Monday, January 21, 2008
Ride of the Blue Pheonix
A cold day cycling in South Mountain Park--Pheonix.
Instead of riding from Scottsdale (a.k.a. Muledale) where Steve Star of the Blog has a shack, we drive about 30 miles or more to our breakfast place.
Gentle Reader of This Blog, after many e-mails, and even a phone call to mon vieux, I convinced him that we should alter plans. First--I've bronchitis for two long weeks from my trip home to Tulsa. Second--we won't be getting up at 4 a.m. to start our ride at 5 a.m. to get to our breakfast place by 6 a.m. to get to South Mountain Park by 7 a.m. -- I say we get up at 6, drive in, then eat and be on the way to South Mtn by 7 - 7:30. By this time it should be sunny and warm! Let's see--okay, Third--28 degrees! No way! I'm not ready to freeze my ass off. Four--We ride South Mtn and then drive home. Normally we'd have to march our way back to Muledale--through Tempe, Phx, and Scottsdale--traffic and waiting at every stop-light. No, let's just get back home and have dinner at Said Shack!
Out on Riggs Rd, we see a group coming along. We jump on the paceline, after asking if it's okay. They're on their way to South Mtn as well. We ride at 21 mph thru the Gila Bend Resevation without stopping for a beat! Eventually, a few people get dropped and the we slow down and eventually stop to re-group. Steve and I keep going as the paceline takes a rest.
We are traveling through some old ranch land Southwest of Pheonix.
Still a working Ranch.
Still a bit chilly. There's lots of sun, but it is the winter sun.
The TV Towers on top of South Mtn. As I'm still recovering from bronchitis, we're not going to climb all four vistas today.
We're in the park and our fist layer has been stowed. We still need our leg warmers late morning.
One of these days I'm going to be goin' for that shot--and I'll either drop the camera or hug terra firma. Out on this first vista, the San Juan, cars are not allowed. The pavement is glassy-smooth and you gain speed quickly.
Steve Star of the Blog rides strong.
The City of Pheonix in the background from San Juan Vista.
Steve is on the cell phone to Kim back in Scottsdale--dinner plans are being coordinated, Gentle Readers of This Blog! Kim says to come home with an appetite!
To get back to the Mystery Van for the drive, we have to navigate Baseline Rd. For a few miles, the sidewalk is the safest way and quickest way to travel.
We take a shortcut through a private exclusive sub-division--by squeezing past the opulant iron gate entrance.
Got to take the Bridge of No Return over Interstate 10.
Over the bridge and into Guadalupe which has the feel of a small Mexican town.
Guadalupe is quite a change from the rich white people gated community. Guadalupe is friendly and everyone waves hello as we pass by.
Now in Tempe, we are close to Arizona State University.
Let's get a quick bite--but not so much we spoil our dinner.
A quick trip through the big park in Tempe.
I think this is Baseline and University where the Mystery Van is parked.
From here we would have the 30 mile ride back to Scottsdale. Of course in the wee-hours of the morning we fly thru the city as there's not even a mouse stirring. In the afternoon however, traffic is moving and we dart, duck, and sprint as we make our way home.
That's Camelback Mtn in the background.