Hey, I passed an arbitrary number!

I went for a ride Sunday. I didn’t make a video (some rides are just… rides, y’know?) but I did take exactly one picture:

I didn’t notice the driveway part of the face until I got home.

Also, I passed an arbitrary number! What number? THIS number:

That’s right: the coveted FOURTEEN PERCENT MARK! Also 500 miles.

But the most important number: 60%. That’s how far I’ve come in my goal to raise $3000. I’ll get there with your help. And remember: I’ll ride a mile for every dollar raised UP TO 5000 dollarmiles!

Go here and give! And send your friends as well!

Here’s the ride:

http://tofighthiv.org/goto/ga2so

Classic TV, Classic Rock

The Brady Bunch house is only a few blocks from my apartment, but living in the San Fernando Valley – particularly if you live near the studios – means the chance that you live near or in a movie location is very high, so that’s not as big of a deal as it may sound.

The remodel was a weird project. The exterior & the sets didn’t really line up. There’s a fake window in the show version that they had to jam in below the roof line. And I haven’t seen much of the inside, but I hope they ignored the show’s bathroom layout and installed a toilet.

Big Boy restaurants sure had some creepy commercials. I was looking for a Pappy Parker chicken cartoon, but found this:

And I guess they used to dress like Boy Scouts.

Paty’s has also been used for filming. This is Dwight from The Office:

Really captures the feel of the place.

Rides in this video:

Monkeys and Miceli’s

The version of the Monkey Island story that I told took some artistic license. Either that or I forgot the details and made stuff up. But it was nutty. I mean, just look at this:

Just an island covered with monkeys on the edge of Hollywood- no big deal.

A couple of articles about it:

A fun fact about the second article: it cites a blog called Sequoia Sempervirens, which was run by Brian, the guy who used to harass Universal Studios tour guides with me!

I haven’t been to Miceli’s in years. It’s one of the places I really want to go to when these COVID shenanigans get under control.

The rides:

Misdirection

I’m good at confusing myself.

When I make these videos I usually figure out some wacky route without thinking about what I might see along the way, and then stop and record stuff when I see something I like. This time I tried actually planning out a location and vaguely thinking of a script ahead of time. I planned my route last night, loaded it on the bike computer this morning, and set out to film my brilliant bit of cinema.

But the route was weird. It was going away from the Hollywood Sign. That couldn’t be right. I gave up on the planned route and blundered my way up to the sign and down again, and then back past the Observatory before heading home and editing everything into a semi-coherent three minutes.

After all of that, I looked at the route. This is it:

It’s named Doofus. I guessed I named it after myself.

It turns out it does go to the Hollywood Sign; it’s just backward from the way I thought I was going. Duh.

Another fun thing. here’s a partial map of my ride today:

The yellow line is the way I could have gone if I had a more rugged bike. About three quarters of a mile and very flat, but not a path for a road bike. I had to go the long way around the bottom. Seven miles, 850ish feet of climb. Wheee!

Also: The bread I made this morning (as seen at the end of the video) was fantastic. I used a basic no-knead recipe, but I added a little maple syrup and let it rest in the fridge overnight before finishing rising this morning. Highly recommended.

It still needed to cool when I cut it, but the Warm Bread Gods were demanding a sacrifice.

Today’s ride:

A bit of Hollywood, a bit of Downtown, a bit of Griffith

I need to get some warmer clothes. Old Man Luke gets cold when it’s below 70 degrees.

Places visited today:

also seen:

  • Griffith Observatory
  • Hollywood Sign

I originally planned to go to the Observatory, but it’s a one way road and I would have needed to go down, around, and back up to get there. I already had about 2000 feet of climb in so I decided to skip it.

Hollywood Bowl FunFacts:

  • In non-pandemic times they have a sing-along Sound of Music with a costume contest. There are tons of Marias and Nuns. Not as many Nazis – that wouldn’t be fun on the shuttle bus. My favorite costumes are the weird ones. The last time I went there was someone dressed as a moonbeam in your hand (not sure how you hold that) and a distributor cap.
  • Kanye premiered his opera there last year. He ended up giving away thousands of tickets.
  • There’s a Beatles album of two performances at the Bowl. It’s great if you love muddy sound and constant crowd noise.
  • The first act to perform at the Bowl was two women and a piano balanced on a barn door. For real.

