Stan’s Obligatory Blog

9/13/2008

A ride to Griffith Park

Filed under: — stan @ 1:33 pm

Today’s bike ride was a rather nondescript route across Glendale to Griffith Park, down the L.A. River bike path, and home by way of Eagle Rock Blvd and South Pasadena.

It was cool and overcast, so it was a bit chilly. And that was that. About the only memorable thing from the ride was the church sign in Eagle Rock.

39 miles
cycling

9/12/2008

The rest of our short Lake Tahoe vacation

Filed under: — stan @ 11:34 pm

I’d mentioned that Susan and I went to Lake Tahoe to do the bike ride around the lake, but here’s the rest of what we did there.

We got there about 3:30 on Friday. We rested a bit at the house before going out to dinner. And that was about it for Friday.

On Saturday, we went for a short bike ride, just to limber up a bit. Then we went and did the Heavenly gondola ride up the mountain. The views were great from up there, and we also saw the small sign about Lake Tahoe that reminded us about what we were going to be doing on Sunday.

When we came back down, we got our picture taken with a large wooden bear. Then we went to Tahoe Sports to pick up our packets for the ride on Sunday. After that, we went back to the house and cooked and ate dinner on the deck. Then we went to the pool and sat in the hot tub for a bit. We were thinking that that was going to feel particularly good on Sunday afternoon after the bike ride.

On Sunday, we did the ride around the lake. After that, we had the pasta lunch that they provided at the finish, and then we went back to the house. We went to the pool, and we also spent some time in the hot tub. That was nice. And that evening, we finished out our trip with dinner at Evan’s, which is my favorite restaurant there.

It was a very nice, albeit short trip.

9/10/2008

Tour de Tahoe

Filed under: — stan @ 6:31 am

bikeThis past weekend’s cycling adventure was a bit different. Susan and I did the Tour de Tahoe, which is a 72-mile ride around Lake Tahoe.

The weather was perfect, albeit a bit chilly when we started out at 7:15. But as soon as the sun came up over the mountains, it was quite pleasant.

The ride itself was very spectacular. Sadly, some of the best vistas were on downhill stretches where it wasn’t practical to stop and look. But in any event, the views were very good all the way around.

There were really only two big climbs. The first was up the switchbacks to the overlook by Emerald Bay. The second was where we went part-way up the mountains on the east side of the lake to meet highway 50 for the final descent back to the finish at South Lake Tahoe. Each of these was about 1,000 feet of climbing. The lake level is about 6,200 feet above sea level, so the tops of the climbs were both close to 7,000 feet. We were able to notice that the air was a bit thinner than what we’re used to here in Pasadena, but we hoped that the lack of smog may have helped make up for the lack of oxygen.

I took so many pictures on this ride that I had to make a separate album for them.

It was a very nice ride.

74 miles.
cycling

9/9/2008

Just a placeholder

Filed under: — stan @ 10:26 pm

The Witness Protection Program goes on vacation.

Actually, there’s a real story here, but I don’t have time to write it up now. I’ll have to do it later. But suffice to say that it was a very nice, albeit short vacation.

9/3/2008

In today’s obituary pages…

Filed under: — stan @ 7:08 am

Jerry Reed has died at 71. And for some reason, my life these days brings this to mind:

In other news, “The Voice of God” is dead:

8/31/2008

Water

Filed under: — stan @ 7:30 pm

In honor of Hurricane Gustav getting ready to make landfall near New Orleans, we went to the movies to see “Trouble the Water”.

It seemed appropriate to remember what happened three years ago.

8/30/2008

Pedal to Paradise

Filed under: — stan @ 4:35 pm

Today’s ride was the “Pedal to Paradise” route. I guess it’s named that because it goes to Paradise Bakery in Glendale.

On the way to the start, we saw a moving truck with “S&M Moving“. That’s a good companion to S&M Liquor and B&D Auto Center.

There was a truck in the parking lot where we met that had some fake trees in it. I guess they were filming something there.

The ride out was pretty uneventful, aside from Don getting a flat coming down Chevy Chase in Glendale.

At the bakery I had a single chocolate eclair. I knew we were going to be riding up the big hill on Mountain St on the way back, and I didn’t want to take a chance on horking up two eclairs on the way up.

