Oh my friends, we are nearly at the start of the big ride! Sunday at 6AM, the 545 mile ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles begins. I’m excited, nervous, overwhelmed… all that good stuff. I probably won’t post anything until I get home, but if you’d like to track me when I’m riding you can use this link:
Big thanks to Taylor Swift for having two separate videos I could pull number clips from. I also looked for Alice Cooper singing “Eighteen,” but none of the clips quite worked. But this performance is pretty great:
I picked up that spare tube from Rad Bikes, and I’m sure glad I did. Next time you’re in Monrovia (which is NOT Montrose), tell them I said thanks! And if you ride: CARRY A SPARE TUBE, YA DINGUS.
FUN MONROVIA FACT: In 2006 Katherine & I got married there. I had a dumb beard. We also wore bananas on our heads.
It turns out Morris Dam was actually named after Samuel B. Morris, the chief engineer for the dam. The lesson: work hard, make things, and some day people will use those things to make lame jokes about TV characters.
At the first Starbucks I say that it’s “student sponsored” because I’m using the gift cards I got as appreciation gifts from students. I rarely go to Starbucks so I have a ton credit there. Thanks, students!
That chunk of PCH is actually part of the full AIDS/LifeCycle ride, so I’ll be back there in a couple of weeks. With luck I won’t get another flat.
That ice cream from Mateo’s Ice Cream was GREAT. Banana ice cream with chocolate and peanuts, AND a fancy drip catcher! Totally worth the stop.
SPONSOR MY RIDE!
The other day someone saw my donation page and said “Wow, you have some generous friends.” It’s true, I do. But they also seemed intimidate by the size of the donations.
Folks, you don’t have to give thousands or hundreds of dollars. If you can do that it’s greatly appreciated, but I absolutely don’t want you to feel like you have to do that. Want to help but can only spare five bucks? Great! Go to http://tofighthiv.org/goto/gattuso and give whatever you can. Want to help but you can’t afford to donate? Great! Share the link to my sponsor page.
The bits of bookend video in this are from a 1983 show called Vic’s Vacant lot. Tennis pro Vic Braden sits in a lot with kids and talks about games. Then he watches as the kids chase each other on bikes without wearing helmets. Looks very safe!
I felt bad for the tour buses on this ride. The valley was fogged in. I’m guessing there was a lot of “Normally, you can see…” added to to the standard script.
Also: I’ve never seen David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive. Maybe I should watch that some day.
Not much to say about these rides, so let’s use the “74 days left” thing as an excuse to link to a bunch of YouTube videos of TV and movies from 1974. That’s right, it’s the blog post version of a clip show!
New TV for 1974
While there are a ton of classic shows that premiered in 1974, I think everyone’s favorite moment of TV every week was when the little kid from Little House on the Prairie would eat it running down a hill in the opening credits.
Movies of 1974
If you want to see how much the variety of movies has narrowed in the last half century, just look at the trailers for some of the stuff you could have watched in a theater in 1974.
And the most popular science fiction film of all time:
I know there’s still a wide range of visual entertainment out there through television and streaming, but I do miss the days of going to a movie theater and discovering weird things in a dark room full of strangers.
My main biking goal right now is to get ready for AIDS/LifeCycle, but I’m trying whenever possible to work in my “ride every street in the San Fernando Valley” project. I’m not quite two-thirds of the way done.
I’ve done nearly all of the flat areas that are close to home, so now I’m starting to get deeper into the twisty little streets in the hills. Sometimes that means I find weird stuff usually hidden from the hoi polloi who crawl around the floor of the valley. Yesterday’s discovery was Mooncrest Drive, where the Fancy Lads are unhappy to have their lives interrupted for the entertainment of the masses.
I can’t figure out exactly what triggered these people so much that they’d go to the trouble of getting signs made, but I did find a couple of clues. The first was this article from last year that isn’t specifically about Mooncrest Drive, but features a 2020 picture of the street with the “FILMING NOT WELCOME” signs visible in the background.
The problem is that it doesn’t say what production was filming, so that wasn’t much help.
Then I found this page on a Twin Peaks blog. I thought that might have been the source of the complaint, but Twin Peaks filmed four years earlier and the signs look newer. And the scene was so short that it would have wrapped before the neighbors had a chance to organize. Also, it was used for a nondescript scene featuring a very minor character, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a one day second unit shoot.
The only other thing I found was that Norman Lear used to live on Mooncrest Drive, but I have no idea if it was even this section of the street.
Brian could figure this out.
A couple of unrelated pictures!
The Los Angeles LGBT Center and San Francisco AIDS Foundation do great work helping people live healthy, safe lives. Go to my AIDS/LifeCycle sponsor page and make a donation. Anything you can give helps! Thanks!