“We’re opening for The Beatles. They’ll be on in 45 years.”

Today’s ride:

Good Gravy, The Wind!

Sponsor my ride! Help people with HIV/AIDS!

I few days ago I bought arm warmers. They’re basically spandex long sleeves without the pesky shirt. It turns out that covering your arms can make them less cold- who knew?

And oh my did I need them today. The wind was bonkers. Sometimes I was riding on the drops (the low part of the handlebars) just to have less surface are for the wind to hit. I had to pedal downhill.

I’ve ridden a little over 300 miles in two weeks. That’s a bit ahead of schedule, which is good since I know cold and rainy days are coming, and it’s harder to keep riding then. Donations have stalled at just over $1000. That’s a lot of cash, but my goal is at least $3000. Please share my ride with friends and encourage them to donate. It’s a good cause, and science says donating make you feel better. You believe in science!

Bonus secondary project stats: Of the 38 miles I rode today, a little over ten were roads I had never traveled. A few of those were in the San Fernando Valley, where I’ve now ridden over 40 percent of all available roads. You want to see a map, you say? Okay!

Slowly expanding out from my home, like a fungus!

I found yet another route through the hills from the San Fernando Valley to Hollywood. I’ve taken about 20 different routes through the hills, and I’m starting to get to the point where new routes would need a gravel/mountain bike to take a trail over. I’ve had four bikes in the last four years. I AM NOT GOING TO BUY ANOTHER BIKE.

(yet.)

Today’s ride:

Fire Road Mystery Adventure Jamboree

Sponsor my ride! http://tofighthiv.org/goto/ga2so

A short ride, so a short set of notes.

  • Finally, a jersey that matches my helmet!
  • I accidentally cut ten miles off this ride, but I was hungry so that worked out well.
  • The weirdest thing about getting better on my bike is going places that used to be challenges and being surprised at how much easier they are than I remember.
  • I should get one of them there GoPro thingies so I can show you the actual ride.
  • I’m still hungry. It’s 11:30pm.

BONUS: Artsy picture I took in Silver Lake.

Crosswalk button or shoe stand? Why not both?

Let’s Explore (mostly) Burbank some more!

Remember to sponsor me: http://tofighthiv.org/goto/ga2so

The name of the city

Luther Burbank is a famous botanist and many places are named after him. The city of Burbank, California is not. It’s named after a rich dentist named David Burbank who bought a bunch of land and named it after himself. It’s confusing because I work at Luther Burbank Middle School in Burbank, which also has Burbank High School. The high school gets called “Burbank” for short; our school gets called “Luther.” Our school is so friendly that everyone is on a first name basis with us.

I had the helmet I’m wearing here for a year when I found out it’s a women’s helmet. What makes it a women’s helmet, you ask? It has a “hairport” – a space in the back to feed your ponytail through. I should grow my hair out to test it. Nothing looks cooler than a guy who’s bald on top but rocking a ponytail. It’s the ultimate mullet.

180something miles. 1000something dollars donated to help people with HIV/AIDS. People are awesome.

Spoooooooooky!

SPONSOR ME! http://www.tofighthiv.org/goto/ga2so

This ride was mostly what I expected it to be, but I accidentally put a challenge in the second half.

That’s an elevation map. On the top and left you can see the line gradually get darker as the route goes higher, then lighter at the bottom. But look at the middle right section. See that tiny dark section? That’s a steep hill. So steep that as I was going up a guy on the street said “that’s quite a climb!”

One of the best things about riding on Halloween is playing “Is That A Costume Or Do They Dress Like That?” Some are easy, like the five year old kid dressed as the corona virus. Some are slightly more challenging: “It looks like a Batman costume, but he’s not wearing the cape or mask.” Most challenging: “Is she a cowboy, or does she just like that hat and shirt?” As for me, I wore my Cookie Monster jersey, which is about as close as I’ve come to wearing a costume in years.

Bonus video of the route: