Archive for January, 2015

Hyperlapse: Bike Rides of 2015 (Mile 19.26 to 38.39)

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

I’m digging this hyper realtime alternative to timelapsing. My third and fourth rides of 2015 — the morning commute to work of approximately 8.5 miles and the dusk-to-dark ride home of 10.6 miles– seen at approximately ten times normal speed.

Hyperlapse: Bike Rides of 2015 (Mile 8.43 to 19.26)

Sunday, January 4th, 2015

Agggh, my tiring old GoPro. It’s got a mind of its own. Instead of timelapsing my January 2, 2015, bike commute home it video’d it in real time. But rather than find away to bore everyone entirely to death with an upload of the entire uneventful 54-minute journey across town, I found a way to show you something a little different by speeding the clip up ten times faster from start to finish — a true hyperlapse. It still might bore you to tears, but at 5:45 in length, at least it will do so in a tenth of the time the original would.

Timelapse: Bike Rides of 2015 (Mile 0 to 8.43)

Sunday, January 4th, 2015

Be it hereby resolved I will ride 2,015 miles in 2015 and it began with this standard south-and-west bike commute of 8.43 miles primarily on Hoover Street and Jefferson Boulevard from home to work.

Lost Angeles: Tara Spotting

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015

Oh no: not that Tara. I’m talking about the famed fictional plantation manse from a little film back in the day whose name coincidentally rhymes with the last name of the film’s central character — O’Hara, as in Scarlett. As in “Gone With The Wind,” or GWTW, if you will.
 Yeah, that Tara.

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Let me back up. I ravenously follow the Photos of Los Angeles group on Facebook, gobbling up its never-ending parade of pictures of L.A.’s distant and not-so-distant past. A few days ago this photo (at right, click to enlargify), was posted of a still from an episode of the 1950s TV series “SupermClark! Behind You!an,” showing its star, George Reeves (who coincidentally had a part in GWTW) in full Clark Kent mode, on a hill back-dropped by a broad swath of our smog-inundated city. The poster, Sally Deupree, asked, “Culver City. Recognize the building in the lower left with four columns?”

I immediately recognized it as Tara, which meant Reeves was standing hat in hand on what is now a section of the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook State Park — which meant beyond him was Jefferson Boulevard, then the Ballona Creek channel and then the old Pathe Studio backlot, where so many of the exterior scenes of GWTW were realized.

In an attempt to get a past/present frame of reference (I last did that with the location of Wrigley Field’s homeplate in South Los Angeles), I went on a googlehunt for a layout of the old studio, and hit gold at the 40 Acres website with this 1940 map (click to enlargify) pinpointing the various GWTW sets on the Pathe Studio backlot, with Tara’s position indicated there on the left.

40acres_plot_plan_1940

Then, of course, for a present-day juxtaposition I google-mapped the location (click to enlargify):
current
Which means basically that at the deadend of Hayden Place south of Higuera Street, somewhere around the current location of Woo Agency and Omelet you can stand on the paved-over land upon which Tara once stood, not to forget Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable, and, yes, George Reeves. Cue the sweeping overture that is “Tara’s Theme”:

http://youtu.be/F86gx2sww88

And Now A Word From The Resolution Fulfillment Division, Dept. 2015:

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

I typically resolve not to do anything on New Year’s Day except eat, drink and watch some college football bowl games. I was successful in all three endeavors yesterday (though left despondent in defeat with the latter, watching them northern boys from up there in O-Hai-uh beat up on my beloved Crimson Tide in last night’s national championship semifinal (Good luck with Oregon, ya Buckeyes).

But as usual, I digress. My point was supposed to be that I’m not beyond the reach of resolutioning, I’m just predisposed to waiting a day to get that party started. Or nine.

This year it was a day. My resolution? To log a total of 2,015 miles on my bike this year, part of a grand fitness scheme to reverse the silly amount of weight I’ve gained in roughly the year-and-a-half since I graduated Rio Hondo Academy (I still haven’t gotten on a scale because I haven’t steeled myself for whatever that reality is; but I don’t really need a specific number to know it’s long past the time to reverse that course). Almost two years ago going into the last module of that training, at 198 pounds I was at the best fitness level I’d been ever. I could go into the backyard and do 10 sets of circuit training (20 push-ups, 30 sit-ups, 100-revs jump rope, 10-band-assisted pull-ups, 15 TRX strap body-lifts) in 45 minutes. I would go for four-mile runs around the Silver Lake Reservoir because anything less would be uncivilized. I would bike to Whittier on Saturdays, put in a full strenuous stress-laden day at the academy and then bike home.

Those days are gone my friends and I’m now – unofficially – waaaaaay greater a shadow of that former fit and trim self.

But enough of the pity party and back to the biking. In the past, I’ve made vows to “ride every day” or for a consecutive number of days, but I always fail at that. Because inevitably one night early on I’d grumble procrastinatorily and end up doing some meaningless half-mile ride around the block at 9 p.m. just to keep the streak alive. Afterward I’d be all: Enough. It’s bull taking something as fun as riding a bike and turning it into an obligatory chore.

So this year, it’s simply a totally doable milestone of 2,015 miles pedaled over the course of 2015. And it started this morning. I woke up still heartbroken over last night’s Alabama loss and I felt that lingering depression working its way up to being an excuse to drive to work rather than get out and roll through the cold morning, but I shut that devil down and rode my standard south-and-west morning commute, which according to my Cyclometer app is 8.43 miles.

Only 2,006.57 to go.

Bonus:  Since I’ll be documenting each and every ride with my handlebar cam I’m also aiming to showcase something interesting that it captures along the way, “interesting” being relative and subjective, of course. Here’s today’s snap shot at Jefferson Boulevard and Western Avenue. The guy leaning against the post at right caught my eye, especially that he’s not focused on a smartphone but rather old schooling his intent on what he’s writing with a pen upon paper. You don’t see much of that anymore (click to enlargify):

Word