100 days. A little over three months. It’s going to be bonkers. I’m going to have fun, but I’m also freaking out a bit. Well, maybe more than a bit. You help me freak out less by sponsoring my ride. And a ton of employers will match your donations, so you get to pay once but give twice- neat!
When I make these goofy little videos, I always spend way too much time looking for little bits of related audio & video. Sometimes I get lucky and find something like Mark Ronson’s “The Bike Song.” I fun and appropriate song I’ll actually listen to.
Sometimes I’ll find songs that I like but aren’t quite right for the video, like this Del Vikings song that’s about a flat tire, but not the right kind of flat tire.
Or this great 8 bit version of bicycle race that I couldn’t find a place for:
Sometimes I find clips of movies I can’t believe I once thought were funny.
Side note: Katherine can’t stand the music of Tom Waits, but often likes his acting. The five and a half seconds of him talking here is probably perfect for her.
If you’re wondering why this video ends with an odd version of Smashmouth’s “All-Star”: The song was featured on the Mystery Men soundtrack, and the video for the song includes scenes from the movie. And if you’re wondering where that weird version came from: Neil Cicierega, a man responsible for 98% of the internet’s comedy (seriously, check his wikipedia page), put out FOUR albums of remixes/mashups/reworks/homages featuring “All Star.”
I spent far too long on the five second “Streets of San Francisco San Fernando Valley” opening.
Nothing to do with Lily Munster
Lilley Hall (the place with its own Instagram account) is probably best known these days for their fancy displays for Halloween and Christmas, but its name from previous resident Joseph J. Lilley, a composer/songwriter/orchestrator who worked on a ton of movies. His home is right up the street from Bob Hope’s place. They worked on a lot of the same movies. I wonder if they ever carpooled to Paramount.
There are only about two weeks left of 2021, and donations are reallllly close to $3500. You could be the one to take it over the top. The Los Angeles LGBT Center and San Francisco AIDS Foundation work all year to provide health care and health justice for tons of people living with HIV/AIDS, and anything you can give helps them provide those vital services. Please donate what you can!
While I’m training for AIDS/LifeCycle, I’m also still working on my “ride every street in the San Fernando Valley” project. Just like national COVID vaccinations, I’m currently around 60% done. Also just like national COVID vaccinations, the rate of completion has plateaued.
I’ve pretty well saturated all the available roads near where I live, so I end up riding ten miles in one direction just to get to where I’m picking up new streets. “But Luke,” you say, “why don’t you just drive your bike to the other side of the Valley so you don’t have to ride 20 miles to pick up another five?”
I just feel a little silly going through all the hassle of loading my bike on the car so I can tool around random neighborhoods. I mean, I’ve done it, but it feels like it defeats the purpose of riding a bike.
I don’t know what I like, but I know art
My quest to cover all of the roads sometimes leads me to odd places. Yesterday’s ride to the North end of Tampa included a surprise visit to the CSUN Art department. No one was there, but there’s some outdoor artwork.
Your donation goes to the Los Angeles LGBT Center and the San Francisco AIDS Foundations, two groups that help people living with HIV/AIDS. Do good! Donate!
Okay, it’s not exactly a secret, but Little Tujunga is a rare thing in Los Angeles: A long scenic road through Angeles National Forest with very little traffic, but not so isolated that you’d never get help if you had an accident. I spent 99 percent of the time on the road with no one around, and I could hear cars coming from a mile away. That’s not just a cliché; it was so quiet that a distant engine was totally audible. Well worth the ride!
I like stupid puns and wordplay. A few years ago I realized “Hansen Dam” sounds a lot like “Dancin’ Ham,” and I decided that there should be a store that sells them. And when I was looking for a spokesperson, Danson/Dancin’ was the obvious choice. The fact that people who overact are called hams didn’t even occur to me until I was in the middle of making the ad.
Angeles National Forest is the first National Forest in California. It’s about 700,000 acres. It’s so famous for burning that its Wikipedia page has wildfires listed ahead of the local flora and fauna. The Station Fire in 2009 burned for over a month!
Wildlife, gone away station
If you look behind me when I talk about laughing like Seth Rogen you’ll see some containers and a dumpster across the street. That’s the back of what’s left of the Wildlife Waystation. It used to be a home for wild and exotic animals.
They ran out of money a couple of years ago and the animals were transferred to other locations.
I wasn’t actually thinking of John Denver and Miss Piggy when I sang “Happy Trails,” but I knew the Van Halen version would get me a copyright strike.
Roy Rogers, the guy best known for the song, used to live in Chatsworth in the San Fernando Valley.