Sweep the leg

I can’t believe I forgot to stop at the LaRusso’s apartment. It’s probably the most recognizable location from the movie.

Almost four decades later and it looks almost the same. Probably got a bit of fixing up thanks to the Cobra Kai series.

I almost stopped at Mr. Miyagi’s house, but they didn’t shoot the part you see from the street. It just looks like a house surrounded by a wood fence that could use a little “paint fence up down.”

Another thing to notice about Ali’s house: listen to the ambient noise. Down in The Valley everywhere is surrounded by cars. Up in the hills it’s quiet. So quiet that I’m practically using my “library voice.”

If you’re wondering why I didn’t include any Cobra Kai locations, it’s because they shoot most of the show in Georgia. That’s also why I didn’t go to the Golf ‘n’ Stuff, which is not even close to the San Fernando Valley. My guess: the script originally had them go to Castle Park in Sherman Oaks, but it was easier/cheaper to film in Downey. And a trip to Leo Carrillo Beach would have added more than sixty miles and 3000 feet of climb to my ride.

I should do more “SFV as a film location” videos. I could do a bunch just on the movies of Paul Thomas Anderson.

Winter weeks are short weeks

Almost a minute of content! Don’t gorge yourself!

Riding in the wind blows

Cold is fine, especially when the sun is out. I can throw on some long sleeves, maybe a set of knee warmers or long pants, and I’ll be plenty warm once I start moving. But the wind? NO. WIND BAD. That means I’ll probably get farther behind in miles until it warms up, which means weird, short videos for a bit.

The Rose Bowl was built in 1922, twenty years after the first “Rose Bowl” game (originally called “The Tournament East-West Game”). Since 1923 only one Rose Bowl game was held somewhere else: in 1942 people were afraid it would be an easy war target, so they moved the game to Duke University in North Carolina. Duke lost the game.

The football from the first game played at the Rose Bowl

This was the first time I rode around the stadium, and I learned one important thing: go clockwise. If you go clockwise you get to ride on a path around the park; counterclockwise and you end up on the regular road.

Magazine clipping of the members of the band The Monkees at the Rose Bowl

The Monkees filming Head.

Lots of movies have been filmed at the Rose Bowl, including mainstream stuff like Yes Man and Cheaper By The Dozen (the 2013 Steve Martin version), but also some odd and/or less remembered stuff, like:

And many music artists have played here. When Depeche Mode was at their peak they had a massive concert at the Rose Bowl.

Other bands:

  • U2
  • Journey
  • *NSYNC
  • Beyonce
  • Jay-Z
  • Eminem
  • Rihanna
  • One Direction
  • 5 Seconds of Summer
  • Kenny Chesney
  • Coldplay
  • Green Day
  • Taylor Swift
  • Ed Sheeran
  • The Rolling Stones
  • BTS

…and twice KIIS-FM’s Wango Tango, which had a ton of muscial acts. My favorite list is the one from 2003 that has Bowling For Soup as the first/headline band and KISS and the last band, below such noted musical luminaries as Jennifer Love Hewitt, O-Town, and Paris Hilton. No shame in that.

More stuff about stuff

I don’t know why I got confused about which version of Psycho filmed at that lot. Hitchcock filmed the original when he was at Universal, which is less than a mile up the street. A couple of years ago the current dealer held a screening right before Halloween.

Look how close it is to Universal!

That sheepskin seat cover place really was a bit of a miracle. I have no idea what arcane magic they used to keep it open so long.

I can’t believe that I talked about different artists who drew Batman but didn’t mention Neal Adams, the comic artist legend who now runs a comic shop within a couple of miles of the statue.

He draws a cool Batman, that’s for sure.

I haven’t been to his shop yet, but that’s only because COVID is keeping me out of all non-essential stores. Get your shots, people!

Also shot at Johnie’s: the “I can get you a toe” scene from Big Lebowski.

The May Company Building (which, in spite of my failing brain’s insistence otherwise, never had anything to do with Bullocks) is Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument number 566. It’s been used as an exhibition space for LACMA, but hasn’t yet opened as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Museum. They’re still hoping to open in December. I hope so, too. Get your shots, people!

This ride:

Oh, this poor neglected site.

Really, every web site I’ve ever set up has been neglected, but neglecting this one is particularly egregious. Almost two years since my last post? That would be bad enough normally, but I’ve spent the last two years biking a lot. A lot. In just the last three months I rode two different century rides. I added over 100,000 feet of elevation. I’ve now covered more that 40% of the streets in the San Fernando Valley. And that bike I was so excited about in the last post in gone, replaced with a lovely Trek road bike.

Seriously: look at all that coverage. And look at the hills!

I think part of the issue is trying to spread not-quite-enough content for one site across three or four (or six or ten) sites. New plan: post in one place! For now everything’s going on my main blog. If I suddenly become Walt Whitman and feel the need to share my multitudes I’ll change things around.

Legends of the Fall

Brian and I went for a slightly longer ride today. It looked like this:

I also did something I haven’t done in three years of riding with clipless pedals: I fell over. 

The new bike has much tighter clamps on the pedals. I thought I’d loosened them enough, but apparently not. I’m fine. The bike’s fine (though I did have to straighten the cockpit a bit). I actually thought it was funny. AND I CAN PROVE IT! I never record rides – my bike and phone mount are too damn shaky – but I decided to try it. Most of the ride is too shaky to watch, but this part looks good:

Luke has as many as three bikes, depending on how you count

I love my Long Haul Trucker but it has skinny tires and a short stem, which makes riding on anything other that straight, smooth roads a little spooky. My Fuji Touring is a little better, but still not really up to any kind of dirt or gravel road. 

Solution: NEW BIKE! Look at this lovely thing:

A Salsa Journeyman!

But three bikes in an apartment is crazy – especially when I hardly ride the Touring these days.

Solution: “Loan” my brother the Touring!

I couldn’t just let it go – it’s the bike I rode to Santa Barbara, for corn’s sake – but I hated seeing it sit unridden. So it’s on indefinite loan to my brother, who will ride it a bunch.  

I got the Salsa three days ago, but the smoke from the wildfires was too thick to go for a ride. Today I took it for a short shakedown.

…and I plugged some holes!

It’s about what I thought. A little slower, a lot more stable. A fun ride. I’m still adjusting it, but I can tell it’s going to be a nice ride.

The trouble with map apps, and starting to fill in!

I’ve been using BikeGPX to help me fill in holes in my Ride San Fernando Valley project. It’s free, and it works well – unless I make a crazy route that keeps doubling back on itself. The it gets confused and I have to nudge it back on track. But for any normal cyclist trying to ride pre-planned routes, it’s a pretty cool thing. Worth having!

The other “use a map to plan a route ahead of time” issue: Did you know that roads and maps sometimes don’t line up? It’s true! It’s almost like the city is constantly changing or something.

1. This road no longer exists.
2. I was supposed to ride in here, but all the crisscrossing confused the map app.

But even with glitches, the southeast valley is starting to fill up.

Heck, in a couple of years I might actually finish this thing!

New mapp app, new seatpost

It’s really hard to find a decent app that gives turn by turn directions. Runkeeper & Strava don’t do it, which is annoying. I found an app calle Bike GPX that lets you follow a map, but doesn’t have a voice. Annoying, but it worked well enough to (mostly) follow the route.

Also: I am stunned by how different the bike feels with a different seat post. Much more comfortable!