A late afternoon and the setting soon highlights Blackett's Ridge. I signed up for a group ride and it was great to not have to wear a jacket but a bolt fell from my cycling shoe and....
....the cleat would not disengage from the pedal. I had to quit the ride, ride home and then I had a heck of a time pulling my right foot from my shoe. My plant foot was my left and while leaning against it, I struggled to untie my right shoe. Finally did...whew.
Returning home...oh! There is the bolt.
The wash entertainment continues, lol.
With the return to normal temperatures, cycling is ramping up!
I was driving and encountered this sad scene. A motorcyclist was T-boned by a car.
The rain has spurred growth. Glad this is not my front yard but if I didn't stay after it, it would, ha, ha.
Check this out! For $49.00, highly rated and I can confirm it works well. There are numerous small branches nearby that I had been cutting into fire place lengths using a hand saw. Plus, we can take it camping so when I drag branches from the wilderness, I can easily cut them.
The washes remain a source of entertainment.
After our windy ride on Monday, we were beset by more wind and it just makes cycling less than enjoyable. If I was visiting for a week I'd ride because it's not unridable weather but the 70's and 80's delayed so far, will be upon us soon.
Well, ok, one of the days was kinda unridable as we hiked around Sabino Canyon, in a light rain.
And our strange winter/early spring gets stranger and stranger. A guy hiking in a hot dog costume, became lost and had to be rescued by SAR. What the heck?
Parking lots are full at our area hiking trail heads. I'm back at Sabino Canyon to do my favorite, 2 mile loop hike.
So much enjoy the views.
The light is just right that it illuminates a deeper portion of the mine. I carefully walk in, scanning the sides especially where a snake could be. Being alone, I can't talk a companion into probing deeper, lol.
Amy and I do a short, recovery ride through the 49er development. This is the development having the grand Halloween displays but only a few homes have decorated for St. Patrick's Day.
Dozens of cycling camps and clubs have arrived this month. Everyone wants a crack at Mount Lemmon. I wish the temperatures were warmer for them and us.
On Monday, winds were again unusually strong so we decided to head directly south into the head wind and then finally, at mile 20, reverse course and enjoy ferocious tail winds. That half of the ride was enjoyable.
The snow melt is slowing and the run-off is diminishing at my favorite wash crossing.
We experienced a week of normal weather and just like that, it was gone. Rain passed through just as the sun was setting, behind the largest Joshua trees I've seen in the area.
I've had a naive view of weeds in southern AZ. I assumed a combination of the climate and maybe landscape fabric kept them at bay but NO! They grow as vigorously as they do in the midwest, a shocking and unpleasant surprise. I don't know the names of the various varieties but a landscape guy told me one is called the "bottle rocket" because it shoots up. Unfortunately, I'm plagued with a bunch of them. Still, there is something satisfying when the weed is pulled with roots as I soldier on in my battle.
As system after system moves through southern CA, each may not bring rain as to CA but they all bring wind. If only we could appeal to someone to return our weather to normal, lol.
Post rain, the views are always incredible.
For entertainment purposes, I revisit a nearby wash to look for stuck vehicles but none were there today. So, what does one do on rainy days....
....be it in the midwest or in AZ, all floors and furniture need attended as Jack watches me work.
We drove to Oro Valley and parked at the Ina/Oracle Road intersection. Got on our bikes and headed west with a brief stop to regroup. Nice view of Panther and Sombrero peaks from this perspective.
We rode up and over Rattlesnake Pass. Traffic was very heavy, much more so than a few years ago. Turning around, I could see why as development is booming out here. Not having much of a berm too was unpleasant.
We stopped at a new Quick Trip!!! My favorite gas station and this one, at I-10 and Twin Peaks is in a good location for refueling stops. Amy, being a amateur nutritionist, examines the back of a package, letting me know next time, I ought to buy something else.
We finished with 40 miles. The next day, I did the unthinkable....
....I joined a group ride on a day that was surely going to be wet. Again, this was on the west side which has several roads with short but steep climbs. As we headed back east, the rain arrived and for the first time in a long time, I was soaked by the time I got to my car. Our very weird winter weather continues.
I parked in the overflow lot so I could access my favorite, short loop hike in Sabino Canyon. An artist was in the early stages of a water color.
Lots of people out, fueled by great weather and spring breakers.
The ocotillo don't yet have their red blooms but close.
This 2+ mile loop is a favorite because the views are awesome, it doesn't take long to hike it and my lower joints don't get beat up so I can ride the following day. In the distance, I see the Phoneline trail about half way up the slope.
I descend from the high point of the route, through a narrow ravine, return to my SUV and head home.
I returned to Tanque Verde Loop Road to see if anyone else was stuck. Why, yes, yes indeed. The water has receded enough I was able to walk a ways out there to, in a very nice way, ask, "WTF were you thinking?" He thought he could make it across, of course. Less than a mile distant, there is a road that parallels this one having a bridge that crosses the wash.
