Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Santa Clarita to the Rose Bowl in Pasedena January 13

43.52 in 3:34....I know that there is not one person amoungst you that has never been seduced by a great tailwind and a smooth strip of asphalt bicycle lane into doing something that you didn't plan to do. That is what happened today to me. After a day of total inactivity, the itch to ride was palpable and boredom was oozing from my pores, so I turned a little spin into a mission to find and enter the Rose Bowl. I was originally going to ride another of the local canyons and explore, but as I rode with the Santa Ana tailwind blowing me down the road at 20 mph, I decided not to turn out Pico Canyon Road, but to continue down The Old Road towards Pasedena. The only problem was that since I didn't plan this trip, I had no idea where I was going. I was a little familiar with the route because I knew I would be paralleling Interstate 5, then taking a road that paralleled I-210. (That's not the way it turned out!). I climbed to about 1700 ft as I left Santa Clarita, and the rolled down into the San Fernando Valley along I-5, hitting over 40 mph on the hill, and not even realizing it. If I would have known, I might have been able to break 46 mph, my fastest speed ever. The Old Road had a great bike lane mixed with wide sidewalks, and very little traffic on a Monday morning. The Old Road turned into San Fernando Rd., and it also was bike friendly because of the lack of traffic. It probably gets crazier as the day goes on. San Fernando is a very Hispanic area with a lot of industry, auto repair shops,  recycling centers, etc. It followed the Metro Rail Line for quite a while, with as many signs written in Spanish as English, even the McDonalds advertisement was written in Spanish. Every time I stopped for a red light, I asked someone if I was on the right track, so with a lot of local input, I made it through San Fernando and into Burbank and Glendale, where the scenery turned decidedly more upscale. The traffic was tricky in this area, but still, bike lanes teamed with wide roads through the busiest areas, and I was still early enough in the day that it was a breeze. I was instructed to make a left on Buena Vista and go a short distance to Glen Oak Blvd, which I followed for quite a while, so for the most part the trip all the way to Pasadena was a straight shot in three different roads that were easily connected. I stopped in an area I had never heard of called Eagle Rock, in the San Rafael Hills, at LA County Firehouse #42, and those guys really set me straight on directions. I was getting very close, but I needed to connect to Colorado St. (Where the Rose Parade was). They got me there, as well as to the Rose Bowl itself, with very little problem. I NEVER suspected that I would negotiate any part of LA without major stress, but if you hit it at the right time of day, it's not so bad.
      There was much activity around the stadium, with a large loop for runners, walkers and bikers around the stadium, as well as the golf course that is right next to it. It's probably about two miles long. The stadium itself was surrounded by an eight foot chain link fence, and there was a lot of maintenance and construction going on. The golf course turns into a parking lot for 100,000 people on game days, but the cars don't tear it up because its so dry. There is a pretty big canal with very little water in it that runs right by the Rose Bowl and up the middle of the golf course, which they NEVER show on tv. I never even saw it on one of the blimp shots. My goal was to get into the stadium, and my first attempt was thwarted by a security guard. I knew, however, that with all the work going on, there had to be a way in. I biked through an open gate on my second attempt to get in, and I just ignored the guy who was whistling and screaming and chasing me. He was on foot, and I was on a bike, so I made it to a fenced off gate in one of the entry ways. I took a picture through the gate, and saw that the inside looked old and worn, and the turf was in bad shape after the Rose Bowl Game, as well as the BCS Championship game between Auburn and Florida State one week ago. I was disappointed that the schools names were removed from the end zones, and the 50 yard line insignia had already been removed. The guy soon caught me and told me I had to leave, but the breech had been successful! I knew I could do better, so I continued a little further around the stadium and WALA! Another open gate with no guards! I was in! I biked right into another entry way tunnel, and popped out in the stands. I took several pictures and was totally undetected, so I looked around a little, decided that I wasn't going to get down to the field, which was really beat, so it would have been anticlimactic anyhow. With my mission complete, and my curiosity satisfied, I left, still undetected, and rode around for a few minutes before Pam pulled into the parking lot for my ride home. I had decided that traffic was going to get too bad, and that there wasn't as much fun to be had riding uphill into a Santa Ana headwind on the way back, so I took the easy way out. Thanks Pam!

At the famous Rose Bowl!

Of course Bike was there too!

Coming up the ramp to the first view of the field!

The Rose Bowl field!  Hmmm, thought it would be more exciting!







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