Riding the entire Loop! - Forty Two Miles A Day And Going Nowhere. - CycleBlaze

December 27, 2020

Riding the entire Loop!

I’ve seen quite a few people exercising their dogs in the wash, but this is the first horse.
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This would be a better photo with the sun directly overhead.
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My guide, Sharon.
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I had a grand ride today. Perhaps too grand. Our days are counting down until we go back to cold, snowy Colorado. I totally appreciate the irony that people go to Colorado to ski in the winter and I want to escape. Jacinto is planning to snowshoe when we go home and I'm sure I will join  him, but the truth is that bicycling is my sport and my major fun. I'm still having fun here! I don't want to go home! Cue my inner two year old in full tantrum mode.

I departed an hour early this morning, at 9 AM, in honor of riding so many miles. There were few cyclists out and more walkers. I did not see an 'interesting' bike until mile 10, when I saw a trike. Total today, I saw one Elliptigo, two recumbents, and a bunch of trikes. I saw a yellow long recumbent with a fairing across the wash that sure looked like it should be AD Carson - but he's supposed to be home in snowy Milwaukee. 

A big piece of what made my ride so fun today was a chance encounter with another cyclist. As I was passing a woman, I asked if her matching backpack and gloves (teal colored), were on purpose or by chance. She laughed and said that it was by chance, but it's her favorite color. As a fact, they had just redone their kitchen with teal colors. Sharon and I ended up riding together for 20 miles. She guided me through some of the tricky parts of the loop (lucky me). Sharon retired this year from teaching science, although they talked her into doing some online teaching. Our two hour ride covered many topics. I was surprised at how quickly the miles went. Sharon rides her bicycle to go birding 5-6 days a week. She likes the app - E birds - to see where the hot spots are to locate birds. Her large, bulky back pack contained her camera for serious bird shooting. Scott, it's too bad you weren't with me today. Sharon assured me that you probably already know about the app she uses. She says there's plenty of good birding in the area.  Sharon got me almost to Ajo Way, through a couple of tricky spots. She tried to talk me through the next section, but I promptly went the wrong way on Ajo. Why are we not surprised. I turned around easily enough and then went the wrong way in a little park. That would have worked out ok, as the paths come back together again. That little park is where I saw the homeless man last year and I couldn't figure my way out of the park and I got scared and never went that far down that piece of the path again. This time, I was able to correct my mistake. I ended up on the interstate side of the wash and it seemed as if there were more homeless people on this side of the wash. The underpasses on this side are more narrow and rougher than on the west side. I had ridden the west side a few days earlier, clear down to Valencia. I'd suggest taking the west side for better path quality and comfort level if you are riding alone. 

Once I was sure I knew where I was, I stopped to eat my most anticipated apple. Where was it? There's not much in my pannier for a day ride. How could my apple be missing. Wait. I could visualize it sitting on the table, ready to be loaded on my bicycle . . .  .darn and double darn. I'd already eaten a Cliff bar. I didn't want more of that. I decided on a Perpetuum tablet as an apple substitute. Of all days to forget my apple! 

I was ticking the miles away in a pleasantly fast manner. There were many cyclists out now that weather had warmed up. The blue skies had disappeared under a sea of clouds. I felt strong until the last couple of miles before the motel. Then I got a little hot foot and was ready to arrive. I've been making it a habit to pass the motel and ride to the closed path construction sign, which gives me two extra miles. Today I came straight to the room. My apple wasn't waiting on the table. Jacinto must have put it back in the fridge.

I had a great ride. I was planning to ride the loop just once, but I might ride it again before we leave. I didn't get as lost as I expected. Partially because Sharon was guiding for 20 miles and I only had to follow. I'm sure my next ride won't be as fun without someone to talk to. 

I'm doing very well on my goal of 7,000 miles for the year. I have only 148 miles to ride over the next four days. I'm totally on task! 

Can I stay here until March? I know riding would get old and part of what is making this so fun is knowing that I'm riding all of these enjoyable miles in late December. But, damned if I'm not having a good time!

Today's ride: 55 miles (89 km)
Total: 435 miles (700 km)

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Scott AndersonCongratulations! And thanks for the tip about eBird. I’ve never seen it before, but I see a few spots I’ll need to check out.
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1 year ago
Steve McallisterI really miss riding my weekly trip around the loop. Not enough time for me to do it at the moment.
Pardon me if I'm repeating myself, regarding directionaly challenged, I remember that in certain cultures there is no reference to left or right. Instead they use a version of N, S, E, W, based on the sun or landmarks.

Maybe instead of thinking of a left or right turn, think of a turn to the north, south, east, west. I tend to think that way myself from my many years of backpacking in the wilderness.
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1 year ago
Kelly IniguezSteve

I thought if you multiple times yesterday!

One cue from ridewithgps said to turn at the Pizza Hut. That is the only time in all of these years they’ve give. Such a cue. It was easy though!
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1 year ago