Thursday, April 29, 2010

Recovering from Food Poisoning

This week has been long and I'm finally feeling better after last weekend. Ricky and I ate out at Pizza Hut, of all places, and shortly thereafter, I started to phase out--Rico didn't have any of the original crust supreme--just pepperoni. Saturday I was very ill, and was only able to get up and out of bed such that Ricky could drive me to the Urgent Care.

Instead of getting an IV to get me some fluids, the doc gave me an anti-nausea pill, and soon I was coming back to to life--dang, where had I been for what seemed like days?

Recovery was slow, and then the weather here in Tucson turned windy and the air dusty. Wednesday I made it the the pool and swam laps for my lunch hour--that has been the only nice day this week. The sun was hot, the sky was beautiful blue.

Some young women appeared to swim laps as well. They were all very svelte, glowing bronzed tan, and wore tiny bikinis. The three of them were all quite strikingly beautiful--but as I was hauling my fat self out of the pool, they seemed to try real hard to make me feel invisible. I wasn't staring or being rude or anything--it was just an uneasy feeling. They were super model stock and I would say that most humans don't have this kind of god-like beauty.

I went to ride my old campus bike back to the San feeling like some kind of big hairy ape.

So I've got off what I was wanting to write about, its just that when I see and meet young men and women these days (even while riding my bike and meeting other cyclists) they seem so smug and ill-mannered. I used to think that bad manners, or lack of manners, meant a person was not raised right--had a bad up-bringing. Now I believe its a matter of self confidence.

The Mighty Trek is now in the good hands of Pima Street Bikes. I'll have a new drive train by next week, and Phil and Judy will address the other issues the bike presented when I dropped it by the shop today.

Driving the car has been painful for me, Gentle Readers of This Blog. So much congestion, everyone is texting, or on the cell. I had to crawl behind a woman in a beat-to-crap mommy van, that was talking on her cell phone, while smoking a cigarette--and she had on those tubes on her face which lead to an oxygen tank. I saw a chance to get around her, and I did, rather quickly and swiftly, and sped up the left-hand lane that she had been blocking all of us for miles--the fat piece of shit gave me a fat finger as I zipped away.

I seemed to have evolved from a big hairy ape riding a beater bike, to a impatient up-tight motorist rippin' down the road to be first at the next red light...

More biking and photos this weekend--I promise mes amis!

Cheers! Bruce

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wet Dog Smell

Callie--our 14 year old German Shorthair Pointer--living the life!

Tucson and Dog Mtn got a good dose of Spring rain last night. I threw the ball for Callie in the backyard as I tried to cut the bit of grass we have back there for her. Having a lawn in the desert is another story, but its small, takes some of the heat out the yard, and Callie loves it.

I have a push mower which works well—as long as the grass doesn’t get to high. Got to get the grass cut every other day, and that’s Callie’s time, she believes, to have me throw her tennis ball between going back and forth. This means it takes me twice as long to get things done.

So in the evenings I’ve got something on the grill outside, something on the stove—and I’m cutting the grass and throwing the ball for Callie. Its hustle time… One thing about doing the commutes is that I have to get to bed by 9:30 p.m. or I cannot get my ass out of bed and in the saddle at 5 a.m. I can’t waste any time (something I’m good at) or else I’m scrambling to get out the door and on the road. Things have to be packed and put out so I can get up, get dressed, and ride.

I got half the yard done when big drops started to fall. Callie’s in some kind of nirvana when it gets a little bit cold and things are wet. Wet mud and chasing a sloggy tennis ball in the rain has to be her favorite thing—so we did that for awhile.

This brings me to the point of this post—Rico needs the car at UofA today late afternoon— for some kind of computer lab software he must use to build a web page. We make a deal that if it’s raining at 5 a.m. when I get up, I’ll wait and wake him up at 6 a.m. so he can drive me part way at least— if it’s not raining at 5 a.m. I will ride to the San.

