Sonoita - Tucson Airport - I'm Happy To Be Here - CycleBlaze

December 5, 2021

Sonoita - Tucson Airport

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Today has been a day! Cutting to the end, I am sitting in the airport, waiting to fly home. There were many goings on in the middle!

Jan said there were more drunks in the common area last night. I slept right through it. That surprised me, as I’m a light sleeper. 

I had few hopes for breakfast, beyond yogurt. When Jan went for coffee, she said the bananas were gone. However, there is a fold down buffet that I wasn’t aware of. Inside was a microwave and oatmeal! 

I had also saved last night’s hamburger to eat as a snack today. Jan was horrified I planned to carry it. She remarked that Jacinto has rubbed off on me. 

I had yogurt and oatmeal for breakfast. I supplemented with my own pecans for protein. I filled my bottles and squeezed all of the tires. Jan’s front tire felt softer than yesterday. I debated saying something to her. She had already said she didn’t want to know. I would imagine right before departure would be a good time to know?

Jan has CO2 cartridges, at $5. Each to fill her tires. I have a Road Morph Pump that I can get to 60 psi. Jacinto can get it to 80 psi, which is all I need. Jan’s tires take 100 psi. 

Jan said she was going to ride on the tire as is, and be careful. 

I talked to a couple of quail hunters. One man said you have no chance at all if you don’t have dogs. Another man (with a dog), said there weren’t many birds. It’s a limit of eight birds a day, but as much as 15 of a different type. 

Two wives stayed behind in the common area, comparing headaches from the night before. It must have been them Jan heard last night. 

I wore tights every day the first part of the trip. This second round, I’ve worn shorts every day. 

We were out the door 15 minutes early, at 9:15. 

This trip we are following Jacinto’s route on Old Sonoita Highway. That would get us off of Highway 83 a few miles early. 

Traffic was light and polite to start. The shoulder wasn’t as wide as I remembered. We both rode to the left as much as possible. 

The Border Patrol was at mile 8.5. We were waved right through. An agent on the side yelled at me to have a good ride. 

There was a significant, long climb after the check point. Jan and I regrouped at the top. I commented on how little traffic there was compared to last Sunday. Perhaps because this isn’t a holiday weekend? A weekday ride would be even better. 

Jan said she was going to go slow on the downhill. That’s a good idea with an under inflated tire that has threads showing on the sidewalls and cracks all over. 

Jan went 15-18 mph down the marked 6%/4 mile long grade. I’m not a fast downhiller, but I go faster than that! I stopped a couple of times to give her more distance. 

The next time I caught up with her, she wryly commented that traffic picked up as soon as I said it was light. I agree. 

There were only 2-3 trains of multiple vehicles. One had a rough  looking maroon car on the end. It had Idaho plates that said FASTER. The quality of the car didn’t match the wording on the plate. That car honked at both of us. Sigh. 

Jan stopped for me at the turn onto the old highway. She had the idea to top her tire off with my pump. I told Jan, it was all on her. I knew I didn’t have the arm strength to go to 100 psi. 

She did a good job,  getting the tire to finger pinch hardness. Neither of us could read the small numbers on the gauge. 

We saw two cyclists, not together, confirming this was a good cycling road. We were just a couple of miles down the road, when Jan stopped, saying she could hear something thumping. The tube was sticking out of the front tire! I wanted to get a photo, but it blew with a BLAM first. 

We were just  regrouping when one of the cyclists came back. He stopped to check on us. The man offered to ride home and get his truck, but added that he had an appointment soon.  Jan thanked him and said we had a plan.  

The plan was for her to walk and hopefully get a ride to the interstate. I would ride to the parking and get her car. Then come back for her. 

Ridewithgps said that it would take me 1 hour 54 minutes to get to the cars. We only had 22 miles in at this point. Jan put her sandals on, the better to walk with, and I got riding. 

I concentrated on pedaling. Then I reminded myself to look around. It’s a shame to not enjoy a 3,000 foot downhill. 

I even forgot to be concerned about navigating the new piece of the route. It was no problem, happily. If you look at the map for today, and the map for the first time I did this ride, you will see the first trip I stayed on the highway longer, and took a left on the Sahuarita Highway. This trip we went right on Old Sonoita Highway. Overall, I feel this second version has better riding/less traffic. 

I noted a Hampton Inn near Houghton Road that I had considered as a good location for starting a loop tour to the south.  I wonder if they would not charge for parking, not being close to the airport. I was soon back on Rita Road and familiar territory. 

It took some effort to resist, but I did not take a photo of my favorite gate style art work over Julian Wash bike path. I stopped at the potty, and got my apple out to eat. 

Eight more miles. I was at the parking in no time. It didn’t feel like a real tour finish, as I still had to sort my gear, load my bike, and find Jan. All of this with the pressure of needing to make a plane flight at 6:30 PM. 

Jan had texted that she got a ride with the second car who passed her, a woman with two children. Jan said that seemed safe. The woman also stated safety concerns, saying her husband probably wouldn’t be happy she stopped, but how dangerous could a female cyclist be?

Jan was waiting under the shady trees near Walmart on Houghton. The lady had given her a recommendation for Luckie’s Thai/Asian Food next to Fry’s Grocery on Houghton. We ate there. My ginger broccoli beef was extra good. It might have been the ginger. It also might have been all of the fresh air and riding!

That was our celebration dinner. No drinks or final toasts, just gulping our food down so I could make my flight. 

This has been an unexpected finish to my Arizona tour. I haven’t toured solo  with anyone besides Jacinto in many years. It’s exhausting to be with someone 24 hours a day. It doesn't have anything to do with personality issues. Jan and I get along just fine. I need alone time to recharge my batteries. Even when Jacinto and I tour together, we still ride separately. I wouldn't mind touring solo with someone, if I could have my own room at night. Or, if rooming together, riding separately in the daytime. Oren and I had a riding system I enjoyed. We rode within eyesight, and took breaks together. We haven't ridden together since the pandemic. I am hoping 2022 will be our year.

