Friday, October 14, 2011

Foothills of Tucson

Tulsa Boy and Kid from Brooklyn.

You all probably recognize Boss Man. We met up and put in a few miles. Boss took the morning off to meet me--I rode down into town on my old commute route I'd take to the Desert San.

Luckily the day before I took a day off from riding, and my buddy Phil picked me up and we out and had a steak dinner--he also took me by the Hardware Store so I could get some things to fix my irrigation system--Thanks Phil!

Sunrise up over Mt. Lemmon, mes amis!

I've put in some miles--just about every morning riding at sun-up to meet the lads!

This is the best time of the morning--a bit cool, but the sun warms you quickly.

I'm motivated by Boss promising to buy me a cup of coffee at the cafe we're meeting at today. Because I didn't rent a car, I'm having to ride, Gentle Readers of This Blog, 15 miles just to get into town. Going out and riding with the guys is one thing, but when you have to run errands and get food and stuff--well quickly you realize how many miles you gotta go. Tucson is a bike friendly city but out where I live things are far away. Short bike trips don't exist--oh yeah and the climbing. I have a new found understanding and respect for those that can go car free--it takes grit! Having to ride over 15 miles home back up into the foothills of Dog Mtn is work.

Southern foothills of Pusch Ridge.

I'll have to ride down and around the tip of the Ridge that you see there, ride on the other side to meet Boss Man at Ina and Oracle Rds right there at the Starbucks--as you can see, I have a few miles to go.

Oro Valley on La Canada riding South.

I'll make up some time by flying through Oro Valley. That up there is La Canada which is newly paved and will take me, with pristine bike lane, to Ina Rd. I'll turn East and then be a few miles from Ina and Oracle. In the picture above, you can see downtown Tucson to the far left hidden the the smog and dust.

That light up there is Ina and Oracle--one the busiest intersections in Tucson.

I meet up with Boss and the Starbucks is hoppin' with everyone getting coffee to go and sitting outside to take cell phone calls or check email in the sunshine of the patio before heading into the office.

The Boss can see that I'm pretty wiped-out, so we sit and relax awhile while I inhale three bagels and gulp down two tall Americanos. We have a few laughs and get caught up on things--what we're doing, plans for Christmas (I plan to be back to escape the snow) and mostly I get a chance to wake up.

Things are intense at this Starbucks because its busy and crowded. Boss, accustom to living in NYC is right at home. Since I've been living in KS, I'm used to hopping on the bike and being in Corn Flake Country within a few blocks!

Boss Man on the bike.

The Boss is a fearless, strong, and tough rider. Hot or cold does not phase him--traffic never bothers him. I just noticed how busy and fast everything was around me--after being on country roads where you see more deer and antelope and chickens on Old McDonald's farm than people. Here it seems you got to watch that some bimbo doesn't run you down pulling out of a McDonalds whilst stuffing Egg McFatGrease in their face.

Riding up Ina Rd at a good clip--here are the Catalina Foothills, mes amis.

Boss and I had our laughs and jokes--always the best riding with him. The coffee was just what I needed. The air was warming up and the morning beautiful. Boss and I put in some quick miles and then, alas, he had to run, and then get ready to head into his office at the U of A.

At the Starbucks, we talked a little bit about what happened early January last year--the shooting that took place at the Safeway there at Ina and Oracle. That's where Boss and his family shop. We rode past that location on all our training rides on the weekends, and I every day for years on my commute. I can't believe a year has almost gone by.

I could see the make-shift shrine from across the street while we had coffee--so on the way back to Dog Mtn, riding West on Ina at almost Oracle, I pulled over in the bike lane and took this quick photo. Its right off the road on the NE corner. This is a very busy intersection so I would not advise stopping too long.

Ina and Oracle.

These are the six who where killed that Saturday morning back in January. Click on the photo if you want to be able to read the names. Anyhow, Congresswoman Giffords had the same set up at the Safeway up in Rancho Vistoso where I shopped, and I met her in much the same way--on a weekend out riding my bike. I stopped to get water and she was buying a bag of ice. It was very common to see her staff setting up her greeting booths at the local Safeway stores in her district on the weekends.

Climbing back up to Dog Mtn!

Climbing--and its hot--and I gotta pee. Ten miles and two tall espresso drinks later--I have to see a man about a horse--

Jack Pot! I'm very glad this old guy was still here--one of the last things to get picked up from the road construction crews!

The Tortolita Range, the last leg on my ride back up to Dog Mtn.

I was lucky to have a tailwind on Moore road, mes amis! Now I'm making some time!

Mt. Lemmon behind me--I stop to take a parting look and photo for you. My hope is that I'm back here soon, and then one day climbing Mt. Lemmon with my friends.

I'll stop in for a quick lunch--I'm starved, plus when I get home there's more work to do around the house before I leave.

Such a big macho truck to haul around a Gringo with a small penis!

Big trucks like this, like in Kansas, are used for work on the farm--or by the Mexicans here, like in Kansas, used for work to earn a living. These kinds of trucks you see are not work trucks--they're driven by white guys that want the world to know how manly they are. These babies are expensive to drive around, and you need a disposable income to have one--like this guy who really didn't look like he did.

Almost home.

I have ridden almost 200 miles for the week. The weather has been perfect! Thanks for stopping by the blog!

Cheers! Bruce

No comments: