Saturday, August 25, 2012

Petersen Automotive Museum and Beverly Hills

On Friday night I picked up a friend, Gregor Gillespie (Gregor Gee) from LAX as he had just flown in from Scotland.  I drove him to his hotel in Hollwood, The Hollywood Hotel, and then we got a late night bite to eat at an IHOP on Sunset Blvd.

Today I picked him up and brought him to my apartment where I had bikes for both of us to ride, and he said he wanted to see the Peterson Automotive Museum on Fairfax/Wilshire, so off we went.

There is a Johnny Rockets attached to the museum.  I'll get back to them in a moment.  Anyhow, we chained the bikes to the ramp railing that lead to the front door and walked in and started to look around.  We had gotten most of the way through the first floor exhibits when the staff discovered we did not have identifying wrist bands, and we were promptly shown back to the front.  When we got back to the front, I discovered there was an admission fee... uh... yeah, great security there!!!!  Anyhow, we decided to go into Johnny Rockets and get something cool to drink as well as a snack.  It was when Gregor got the receipt that the stub said that eating at JR got you a 2/1 price for Petersen.  So then we went back to the front and got properly wrist banded.  The first floor of cars was nice, but the second floor, particularly the famous movie cars...well, Gregor fell down to his knees and practically worshipped when he saw the Greased Lightning vehicle from "Grease."  My delight was seeing the Hannibal B from "The Great Race."

Then too there was the Batmobile, or one of it's incarnations:

Gregor just happens to own the only street legal Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, GEN22, in Europe.  His car is a MGM authorized replica, and it is an exact twin to the original movie car, GEN11.  So part of his mission there was to see if he might peak their interest in purchasing the car should he decide to sell it in a few years.  He got some paperwork to take home.

After our time in Petersen, we decided to head west on Wilshire into Beverly Hills where Gregor wanted to visit Julian's Auctions, a place he had purchased some celebrity memorabilia from.  They were closed, but we sat in the courtyard and had some liquid refreshment.

The view from Julian's Auctions courtyard.

The big red sculpture in the courtyard.

The flower beds on that border the courtyard of Julian's Auctions.

When we started to leave I discovered... groan...that I had my first flat tire on the bike... and not because I ran over glass or anything. I have Bontrager hardcase tires plus extra thick tubes - all only 10 days on my bike. NEVER had a flat with the ordinary tires and tubes in 4 years. The issue was that the tube hadn't been installed properly at the shop (they changed out everything for me. I had been hearing a little squeaking noise that i couldn't pinpoint, and it hadn't been there before the tire/tube change out. Of course, I had all the tools and a spare and air pump with me, so changed the tube and discovered the problem - the extra thick tube's valve stem had torn away from the tube due to improper installation. So... on the way back to my apartment we stopped at the bike shop, and my fav mechanic immediately changed out my spare tube and put in a brand new thick tube. Woot woot! BTW, no more tweaky squeaky noise!

We rode about 9 miles total.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

How to Wash Your Bike

This great article courtesy of Palm Springs Cyclery Palm Desert

They have a lot of other great articles on their site about bike care and maintenance.  I really need to be more diligent that  way.  Would love to visit their bike shop time.

Approaching the 10 freeway on Venice Blvd. heading west.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Took the bike to I Martin Imports to have the tires and tubes changed.  I really wanted to get slicks on the bike to help me with a little speed.  Also, the other tires were original to the bike as were the tubes, and both were now four years old.  The tires were not showing any cracks but the nubs were quite worn down - and there's a big difference between bald tires and slicks!  (I will keep the old ones as a backup because you just never know, or I may donate them to the Bicycle Kitchen.) The slicks had actually been transferred from one of the Helen's Cycles stores to I Martin Imports for me since I Martin didn't have them in stock.  I just left it in their capable hands to do what needed to be done, and they did it.

When I picked up the bike at the end of the day, I noticed that the tires seemed slightly bigger.  Not that they don't fit the bike, just they seemed bigger.  Turns out they are Bontrager H2 plus, which I think is the hardcase tires, and their tread is exactly like this (image taken from Google):

So with these tires, my chances of getting a flat are very slim.  These will last the bike a loooooong time.  I asked for thicker tubes as well because although I've never had a flat, I don't want one either.  When I got the bike home, I rode it around the block to test the feel.  Although I can't say they made me faster, I can say that the ride is smoother.  It is similar to riding with the other tires on the sidewalk.  These tires just glide over the surface of the road whereas the others were like velcro to the road.  Total cost for the tires/tubes/labor was $88.82.  I really need to make some chocolate chip cookies for the crew there.  They have just been so good to me.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Pet Smart Errand

On the way home from work today I ran an errand on the bike to Pet Smart on La Cienega/4th Street.  The only place to lock the bike to was the rack where you return your shopping cart to in the middle of the parking lot.  It seemed fairly quiet, and I felt like maybe I could lock the bike to the rack for just a few minutes and run the errand, so I did, just using the U-lock on the top bar.  I pulled off all the important stuff and did my shopping, and when I returned, lo and behold, the bike was still there.

I need to be able to take the bike on more errands and just get to feeling more safe about locking it up, but I also have such a fear of having it stolen.  I must get over it.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Heating Up!

We're not having a TERRIBLE heat wave yet, but certainly it's a lot warmer than normal.  I carry about 2 liters of water with me at all times, so I'm all right that way, but the sun can still zap you even on a short ride.

I've been buying/watching tons of cycling films lately.  With that recent big cookie order, I have been treating myself to a few cycling things.  First up were the two cycling films by Stephen Auerbach - Bicycle Dreams and Race Across America.  I have wanted to see them for so long, and they'd been on my Ebay wishlist forever, it seems.  You can buy them directly from the the filmmaker on Ebay :

Bicycle Dreams/Race Across America 2-pk

Auerbach even friended me on Facebook.  So, very cool!

I have also purchased The Flying Scotsman, American Flyers, Breaking Away and Ride the Divide.  I'm still waiting on the latter two to arrive.

I also purchased 3 books on cycling which I am working my way through:

1.  Bicycling Magazine's Complete Book of Road Cycling Skills
2.  Bicycling Magazine's Complete Book of Long-Distance Cycling
3.  The Cyclist's Food Guide - Fueling For the Distance

I'm going to make a special place on my bookshelf just for cycling books and films.  Yes, the films should go in my DVD library, but I think I'll keep them separate.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Last month was a dismal month for adding mileage to the bike.  From the time that Lisa left until yesterday, I only managed to add another 100 miles.

I added about 38 of those miles over the weekend.  I just had to get out, and I had a little break between some cookie orders and shipments, so I decided I would do an errand on the bike and take a trip down to Gloria's Cake and Candy Supply on Washington Blvd./Colonial (1 blk west of Centinella).  It is the first bona fide errand I've done where I locked up the bike and went shopping.  I had to lock the bike to a street lamp, and I was keenly aware of how long it took me to do it and how vulnerable that made me as a prospective target.  Not that I was in a bad neighborhood, but thievery can come from anywhere.  Just something to be aware of and try to get better at.  Good reason to carry the pepper spray I just purchased.

While I was shopping I received a phone call from the national touring company of "The Book of Mormon" - and they wanted 60 photo cookies, so I've managed to squeeze those into my cookie schedule also.

It was just shy of 18 miles RT to Glorias, a good ride, and then on Sunday I rode to church and aded a few extra miles so that I could break the 1400 barrier.  Another good ride.