Sunday, June 06, 2010

The Tiger in the Mountains

Mt Lemmon. It would be nice to be up there today!

I left my house 6:30 this morning, and quickly realized I should have left at 5:30--also probably should have gotten some sleep last night too. Just couldn't get to bed--I had everything ready to go and all, but I was restless.

Boss called to say that our planned ride was off due to his AC going out, and he'd be waiting for repairmen in the morning--so I chance called up Le Tigre, and by chance he picked up the phone.

I need to ride and I wanted to ride, so I'm glad Le Tigre agreed to roll out. As Mrs. Le Tigre was on call, our ride might be cut short, but we'll meet up on the road and take it from there.

It's cool out in this part of the desert, mes amis, but soon I'll be descending into the city and it will heat up quickly.

I certainly was not riding fast, but my spirits picked up as all the worries of the week, and all the stuff at home to do today later just got left behind. Le Tigre called me on the cell, and I was only done climbing out of Oro Valley--which means I had not gotten very far.

I picked up the pace and soon I was making the climb up Ina. To make a long story short, I saw about 30 cyclist out on the road, coming down Ina. I must have just diverted my eyes for a moment because I got another call from Le Tigre, and it seems we had ridden past each other and not realized it. I see a cafe and proclaim that I will stop for coffee and we'll meet there.

I really really really needed a cup of coffee, Gentle Readers of This Blog, and I pulled into the cafe right before a group of about ten cyclists arrived. Everyone was friendly and happy and asking about my ride. They were done and heading home, and I said I think I should have left a bit earlier--I would have a long hot return trip for sure.

Bikes at the cafe.

So after chatting with the other cyclists and finding a place to sit and sip my Cafe Americano, a woman walked pasted me and sat down at a table--my goodness but she was beautiful and dressed so lovely--and some kind of perfume just caressed me and I felt I was being put under a spell.

Le Tigre showed up, and as I shook hands with him, I realized that there was quite a contrast between two hot and sweaty cyclists that smelled like asphalt and oil--and some svelte beauty in a cafe just after attending church. Occasionally her sweet perfume drifted over, but the heat of the morning and my climb up Ina and Skyline still had me dripping sweat and smelling like a brute.

Le Tigre in his element--the mountain roads of the Catalinas.

Le Tigre lets me finish my coffee and I tell him that I should probably be getting back to Dog Mtn. The temp today will be 106--that is a bit hot for even me, Gentle Reader--so Ryan will ride with me back aways and we'll split off and head our different ways home.

West on Skyline which has become Ina. The street is freshly re-paved and very smooth.

Bruce on the bike.

Le Tigre on the bike, trying to avoid the camera...

Calle Concordia, the street that will connect me to Oro Valley.

Le Tigre and I say our farewells, and I'm off to start a bit of a slog back up to Dog Mtn. It's getting hot, and I'm drinking a lot of water. I pulled into a botanical garden and zipped through the parking lot to get some shade and wipe some sweat out of my eye. As I was leaving I spied a spicket they used for watering, and filled up my bottles with some cool water.

The heart of Oro Valley, the road is La Canada, and when it's almost 95 degrees, this climb out is slow going, long, and draining.

After I made the climb up and out of Oro Valley, I got into a groove and paced myself for the rest of the way home. Pulling in and stepping into the kitchen, I heard on the radio that it was 98 degrees at 10:30 a.m.

I had a snack, some cold water, took a shower, and then woke up out of bed about noon. I'm actually looking forward to Monday morning because I'll get to sleep in! I have a late morning eye exam that's close to the Desert San, so I'll drive to the office. I won't have to get up until 6 o'clock!

Cheers! Bruce


Big Clyde said...

Good pictures of our local streets. I certainly am not used to putting in your miles and have not yet gotten into an early morning routine. Do you ever ride in the evening in summer? Too hot at 6:30pm?

Big Clyde said...

Good pictures of our local streets. I certainly am not used to putting in your miles and have not yet gotten into an early morning routine. Do you ever ride in the evening in summer? Too hot at 6:30pm?

Red Bike said...

I think I would have stayed at the cafe all day until it was cool enough to ride back home without melting.