But when he decided to go out with the guys after we had dinner, I kind of wondered what shape he’d be in if he needed to drive me. Well, he lucked out, Gentle Readers of This Blog, as the sky over Dog Mtn was clear. Callie got half of my bagel then went back to bed.

It was cold—and the air was heavy with that rain-wet muggy feeling. To save time, I decided I would brave going down Thornydale—the roads were dry and the sun was coming up and suddenly the clouds rolled away. On Thornydale, traffic was strangely light. I was only passed by two cars on that stretch of Hell, one of which was a police cruiser. All the lights after that turned green for me and I glided along at a fast comfortable pace.

Even though I felt a little on the sluggish side, maybe because it was cold and I had to wear winter gear—my average speed was 15.5 mph for the 23.8 mile trip; top speed 30 mph, which is probably coming down Thornydale from Tangerine Rd/Dog Mtn. Time from door to door was 1 hour 31 minutes.

I’m living the life I guess. The morning ride is great—going home is the tricky part. Super hot 100 degrees or more, impatient drivers, and just a long day in general. Sometimes getting a lift home part way with Rico helps.

I’ve got Sunday where Alan (The Boss) will put us through sprints and race-pace all-out miles.

Cheers! Bruce

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tuesday Ride

A quick morning commute, mes amis!

I work one evening a week volunteering in the Desert San’s organic garden. So it’s a short commute day where I ride about 20 miles round-trip on the River Running and Bike Path. It was still a bit chilly but getting nice as the days progress—I just wore shorts and a tee-shirt but needed arm warmers. Where I park my car it sits under large trees that keep it shaded all day, so it’s not cooked when I get to the end of my ride at the end of the day.

Gradually the snow melt is thinning out in the Rillito...

Arizona has a phone number you can call and report drivers that throw trash out their vehicles—mainly those that throw lit cigarettes butts are the drivers they want to reach.

A few years ago, the County and State spent millions of dollars to fight a devastating fire on Mt. Lemmon, which began by a burning cigarette. It was started by a young undesirable who threw his butt out the window at a campsite as he and his party left the mountain. They caught him and his cohorts—and during his trial he vehemently denied being a smoker. They were having a hard time nailing this ass until some of the media caught him taking a smoke break in the back alley of the courthouse between hearings.

I am strong. (Chorus--"Strong" I am invincible. (Chorus--"Invincible.") I am ah Red neeeck.

Driving home, the man is this truck I was behind tossed out at least three lit cigarettes. Being a windy late afternoon, one of the lit butts being pushed by the breeze, rolled across the road and into the weeds—so you can see how easy it is out here to have a fire get way out of control.

The number to call the Litter Hotline is 1-877-354-8837.

When you give them the day, time, location, and the plate of the vehicle, the driver gets a letter that says, to the effect, “Hey you threw a lit cigarette out the window of your truck—that’s not safe—we all have to be aware of the fire danger in our State.”

Maybe when the DOT pulls up this guy’s record, they might see other things—like a warrant for his arrest—or should he tell a judge and jury, “hey I ain’t no smoker! I didn’t start no fire!” the record may say other-wise.

Cheers! Bruce

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Year of the Broken Bicycles

Mt. Lemmon, where the Tucson Bike Gods live.

Its been a long week and this morning I thought I'd do the long commute route to the office. By long I mean its just about four extra miles, but it means about eight miles of climbing first thing out the door. For a Friday morning, that's pretty tough. I've been a bit lazy and I've taken the dive-bomb run straight down on Thornydale, which is a narrow busy and beat-to-hell road--but four miles shorter and about 30 minutes faster.

Heading East on rural Moore Rd, you see up there, there was not a car for almost the whole eight miles--at 5:30 a.m. that's pretty good. Oh, I did see one other cyclist coming from the opposite direction, and we both waved good morning. Cool...

Oro Valley, on La Canada, looking North back from the way I came this morning.

