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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello fellow bicyclists,

Robert Babbitt, aka The Walrus, passed away on May 17th, 2007 while riding one of his favorite bicycles at Woodley Park. His sisters and I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know what happened to him and why you have not seen his posts recently on this site.

I am also a bike rider (road) living in Las Vegas. Bob and I road several times in the Los Angeles area and planned more rides together. This past year I participated in the American Diabetes Tour de Cure ride in Las Vegas. Some of the bicycles and associated parts are being sold on Ebay with the proceeds being donated to the American Diabetes Foundation.
Anyone wishing to make a donation in his memory, please do so to the American Diabetes Foundation.

We hope you enjoyed his posts, and his sense of humor. I am sure they will be missed.

Ira Eichenfield
Lynne Eichenfield
Susan Babbitt



A pretty fine bike path runs along the South Bay in L.A. County, from Temescal Canyon in the north down to the Palos Verdes Peninsula in the south. Having a free afternoon on Sunday, I headed south from about the midpoint at Playa del Rey. This being the dead of "winter" in SoCal, the path is getting only a fraction of the use it sees during spring or summer; normally, cyclists have to dodge the dogs, pedestrians and witless skaters who clog the route. Today it's wide open most of the way.... :D

I stop at a restroom at El Segundo and stare at the deserted volleyball courts and lifeguard stand--it looks just like summer, minus the people.

On the bluffs a half-mile farther down, there's a hang glider concession. In all the years I've been riding past here, in whatever weather they've had, there's always someone taking a stab at it...and I've only seen one person who stayed up longer than 4 or 5 seconds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
...a few beach sights

There's a statue at the Hermosa Beach Pier of Tim Kelly, a surfer and lifeguard who died back in '64. It faces inland to the plaza at the foot of Pier Avenue, a year-round mob scene revolving around the bars, restaurants, bars, souvenir shops, bars, surf shops, bars...I can't understand how the recent Left Coast RBR gathering didn't wind up here.

Down where Hermosa Beach segues into Redondo Beach is this Edison generating plant, decorated with one of Wyland's whale murals. It's getting a little hard to see these days, as the trees keep getting taller, which must explain why the blimp kept circling--the only good vantage point now is from the air.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
A jury of my piers...

...so to speak.

The beach towns I go through are centered on their piers, which is typical of virtually all the coastal towns around here. The first two shots are Manhattan Beach pier and Hermosa Beach pier, respectively. Pretty workmanlike and functional. The "pier" at Redondo Beach's King Harbor makes up for the others; it's actually four sections of piers forming a closed rectangle, with a fifth section cutting across the center diagonally, and there are as many as three levels. A generous selection of seafood restaurants and knick-knack shops is there to lull the unwary into parting with their cash.

Any open space at the railings is usually filled by the anglers. There must have been almost 200 people giving it a go, or at least pretending to fish while they napped. That hazy whaleback in the distance is Palos Verdes, which is another great ride--but that's another report.

Hmmmm--a serious case of crabs...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
A sampling of the local eyesores

Wouldn't you think that in the richest country in the world that even beach bums would not be reduced to living in miserable shacks like these? There ain't no justice....
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Not a bad close to the day

I can't figure out where the clouds came from--one moment I was squinting into the sunlight and the next thing I know, it's getting pretty dim and my jersey's beginning to feel pretty thin.

Before returning to the car, I head on up to the bridge over Ballona Creek, just across the channel from the freak show that is Venice, and bide my time. Paid off pretty well this time....
 

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Walrus - these are great photos. I've never been to that area of the country - but in just a few minutes, you've given me a real "feel" for it. Well done.

In your final section of photos, I really like the 3rd pic where the clouds bisect the sun. Great shot.

And in another there appears to be some sort of "factory" with boiler stacks, what is that?
 

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Great series of photos and a nice travelog. 2 thumbs way UP!

Chase15.5 said:
And in another there appears to be some sort of "factory" with boiler stacks, what is that?
Powerplant.
 

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Very nice pictures. The sunset pictures are awesome. It must be so difficult to brave out those cruel winters. I just don't know how you all do it.

