Merry Christmas! - Ascaping Covid and Winter in Arizona - CycleBlaze

December 25, 2020

Merry Christmas!

Today's ride was from Patagonia north toward Sonoita. Lots of nice scenery here! A decent shoulder, but pretty rough and full of debris.
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Another view along our route today.
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Even the ranches were getting into the holiday spirit.
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As you can see, the bike isn't moving in this shot since it had a flat tire. I got to admire the mountain views as we waited for Don to return with the van.
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Kelly IniguezAre those RANS bars, or has Don swapped them out? We drove to Denver today and picked up my bikes. I only rode the Agio around the parking lot. I was curious what I would think about the Bacchetta bars, they seem fairly similar in position to the RANS bars. I'm hopeful. We are going to have snow off and on all week. I'm not sure about a real test ride any time soon . . .
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6 months ago
marilyn swettTo Kelly IniguezYes, those are Rans bars. Don hasn't made any modifications to this bike. On our Screamer he did replace the original "chipmunk" handlebars with a Bachetta bars. While he liked the bars, the post ended up breaking in two on one of our tours (that was pretty exciting since we were riding it!) s he had Rans bars installed. Snow is expected here as well and cold.
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6 months ago
Scott AndersonWe had a flat in nearly this same place last month!
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6 months ago
marilyn swettTo Scott AndersonI doubt we'll ride this road again for a day ride just because of the dirty, rough shoulder. But we are interested in trying that road you were on going east of Patagonia up into that mining area. That sounded ideal.
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6 months ago
This art gallery near Patagonia had some of the weirdest sculptures highlighting the Day of the Dead. We did like this vintage VW bus even if it was decorated with skulls!
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In driving around Patagonia, we came across this historic school.
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Interesting history at this school.
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Here's a better view showing the entire school.
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Merry Christmas to one and all, but this sure isn't the Christmas we had envisioned a year ago! At least Don and I are still healthy, and other than my mom, haven't lost any additional family members or friends to Covid. Even though the weather here in Southern Arizona sure hasn't been ideal, we are thankful we've been able to travel down here and enjoy some time on our bike. 

There were some clouds and even some light sprinkles early this morning but the rain didn't amount to much. By noon, some sun and blue skies appeared and by 1 pm we decided it had warmed up enough for a ride.

Don saw that it was warmer in Patagonia, so we decided to drive there and then bike north on Highway 82 toward Sonoita. We'd noticed on our drive to Patagonia Lake State Park, that there appeared to be a wide shoulder. 

We parked at the town park in Patagonia and then biked north on the highway. While there was a good shoulder, it was rough and full of debris. 

There was very little traffic on this holiday and we actually had temps in the 60's with sun! The road climbed gradually uphill in a pretty valley that was between 2 mountain ranges.

We were following an old rail line - the Arizona and New Mexico railroad. It was started in the 1880's that connected to another railroad that ran south out of Benson. The AZ and NM line went to Nogales and serviced the mines in this region. Originally they mined lead, copper, zinc and molybdenum.

Most all of the mines had closed by 1957 but I read that an Australian company was reopening a zinc mine. When in production, it is expected to be one of the top 5 producers of zinc in the world. 

This was definately ranching country, although we did go by one section that had expensive custom estate homes. 

We should have been having a nice time, but Don's congestion was bad today (he's been having a lot of allergy symptoms on this trip) and he found it hard to breathe on the mild climb. 

We hadn't gone far when we heard the familiar thump, thump, thump coming from our back wheel. Crap! Another flat! We're sure getting awfully tired of this.

We stopped and Don decided to just try pumping it up rather than fully repair the tube, but he had a problem getting our pump to blow the tube back up so he tried our CO2 cartridges. That worked for a while as we limped back toward town. We ended up going through all of our cartridges so resorted to walking. 

A couple of miles later we reached the outskirts of town where there was a school. Don parked me there with the bike and walked the rest of the way to the van since my feet were sore. 

Finally back in the van, we headed to camp, very disappointed with our day. 

It was after 5 pm by the time we reached the park. Dinner time and a movie. Several of the campers were playing loud Xmas music but we weren't in the mood to listen to cheery music. Don said he'll deal with the tire tomorrow and we hope to still have time for a ride as it's supposed to be really nice. 

Today's ride: 14 miles (23 km)
Total: 254 miles (409 km)

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