In the photo above, I've been riding along the Tortolita Mtn Range, and then I plunge down into Oro Valley. La Canada has been re-paved and the bike lane is smooth and wide. The Oro Valley Police station is right up there at the top so people drive very slow to avoid tickets--I mean they drive very very slow. You realize this when you drive yourself, because you're like, "Why is everyone driving like a zombie?" The answer is that you see the Police Cruisers everywhere--the guys are coming and going into the station. Nobody wants a ticket.

Calle Concordia and Pusch Ridge, and the sights and sounds of horses.

I ride through the old ranch roads, and where people still keep a handful of horses in their backyard. Usually it has been pretty dark when I'm riding through here, but this morning, residents are doing chores--feeding the cats, the dogs, and the horses.

Breakfast with bikes and horses this morning.

East on Calle Concordia.

You wouldn't realize it, but at the end of this pastoral road, there's Oracle Rd--one of Tucson's busiest arteries, even now packed with cars and people driving to work. I'm glad that these old ranch road finally got paved so cyclists have a way to go around all that traffic. Rugged Pusch Ridge dominates the horizon and I want to be past Oracle Rd as soon as possible because the sun will be in everyone's eyes and that's a bit dangerous for me on the bike.

On this route I want to wear the bright jersey as I'll be riding on a busy road right at sunrise and it will be blinding for car drivers, and for me too.

Traffic is a bit lighter on an early Friday morning in Tucson, Gentle Readers of This Blog, and before long, I am past the busy intersection of Oracle Rd and Ina Rd, and making good time climbing East on Ina. The long route I've taken this morning puts me right out ahead of all the construction on Ina and La Canada, which has been my normal commute route since I started working at the Desert San back in 2006. I had better wait until the construction and re-paving there is completed before I ride there--at this time in the morning, the sun is such that you can't see, and you have to maneuver through everything ripped up.

My trusty 1977 Raleigh Super Grand Prix--she gets me to the office once again, safe and sound.

After I rode in a rain storm a few weeks ago, my rear brake cable, probably needing to be replaced, got worse and rusted and on a Sunday morning spin with the Boss, I realized I had no rear break that worked. Alan said it would be okay, but just be careful. So I rode all last week, Bike 2 Work Week, with just a front brake, and really no problem, mes amis.

However this morning, I was on my usual commute route which is all climbing, and then when I reach the very top of the route, I have a 35 mph descent down into my office and the campus of the Desert San. To make a long story a bit shorter, I was coming down Craycroft Rd, which is smooth and fast with not much traffic--and I was hauling-ass--and the light at River Rd changed to Red--and I realized that I had no brakes. I had to very carefully slow myself down using the front brake--and it did protest, Gentle Readers of This Blog, moaning and squeaking as I put down the pressure. I was able to finally stop but not until I was almost in the middle of the intersection. I had to real quick turn around and ride back to the stop light as the other traffic began to roll across as the light changed green for them.

This may not seem like a big deal but at the time, I was wondering if I was going to be able to stop--and stop without going over the handle bars. No more fooling around, I'm taking the bike to Phil at Pima Street Bikes to drop off at my lunch hour. Rico can fetch me after work and we can ride home together.

I call the shop late afternoon and Phil says the bike is ready. First of all he shows me the old frayed cables, and the rust in the housing--I expected that much. But then he showed me what looked like a rear axle--broke in half. Yep, there goes the beer money for the weekend. Phil had a used one and replaced it for me, which saved me a few bucks. But the other news is that my rear tire was coming apart--so he showed me the damage. I said I'd been riding a lot and he said, "Yeah I can tell!"

Pretty much, after beating my Trek all to Hell--I've now done the same on the Raleigh.

I don't know what its been this year, but things are breaking--I'm needing to replace everything. All my parts are cracked and worn out. You think my bikes are in bad shape, all my bike clothes are coming apart as well. This seems to be the case with other riders I'm reading on their blogs. I believe its time for me to start learning how to be more of a mechanic--and although Phil is the best and his prices can't be beat--I may have to start hunting for the deals on the web, and then replace this stuff on my own.

