Day 77: Tucson: Grampies Meet the Circus Bears - Grampies Go South - CycleBlaze

March 22, 2014

Day 77: Tucson: Grampies Meet the Circus Bears

Aunt Sophie is a wonderful friend. Here she is with Nipsy.

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To prepare for the next trip, we have been ordering replacement parts for the bikes and gear online. One thing we needed was new Ortlieb map holders, since the old ones have significantly yellowed in the sun over three years. Bikebagshop.com is our goto spot for things like this. They advertise on Crazyguy, which we like, and they have good selection and prices.

I was just about to push the button to complete our order for shipment to Seattle when I noticed that bikebagshop.com is in Tucson. In fact, they are not too far from where we are staying! So we hopped in the car and zoomed over. This is mainly a mailorder operation, but they do have a small storefront. There I drooled over the new, 6th generation Ortlieb handlebar bag - with much easier opening and closing. For $93, though, this convenience will have to wait.

The small storefront at bikebagshop.com
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Tucson, to our surprise, today showed some of the characteristics we most value in a city: walking streets and good bakeries. Walking streets came about as this is the weekend for the 44th incarnation of the 4th Ave street fair. Here, the street is closed, and high quality craft booths are set up for a distance of many blocks. There are hundreds and hundreds of vendors and very dense crowds.

We were lucky to hit the 4th ave street fair. 4th ave is a hip street in Tucson, near the University. This weekend it was closed to traffic for blocks
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Crowds at the street fair
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The Kokopelli theme is found in all sorts of art in the Southwest
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The French syntax of this poster is a little convoluted, but we like to see any bike related stuff anywhere.
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The ladies are snapping up the tie dyed gifts for new baby Joey!
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Mesquite fired, German quality BBQ, but too costly at $8.75 for a sausage!
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We could start collecting Gefahrs (warning signs)again, right here in Tucson.
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By far the highlight of the day came with an arranged meeting with David and Pearl Omick, the Circus Bears. David has done a number of rides in the past, usually of about 2500 km, but in 2011 with Pearl. the Circus Bears had ridden 6925 km from Oregon to Delaware, on Bike Fridays. At that time we almost ran into each other in Montana, and since had corresponded about Bike Friday topics.

We have found that through this website some people become so familiar that you feel you really know them although you have never met. Then it happens that you can meet, and no introductions are needed - you are already friends.

So it was with David and Pearl. They also had the brilliant proposal of meeting at Beyond Bread. This bakery is amazing. It has full quality baking. I got a sandwich on a baguette that would pass as great anywhere in the world!

At the bakery suggested by the Circus Bears
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Real bread!!
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The Grampies and the Bears have very much in common. Cousin Ronni came with us too. She has been following the bike trips closely and is a cyclist too. So this was another of those cycling get togethers that is so enjoyable. Unlike a meeting on the road, at Beyond Bread we had a nice outside table and all the iced coffee and food one could ever want. So no need to rush off. As a result we talked for three hours or more. Despite the fact that most everything is already recorded in these blogs, we could have talked another three had it not gotten late, dark, and cold!

The Grampies and the Bears unite.
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Three hours and still trading stories!
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We spent a lot of our three hours reminiscing about wonderful people we all have met on the road. This seems to be a theme with other cyclists as well. Though you set out with some physical destination as your goal, you end up mainly arriving at greater knowledge and understanding of people.

Certainly, cycling has brought us David and Pearl. That is something we will always treasure.

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