Sweet Ride: Das Beste Von Kalifornien
Behold the Cro-Dough
There is a group of bicyclists who regularly ride for sweets in Los Angeles, SweetRideUsa. Allow me to gush because I like what they are doing a lot. I fell in love with their catchy concept and playful nature when I was going down the blogosphere rabbit hole one day in search of fun bicycling groups, but since they are based on the east side I do not get to ride with them as often as I would like. Actually, I’ve never ridden with them at all . . . but I plan to!
I recently read the spread in March’s Bicycling Magazine about them and their latest ride and I was so inspired by what two of the participants are doing with Bike Trains in Los Angeles! Equipping folks who want to commute, who are curious, but who may be afraid or have reservations about what is actually possible, with not only routes but companionship and direction.
So I decided to fashion a Sweet Ride myself, this morning. Here’s my Route which I affectionately named the Double Canyon Dip:
From home I ventured up San Vicente to Burlingame, took a left and headed slightly uphill to Sunset, then braved Sunset for about 2 seconds to Mandeville Canyon Road. MCR is a lovely ride, almost downright pastoral for Los Angeles, especially when cruising past the sprawling Robert Taylor Ranch.
Mandeville Cyn. Rd.
Near the Top of Mandeville Looking Down
From Sunset, it’s a little over 4 miles to the top of Mandeville. The ride is safest when done in a group or very very early in the morning, as there are no bike lanes and it is quite narrow and curvy. It was the site of probably the most horrible road rage bike case I’ve ever read about that resulted in the perpetrator serving 5 years’ prison time. As truly despicable as the perpetrator was, I must mention, though, in the interest of reminding me of the potential goodness of humanity, that I used to live at the top of Mandeville and one day I got a flat on the way down and a stranger driving a vehicle offered me (and I accepted!) a ride back home or to the nearest bike shop.
Once at the top I took a few breaths and flew back down, headed left on Sunset for about 1/2 mile north, and powered up Kenter Canyon until the “Whoops Trail Head” where it goes dirt. I headed back down to Sunset and via San Vicente again, to my first sweet spot: Rockenwagner for a Cro-dough.
“Das Beste Von Kalifornien.” I think that means The Best in California. Well, not only is Hans Rockenwagner a successful restauranteur, fantastic (non-TV) chef and baker, he’s an experienced and tasteful craftsman woodworker/artist/designer and builds some of his spaces’ own furniture, cooking utensils and knick knacks. Plus he likes orange. Finally, he’s a cyclist. ’nuff said. = hot.
The cro-dough is a hybrid croissant/donut. It’s croissant dough, formed into donut shape, deep fried, then glazed and sometimes sugared and filled. Tear into it and this is what it looks like:
- Layers of Butter Enriched Goodness
I have never been much of a pastry person, but I have to admit, this was really good. Almost meaty. 3 flavors:
- Vanilla with Cream Filling; Chocolate with Nutella Filling; Raspberry with Raspberry Filling
It’s called a Cro-dough because of copyright/intellectual property/trademark issues; apparently the first hybrid iteration of this beast was named a “cronut” by a certain specific donut shop in Santa Monica and they had to patent the name because of the craze that erupted after the world caught on that these things were delicious.
I didn’t have time to linger this morning, as I slept in a bit and really had to work it to be at work on time, so no sooner were my cro-doughs packed up then I sprinted up to work, up the stairs (never elevators!), into the kitchen to warm up my coffee, over to my desk, and I swear to God this what was at my desk: (I think my file clerk knows me well)
Am I That Obvious?