Christmas in California … Don’t You Wish You Were Here?

The weather forecast for Christmas in LA was going to be a little balmy, with forecasts in the 70s, I knew I would enjoy it.  However, I knew ahead of time I would be on call the weekend after Xmas, and working on New Year’s Day, so I better make the days I am off count.

Ken, Debbie, Ron, Teresa, Victor

Ken, Debbie, Ron, Teresa, Victor

I sent out messages on Facebook inquiring on rides, and my buddies in Torrance suggested PV (Palos Verdes, who know all the local climbs).  Great!  I’ve always enjoyed PV.

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We went up in down the same route, probably 3-4 times today … and why not.  How could you not enjoy a view like this.

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I’ve ridden with everyone previously except for Debbie. She’s famous for her polka dot ocd, as you can clearly see here. She is one strong hill climber, and fits in well with the climb fest riders.

Of course, when you do PV, you’ve gotta have some fast descents, and we had a few of them. We sped down Hawthorne, with Tiger leading the way. I almost caught up to her, if it weren’t for this one car that inched up, and I had to slow it up.

I was able to get in 50 miles and 5000 feet of climbing this day.

The next day was Christmas dinner, so my day has to be cut short, so I couldn’t spend all day riding. Usually when I have limited time, I do Chantry Flats. I wanted to make good use of time so I drove over to Arcadia Park, then ride up from there. This would be a no nonsense climb, straight up on Santa Anita Road, up to Chantry Flats, with another climb up to the chopper pad.

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From the chopper pad, you could see a nice view of the valley.

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I also tried out the photosphere feature on my Nexus 5 phone, which gives you a 360 view. However, this only seems to work on Google+, or maybe requires a special plug in. I guess that’s where hosting your own WordPress server would come in handy.

Here’s my climb up to the chopper pad. That was a short, sweet ride, and it was only 18 miles and 2500 feet climbing. It was enough to get a good workout.

On Tuesday, Christmas Eve, we had another Christmas meal to go to, at 4 pm, so I had to make it another story day. This time, I decided to park at the Rose Bowl, and climb some hold west of the Rose Bowl. This included Patrician Way, Inverness, St. Katherine, but I didn’t have enough. I wanted to kick my ass, so I did an insanely steep climb up Emerald Isle.

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When I got to the top, you get a rest view, and you can see Hwy 2 from here, aka Glendale Fwy.


Here’s the climb up Emerald Isle. And yes, I should have stopped at the stop sign … My bad.

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I continued down through a steep descent where I got a view of downtown LA. Still a other haze, but for LA, this is clear.

It was yet another superb day for cycling, 20 miles and 2800 feet of climbing.

That’s my Christmas holiday for 2013. No, I don’t have New Years Day off, so not going to be able to camp out at the Ride Parade. Gotta do that again one of these years. It’s a great way to ring in the new year.

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