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.
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.
Four and a half years ago, I rode my first century ride from Toluca Lake to Santa Barbara. I was so worried about making it over the hill into Simi Valley that I took a different route with longer, less steep hills. I finally went over the pass last week- and discovered it’s now not a big deal.
I took Box Canyon back. Winding road, lots of blind corners, and only one lane in each direction with almost zero shoulder. A little spooky.
The BikeLA subreddit plays bike tag. One person rides somewhere and takes a picture. When the next person finds it they take a new picture somewhere else.
I found this Karate Kid/Cobra Kai Mural:
My bike fell over while I was taking this.
…and I submitted this Nipsey Hussle mural:
La Crescenta & Tujunga
It was supposed to be a lazy ride, but wind means work.
San Fernando Valley Half Century
I had originally planned to ride through Simi again, but I forgot my pump and if my bike breaks down it’s a lot easier to get help and a ride home from the San Fernando Valley.
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:
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.
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.
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.
But even with glitches, the southeast valley is starting to fill up.
Heck, in a couple of years I might actually finish this thing!
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!
I planned out a route before I left, and U planned to use ti to guide me… but I discover as I was about to leave that my tracking app can’t do that. So I made up a random route as I went instead. It’s pretty close to the planned ride.