I'm also wondering if a road bike for commuting is the right kind of bike for the conditions of my route--should I save the nicer bikes for the spins with the lads? Baby my Super Grand Prix? Or should I find some old beater that can take the punishment of the rough pavement around here?

Anyone have luck with some tires they like? I've use some that are CTS--cheaper but they are not holding up very well. I have the Continentals, the ones made in Taiwan for commuter bikes, and they seem to only last for 300 to 500 miles...

Thanks for reading the blog--Cheers! Bruce

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Le Tigre loaned me his rollers, mes amis. This past Saturday Night, after about 10 minutes of trying to figure out how to do this crazy thing—I got it! It helped that I was in a hallway so I could catch myself if I slipped-up. Mainly the thing is getting over the fear you first have, as for one thing, my bike sits up so tall—I had to use a step-ladder to get up high enough. Rico had to steady the bike too. He thought I was crazy. But suddenly there I was and all the fear and apprehension were gone—Cool!

So I tried a few more times, and it seems to come naturally after a bit of practice, Gentle Readers of This Blog. I rode solid for three minutes on one attempt that first night, but what Le Tigre failed to tell me is that about minute two, you start to sweat! You really need a fan or something because it’s a workout for sure.

I’ll have these rollers for a week and then give them back to Ryan. It’s so nice out here in Tucson that I really don’t need a set of these—but it was fun to try, and so now I can say I have ridden rollers.

Cheers! Bruce

Monday, April 12, 2010

Saddlebrooke Loop Ride

I put on the sunscreen this morning, mes amis!

Alan and I did a very fast-paced 40 mile loop up to Saddlebrooke and back, Gentler Readers of This Blog. I have never been in the back-way to Saddlebrooke, and I was told that its a scenic, less traffic rural route. There's a stop just in the center of the huge complex so we can get water.

Today Alan wanted me to practice riding right on his wheel. I'm trying to get used to the idea of riding fast in a pace line, and shoulder to shoulder with other riders. We also did some sprints as part of our workout this morning too. All I can tell you is that the first sprint and my heart rate went way up--felt like my lungs were gonna rip outta of my chest! So right from the start we were riding fast--not too much time for pictures. We're in the drops, and pushing with everything we've got.

Mt. Lemmon still has snow.

The photo up there is what is looks like over your shoulder as you're starting the hard part of the climb.

The Boss--he's pushing me hard--we are riding fast and not letting up on the pace.

It was a bit windy but that was okay--mainly there's a ton of pollen in the air, and I like to think that the exertion I'm putting out will keep that stuff from sticking in my lungs, eyes and nose. The minute you stop pedaling, you start sneezing!

When we arrived at the little store and gas station there in Saddlebrook, we ran into a group of about 20 riders--we think from Germany or Belgium, as I thought I heard French spoken--for sure German. Alan I believe they were a group of tourists, very wealthy tourists indeed. The bikes they had were the kind you only see in those rags like Velo News--beautifully and obscenely expensive. I seen what the rich Tucson boys ride around here, and these bikes were way beyond that. But they were fit, having a great time, and said hello and waved warmly to us as they pulled out in a tight squadron of men and titanium.

Today on the drive home by car, I saw the same group on River Rd, my commute route. They were stopped as a rider had a flat. This was in busy afternoon rush hour too.

By the Gods! The Realm of the Cyclemasters!

The Cyclemasters of Saddlebrooke are some of the best riders around--I believe you have to be at least 60 years old to ride with these guys. They are strong and fit--and this is their turf. All the residents out here know the Cyclemasters--they know someone who rides with them. Gerry Goode of Randonneuring fame is one of them--they are like the bike Gods that live in the mountains--and sometimes they play golf.

Actually a pretty nice place--

Alan and I leave Saddlebrooke and pretty much hammer all the way down to Oracle Rd and Ina. There the Sunday traffic has caught up to us and we have to maneuver just one tricky left turn to make the climb back up to Alan's place. After all that fast riding, its nice to just cool down and relax.

