Today we headed out to ride with Bridget, a Seattleite who fell in love and moved to Tucson. She was thrilled to be able to talk about Capitol Hill, lakes, Cascade bike rides, and all things Northwest. We also got to meet her husband, Tony, as he joined us on what turned out to be a 48 mile ride for us. We rode to East Saguaro National Park, one of our favorite spots to ride here.
We caught up to them on the Aviation trail and wandered out to the park. Our riding styles were pretty well matched. Turns out that she’s doing volunteer IT work and some WordPress site management for a non-profit here, so she and Sheila had a lot to chat about. I pretty much am out of all conversations on the bike because of my hearing loss. Sheila does a good job of feeding me the pertinent bits over the tandem radio system we have.
We arrived at the park around 11:30. We were congratulating ourselves on having remembered to pack Sheila’s Senior Park Pass we bought in Wyoming. But when we got to the guard gate he wanted to see her ID. Oooops. We convinced him to take our tandem business card with its photo, plus Sheila’s business card. He let us in warning us to carry the driver’s license next time, as well as a warning about the first turn at the bottom of the hill!
There is an 8 mile loop in that park we’ve described before that is terrific. The first turn is at the bottom of a very steep downhill and is about a 130 degree turn. Tony said he’d gone off the road negotiating it one time. We were careful as can be. Problem is it is followed by a steep uphill. So it is always a challenge to take as much speed as is safe to get up the other side. We were feeling pretty sassy, so we really attacked and made it. There are a whole string of ups and downs (or should I say: downs and ups) that benefit from generating lots of speed. We love that part of the loop. Then there is a long (1.5 mile?) hill on the backside which completely took the wind out of our sails. Payback. But then there are more rollers, tending downhill, so it’s back to fun stuff.
Speaking of fun stuff, Bridget and Tony met on that loop. Bridget (on vacation from Seattle) was in the process of doing 9 laps of the loop (!) to make up for missing a long road ride when Tony caught up to her. They did 5 laps together. He then loaned her a better bike to replace the mountain bike she had been riding for the rest of her stay in Tucson. One thing led to another and now they’re together. An appropriate story for February.
After the park we went to their home for a snack and a rest. Then Sheila and I bid them adieu and headed back toward downtown Tucson. Our goal was to get to Lovin Spoonful, a vegan restaurant which serves milkshakes. MMMmmmm. 10 miles later we were sitting on their porch sipping our shakes and nibbling our French fries. Of course, we had to then ride another 3-4 miles back to Steve’s and Patricia’s house. But we’re home, well-fed, and looking forward to dinner out with our hosts. Nothing like sitting outside by the bubbling fountain surrounded by fabulous southwest plants and sculptures while we blog and relax.