Note the pictures where Susan and Garett are smiling as we head up Mountain. And then see how everyone is smiling even more when we got to the top and started down the other side.

At the bottom of the hill, several of us turned off to go home. Susan had to get back early so she could go in to work this afternoon, so we skipped the rest of the ride.

35 miles.
cycling

8/27/2008

Another, better day at Disneyland

Filed under: — stan @ 9:45 pm

On Wednesday, I took Lucinda and her friend to Disneyland again. I’d taken them there back in January, when my personal nightmare was just beginning. So I wanted to take them there again, since life is much, much better now. I knew they’d enjoy it, and it seemed like a nice thing to do to bookend the whole ‘life falling apart and coming back together’ experience.

We spent the whole day there, and we had a pretty good time. We did the Indiana Jones ride for the first time. Lucinda was afraid to do it last time. We also rode Pirates of the Caribbean twice. We did it once, and they liked it so much that we had to go back a second time. It helped that there was no line for it.

At the end of the day, we went and had dinner at the Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney. I’m pretty sure I look a lot happier in the picture this time. I know I was feeling a lot happier.

8/25/2008

The stars at night are big and bright…

Filed under: — stan @ 10:04 pm

Did I say that I hate Texas? Well, perhaps those reports have been greatly somewhat exaggerated.

The occasion was the big 15th anniversary party for -ahem- a social group I co-founded while living in Austin, Texas in the early ’90s. This was a big and remarkable occasion, and it actually prompted me to go there for the first time in many years, since they were putting on a big all-weekend event for the occasion.

We flew there on Jet Blue, which was really very pleasant. And it was non-stop to get there, which was a treat. In the past, it was always necessary to change planes in Phoenix or El Paso, which made it into an epic journey. But this was straight-through and very easy.

When we got there, we took the shuttle to the Airport Hilton, where the event was being held. The group had rented the presidential suite for the Hospitality Suite, and they gave us the key so we could stay in the suite at night. We felt a bit like the Beverly Hillbillies, since we’re just not accustomed to staying in such luxury. It was fun.

The event was Great Fun. Everyone was very nice and happy to see me. Susan said it was like traveling with a rock star. On Sunday, they had a picnic out in the country and a big birthday cake for the group. My co-founder Joel and I did the ceremonial cake cutting.

We stayed over one extra day in order to visit with a couple of other friends of mine there. My friend Stu picked us up at the hotel and then we all had breakfast at Kerbey Lane Cafe with my old college friend Mike, who now owns Waterloo Cycles. We also went and visited Mellow Johnny’s, which is the bicycle shop that Lance Armstrong owns. I got a picture of Susan with one of his framed yellow jerseys from the Tour de France. Then we went to Zilker Park to see the Hartman Prehistoric Garden which was built around the dinosaur tracks that were found there in 1992. And finally, we visited Barton Springs, since I’d seen “The Unforeseen” back in March.

It was a fun little trip.

8/17/2008

“A relatively flat ride…”

Filed under: — stan @ 9:05 pm

Sunday’s ride was billed as ‘relatively flat’. And this turned out to be a good thing, since I had to get a babysitter for Lucinda, and she got lost on the way to my house. So I started out 15 minutes late. Susan waited for me, and we set out together to try and catch the group. We put the hammer down and rode as fast as we could. And fortunately, the group was sort of loafing along, since they knew we were chasing them. So we caught them in El Monte, just about 12 miles into the ride.

We rode over into Baldwin Park, and that’s where I saw In-N-Out University. This is the world headquarters for In-N-Out Burger. I stopped for a picture, and then I got caught at the longest red light in the world. So I had to catch up all over again.

When I caught up to the group, they were just stopping at a light, and as a rolled to a stop, I heard that distinctive “PANG!” sound of a spoke snapping. Fortunately, I had some spares, and there was a park with a shady spot for fixing the wheel. So I replaced the broken spoke and trued up the wheel. And we were on our way again.

We rode down into Industry, and then over to West Covina. I’m not exactly sure where we were, but we made a big loop to end up back at Santa Fe Dam in Irwindale. Then we got on the bike path to get back to Duarte. And then we took the standard route home to Pasadena.

It was a nice ride, even if I did have to fix my wheel in the middle of it.

45 miles.
cycling

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