Monday, November 20, 2017

Hike, House, Bike

Yesterday was a glorious day.  We drove up to the Tortolitas at Dove Mountain.  It’s always interesting how different the terrain is about 15 miles north of the Tucson Mountains.  I like the big round rocks at Dove Mountain, they don’t hurt as bad as the local pointy rocks.




This is one of our favorite cacti.


This guy has a lot going on.  It was a nice hike.  There is a lot of up and down and up and down.  I love that area.  If the Ritz Carlton would put in an RV park on their grounds, we’d be relocating rapidly to the north.


Then we went an looked at a house.  We still can not articulate what problem would be solved with the purchase of a house, but this was worth checking out.  It’s interesting architecturally.


However, this is the main selling point.  It’s a salt water pool, and it’s just lovely.  The land behind the house is a preserve and will never be developed.

moon 2

Isn’t this a great outdoor living space?  I could be very happy on the patio.  And yet, we hesitate.  It might have something to do with the giant barking dog next door.  One thing we’ve learned is that most residential swimming pools are not heated.  People who live here year round use them in the summer, and then not in the winter.  Unless we’re willing to commit to living here full time, the pool is kind of pointless.  I think we’re still climate refugees, not willing to suffer the extremes of summer and winter.  So, no exit plan for us at this time.

moon 3

Good news!  I was wrong.  The giant pit next to the bike trail is not the apartment pit.  That pit is one block over from the trail.  It’s the excavation for the new regional headquarters for Caterpillar.  The Rio Nuevo improvement Project and some other development agencies put in money to encourage them to relocate here.  It’s an economically depressed part of Tucson, so bringing in well paying jobs will be a good thing.  You can read about the project here and here.


This was a landfill between 1920 and 1960.  They’re digging it up and taking in to a different landfill so that construction can begin.


We had a pretty good sunset tonight.  Too bad I cut the top of the palm tree off.


Other than this maties, I have nothing to report.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

El Tour de Tucson

Today was the Tour de Tucson, also known as The Day When You Can Not Drive Any Where Because Traffic is so Snarled.  It’s a ride around the perimeter of the city held every year. There are a lot of road closures in all parts of Tucson.  I felt bad for the people trapped in traffic.  It’s the weekend before Thanksgiving, they need to go shopping and they’re in bicycle induced gridlock.  Unlike 2013, the weather was perfection.  It was in the mid-70s with light breezes.  Jim and I rode up the trail awhile.

This is new in Tucson.  It’s TuGo, a bike share program.  Unlike the bike shares in the Seattle area, bikes must be returned to a docking station.  Seattle lets you leave the bike anywhere you want.  People frequently abuse that policy by putting them in trees, or the middle of a sidewalk.  It will be interesting to see how well this works.  It’s $8 for a day pass, but you can only have the bike for thirty minutes at a time.  If you over run the thirty minute time frame, then it’s $4 for another thirty minutes. It seems sort of expensive to me, but I have zero knowledge of these systems.  The payment algorithm seems stupid as well.


We stood on Congress for awhile watching the Tour go by.  A local man won this year with help from the P&S Group.  They are a really good team from Hermosillo.  Apparently the top two finishers this year had P&S riding tempo for them.  The two local guys and P&S swept the top six positions. 


This is part of the course.  It runs across a wash.  The sand is very deep, people have to dismount and run until they get to the bottom of the hill on the far side.  If I were to ever do this ride, I would leave the course rather than do this.  The kid in the picture was on a mountain bike and he could not make it through.


The cue for the turn.


The course this year was different.  I will give the organizer credit for the fact that they changed the route so that no one would have to ride across the tracks of the Modern Street Car.  The tracks are deep and have caused a lot of falls since its inception.  Having groups of fast movers going across tracks would have resulted in injuries. 

We’re feeling much better about things now that it is not so dang hot!  It’s much nicer to do the bike or the hike when one’s flesh is not sizzling.

Friday, November 17, 2017

As Seen From the Cat Mountain Trail

There is nothing like an uphill trail to let you know what kind of shape you’re in.  Nevertheless, it was a spectacular walk in the desert.






That’s it!  That’s all I’ve got.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Weather, Construction and Car Crashes

Yee hah!!!!!!!!!!  It is hot!  It’s still hitting 89 degrees in the afternoon.  We’re having to be up and out early for the biking.

The weather has been spectacular, other than the hot-ness.


One of my favorite churches in Tucson.


This is taken along the Santa Cruz Trail.  Yet another giant apartment building is going in.  We’re not happy about this many people locating within feet of the trail.  The UofA students in the high rise dorms have a distressing habit of dropping beer bottles on the mosque next door to them.  One hopes that there will be no balconies over looking the trail.


This is going to be enormous.


Here is Jim at the restrooms and ride turn around.  We started off riding the mountain bikes because they’re heavy (more work) and stable, but we’re going back to the road bikes.  Rolling resistance on those tires is just brutal.  Once again it’s going to be a long slog back to any level of fitness.


This is why you don’t immediately enter an intersection after a light turns green in Tucson.  Since the state took the red light cameras down, red light running has just become rampant.  There are a lot of accidents due to people failing to yield right of way.  This was just outside of the RV park, on Mission Road.


The SUV is a total loss.


Notice that the air bag deployed. 


Traffic was backed up forever.  It takes awhile for wreckers to arrive on scene in the city limits.  Generally, unless it’s a blocking accident or someone is hurt, police will not respond to crashes.  It’s on you, the motorist, to get enough photos to convince your insurance company that it wasn’t your fault.

Anyway, since the traffic was so horrible, Jim gave up on going out for a hair cut.  Since he was looking totally wolfy, I took a 4 blade to his head.  It doesn’t look all that bad.