I had fun, and would tour with Jan again, or someone else. I would also figure out how to get some ‘me’ space. 

I’m off for two weeks at home. Then we come back for Christmas vacation. The van and bicycles will be waiting for us at the airport parking. We have a two week Airbnb reserved. I will not do a journal for that trip. It’s hard to write an interesting journal when not changing locations.  

Thank you for following along with me!

Sonoita sunset.
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Sonoita sunrise.
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Quail hunting dog. The owner told me the breed, but I immediately forgot.
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Scenery today.
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Scenery closer to Tucson.
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The Wheele’s foam tire had four goat head stickers. I was relieved we wouldn’t have to patch them!
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Sunrise
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Today's ride: 49 miles (79 km)
Total: 613 miles (987 km)

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Comment on this entry Comment 14
Bill ShaneyfeltBeen a good tour! Thanks for playing around in AZ again and sharing the photos!
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1 month ago
Wayne EstesI enjoyed reading. Not exactly a match made in heaven. Did you share motel rooms every night? Did the tire look okay when you started?
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1 month ago
marilyn swettI've enjoyed following you our your 2 tours. I agree with you on touring with someone other than your husband. Even on this trip, I've been happy I brought my own bike so I could get some 'alone' time! You still should still do a journal of your Xmas trip - you never know what you'll see and do out there!
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1 month ago
Kelly IniguezTo Bill ShaneyfeltBill,

Thank you - you might be horrified at how many times you were on my mind during the day, as I looked around for something to photograph for you!

Kelly
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1 month ago
Kelly IniguezTo Wayne EstesWayne,

I can see a real disadvantage here to living with someone who does all of the bicycle mechanic work, and to always doing supported tours with a mechanic. Jan was quite concerned before we left about having any sort of mechanical issue.

I specifically asked about tires. She said she held up her wheels to the camera while speaking to her husband on Zoom. Via Zoom, he declared the tires good. That's a difficult way of assessing tire quality.

We did share a room every night and rode close together every day. It was okay for four days. As much as I like to talk, as I also like to rest my voice!

It was an interesting experience, definitely not my typical tour.

Kelly
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1 month ago
Wayne EstesTo Kelly IniguezDidn't it drive Jan crazy to go at your pace? I think her tire would be fine at 60 psi as long as she avoided giant potholes.
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1 month ago
Kelly IniguezTo Wayne EstesWayne,

Speed was definitely discussed multiple times before and during our tour. I fully expected and encouraged her to ride ahead. She steadfastly maintained that her racing days are over and that I'm not as slow as I think.

She has 700 wheels, with 110 PSI typical, although she'd been inflating to 100 PSI recently. 60 is a long way from 100.
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1 month ago
Mike AylingThanks for another interesting journal, Kelly.
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1 month ago
Bill ShaneyfeltTo Kelly IniguezHa! Nice to know you thought of me! Really though, the scenery is so spectacular, there's not much need to go hunting for nature shots. I do appreciate your efforts. This is not the optimum time for seeing critters or plants down there. March through May is much better! Even monsoon season July-Sep. is better.
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1 month ago
Rich FrasierAnother great journal! Thanks!
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1 month ago
David FritschHi Kelly,
Thanks for again taking the time to write a journal on your trip. I admire your photography skills and writing style. My wife and I visit relatives in Tucson and found I really like the desert as well as the bicycle friendly city. Cycling the loop is always a scenic pleasure. We plan to come to Arizona this March and will once again use your logistically rich journals to plan a tour south of Tucson. On another note, I retired as a School Transportation Director and frequently drove a school bus filled with children whose parents trusted the driver (or me) to safely deliver the most precious persons in their lives to and from school. I have tremendous admiration for the challenging jobs you and Jacinto did throughout your careers. I hope someday when cycling in Tucson to encounter you . Watch for a stylish old couple on a blue Co-motion tandem.
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1 month ago
Rachael AndersonSorry there were so many problems ut you did great in handling them.
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1 month ago
Kelly IniguezTo David FritschDavid,

Thank you for the compliments! I will be watching for a Co-Motion tandem with a belt drive and a Rohloff hub! There can't be too many of those out there. How do you like the belt drive? Jacinto has three belt drive bikes now. He says there are the very best. His first priority was not having to clean the chain. An unexpected bonus was how quiet the bike is going down the road.

If you want a quick overnight trip south of Tucson, I would take Mission Road and come back through Sahuarita. Green Valley would be the logical choice of a place to stay, but I like Amado far more.

I have yet to cycle Madera Canyon, but there is lodging up there. It could also be a nice overnight trip.

The road to Arrivaca was a nice ride, if there's still an airbnb in town. We did that in . . . 2018 (?).

I think going to the effort of getting the pass to ride through Fort Hauchuacha is worth it. Canelo Pass isn't too difficult if you are used to climbing. The quiet grasslands ride is a treat.

You can tell I enjoy the riding in the area - I am there until February 27th this year. I think I might miss you by a few days?
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1 month ago
David FritschTo Kelly IniguezHi Kelly,
We love the belt drive, especially when angling the long tandem into a hotel room or up onto the roof of our car. We won't be crossing paths with you in Arizona this year, however, I used your journal your recent tour in Colorado to entice some of our Colorado tandem friends to replicate that ride. Colorado is a big place, but we could possibly connect. Thanks for the touring suggestions. I reread your Tucson journals when I'm planning a tour from there. Your logistical information is so valuable.
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1 month ago