Saturday, February 21, 2009

Thoughts on new roads, climbing and my Acorn Bag



After reading an article from UrbanVelo about Danny Chew, the Million Mile Man, an accomplished long distance rider (he crossed the country in 8 days, 14 hours!), whose mantra is "new roads!," I decided to find some new roads of my own. Well, not particularly new, but one that I have never ridden.



Long Beach is flat and the only significant hills are either 15 ugly industrial miles to the North (Palos Verdes) or 20 suburban/McMansion miles to the south (Newport Beach). OR, there is the independent municipality of Signal Hill, which as the name suggests, resides on a hill. And what a hill! From the top, you have clear views of downtown Long Beach and on a clear day you can even see downtown Los Angeles pretty well.

I've never ridden up the hill before on a bicycle, primarily because I've had an aversion to hills. However, with the recent tours I've been doing, I've come to appreciate a nice climb. That's not to say I'm fast or particularly graceful at climbing, but I appreciate the Zen/Pure Being/Existential state that one arrives to when slogging up a hill. Also, I wanted to take some more pics of my Acorn bag :)






So empowered with Danny Cheew's mantra, my new found joy of climbing and my desire to photograph my Acorn bag, I had all the needed momentum to power up the hill. For locals, I took Temple to the base of Signal Hill and went up Stanley to Hill Street to the park. Now, I'm still sort of sick, so by the time I got to the top I was breathing pretty hard and hocked up a good fistful of phlegm.

The view, for Long Beach, was grand (though a bit smoggy). I took a few pics and rode down Skyline to Cherry and ascended again. The second ascent wasn't as bad since my legs were warmed up. All in all, it was a pretty good morning. I had conquered Signal Hill, I rode some new roads and I coughed up a bunch of phlegm (oh and I took some pics).

Apologies for the rambling narrative.

11 comments:

2whls3spds said...

Well they say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger ;>D

Wonderful pictures. One of these days my bride will get me back to the left coast. FWIW I was born Long Beach and have only been back to visit...once.

Aaron

RussRoca said...

Aaron,
Ha! That's pretty wild. When did you leave LB and when did you visit?

It's a weird city...going from affluent to ghetto in 3 blocks...it's also the sort of city that is still small enough that it feels like a town.

I'm perpetually confused by it, since I think it should be more successful as a city, but there are strange powers that be that prevent it from being so...ah well..

R

2whls3spds said...

Russ,
Left in 1961 (I was about 2 years old) I visited in 1978 when I was in San Diego for basic training...got kicked out of that too, for medical reasons. LOL

I am used to the ghetto to affluence in 3 blocks, that is the way most of the southeastern cities seem to be. I grew up in a middle zone in Fayetteville, NC. 3 blocks west were million dollar homes, 3 blocks south were where the ladies of the night and drug dealers plied there trade. Church across the street to the north, 3 blocks east...topless bars. LOL

And so it seems most every where I travel in the deep south.

Aaron

Rick said...

Uphill is where you get a chance to really soak in the scenery, especially if you are loaded down with gear going about 3 mph.! I also used to hate uphills until I stopped fighting them, and started enjoying what they had to offer...

Gino Zahnd said...

Wow. Smoggy.

RussRoca said...

Yep....another beautiful day in the LBC.

Doug said...

I used to race with Danny back in 1977 and 78 before I moved away from Pittsburgh. He not only liked to find new roads, but if you went on a training ride with him, he would show you roads that he knew, but were new to you. He also liked to take you up the steepest hills he knew of in Pittsburgh. That was a long time ago. In 78 I was 15 and Danny was 16. Sounds like he hasn't changed at all.

akahn said...

Were you going to do a review of the Acorn bag? Or maybe you did that already and I missed it.

RussRoca said...

akahn...i'm going to review it...i just wanted some more riding time with it to see its idiosyncrasies...

ChristopherPaul said...

That is a really nice bike

David Martinez said...

I just bought a marin san rafael (thanks craigs list!) I was commuting from bixby knolls to lovely downtown long beach (doing some work for the good folks at Juxtaflo.com). Ironically most of my extra weight was from carrying food! Some coffee, water, lunch and some fruit...but Signal Hill keeps calling me. Outside of the phelm, you made it sound really appealing. Have fun shooting with the twitter dudes today, I saw the tweets!