Monday, May 25, 2009

50 Mile Ride

Mt. Lemmon at sunrise.

Memorial Day and I'm off to the Desert San for my 50 mile round-trip commute to work. I want to save up my PTO as I don't get paid holidays working at this joint. This morning, everyone is in bed except for a few roadies.

No traffic what so ever. I think I counted more live bunnies darting about in the road then ones run over. That rhythm of cars streaming dully through everywhere is absent; the morning air is sweet and cool.

Pusch Ridge up ahead. I'm going East on Calle Concordia--part of the Mt. Lemmon 200 Km Brevet Course.

I made good time pushing up Ina and then Sunrise. On the latter road, I pulled up to another roadie, a big tall fellow like myself. I said good morning, but he perked-up and started to turn it up a few notches. Like I've posted before, some Tucson roadies are not very friendly--in fact so damn smug sometimes its pathetic. Not that we have to be friends all of the sudden, but a friendly "Good Morning, " would have been okay. So I sat on his wheel for the fast rollers on Sunrise until he got tired. I dropped him on the last quick descent and then up the hill to the top of my climb.

When I get passed by the young bloods--I mean the really good riders--they usually acknowledge me with a wave and a hello, because maybe they can see that I'm riding pretty strong for a Clydesdale. I'm obviously commuting to the office and not out training for a time trial.

On the way home!

Right out the door in the afternoon I can feel a steady headwind blowing. They say the Monsoon rains will come early this year. I can already sense these changes, Gentle Reader--the smell of the air, a hint of something in the wind, and the position of the Sun in the sky.

Monsoon clouds over Mt. Lemmon.

Making my climb up Swan, the wind bears down. Clouds are on Mt. Lemmon, and clouds begin to pop up over the sky like pop-corn popping. It is the power and the mystery of the desert mes amis!

New speed cameras on Swan Ave.

Heading up Swan Ave. to the base of Pusch Ridge.

In the mornings, I'm on the other side of the ridge and pretty much have to ride around it, and then up the base to the top of Swan and Sunrise. On the way in to the office, I ride one more mile East to Craycroft--for one more climb along the ridge, and then make my descent to the Desert San.

Flat on Sunrise.

Riding fast on Sunrise, I must have hit something as I heard a ping-clink, then my back tire went flat. I feared I'd slashed my tire yet again--but the tire on inspection was good. It was a pinch-flat. Just that the puncture resistant tube costs about $8.00--they're expensive, mes amis.

Pusch Ridge in the afternoon. This is Calle Concordia again, this time shown in the afternoon sun.

Looking North on La Canada from Calle Concordia.

The above image is The Oro Valley, in the lovely City of Oro Valley, Arizona. I think this is about the half-way point in my 26 mile ride back to Dog Mtn. I must also tell you Gentle Reader of This Blog, that it was getting hot and it was a bit muggy. I'd lost some time changing out the flat and wanted to keep my momentum now that I was back on these fast Northwest roads. Scouting out the 200 Km Brevet for Susan, I found this water spot at Oro Valley City Hall.

In the city hall complex, which is right at the top of that big climb you saw up there, there's this drinking fountain. I don't know but the men's room was probably locked... Anyway, the water is nice and cold--and its free.

I got to this water stop just in time.

I'm heading West on Moore Rd, and maybe five or so miles from home. For my commutes into the office, I ride on the other side and up and in the foothills of the ridge.

Mt. Lemmon behind me as I coast down Moore Rd.

Good roads and almost no traffic today, Memorial Day 2009.

Home is just a few miles now. This sweet fragrant rain cloud shaded me from the last hot rays of the setting Arizona Sun.

Cheers! Bruce

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