitary gland tumor, and last week, I got clearance from the surgeon to resume most of normal activities. Last week, I came on the bike club ride, and we rode to Glendora. That time, I bailed out at 25 miles and rode the Metro home from Azusa. So my goal for this week was to try and go a bit farther. The route for today was the ‘Big Donut’ ride to La Puente to see the Donut Hole drive-through donut shop. The route is something like 45 miles, but I figured I’d probably bail out somewhere near the end when the route met up with the Metro.

The route is pretty flat, although it begins with the ride up and over the hill through Sierra Madre. I was curious about this, since I was curious to see how the downhill out of Sierra Madre would feel. For the last few years, I’ve been having a sort of low-grade vertigo thing that’s made me doubt my balance on the bike. This has caused problems with both downhills, and also with doing my traditional trackstands at red lights. Last week, I managed to make it all the way to Glendora without having to put my foot down at any of the lights, and that was my goal again for today. And it worked out pretty well. There were a couple of intersections that were off-camber, so I ended up putting a foot down at them, but most of them, I was able to just balance on two wheels until the light changed. So between that, and the fact that the blurred vision I had in my left eye has cleared up, the surgery seems to have done what it was supposed to do.

We stopped briefly for a photo-op at the Big Donut. Then we continued on, making a loop through West Covina and back up to Irwindale and Santa Fe Dam. We picked up the bike path there, and rode that up to Duarte and Encanto Park. At that point, I had about 33 miles, and that was where I bailed. I rode about two more miles to get to the Duarte/City of Hope Gold Line station, where I got on the train to come home. For some reason, the train was packed. There must have been a game of some sort going on somewhere that everyone was going to. But I rode the train back to the Allen station in Pasadena, and then rode the two more miles home from there. So overall, it was a pretty good ride. I think next week, maybe I’ll try for the full 40-mumble miles we usually do on Sunday mornings.

35 miles, plus two more riding home from the Metro station.

Route map and elevation profile

8/9/2015

Checking in with the Big Donut

Filed under: — stan @ 2:30 pm

This Sunday’s bike club ride was a visit to the Donut Hole in La Puente. Along with the Idle Hour cafe, the giant tamale, and other odd sights we’ve gone to see over the years, it’s a prime example of programmatic architecture. And we haven’t been to see the donut in a while.

On the way there, we stopped by the new Metro Rail station under construction in Arcadia. It looks like it’s almost done, and they’re having an official dedication for it in two weeks. A little farther south, we noticed one intersection that had big, round skid marks right in the middle. Apparently, we were not the only ones thinking of big donuts recently. We went by the replica of the original In-N-Out Burger in Baldwin Park. And then we got to the big donut. There was a line of cars back out to the street. This is they busiest we’ve ever seen them on a Sunday morning. Maybe this means the economy is picking up or something. It’s never been that busy when we visited before.

Continuing on, we made a big loop through West Covina and back to Irwindale. We passed the Huy Fong Foods hot sauce factory there. We rode into Santa Fe Dam and up the bike path to Duarte, and then back on Royal Oaks to Monrovia. We found Merengue, and it has finally reopened in their new location. The last time we looked in on them, they weren’t quite ready to open yet. I got an empanada, Carla got a Refugee, and all was right with the world.

When we got ready to leave Merengue, I discovered that I’d gotten a flat. It’s been a while since I got into the Flat Tire Gallery.

Even with the flat tire, it was a good ride.

43 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

1/18/2015

Roll Out the Barrel

Filed under: — stan @ 2:11 pm

Route map

Last week, I saw an article about how the old barrel-shaped restaurant in North Hollywood is being renovated by new owners, and it going to be reopening soon as the Idle Hour. The giant barrel is yet another example of programatic architecture, and as soon as I saw it, I knew we had a bike ride coming up to go see it. Other odd structures we’ve been to see before include the Coca-Cola bottling plant, the giant tamale, and the big donut.

The route was just a slight reworking of our old Toluca Lake route. We rode through South Pasadena, and then down Figureoa through Highland Park. We passed Chicken Boy there. Then we took the L.A. River bike path north, where we saw some Great Egrets wading in the river. At the end of the bike path, we got on Riverside Drive and headed west across Toluca Lake. We stopped at the Barris Kustom shop there to peek in the windows and see the Batmobile and the Munster Koach parked inside.

Then we headed north up Vineland Ave to get to the barrel. There were some guys working on it, so we got to peek inside the fence. They said we couldn’t look inside yet, but that it would be ready and opening in just a few weeks. The new finish on the barrel looks good.

We continued north up to Chandler, where we stopped at Panera, across the street from the Metro Red Line station. I saw there was a notification on my phone from the Field Trip app about the Southern Pacific train depot that Metro is renovating there. I looked, and it was right across the street from us. So that’s going to be yet another thing to go see when they get it finished.

Coming home, we took the Chandler Bikeway from NoHo and across Burbank. Then across Glendale, up Chevy Chase and Linda Vista for our obligatory hill of the day. And then past the Rose Bowl to get home. It was a nice day for riding, and we had a good time.

46 miles.

11/10/2013

Big Donut again!

Filed under: — stan @ 2:40 pm

Today’s bike club ride was the route to La Puente to see the giant drive-through donut. We’ve been there before, but it’s been a while.

It was a pretty nice day for riding. Cool, but promising to warm up a bit. And no forecast of rain. So we headed out, south and east. We stopped for a photo opportunity at the In-n-Out Burger headquarters and In-n-Out University. Then we continued on to the Donut Hole. We stopped for pictures, and Carla even rode through to get a donut.

