Thursday, October 23, 2008

Week By Bike--Sabino Canyon

Top of Sabina Canyon Rd, at Stop 9

Early this week Little Egypt had a flight to Ohio--I would ride into work, she would pick me up at Noon--I'd drop her off at the airport for her flight--and I would drive home at the end of the day and take my bike. So not having to carry everything in saddle bags in the morning meant a chance to ride my swift road bike. Since I have change of office attire at work--all I need carry are keys and billfold.

Battery lights set up on the LeMond--I use the same on my Raleigh for the morning commute.

I've been wanting to add a few more miles to my morning commute because there would be two more good climbs. I don't really have time to ride up to Stop 9 in Sabino Canyon--but as I am the only one holding down the fort at work this week--I could get in anytime I wanted within reason. If I add the miles, I won't ride the 3.9 miles further up into the canyon. I'll turn around at the entrance and head into work.

I saw someone ride off a cliff one fine morning, and helped the Paramedics rescue the poor woman. Luckily, she was not seriously hurt...

Sabino Canyon--started as a Civilian Conservation Corps project in the 1930's. It was a favorite local hangout for picnics and swimming, and many hiking trail heads start here and then wind their way up to Mt. Lemmon. It was closed to automobiles in the 1970's --too much drunken ness, litter and vandalism.

Mornings see it now with runners, walkers (old ladies on Constitutionals) and occasional cyclists. Grumpy Rangers, who are usually  retired old farts that volunteer, don't care for cyclists much--and will lecture on going too fast. Do your very best to show that you could care less. Picking your nose, arranging your junk, farting, or some other retarded act will suffice...

Speaking of retarded, a handful of roadies have killed themselves on this road. They probably hammered the climb, and expected their reward of a fast, curvy descent--only to instead meet death. So yeah, you got to be careful, mes amis...

Okay, the Lion Thing in Sabino Canyon: The mountain lions came down, probably because of the drought, looking for prey. They began stalking the runners and the walkers--and the tourists. A few times, the Jones family or the Smith family from Retardville, Wisconsin found themselves face-to-face with a hungry lion eyeing little Timmy or Sally Mae.

And then lions were hanging out on the school playground that's across the street. Local Game and Fish set out on a mission to kill them, and unfortunately rightly so--but the mistake they made was not to inform the public why they had to kill the lions; because if they captured and removed them, the lions would find their way back to Sabino Canyon and the cycle would repeat again.

Perfect mountain lion habitat!

One of my buddies was a Park Ranger with the National Park Service. Often they had "problem bears" that is bears that are not afraid of humans. They would come up to your car, and rip out the windows to get to your food. They would even show up at your picnic and take what ever they wanted. Nothing worked to scar them away. They would catch them and fly them three and four hundred miles away--but a few weeks or months later, the bear would be back. After three attempts to relocate the offending bear, they would have to kill the bear. There was not much they could do, other than try to get people to understand that you don't feed the bears; they lose their fear, get into mischief, and ultimately have to be destroyed.

There was a lot of emotional out-cry from the people of Tucson, and I will admit, I was against Game and Fish killing the lions. But after my friend Bob, the Nat'l Park Ranger explained it to me, in a sober and thoughtful manner, I could see that there wasn't much else they could do.

Game and Fish took on a condescending, Great White Hunter attitude that only pissed people off and fueled the fire. Had they just communicated with the public in a forthright, respectful manner, all the mis-information spewed by the peace-queers wouldn't have resulted in the above sign. Which is really a poor compromise. Since we've destroyed their habitat, like other wild animals, they are forced to hunt for food in our parks and backyards.  The lions were eventually captured and released.  But they had to take them many thousands of miles away to guarantee they would not return.  Still, there are reports of lions in Sabino Canyon.  Actually I think it would be really cool to see one in the wild--they are very rare nowadays.

Before I left Sabino Canyon, I turned around to get a shot of Sabino Canyon Rd for you. I need to get going to the office as its about 8 a.m. Bikes are allowed until 9 a.m., and then later in day after 5 p.m., you can be back on the road. No bikes on Wedsday or Saturday.

Sun coming up starts to warm my bones--I'm having to wear leg warmers and under-shirt to keep out the morning chill.

As I put away gear and un-load my bike, Callie and I throw the tennis ball before calling it a day.



Anonymous said...

And then the meat is sold to local Korean delicatessens for consumption:)

I guess that's better than sacrificing our young for the Mount Lion God - Retardalopolis

Anonymous said...

You're an idiot.

Bruce's Bike Blog said...

Get back to work, Loser :) Cheers! Bruce