Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Les Routiers

Picacho Peak at Sunrise.

Over the Holiday, Steve and I set out on bikes from Dog Mtn on a crisp Friday morning—to ride through the desert for Muledale. This is one leg of our famous Marana-Scottsdale-Marana ride we try to do every so often. The trek is right at 130 miles one-way so says my bike computer—but really—it’s a sun up to sun down journey.

I live in Dove Mountain, Gentle Readers of This Blog. It has some fame as being the place where the affluent, having an architect or two in a shirt pocket, create gaudy eyesores on the landscape and rub shoulders with Tiger Woods—when he’s here once in a blue moon to hit golf balls.

Riding through Picacho, Arizona... an old ranch house that's seen better days.

I wouldn’t say these homes are worth millions of dollars— just that they have taken millions of dollars to construct. I also wouldn’t call them homes because wealthy people don’t live in them really. The desert—and in particular this once pristine area—is a place for them to crap out their excessive wealth in piles of wood, glass, and steel. Workers buzz around these creations like flies around shit.

A faux Double Wide for the Horsey Set.

My place is quite modest—and I mean that. I live in the “Villages” section of this opulence, mes amis. Villages might sound quaint, but it has a bit of a--let's say--condescending charm to it—don’t you think, Darling?

Post Office of Picacho, Arizona.

Okay—so what I’m getting at is that my friends make fun of where I live and instead of calling it Dove Mtn, they call it Dog patch (After the hillbillies of the Lil Abner cartoon) but Dog Mtn pretty much stuck as the handle.

An abondoned buisness--one of many to be seen on this stretch of road.

Steve leaving the domain of Picacho, Arizona. This is part of the Brevet Route, and all of us Randonneurs dreaded being chased out of town by the pack of dogs. Sadly, most of the dogs are dead--killed and run over chasing cars.

Scottsdale; sometimes they like to call Dove Mountain the Scottsdale of Tucson. When you say Scottsdale, Arizona, you’re saying MONEY. When you say Dove Mountain—people are like, what? So you must say it’s like the Scottsdale of Tucson—and then they’ll go—Oh… Wealthy people actually live in those million dollar homes in Scottsdale. Sometimes they’re outside in their gardens or walking their dogs. Often they will wave good morning and say hello.

Offspring of these Scottsdalians drive mommy and daddy’s Lexus or Mercedes quite recklessly, so that’s what blokes like me got to watch out for while attempting to arrive in Muledale and Steve, The Star of the Blog’s shack.

Ah! Muledale… It’s actually Scottsdale but every time I’m up at Steve’s place—the local farmer’s mule brays out “HEE HAW HEE HAW HEE HAW!!!” So you’re standing there and thinking to yourself—what the Hell was that? A mule? And Steve says, rather dryly—“Yep…” I just think it ironic that all these Scottsdale people (in Steve’s neck of the burb) think they got it make, and while they’re watching their big flat screen TV out on the Ramada—they suddenly hear this mule hackin’ up a lung!

Right after we leave from a short break at Picacho Peak Plaza for a quick cup of coffee, I have a flat tire. As I didn't seat the tube right, I go about a mile and have flat number two.

We ride thru what's left of the town of Picacho, Arizona, as stated before--now we enter the town of Eloy, Airzona.

Jesus es Senor in Eloy, Arizona mi amigos!

We had a Black Breakfast on Black Friday in Casa Grande. We didn't go to IHOP this time and tried a place called BJ's again--it wasn't the greatest place--wish we could find one. If anyone reading this can tell me--please leave a comment and the location!

Soon we are on our way to charming Sacaton, Arizona. For the most part, the Indians there are pretty friendly. If you're out riding and need help or water--go to the fire station. Cyclists are always welcome. At the store, the only one in Sacaton, sometimes they can be kind of coarse to white people--but this time everyone was friendly.

This is what it looks like on these back roads. Open desert forever. When its hot, the wind blows like a blast furnace. When its cold, like it was this ride, the wind is relentlessly biting and chilly.

Steve and I take a break at the Sacaton Store and gas station. Steve made the comment about how the Indians aren't usually too cordial to white people. My reply was simply, "Why should they be?" This land out here is not an easy place to live. The white people took all the water and best farm and grazing land.

But they do respect us for riding the long distances--in the cold wind, and in the blazing heat.
White people think we're crazy.

We are out of Sacaton and this marks about the half-way point, Gentle Readers.

I credit Steve, Star of This Blog, for blazing the route from my house to his house in Scottsdale. These are forgotten back-roads we are traveling on, where people are poor and their lives difficult. We start in Dove Mountain, where its pretty clear people are wealthy--and then we ride 100 miles through the harsh reality of the Native Americans and the Mexicans, until we end up winding through affluent Scottsdale, Arizona where people have money and status.

Kim, resident gourmet chef of Chez Jewell, has a pork roast, waiting for us on the table. And beautiful ruby-red wine just cryin' for my lips to taste!



Red Bacchetta said...

Hopefully this IHOP isn't too far off your route. :)
Nice ride, hopefully the weather is a bit warmer next week!

Directions to Casa Grande IHOP.

t'amie de Quebec said...

Salute, mon ami! Ca fait un longue temps!...

When did you cut your hair?! :)

Happy riding...et etre sauf!


Bruce's Bike Blog said...

Marcia? Marcia?! Is that you?! Are you in Quebec or Ft. Wayne?

t'amie de quebec said...

Oui! C'est moi, Bruce! I had a blast reading your blog! Jim and I are still in Ft. Wayne roasting coffee. We kind of know the area you're riding in...and I'm insanely jealous!:). Cracks me up that 97 degrees seems "cool" sometimes...I DO understand that though. I just got back from a bike hike this morning...48 degrees...it felt like spring. Not bad for December 2nd...riding with just a short sleeve jersey and arm warmers. Woohoo!

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