Sunday, March 28, 2010

Bipedal


Nature’s ok, I guess, but it’s no Disneyland. Sure, both have a Matterhorn, but only on the top of one can you to see all Anaheim and the distant land of Fullerton. Hark! Buena Park!

I’ve found nature isn’t so – well, boring – when you zoom by the natural stuff. That’s why I got my mountain bike. If god had meant us to hike, why did Goodrich make tires? To be honest, it’s usually not much of a zoom on the way up, that’s more of a front-wheel wiggle and stop, but I make up for it on the way down. Either way it scares the shit out of the bipeds -- still, even that gets old after awhile.

So, as I usually wiggle up Altadena’s Echo Mountain and zoom back down again, I wondered – what’s missing around here? Why does this joint feel as disappointing as the last revolution on the teacup ride? Where’s our Pleasure Island? Then it hit me, hit me as hard as the time I got drunk and tried to stand up in Space Mountain: Where’s the bike toss? The bike limbo? Where the hell are the kiosks and pancakes?

What’s missing? Nothing that a megaphone, a raffle, vendors, and a dozen corporate bike sponsors can’t fix.

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This is a sanctuary.


This is a carnival.



This is my brain on drugs. Because this can't be for real.

45 comments:

The Sage of Altadena said...

well, no shrinking violet, you!

BANJO52 said...

Indeed, Sage, a cussin' speed demon who would have us believe she likes to say "darn." (kind of an in-joke. Sorry. But it's pretty self-explanatory, isn't it?).

Also, we sparred last spring or summer about speed and hiking, bikers and hikers, motorcycles vs. bicycles, hiking a mountain versus "attacking the summit." Should I check on the details?

Brenda's Arizona said...

Bike tossing? Bike limbo? Don't you guys just ride bikes???
If you toss your bike, does the odometer record the distance?

Anonymous said...

I think it's worth exploring the definition of "quiet refuge." If many bikes are tossed in a forest, I'm guessing it makes a sound.

GG

Anonymous said...

Forget the pancake, and just be yourself.
Joy the salsa and be cycle and it looks you are a part of the raffle.

altadenahiker said...

B&B, I hope you realize I'm only as fast as my two feet will take me.

Petrea said...

Brava! Toss the bikes and flip the flapjacks at Farnsworth Park. A refuge is a refuge, not a roller coaster.

Cafe Observer said...

Hot Cakes at the Cobb Estate?? Hope I can make that one. Hope two they have real maple syrup.

Virginia said...

I'm with CO, but I need to know if there will be bacon with the flapjacks. Oh I guess Out There, ya'll eat that soy bacon s.... !

Bellis said...

How the flippin' heck did they get permission to flip pancakes in the Cobb Estate area? And toss bikes, and limbo? Farnsworth Park is ideal for this and just a short bike toss down the road. And there's no risk of setting the area on fire while making pancakes.

altadenahiker said...

I REALLY want to know who approved this and why. No, I don't even want to know the why. Just the who.

Shell Sherree said...

Feet sound like a good way to save the trails. There's a reason why feet don't get flat tyres.

bandit said...

Ever bike toss by moonlight?

Pasadena Adjacent said...

They're trying to manipulate public opinion onto their side. Down the road (or should I say trail) when complaints are waged about the damage mountain bikes cause they'll bring this "trail building business" up as a defence.There is always an agenda behind these events.

In truth I don't mind sharing the fire trails with bikers but it's the goat trails with the switch backs that are such a danger to bipeds and horses. You don't even know their coming until your diving over you.

Mr V attacks them
true story

B SQUARED said...

So you were the drunk on Space Mountain. I wondered who that was.

Petrea said...

In October of 2003 Michele Zack, our esteemed local historian, posted the story of the acquisition of the Cobb Estate. It's also included in her book, "Altadena: Between Wilderness and City."

She tells of how and why the people struggled to acquire the Cobb Estate from developers, and how Virginia Steele Scott swooped in like an angel at the last minute and made it all happen. Zack states, "The land was signed over on Dec. 13th, 1971, to the U.S. Forest Service. The gift was accepted with a guarantee that nothing would be done to the Cobb
Estate except as it would enhance wildlife. No park structures, rest rooms, soccer fields, or picnic tables will intrude there; but citizens shall always be able to enjoy this wild spot at the top of town, and hikers will always be able to access trails into the mountains across the Cobb Estate."

If anyone gives permissions there, it is likely the Forest Service, and it sounds to me like this event sounds like it goes against the charter. I don't hear anything in the phrase "bike toss" that enhances nature.

altadenahiker said...

Nothing says respect like throwing hardware on the trail.

Cobb Estate is not a location that should be used to promote special interests and commercial interests, even if the group does promise to kick in for some trail maintenance. As others have mentioned, there are plenty of public parks w/tables and fields and whatever else they need.

Desiree said...

How's the coffee here?
And what happened to the carrots and peas?

Cafe Pasadena said...

Food promotion is an exception to every rule.

Carolynn said...

Hmmm...I see your point.

BTW, who's the wild man on the scooter with the orange flag?

altadenahiker said...

Oh, so the event was approved by our US Forestry Service, apparently. I guess John Muir is not everyone's cup of tea. After the pancakes, the FS will amend the motto to: "Take nothing but pictures, thumbs up on footprints and crap."

Miss Janey said...

Oh, yay. Another opportunity for peeps to leave their garbage up there.

...sorry, Miss J picked up a lot this morning, all the while cursing the piggy masses.

Petrea said...

Where are the bathrooms going to be? The bushes?

Mister Earl said...

Raise some good ol' South Pasadena-style hell with the Forest Service!

The last few years, in August, there has been a pancake breakfast and mountain bike race with live music and some booths of various kinds that starts and finishes in Loma Alta Park at the top of Lincoln. This event seems like it's trying to copy that. The Loma Alta event is very low key, and certainly not on grounds where such activities are prohibited.

WV: prestr. You gotta prestr those SOBs until they stop this nonsense!

Mister Earl said...

And I don't care if they've been doing this for 21 years, they're still a bunch of copy cats!

Bellis said...

These could be the same people, Mr. Earl. Perhaps they've moved location because the Sunset trail above Millard canyon, which can be accessed from Loma Alta Park, has burnt down. The Angeles National Forest motto is "Land of Many Uses," but I like yours better, Karin.

Virginia said...

But what about the bacon with the pancakes???
V

Paula said...

Their very special guest is a famed motocross and mountain biker...look out for that one. And the pancakes can't be good. So what are they really there for???

Tash said...

Are we all having pancakes there? Who'd wanna miss pancakes at the sanctuary. (best use of 'brain on drugs' I've ever seen).
BTW, did you know that there is a Matterhorn in Switzerland & neighboring counties that was modeled after the one in Disneyland. Honest.

Mister Earl said...

And there's a Space Mountain in Nepal.

-K- said...

The only thing I don't like about this is that not enough people will get the chance to read and enjoy it.

Mister Earl said...

Sausages, V, it's always sausages.

Petrea said...

Tash, you slay me.

altadenahiker said...

You guys are all pretty funny.

Ah well, so the bike bullies are going to get away with it.

BaysideLife said...

I wouldn't trust these folks as far I could toss a bike!

Mister Earl said...

Bike tossing? I won't go there!

Maybe the Forest Service can explain why the Cobb Estate is being used for this event.

I was looking at the website of the Mt. Wilson Bicycling Association. They were formed as a way of keeping the mountain bikers under control because there was a threat to ban them from the trails altogether.

The event at Loma Alta on Lincoln in August is called The Annual Naked Crow Mountain Bike Challenge. It's only been going for about 3 years. It's and actual race, and they don't toss or limbo their bikes Different event than this, but I'm sure a lot of the same bikers are involved and they use the leftover batter from this event.

Ken Mac said...

don't let me stop you !

Margaret said...

In regards to Disneyland, did you know that there is a dumbo car (you know, from the ride) in the Smithsonian? There is. It's as shiny and spanking new as all get out.

altadenahiker said...

Ken Mac was talking about this sophisticated photo: http://greenwichvillagenydailyphoto.blogspot.com/

And Margaret, we're proud of you. Welcome back.

Mark said...

Are you folks for real? Hikers are the ones that cause me the most trouble in maintaining Lower Sam. Do you know that it is a mountain biker that has been maintaining The Lower Sam for over ten years. With help from other bikers and a couple hikers. We left The Cobb cleaner than when we started. Get out and do something useful. Quit whinning.

Anonymous said...

I help Mark and have been jogging or biking the trail there for nearly 30 years. No question some bikers come down too fast, I don't ride lower Sam Merrill on weekends at all. Bikes generally cause less damage than hikers or horses but we don't try to keep them off trails. My main beef is that photo is NOT of a MWBA once a year event or even at Cobb Estate.

altadenahiker said...

Oh Mark, I'm sure we've run into each other before. Or at least, you've run into me. That's why I'm guessing your last word was meant to be whining and not winning.

Anonymous, please link to study that shows mountain bikes are kinder to the environment than tennis shoes. I'll read it.

(Sorry about the photo. I did look look for a stock photo of people pitching bike parts in a nature sanctuary, but couldn't find one.)

Mark said...

And you are a writer? Ok. I've never run into anyone. Nor have I ever entered a race. Not my thing to do on a bike. The Breakfast's raise money to buy tools for the volunteer groups. Those are people that give their time to clear trails of brush and dirt/rock slides on trails in the ANF. How many hours of the year do you all come out and give to your fellow man?

Petrea said...

Maybe I just don't understand what a Bike Toss is. Maybe I don't understand what a pancake breakfast is. Maybe I misunderstood the purpose of Virginia Steele Scott's gift when it was accepted by the Forest Service with a guarantee that nothing would be done to the Cobb Estate except as it would enhance wildlife. No park structures, rest rooms, soccer fields, or picnic tables will intrude there; but citizens shall always be able to enjoy this wild spot at the top of town, and hikers will always be able to access trails into the mountains across the Cobb Estate. Perhaps I'm misinterpreting the words "enhance wildlife," "guarantee" and "intrude."

I appreciate the volunteers (I've seen them in their Forest Service garb) who maintain the Sam Merrill Trail. I never hike that trail on weekends anymore because it's too popular. Any time I do hike it I carry a plastic bag for picking up trash (yeah, Mark, I'm just another hiker out causing trouble).

Look, there are jerks in both categories--bikers who barrel down the hill at the peril of children and old people, hikers who toss their plastic bottles into the bushes. They're all scumbags if you ask me.

Karin's post wasn't critical of people. It was critical of the event. Considering the promises made by the Forest Service and with Farnsworth Park right down the street, to some of us it seemed way out of line. Considering how much work the volunteers have put in, I'm surprised they weren't outraged, too.

Mark said...

Why would I be outraged at the time I/we spent cleaning up the Estate area we did for the breakfast. A lot of my regulars stopped by the breakfast to show their support of what us volunteers give so they can hike a great trail. It's this complaining that makes me question why since 1991 I've been doing trail work. Why for the past 3 years have I spent most every Sat. beating myself up doing trail work somewhere in the forest. The area we cleaned is now more inviting for folks to use. One could take the dog and a cup of coffee and sit at the steps and look out over a clean area to ponder the day. We left it in better shape. Enhance wildlife? I pick up after them too. All their bottles, cig butts, and whatever.