You get two snaps in a Z formation.
 

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Great report. Must be nice living that close to the Ocean. I've always loved riding along the sea. Great sunset photos. Also, now I want crab for lunch. Not sure if I can find it anywhere around here though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
MB1 nailed it--I'm not sure if that's another Edison operation, or if it's L.A. DWP. There's a charming stretch along there with a couple of power plants plus the gigantic Hyperion sewage treatment facility. Add to that the airliners departing LAX around the clock, and it's a little slice of heaven....
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I lucked out this time because the winds were calm for a change; it seems like 9 out of 10 times I'm down that way, I not only have a stiff headwind all the way back, but all the clouds get blown away and the sunsets are a washout. ...but when it works, it works.

Actually, I live quite a ways inland--wouldn't mind living down there, especially in summer when it's 30 degrees cooler. I think I could be comfortable in one of those little beach shacks I saw.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
It must be so difficult to brave out those cruel winters. I just don't know how you all do it.

Well, we're not all latte-sipping, tofu-munching, yuppie bliss ninnies out here...personally, I manage to endure these frigid months by not shaving my legs, and thinking manly thoughts*, while the weaker souls cower in their SUVs with the heaters going full blast.

*Not to be confused with anything Brokeback-ish, mind you....
 

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Hi Walrus,

Thanks for sharing. That is one of my favorite weekday rides when I get to play hookie from work. When it gets warmer you can see the pro beach volleyball players practicing at Hermosa and Manhattan.

Before anyone else in the frigid parts of the country (or world) gets too jealous, we did recently have a sewage spill over that part of the beach (in front of the boiler stacks) which shut down a good portion of that path up until MLK Jr day. Back then, about two weeks ago, the beach was also covered with huge berms to contain the spill. Unfortunately the fecal bacterial counts in the sand are still high and it looks like the city is going to have to truck out the sand and have it replaced. Every time I ride by that plant the bikepath is always covered with runoff water from the plant and I get the feeling that some of the treated sewage is spraying up all over me and my water bottle mouthpieces.

In Venice did you stop by the tapas place for lunch/dinner? Mmmm... so good. Or if you took the path all the way north to San Vicente in Brentwood you could always stop at Barney's Gourmet Hamburgers if you wanted something a little more substantial.
 

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Great report & photos! I was on part of that path on Sunday. My sister and I rode from her pad in El Segundo up to around Sunset and back. We usually stop for a Heffeweissen at that Waterfront place in Venice.
Thanks!
 

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Very Nice!

Thanks for the RR. Can't wait for the PV (Palos Verdes) ride report! Make sure that you take pictures of Redondo Beach from the top of PV..
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Urrrkk-k-k-kkk!! ! !! ! ! ! I'd forgotten about the sewage spill--I was too jazzed about getting some saddle time in to be able to remember trivialities like that.

The one place down in that area where I keep meaning to stop for the proverbial heart-attack-on-a-plate is The Shack on Culver Bl. I've heard they have burgers that are a match for the cardiologist's nightmares that I get in Eagle Rock at The Bucket.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Dang! We might have passed each other at some point, although I'm pretty sure I'd have recognized your Ybarrola.

When you gonna post more pix of your commute? I never get tired of that Coca-Cola building....
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Dunno when I'll have enough free time to ride PV, but I'm working on it.

(Is pinoy thunder a lot different than pinay thunder?)
 

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Ahhh. I write this whenever someone post pictures of the South Bay...

I recognize all of those photos. I used to live in Manahttan Beach on Manhattan Beach Blvd (on top of the hill overlooking the city). I moved from there about 2 years ago.

I miss riding on the beach path, especially during the winters when it's clear of rollerbladers and weirdos. I used to commute on that path to work.

Is there still that really old homeless dude walking around??? and the really obese guy with friars haircut? I hear the metlox project is finally finished. It's too bad when I lived there, it was under construction.

Thanks for bringing back the memories, even though it hurts.
 

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pinoy thunder
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The Walrus said:
Dunno when I'll have enough free time to ride PV, but I'm working on it.

(Is pinoy thunder a lot different than pinay thunder?)
Pinoy is the male version.
 
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