After that, we continued on, out to West Covina, and then back north to Monrovia and our snack stop at Merengue. It was a pleasant and pretty uneventful ride.

44 miles.

10/21/2012

Big Donut!

Filed under: — stan @ 4:14 pm

Today’s bike ride was the route out to La Puente to see the Donut Hole. That’s the donut place with the big drive-through donuts on each end of the building. One of the classic examples of programmatic architecture.

It was cool and cloudy, and sort of drizzling at the park. When I got there, I was the only one, probably because everyone thought it was going to rain. But looking to the south, away from the mountains, I could see clear skies. So I figured I just start out and see if I found anyone else along the way. And sure enough, when I got to the Rio Hondo bike path part of the ride, I found Michael and Allyson. They had gotten to the park late, and were trying to catch the group. But since the entire group consisted of me at that point, that was all right.

We stopped off for a photo-op at In-N-Out University in Baldwin Park. That’s the In-N-Out Burger headquarters building that they built across the freeway from their original location.

Continuing on, we go to the Donut Hole and took some pictures there. I tried to take a bite out of the donut, but it was just too big to fit in my mouth.

The ride back was pretty uneventful. We stopped for snacks at Merengue in Monrovia. Then, on the final ride home, it started to rain in earnest. I was dismayed, but not terribly surprised by this. But fortunately, it only lasted for about 3 blocks. So overall, it was a nice ride.

43 miles.

8/7/2011

Again with the Big Donut

Filed under: — stan @ 12:37 pm

Today’s bike club ride was the route out to La Puente to see the Donut Hole. The last time we did this ride was back in January. That was the day we saw the Weinermobile. It was a perfect summer day for riding.

ON the way out, we passed the original In-N-Out Burger location in Baldwin Park. The sign is all that’s left now.

At the Donut Hole, there was an empty bucket of apple filling. That was perfect to balance the camera on for our picture.

Continuing on, we passed the house with the plastic reindeer permanently mounted by the driveway gate. It was right around there where I first heard my bike making a little ticking noise. When we got to a nice shady spot, I stopped and had a look. That was when I saw the staple stuck in my tire. So Carla took the camera and got my flat tire picture.

On the way back, we stopped off to see the big new Huy Fong Foods building in Irwindale. They’re coming along nicely, and when it’s done, they’ll be able to make veritable oceans of hot sauce there.

When we rode up the bike path through Santa Fe Dam, we could see that there was still quite a bit of water coming down from the mountains. For August, this is remarkable.

Our snack stop was at Merengue in Monrovia. Then we headed home. It was a nice ride.

44 miles.

1/23/2011

Big Things

Filed under: — stan @ 12:50 pm

Today’s bike club ride was the “Big Donut” route to La Puente to see the Donut Hole. This is a drive-through donut shop with a giant donut on each end of the building. It was a nice day, and we had a good group for the ride.

On the way down there, we passed a chicken restaurant and a man in a chicken suit getting ready for work. We also passed the headquarters of In-N-Out Burger, complete with In-N-Out University and the In-N-Out Company Store.

At the giant donut, we paused for a photo. Then we rode on, heading back north, with the snow on the San Gabriel mountains as a backdrop. Our snack stop was at Merengue in Monrovia. Then we headed home across Sierra Madre.

When we passed the Albertson’s, I veered off, because I saw the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. Like the big donut, the Wienermobile is a prime example of marketing with things shaped like the product being sold. And so I had to stop and see it close-up.

44 miles and one Wienermobile.
cycling

7/11/2010

Sunday donut

Filed under: — stan @ 12:28 pm

Today’s bike ride was one of those nowhere-in-particular rides. The only sightseeing opportunity was the Donut Hole in La Puente. Giant donuts are always amusing.

On the way back, we saw a big coyote in Arcadia. They’re not usually seen out after sunrise, so that was kind of unusual.

It was cool and cloudy and perfect for riding.

44 miles.
cycling

2/21/2010

The Big Donut

Filed under: — stan @ 8:02 pm

Today’s bike ride was out to La Puente to see the Donut Hole drive-through donut shop. We’ve been out there before, but it’s always an entertaining sight. The weather was overcast and threatening to rain. Due to the street closures for the Pasadena Marathon today, we met at Memorial Park in Sierra Madre.

Riding east and south, it started to rain lightly. And then it started to rain harder. It got to be a pretty steady rain by the time we got to Las Tunas and took shelter under the overhanging roof of a 7-Eleven store. We waited there for about 20 minutes and the rain stopped. Looking at how the clouds were moving, it appeared that the rain was done with us for a while, so we continued on the ride.

When we got to the Donut Hole, we all got donuts and took a group photo. Then we continued on the route, making a loop around and ending up at Panera Bread in West Covina. We had some bagels and such. Then we rode back to the park. It was a pretty flat ride, and aside from the rain at the beginning, it was very pleasant.

43 miles.
cycling

8/23/2009

The Donut Hole

Filed under: — stan @ 7:17 pm

Today’s bike ride was another little sightseeing ride. This time, the destination was The Donut Hole in La Puente. This is a prime example of programmatic architecture, which in this case is a building shaped like the product sold there.

The actual route out there was pretty straightforward and flat. This was a minor variation on a route we did last summer.

When we got to The Donut Hole, we each took a souvenir photo in front of the big donut, and then a group shot, with the camera balanced on a rock.

The snack stop was at Panera in West Covina, and the route home went over Santa Fe Dam and up the bike path. Then home across Monrovia and Arcadia. It was a fun ride. The route itself wasn’t all that exciting, but the Donut Hole made it amusing.

45 miles.
cycling

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