Alan has really made me realize that in order to get the fast time we both want for a ride like El Tour de Tucson, for example, we are going to have to be able to get in a pack, and stay there. Got to start to lose the weight and watch what I eat. I'm also thinking about doing the Cochise County Cycling Classic, or Cochise, or the 252 what ever you want to call it. The heat will be here soon enough and that will mean the 6 a.m. start times for riding--or starting even earlier!

Stay on my wheel! Keep up!

Cheers! Bruce

Bike 2 Work Week—Day Five

This past weekend I had to do all my laundry from the commutes last week.

The thing I recall most about last Friday’s ride, and Bike 2 Work Week, was that I was riding fast and strong. I decided to fore-go River Rd and jumped onto the bike route so I could just take it easy.

I rode most of the way to the office with a woman about my age. She had a new road bike, and was getting in a ride before work. She was, Gentle Readers of This Blog, quite obese—but as she said, she was trying little by little to regain the fitness she once had a few years ago. She told me the name of the cycling group she belonged to (I can’t remember it) and how they were a group of people, like herself, that set reachable fitness goals and encouraged each others’ progress.

She said that she would like to ride to work—but thought it much too dangerous.

So she asked about my rides and I put in my $.02 about commuting—about how I bring clothes to leave at work when I do drive in, and about how I gradually built up riding the round-trip commutes starting at different distances.

Tucson has a large group of fit cyclists on road bikes and they can be intimidating if you’re just starting out. The other extreme are the less affluent that have to take a bike because they don’t even have money for the bus. So we don’t really have an in-between set that rides to work because its close or because it’s good for the planet—they’re too afraid of being run over.

I know many people that live within 5 or 6 miles of the San but they will not chance riding a bike even on the side streets of their neighborhoods. Americans get in their cars and they become very up-tight pieces of shit—or just oblivious to anything but the conversation they’re having on the cell with their illiterate cohort in fucktardness…

I just do not understand the mentality of a person driving a car seeing a person riding a bike, simply to work or for an errand, and feel that person riding the bicycle must be punished for something.

Well, all I will say is that I had a good time riding my bike to work this week. Seems that every week is bike to work week for me, and many others in Tucson. I am very happy that Tucson had good weather, and that many people have worked hard to make changes in how this city sees cyclists.

Cheers! Bruce

Spring in the Desert. This is over by my bike locker at the Desert San.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Bike Day Three and Bike Day Four

Still a bit of a chill down on the River's Edge.

After working (volunteering) in the San’s organic garden—and riding 12 miles in a strong sunset headwind—a cold Spring head wind I might add—I was out of steam. Driving home put me in at 7:30 in the evening, and I had to still make dinner and clean up, etc, etc… As the evening wore on, I found myself with a mountain to climb to get ready to saddle up yet again at 5:30 a.m. for a 24 mile ride.

Wednesday, Day Three, would be rest day.

Snow melt from Mt. Lemmon, brought to you by El Nino this Winter.

But I did ride my campus bike to the Ft. Lowell pool for a noon-time lap swim! So I think that counts for something. My first of what I hope will be many more laps swims. Ft. Lowell was an old Army outpost from the 1870’s, and every morning on my commute, I ride through the old Parade Grounds. One side of the street the old ruins of the fort remain, and there are plans to try and restore more of the buildings. I can see the old mess hall with huge saguaro cactus growing what would have been the inside—those large saguaro can be 70 to 120 years old, so you know the old fort’s been slowly fading for a long time.

The lap swim went up to $2.00 this year at the Ft. Lowell Pool. I asked the life guard why they never posted the new price, and she said that the City may raise the price at any time—or just shut down all the city pools to save money. She didn’t know sadly…

I have on old bottle from Bike to Work Week from years past. I believe I've ridden in B2WW the last five or six years.

This morning for Day Four of Bike 2 Work Week, seemed very cold. It’s lighter outside, which means I can ride faster—but riding faster is easier said than done, Gentle Reader of This Blog. Actually I felt tired on the hills, and I made it to the bike locker in one hour and 34 minutes—that’s five minutes slower than Monday’s ride.