Apparently, this happens often enough that someone created this sign, stating that for $75 and a 20 minute wait time, help could be on the way.
Most glaringly stupid though was the guy had to get out of his truck, push two barriers aside in order to try to make the run through the wash.
I've had, for me recently, a big week of cycling. If I went out on Sunday for only 13 miles, I'd top 150 miles for the week. So, off I went and spent most of the miles in the 49er subdivision where I saw something I have not seen since an Ohio visit!!!
The poppies are blooming!
And the snow is receding. Today's high was in the upper 70's...yeehaw.
The warmth brings the snakes. This non venomous guy was laying on the road, quite lethargic so I scooted him off the road, safe for another day.
I created a 41 mile route on "Ride with GPS" that Amy, sister Tracy and I followed. Afterwards, Amy noted the shape of the route and dubbed it the title of this post.
We passed this on the climb via "Hacienda del Sol" Road. I have no idea what this is.
We lingered at a CVS to refuel and each of our bikes leaned against a column. I went inside to buy a drink and managed to miss the "Checkout Nazi" who on my last visit, harangued me about standing behind a line as a person ahead of me was grabbing a receipt and departing. What would we do without the "Karens" of the world? I looked at the Karen with a contemptuous look and refused to move. I don't much tolerate stupid people, lol.
The route is quite hilly as I continue to amp up my distance and now climbing. I'm making progress with my cycling fitness, very slowly but kind of surely. Our temperatures have reached the mid to upper 70's and I suppose I should do the Mount Lemmon climb soon. Ugh....it just takes a bunch of mental, rather than physical, effort and I'm kinda short in that regard.
My silly blog used to be solely about those wondrously populated, central Ohio group rides originating out of New Albany and Canal Winchester. Crowds up to 90 cyclists would come out and within those groups, some interesting characters like "Muscle Dude", "Crazy George", "Group Killer", etc... Then the blog became a mix of fabulous hiking scenes with some ride reports. I'd like to provide you with hiking pics but for now, and it is temporary, I'm sticking with cycling and the reduced opps for grand images. OK, the cycling images aren't bad like this one from Kolb Road looking south. Amy and I got out for a 40 mile, hilly ride today.
The next day, I jumped in with the Cactus Club group ride.
I bugged out of the group after the climb up Twin Peaks and continued solo, for 35 miles. Then....
...a Buckeye sweatshirt arrived for Amy.
I drove around the corner to check, again, the Tanque Verde Loop Road wash crossing to see if we could ride through but not yet. Meantime, more stupid drivers attempt to cross. The odd thing, the driver of the vehicle on the right, attempted to cross after seeing the vehicle on the left, stuck. Geesh.
At last, typical southern AZ weather has returned. The forecast looks great and the snow line is rapidly retreating.
Amy and I headed west on a hilly route which included a 3 mile climb via El Camino Del Cerro.
Of course, the nice tradeoff of a long climb is the descent as we return on our 34 mile ride.
Ha, ha, a quick visit to the wash that crosses Tanque Verde Loop Road. Not one but two vehicles stuck and a guy standing on a sand bar, calling for help I suppose. Our day time highs have returned to the normal range of low to mid 70's and my mood, which has always been tied way to closely to the weather, is again in great shape!
It's as if all of our unusually cool, windy, wet weather was leading up to what we awoke to on Wednesday morning. This being only my 4th winter here, it's easy to state I've never seen this before but a lot of longtime locals were saying the same thing. Note the cups on the Mexican Fenceposts. It's advised to do this to prevent frost damage. Jack seems perplexed by his changed surroundings.
The outdoor fireplace with snow on the wood. I was anxious to see how my surroundings appeared so headed out.
I'm glad I got out to see scenes that I likely will never see again.
I checked out the scene at the base of Mount Lemmon. Only on Monday had the road to Summerhaven and Ski Valley reopened after the last round of snow and now, again closed. Almost 100" of snow has accumulated this season, up there.
Wow, snow clinging to saguaros.
And now for the next stage, the passing of the clouds to get a look at the peaks.
Another system arrives, another round of precipitation but the snow line.....
....whoa, is moving down. Won't last but a few hours at the above elevation but still.
Amy sends me shopping but for items I've never previously purchased. Almond milk, ok taste is not bad but which to buy? Usually, each grocery visit requires a call for clarification. lol.
We had two days where the temperature was again below normal but warm enough (50 degree start...brrr) to get out for a 25 mile ride with the Santa Ritas in the distance and....
....the Catalinas in the other direction with a crested saguaro on the left side of the pic.
Next day, I rode 37 miles to the west where saguaros heavily populate the surrounding hills. And then, maybe our last blast of cold air arrived and wow, something I've never seen before. More to come.