Where the hell are you going?

Most of the time when I ride, I do some sort of a loop. I get my distance in, and I get new scenery for the whole ride (though, as Katherine’s mother once said when she was a kid, “When you’ve seen one scenery, you’ve seen ’em all”).

Sometimes I ride to a destination. The my ride is just a line; I go somewhere, then I go back. Not as interesting to ride, but it gets me where I’m going.

…and very rarely, my ride looks like this:bike-map-160929

This happens when my goal is to just keep moving. The light is red? Time to turn! Left turns are more challenging, as you can tell by the way most of the lefts on this route are three rights. I just keep moving, trying to get as far away from my starting point in roughly half the time I want to be riding. Plus, I get to try and figure out what shape I’ve “drawn.” This one looks a bit like a snooty mouse.

An observation and some things I see

My bike is lighter and faster when my ride is the first thing I do for the day instead of the first thing I do after working all day.

Some things I see on my usual ride by approximate distance from start:

Mile 1: Bob Hope’s housebob-hopes-toluca-lake-house-e1380060235715

Actually, for the most part I see the wall around Bob Hope’s house, but you can see it when you get to the gate. Toluca Lake is currently fighting to stop demolition on the property.

Mile 2: Warner Brothers

Warner Animation Mural

The mural at Warner Brothers changes. The image above was how it looked in 2003. In 2009 it was redone with a focus on superheroes (but Daffy & Bugs still showed up).


The coolest thing about this version: It’s hard to see in the daytime, but at night the heroes were fairly dark and villains were projected across the bottom!

Now it’s a Teen Titans Go! mural. It’s got a lot of fun comic book in-jokes, but I miss the villains.

Luke has a bike, but he can’t seem to get on it.

I have learned that starting a blog about something you want to do is an excellent jinx against it. Every day brings a new unwelcome excuse to skip riding. Meetings, appointments, classes, whatever. I managed to squeak in a short ride two days ago, and now I won’t have time again until Saturday. I need a time turner.

On the plus side: today’s road block (ha! I am clever) was sticking around after school to see my students applying the skills they’re learning in my class to their other schoolwork. It’s like they’re learning something, or something.

Mister Bike had an owie

A couple of weeks ago, I discovered that somewhere during my travels I hit the front fork of my bike against something hard enough to knock off a big chunk of paint. I knew I wouldn’t get a chance to fix it properly right away, so I did a quick temporary patch. Today, I redid it (mostly) right. Check out old & busted vs. new hotness:

Old and busted.


New hotness.

Today’s ride notes

I rode my river loop again.  The Riverside/134 end of the path is under construction, and it’s been sort-of blocked off for a while. It used to be blocked with a six foot high plastic fence, which meant you had to lift your bike over the side rail and walk on the slanted cement sides of the river. That was torn down – by cyclists, I’m sure- pretty quickly. THey replaced it with this more durable concrete street barricade:

A cement barricade on the LA River Bike Path.

I like it. It’s a lot easier to lift my bike over.

When I got to the other end of the path, I chatted with a guy who told me the other side of the river was also open and you could ride all the way down the river. I said “Is it paved?” He said it was.

It was not.

The dirt side of the LA River, near Frogtown.

But there is a pretty nice view of the river on that side.

The River


Yesterday’s ride strangeness

I had just gone over the Baum Bicycle Bridge when I saw two bike cops going the other way. That’s not terribly common, but not particularly weird… until I realized that they were just the advance guard for two people slowly pedaling by on recumbent bikes, who were then followed by another FIVE bike cops.

That’s a total of seven cops protecting two people I did not recognize. That’s about five more cops than I’ve seen in three years of riding the river bike path. Probably not the most effective distribution of bike police, especially considering that a couple of people got shot on the bike path in Frogtown a few days ago.

You might think that people getting shot on the path would make me a little leery of using it, but it still feel safer than riding down most major streets.

This is my bike!

Mister Bike

This is Mister Bike. I got him in April. Mister Bike is a Fuji Touring Bike, and we went a lot of places for a few months, culminating with a 100 mile ride to Santa Barbara on my 50th birthday in June.

Then I sort of neglected him. First it was “I’m going to take a break for a few days.” Then it was “Man, it got hot.” Then “I’m sick.” Then hot again, and then laziness and inertia took over. And that’s sad, because I love Mister Bike. So it’s time to get re-acquainted.

Tonight I did my favorite local ride. It’s a roughly 25 mile loop that takes me past Warner Brothers and down the L.A. River bike path to Frogtown. Yeah, I know it’s officially “Elysian Valley,” but wouldn’t you rather live in Frogtown?

Plus, the end of the ride has a mural with frog people!