I did the  CicLAvia ride today. It was a big one. They were celebrating the 100th anniversary of the LA Philharmonic, so they closed an eight mile stretch from Disney Hall to (almost) the Hollywood Bowl. Super fun, super casual ride. If you ever get a chance, do it!

Now part of the rideSFV map: the West Valley!

Today’s ride:

Some sort of gun, I guess?

About 40 miles on the new saddle today. Totally worth every penny it cost.

And the West Valley is officially on the map!

Of course, I’ve already ridden all over the West Valley (and big chunks of the north side as well), but that was before I started mapping, so…let’s do it again!

How I know buying a new saddle was a good idea.

My new saddle is made of hard leather. It takes 200-300 miles of riding for the saddle to adjust itself to your butt. When it does, it’s supposed to feel great. Before it does, it’s supposed to be uncomfortable.

I rode my first 20 or so miles today. Even with a rock hard saddle, the ride was more comfortable. I can’t wait to feel how it rides in a few weeks.

Here’s today’s ride, A dog with a butterfly on his snout.

Actually, I’m not sure what’s on his nose.

Puttering is fun, and a new toy.

Not seeing much here. Maybe a sad beatnik Black Bolt?

Brian and I rode together, which meant I wasn’t always figuring out where to turn. I think the only choice I made was to pick up that one street in Toluca Lake that’s been bugging me. I HAVE YOU NOW, WEIRD DEAD END STREET.

When I got home, I added my new toy to my bike:

Twice as heavy as my old seat, hard as a rock, and super pretty. It’s going to feel awesome… in a few hundred miles.

Filling cracks, climbing little hills.

Today’s ride: 20 miles of picking up missing streets, and a slight return (voodoo child) to hills.

I have no idea what this could be. That could be a mouth bottom right, I guess…

Things I learned:

  1. I need to ride more hills. A tiny bit of the end of Lankershim was a challenge.
  2. It’s really easy to miss streets. I’ve been consciously trying to fill in everything, and I’m still missing streets less than a mile from me! 
Seen here: missing streets.

I need to start making maps before I go so I can pick up stragglers and and reasonable hills along the way.

Rorschach tests, mile adjustments

Cartoon dog wearing a turtleneck and smoking a pipe, or hand reaching from the grave for Santa’s boot? You be the judge.

I like the antenna on top of the dog’s head.

And’s here’s a rough guess of which parts of this ride were new-to-me roads.

I guessed that there are are 3,200 miles of road in the San Fernando Valley, but I based that on a report from the City of Los Angeles that doesn’t include other cities. No Burbank, no San Fernando, no Glendale. New guess: 3,400 miles.

So, how many miles are we talking about here?

I had no idea how many miles of road there are in the San Fernando Valley, so I decided to try and look it up. The most recent information I could find is from this 2008 report. It says:

The City of Los Angeles has approximately 6,500 miles of … [paved] streets divided into two geographic areas, Metropolitan (53 percent) and the San Fernando Valley (47 percent). It is the responsibility of the Bureau of Street Services to maintain all streets in a perpetual good to excellent condition.

47 percent of 6,500 is 3,055. I’m sure there are more streets now than there were ten years ago, so let’s call it 3,200. I don’t have any way to figure out what percentage I’ve completed, but it’s not anywhere near that!

The Smiling Man Loses His Hat – AKA “My new project makes me go on weird rides”

Tonight’s ride looks like a smiling at lost his hat.

Ride map

I hear you asking: “Why the weird ride?” Here’s the thing: I’m a guy who repeats himself a lot. I find something I enjoy, and I NEVER CHANGE IT. Or I change it so slowly that it doesn’t feel like it’s changing.

So, I’m changing that. Two things that made me decide on this project:

  1. Strava has a “Heat Map” function; it shows all the streets from every ride you’ve logged. More common streets glow brighter (that’s why it’s called a heat map) but all I care about is the log of all streets.
  2. I read this post about a woman who plans to ride on every road in Alaska.

I’ll never ride every road in California. I’ll never even ride every road in Los Angeles. But I can ride every road in the San Fernando Valley. Will it take a long time? Sure. But I have no time limit. Right now I’m just riding on streets I don’t remember using, but pretty soon I’m going to have to start actually planning these rides or I’m going to leave a bunch of short chunks all over the place.

This is what I’ve got so far:

Heat map

And this is roughly what I added today:

New Roads

I have no idea how many miles of roads there are in the Valley. At least five, that’s for sure.

Let’s show off!

Tonight was less of a ride for exercise and more of an excuse for Brian and I to compare our freshly painted bikes. Mine is made to be really visible: all shiny yellows and oranges. His is Stealth Bike: matte black EVERYTHING.

My favorite part of tonight’s ride is where it looks like I’m flipping you off. (I’m not.)