Sunday, November 07, 2010

When Worlds Collide

Susan RBA for Arizona Brevets, and Yours.

Hey there Gentle Readers of This Blog--Susan is in town and will be running the Mt. Lemmon 200 KM Brevet this coming up Saturday, November 13th. She has stopped by to camp out at my place in Dog Mtn. Great to have company for a change--and Callie and Susan are BFFs.

Dove Mtn Rd and Tangerine Will open in just a few weeks.

I lamented the construction of this road--but here it is--cutting through pristine desert. A pristine road that saves you a few miles driving. Of well--soon there will be a Wal Mart or a Target. Wish we had money to buy something...

Susan on Dove Mtn Blvd--or is it Twin Peaks Rd now?

Just driving past all this construction now for a year--and it is about ready to be opened--so we went out on bikes to check it out--before cars come and all that. So today it is still closed to traffic, and I have been wanting to check out exactly where it leads. Susan is here to pre-ride the brevet, so this gives her a chance for a warm up.

Pictured above is Mt. Lemmon, 30 miles East.

What this road will do is make a short cut down to I-10 and a part of Tucson called Continental Ranch, where there's shops and movie theaters, etc--and will connect Marana to the next big growth spurt in Northwest Tucson.

Panther Peak up ahead.

So instead of going down Tangerine to I-10, which was and is for the most part, the only East-West road, Twin Peaks Rd makes a B-Line to Dove Mtn, and the soon to be developed desert out here. Actually, I believe the road went this way on account that one of the long time ranchers didn't sell out his land, so they went around...

About to the I-10 entrance-exit.

Still closed off to car traffic for a few weeks.

I don't know--will be tricky on a bike with lots of car blasting though here...

There used to actually be two peaks back in the day, but the first peak was mined down and only one remained--and of course the name of the road to the old mine.

Susan and I crossed some other new and big streets and found ourselves in Continental Ranch. It was pretty nice too--then I thought I ride over to my friend John's house, but he wasn't home--but it was still cool how fast and nice the ride was to this part of town.

Heading back to Dog Mtn.

This would be great for brevets, as before we used to have to ride in the sticks and over some beat-up old back roads. I actually miss the old beat-up back roads--less traffic for the most part...

Sorry I haven't written in awhile, Gentle Readers...

I'm looking for a commute route that I do every day to the office, but it seems the new roads still take me pretty far West--about 7 miles out of my way. Mornings I like to take the fastest most direct way in because there's less traffic and I can ride fast--going home these might be okay, but I'd like to have a straight shot North and South, mes amis...

A friendly horseback rider enjoying Sunday afternoon too.

Most of the roads I've ridden on a few years ago connect to the new stuff, but there's that in-between part where the road is still narrow and kind of cracked--and still has rednecks tromping around in their big pick 'em ups.

Heading back to Dog Mtn.

Its a great Sunday afternoon and I ask Susan if she'd like to ride to the top of Dog Mtn--to the newly completed Ritz Carlton Hotel. It is supposed to be pretty cool so I hear. Kelly, the young woman at the gate, is friendly and let's us ride in for a quick look. I could never in a million years afford a major luxury stay at a place like this--so having a chance to ride up here was fun.

Ritz Carlton entrance.

Before this was built, it was just jeep trail, and then the canyon. The Apache Indians used to have this place as an out post to watch the US Army and stage coach line pass to the West of here. Our brevet rides take us on the old Army trail and coach line as well.

The Ritz-Carlton--very well done and not too over-the-top.

Used to be you would only find hunters up here, having to had hiked up about 10 miles from Tangerine. Used to be nothing up here, and now a world-class motel. Only thing is, mes amis, is these mountain as so freakin' hot in the summer that I would not want to be up here--this is only for the winter. Summer it is deadly hot.

The driveway of the Ritz-Carlton.

What is used to look like.

Believe it or not, there's still a lot of the area that's not developed--for example the wash is pretty much the road that hunters use. Susan and I can ride on them for aways on road bikes.



The locals.

This is still ranch land--for now. The desert is beautiful and I hope that the Ritz-Carlton actually helps keep some of it from getting bulldozed. It took a year to complete the Twin Peaks Rd, but what I found disturbing when that first began is that in about two days, the razed about six miles and hundreds of acres of Sonoran Desert. That means that the cactus you see there in background, each about 50 to 75 years old-- the larger ones 125 to 175 years old-- were gone in a blink of an eye...

Heading down Dog Mtn back to my modest adobe...

Brevet season is upon us, mes amis!

Callie greets us when we arrive home!

Thanks for reading the blog! Cheers! Bruce

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