Monday, October 10, 2011

Tucson Vacation or Bury Me with My Bicycle

Back on Tucson roads for a week of cycling and visiting friends.

I arrived in Phx from KC on Saturday night and then took a quick shuttle to Tucson. Little Egypt, having just packed for deployment for a mission in Iraq, told me I was taking too much! So I re-packed and well, Gentle Readers of This Blog--I did not bring enough warm clothes for my journey. It was cold in the mornings as well as the evenings. When the Sun starts to go down, things cool down pretty fast.

35 miles from my house is the base of Mt. Lemmon, a route many of us know well...

First thing I do Sunday morning is walk up to the storage place to fetch the Grand Prix. We've been renting our place up in Dog Mtn, by the way, and we have some of our things in a storage unit just up the road. I left my 1977 Raleigh Super Grand Prix ready to ride if I came back for a visit, or to ride El Tour given the chance. There she was and all I needed to do was put a little air in tires and I was ready to roll, mes amis! Meeting a friend for an early lunch, I set out for our meeting place down at Ina and Oracle about 15 miles ride for me. Mt. Lemmon, The Stoic Old Man can be seen from quite a distance up ahead!

He's the saguaro for you, mes amis! Mornings are cold but the Sun warms you up pretty quick!

Entering Rancho Vistoso and there's Pusch Ridge with Oro Valley laying at the base.

I'll have to ride around the Ridge to meet my friend for my lunch date. My appetite is growing as large as this range, mes amis! I'm starving! and I need coffee too! I'll get a little speed going as I fly down from Dog Mtn and Rancho, but then I'll have to make the big climb back out of Oro Valley for the last leg.

The Northwest side of Tucson where I live still feels rural. Things are spread out. Fortunately the roads are pretty good and you can roll at a good pace.

La Canada! Pronounced "La Can Y'ought Ta" not "La Can ah Duh" he he he...

It has been many years under construction but La Canada is complete from Moore Road up in Dog Mtn, straight South all the way to Ina Rd--this is good for me because it's a straight shot with new roads and awesome new bike lane! For my ride to work, and for most of us Tucson Cyclists, we had twits and turns through side streets in Oro Valley to get down that far--car drivers had to do the same--so although there was a bike lane, it could get busy, crowded, and the pavement was beat up a long the way.

Traveling La Canada is a breeze, Gentle Readers of This Blog--I easily cruised down the bike lane at 22 mph. I was also lucky when a couple rode up beside me and they gave me some more detailed information about the new bike lanes in the city. I have to say as we chatted there we smiles all around because like most of us Tucson Cyclists we've been supporting and waiting for these kinds of routes for years.

This new road will be my life-line to my friends and my house up in Dog Mtn. I can get down into the city quickly, but of course going home will be mostly an up-hill slog for 15 miles. Every adventure I have this week will require the long climb back to Dog Mtn. I am grateful for the new safe and fast route. I'll be putting in the miles, mes amis.

Big Sexy on Super Grand Prix.

The Super rode like when I was taking her out on the hot muggy streets as a skinny punk-kid back in my Tulsa Days. Steel lugged but still light as a feather, I was comfortable and riding solid and fast! When that Glorious Day comes Gentle Readers of This Blog--Bury me with this Bicycle!

Cheers! Bruce


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your experiences. I am planning a week-long cycling trip to Tucson at the end of March...never visited. Any recommendations on the best side of town to stay for the best access to good roads for cycling? Sounds like you were on the NW side? Thanks!

Bruce's Bike Blog said...

Hey there! I would say one of the best places would be around the UofA area. That way you can do Saguaro Nat'l Park East--and West. You'll also want to ride Mt. Lemmon. Best to drive to the base and then ride up. If you search in my blog for Mt. Lemmon, Saguaro Nat'l Park, etc, I blog about those routes. Also, here's a few links to help you out:

Cheers! Bruce