The Raleigh stowed in my bike locker for the day.

My ride home was a bit more interesting. As it turned out, I felt strong and decided to ride all the way back up to Dog Mtn. Rico, at UofA, normally does not need the car on Tuesday and Thursday—but he needed it Thursday. He was going to pick me up at the golf course, and he tried to make it—but he was running late. No worries—I can ride up to Dog Mtn and home the back way, via the old cattle trails the cowboys used to use.

This is the last stretch of un-paved bike and running path that I know of, here on the North side of the Rillito River. I've just recently read that it will be paved this year.

This part used to be a lot worse, but you can ride it okay--things get a bit dusty, and if its been raining, things get a bit muddy.

One minor obstacle...

Back on the fresh paved part and any time lost on the dirt is quickly made up as you pick up speed. Riders used to have to cross on the Campbell Ave bridge, which is not the safest thing to do as its one lane narrow sidewalk next to busy car traffic--so they want to get that dirt part finished up soon.

Wild flowers are everywhere there's space for them to grow!

Palm trees on Thornydale/River Road at about Orange Grove.

On the way home I stopped in the new Sun Flower Market, as they were supposed to have cold drinks and swag for any bike commuter stopping in the store. I got there and nobody knew anything about it--but there was this one fellow, named Todd, who went to talk to a manager to get some more information--and he got me a cold bottle of water (which I needed, mes amis) and we chatted for a few minutes. He was actually pretty impressed with my commute endeavor and has thought about bike commuting himself. He told me he was going to school and studying to be a police officer. He wished me well, and I wished him good luck with his studies.

Those palm trees look pretty sad, Gentle Readers of This Blog. This corner of a busy intersection was at a time, a car dealership--mostly abandoned as far as I can remember--and it must have been that there was an attempt to save the trees, and then transplant them again for whatever was to be built at this corner. As you know, Tucson, like other places in the US, has had many years of bad economic times--so these palm trees have been left here, and they seem to have now grown quite large. There are at least 100 of them. Maybe some will be able to survive.

The last 6 or 7 miles of my commute on the old cattle and jeep trails, back up to Dog Mtn.

If you've been following my blog, and I hope you have--and if you're a Tucson cyclist--you know how fuckin' dangerous Thornydale from Tangerine down to Linda Vista is--but in the early morning, I can just beat the odds--and since its a fast descent riding 25 to 30 mph, the two miles and change gets over pretty quick.

To ride up in the evening rush hour with all the fucktards haulin' ass would be suicide. So to get back to Dog Mtn and home, I take the old ranch trails the cowboys used to use. Mostly the dirt road is Camino De Oeste, which in Spanish means, "West Trail." Its quiet, scenic, and a gradual and draining climb. But I am very fond of the journey, and I believe of all the times I've ridden this trail, today was the most memorable.

Slow steady pace through the desert, mes amis

Large saguaro are everywhere!

It is against US Federal Law to cut down, remove, or destroy saguaro cactus. The Tohono O'odam people believe the saguaro are their ancestors. I must tell you that when you are in the presense of these incredible living things, you can feel their life-force flowing around you. Each one is as individual as we are--it feels sometimes that they are watching and thinking curiously about what exactly you are as you ride by...

This saguaro is probably 25 to 30 years old. The other trees provide what they call a nursery and the young saguaro are protected by wind, cold, and the sun until they grow more.

This gentle fellow is at least 100 years old or older--and I'd say 4o feet tall. I would not be able to put my arms around its trunk--even if I could it would not be good idea--spines and such...

I have left Tucson many miles behind...

Still riding strong, mes amis!

This large and familiar saguaro, right in the middle of the road, tells me that Tangerine Rd is just up ahead.

Here I am at Tangerine and Camino de Oeste. My house is two miles West and a mile North--just in Dog Mtn.

I've been riding up the dirt trail, and now you can see what the trail will eventually look like: paved. All the saguaro will be bulldozed down to make way for over-priced sub-divisions, mini-malls, Subway, Walgreens, and Target. Because of the poor economy, and the especially bad housing market in Arizona--those days may not come for a long while. After a week of dealing with bullshit, its nice to have a few miles of open desert with peace and quiet, and the sounds of bird songs, and the sweet smell of Spring in the Desert.

Callie is glad I'm home!

Cheers! Bruce

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Bike 2 Work Week, Day Two

So far so good and now I’m on day two of Bike 2 Work. Because I have to stay late and do some work in the organic garden that we got started up here—I actually drove to the Rillito River Park—and then biked in about half-way I think. I believe this still counts for day two of Bike 2 Work Week, mes amis. On the way home I’ll just get to the car as the Sun’s going down.

I rode Big Sexy this morning—after fitting ‘em up with all the lights and handle bar bag and saddle bag—oh and air in the tires—I strapped this big steel machine onto moi voiture.

Since I’m riding about 12 miles all on the bike path and not 23 miles in traffic—I had a bit more time to sleep in, but not much. I still had to push Big Sexy along—once I got going, the big bike is a dream.

You don’t always have to go totally lycra—I just have on shorts and a tee-shirt this morning. I wore arm warmers as it was just below 50 degrees. Riding clothes are still the best because even though my commute was short and I was not riding that fast, I still broke a bit of a sweat.

The great thing about today is that I meet up with a young Cooper’s Hawk, sitting on a rail in my favorite section of the river path. I love the grove of young Cottonwood trees as they are gleaming emerald green in the morning sunshine. Then I rode right past that young hawk—and he was so perfectly beautiful and regal.

I stopped, got my camera ready, turned around and slowly and quietly rode up to him. I took a not very good photo of him there—I knew he would fly away as soon as I approached. But he let me get so close—and for a few long moments he curiously looked me over with those piercing ruby eyes. The sun made him shine like gold! Then he flew into the Cottonwoods like an arrow.

Just off the bike path and about to jump into busy traffic for the dash into the office--here are some wild flowers taking in the morning sunshine.

After that, a few miles—then I jump into busy automobile traffic and I do one last speed interval to the back entrance of the Desert San—passing the cars that must crawl to the next light like an arrow myself!

Big Sexy by my bike locker at the Deseret San.

On the way home, and just onto the bike path and the park entrance, some folks enjoying the sunset with beer and wine. I asked if I could take their photo and they said sure--I was invited for a drink but I declined. The wind was blowing, and I wanted to get going...

As the sun was going down and we were finishing up in the organic garden, the wind came up and it started to get cold. All my warmers from the morning came back on for the evening. The way I saw it, I would get home about dark--I had a pretty stiff headwind to contend with, mes amis--stronger than usual for this time of year. The bike path all the way home was empty and I had everything to myself. In the cover of the trees, and slipping under the breeze--I made good time on Big Sexy.

I hope you get to ride this week, Gentle Readers of This Blog.

Cheers! Bruce

Monday, April 05, 2010

Tucson Bike 2 Work Week -- Day 1

I stopped to pet the horses that often watch me ride by in the mornings.

My first day of Bike 2 Work Week was the 23 mile commute from my house in Dog Mtn, down to River Rd where I rode east, and then hopped onto the River Bike Path at about Dodge, and then the last three or four miles into the Desert San. It was a beautiful day, mes amis, and I am all set to ride everyday this week.

Riding East on the River Bike and Running Path, Tucson, Arizona. There is still snow in the mountains so the River is still flowing! Everything is fresh and green, and there are birds everywhere--you don't see this stuck in car traffic, mes amis...

Leaving at 5:40 a.m. means a cool start, but as the sun comes up, things warm up fast—and I am beginning to cruise into the home stretch to my office just as the car traffic starts to gear up.

What helped is that it’s much lighter now in the morning, and that just means I can ride faster down the mountain. It’s also not as cold which means less clothing to wear and then haul back home.

I hope you get a chance to ride at least a few days this week, Gentle Reader of This Blog!

Cheers! Bruce