I drive south for an hour to Amado, AZ where the forecast is dry. Sure enough, I soon can see blue sky while in Tucson, it rained considerably.
Twenty of us parked in front of the closed, Cow Palace restaurant. I'd like to have seen it in action when it was open. As we waited for the 9am, 50 degree start, several of us were shivering and it began to lightly rain. I couldn't recall the last time I started a ride with these circumstances. Surely in Ohio.
Our destination was Arivaca. The road is in great shape, winding and mostly climbing to the town. My clothing decisions were made while I was shivering in the parking lot. At about mile 10, with the sun out, I was aflame so to speak. At mile 12, I'd had enough and bade farewell to the group. Turning, I had a strong tail wind and enjoyed that, finishing with 25 miles.
Nearing Amado, I stopped to take this image. A lot going on here. The entrance to Longhorn Restaurant with the distinctive skull. To the left of the water tank is Elephant Head and farther right Mt. Hopkins and Mount Wrightson. Of course, the clouds add quite a bit to the image.
Driving north, I had many good looks at the Catalinas, between cloud breaks. Snow had fallen on Mount Lemmon but by the time the clouds move on, the snow had melted. More of that coming this week though.
The neighborhood that goes "goo-goo" for Halloween displays doesn't put as much effort for Thanksgiving but I thought this was a creative use of what had been up since early October.
I drive to Aqua Caliente trailhead, one of the few that allow dogs. Jack was happy as he patiently waited for me to gather my gear.
It's a beautiful area but the first mile is almost all climbing and Jack....
....needed a break after the first 1/2 mile. I had not thought to bring water and a bowl for him so began to worry that with all his panting, he'd need a drink. We turned around and.....
....ran into this woman who also had a dog named Jack.
The following day, I signed up for a group ride and began the drive, about an hour south, where it was not supposed to rain. More to come on that story.
Look at the length of those horns with a Ford 8N tractor alongside for size reference. This is Woodland Ave, bordered by numerous horse farms/stables and all kinds of animals.
I joined the Cactus Club's group ride in Oro Valley. It was a beautiful day but the start time was a point of discussion, pre-ride, because at 8:30, it was 54 degrees! That coupled with the fact the route started with a screaming descent, made for a cold start but we warmed quickly,
Amy worked tirelessly to prepare for a Thanksgiving meal with 8 of us but then one couple came down with some virus and we had to pull a couple of chairs. We thought to take a post meal pic but forgot to take one with the food and guests. Too bad.
The morning of, I was out running an errand when the "Cyclefit" group ride came by on their annual, Thanksgiving group ride. I'd say around 50 cyclists participated as I have at times. The owner of the Cyclefit bike shop requires that you buy a new kit each year to qualify for the rides. After 3 years of doing so, I suggested that rather than buy another kit, how about setting a bike shop minimum purchase amount as an alternative qualification. He had just opened a new shop and surely could use the sales but he refused the idea. Really dumb. We're not going to support a shop if they don't permit us to join the group rides.
OK, not a lot but over 3 days, we received 0.26". As always, the lingering clouds create dramatic images in the surrounding mountains. Have I already stated that our road, finally, at last will be repaved in early December? If not, it is. I ran into a couple of city workers today and asked if they had changed their mind but no, definitely going to be repaved.
A couple out walking a couple of donkeys or burros...who knows! Jack was uninterested as we walked by.
We got out for a 35 mile ride in Oro Valley and I finished the week with 127 miles. Need more.
The cooler evenings allow us to build a fire in the outdoor fireplace. To be sure, I do check the temp of the bottom of my shoes to make sure they are not melting.
Happy Beaujolais Nouveau day! A neighbor puts on a very nice party each year to celebrate and kicks in 20+ bottles for those of us privileged enough to get an invite. Hors d'oeuvres are included too!!! Amy doesn't drink much wine but that's ok, I try to make up for it so the host doesn't get stuck with full bottles, lol.
The return of the snow birds has swelled our group size as 25 come out for a ride around Oro Valley.
The front range of the Catalinas as we finish our 35 mile route with a 17.1 avg.
Still strange to me that in mid November, everything is still flowering. No grey & gloom in southern AZ.
And so, one of the items I did not think I'd ever live to see. Our road, surely one of the worst in Pima County comprised of nothing but patches on top of patches, will be repaved.
A low pressure light popped on. I ignored it for a few days because walking around the SUV, I saw nothing amiss with the tires. I eventually stopped at a Discount Tire where they checked and filled the tires. I gave the guy a tip as I always do and asked what percent tip him. About 1 in 10! Cheapskates! The low pressure light did not extinguish so now what?
Another beautiful sunrise as I drive an unusually long time of 90 minutes to....
....Arivaca to join the Cactus Cycling group for a never previously ridden route to Sasabe and the US border. Quaint little town as 14 of us gather for a simple route, west 12 miles on Arivaca Road then south 12 miles on St. Rt. 86. I got in with the front group of 6 and arrived at #86 with a 21.7 average. Full disclaimer, this portion was mostly downhill and down wind.
We regrouped at the southward leg. The intensity of the first 12 miles exceeded that to which I have subjected myself for awhile so I joined a 2nd group of 3 people. It was a strange southbound leg because there were a series of hills and at the top of each, the next hill was higher, than higher again and on and on. Anyway, we arrived in Sasabe and proceeded a short distance to the boarder.
We hung out for awhile in front of a lone, reasonably stocked market. A few people went to the border with their passports and despite being warned how dangerous was the area beyond, went through. However, they stayed only long enough to have their pic taken in front of a welcoming sign and then quickly returned.
Baboquivari Peak in the distance on the Tohono O'odham reservation. That is a worthy hiking destination. For those of us who declined the border crossing, we enjoyed the 12 mile return to Arivaca Road. I arrived there, at mile 36 with a 19mph average but again, my endurance was not up to continuing at the pace so I bugged out and waited for the border crossers. The final 10 miles was mostly uphill and into the wind. My rear end was in agony so had to stop a couple of times, lol. I need more time on the bike. Finished with 48 miles and a 17.6avg.
I watch OSSU games in my office because I can simultaneously watch the game and monitor fan comments/reactions on a 2nd large screen. For the Rutgers game, Amy was a good sport and came in to watch the 1st quarter. Jack appears indifferent about it all.
OK, the last of the Halloween images. I think this display won the award for best decoration. What you see is a small part of the entire presentation.
Although this one was good too and now with this holiday past us.....
....the neighborhood turns to the next holiday.
Meantime, I got out for a ride in the Foothills on a glorious, warm day in November.
Table Mountain in the middle. Many wonderful adventures climbing to the top of that. I still don't have the hiking itch though. Probably soon.
Wow! A moisture free system came through and brought 3 straight days of winds in the 15-25mph range. So, while the temperature was perfect, the wind kept us off our bikes. What to do, what to do.....
...hike! I drove to the end of Speedway to the Douglas Springs trailhead, which is within Saguaro East NP. Lot of saguaros here.
In the distance, I saw the above feature, a ravine with a lot of rock slabs. That could be a fun climb but would the trail pass near it?
Why yes! I left the trail, walked a bit on a wash that led to this. And it was a fun, boulder hopping climb. I came to a wall about 4' high, scrambled up it and....
....turned to have a good view of the Catalinas.
I climbed about 75% of the way up the ravine and examined what remained. It looked doable but decided to come back on a day when water is tumbling down to add to the scenery and bring Amy too. She's a fan of bouldering.