Amado- Tucson via Mission Road - South of Tucson - CycleBlaze

December 28, 2018

Amado- Tucson via Mission Road

What I wrote last night disappeared into thin air. Let's try again from the warmth of the Stage Stop Inn's restaurant.

I felt like the lowest kind of low, sitting outside in the van, using the Stage Stop's wifi. We had stayed here last year, thus the computer remembered the password. This year we are saving $50. by staying with airbnb. More on that later.

The morning today was a debate between suffering with cold temperatures or the headwind. I chose temperatures. I had my Buff and warm gloves. Jacinto didn't bring either, because this is Arizona!

I had to have a start photo - while we were taking it, Jacinto mischievously pressed my air horn. Nothing came out except a little fart of air. I tried it myself. Nothing. It's a good thing I hadn't needed it against the dogs. Speaking of dogs - I've had a couple chase me every day. Once it was a St. Bernard. It was taller than my bike seat! Steve says they chase me because they can tell I'm afraid of them. That is true. I've been bitten one time too many.

I was impatient to get going. Every mile without the fierce wind was one mile in the bank. Yesterday should have been a nice cruising day. Instead I just watched the miles count down while I pedaled into the blankety blank blank headwind.

I was at mile seven when Jacinto called and asked if he could ride to Patagonia instead of Tucson. That had been the original plan, which I had scuttled because of the fierce headwinds forecasted. Not to mention the low temperatures. He could ride there. No wind at the moment, blue skies, and he was willing to take the risk. I could drive around and stay at our prepaid airbnb that we had been prepared to walk away from. Ok. Let's do that. But I need to get pedaling while the air is still calm!

I was happy that Bertha was on the job. I was familiar with the area, since we rode through on our Arivaca day, but I can get lost anywhere . . . with Bertha's help, I had no troubles. Soon I was to Mission Road where the generous bike lane disappeared. I want to think that the city council loves bicycles, that there are huge bike lanes everywhere. Truth is, they are so big for golf carts, Green Valley is a big golfing area and people drive golf carts around.

There wasn't any traffic on Mission Road. So nice. Really, there isn't so much climbing and the greenery is more varied and thicker over here. No wind. That's what I kept thinking. No wind.

I got to the top and was sweaty. I had previously traded my coat for a vest and my long fingered gloves for short ones. I was too stubborn at the top to put the coat on, but did go back to the long gloves. It reminded me of the pass between Baggs and Riverside, WY where I had the horrible shimmy with my bike because I was shaking so bad. I couldn't go over 10 mph, or the handlebars would shake. I was so cold and the distance was so far (nothing if you are going regular speed), that I ended up thumbing a ride to town. I was cold today also (although not wet and the descent wasn't a pass). The Stratus is rock solid. I could have been shivering and it wouldn't have mattered. I'm slowly getting my downhill confidence back.

I took a little detour around the mission that I thought would save time. Ha. The heaves in the road were so prominent that it felt like I was jumping curb after curb. I had two roads of .75 miles each. Both were terrible. I might have saved distance, but I didn't save time. I momentarily worried about the bike rims, bouncing over the huge lumps.

I was happy I recognized the roads around the mission and Bertha was still talking. I made it to the motel and had just finished loading the bike in the van when Jacinto called. Guess what? He had a flat tire. He was not a happy camper. He said he wasn't going to fix another flat, I could pick him up. Which I was willing to do. But first he wanted me to buy a tire. Then I would have to drive down there. He would be sitting by the side of the road quite a while. Jacinto said he was on Ruby Road when he had a flat. The guys will remember that last year. It was the super hilly road right before the truck stop. Jacinto said this time, when he had his thumb out, no one stopped. Finally reason came through and he decided to change the flat and try and keep moving. But this whole time he never inflated the flat tube to see why it was flat . . . .

I found a shop in Green Valley, on the way, bought a tire, two tubes, and a rim strip. Stopped at KFC for their $20. special. 50 more minutes to Patagonia. I was doing pretty good. I was pleased with myself.

I called Jacinto to give him the report. He was on Highway 82, on the way to Patagonia. Still moving. I still had T-Mobile service at this point. I saw him ten miles out of town. I stopped, he gobbled down two pieces of chicken and a biscuit.

I called our airbnb host, asking for the door code. He texted me the directions. We had a roomy, old, single wide trailer that had been gutted and refurbished. It was quite nice inside, other than not having the heat on at all and having only two small electric heaters for the whole place. The hot and cold water were switched in the bathroom. I still had goosebumps when I got out of the shower, the air was so cold.

My phone service had disappeared somewhere on the way to town. If Jacinto had another flat, he had no way to contact me. I dressed and got in the van, turning the heat up on high, and drove back to see where Jacinto was. He was still rolling, maybe 5 miles from town. I turned around and waited for him at the saloon - I checked there for wi-fi. Nope. No wifi. Jacinto came along soon and followed me to the trailer. There had been so much rain recently, that there was a giant puddle in the parking area. It was difficult to park.

We went inside. The air hadn't warmed up much for having the two heaters running. It would be a long night. After Jacinto took a shower, we drove over by the Stage Stop to use the wifi. I wrote about half of this page, but it disappeared. I wrote it again just now. Jacinto went to the little store and bought a beer and a bag of chips for $8. That's the same store he bought the $10. ice cream at last year.

We went back to the trailer. No TV, no internet. It's freezing. What to do but get into bed. I'm still half sick, but the NyQuil ran out. Jacinto had his tire to entertain him. He installed the rim strip and the new tire. THEN he checked the old tubes. One, I think was definitely a defective tube. It had a 2" hole in it. The other two had holes on the inside, which would point to a spoke issue. I hope the rim strip I bought does the job. The rim has spoke plugs right now.

Neither one of us slept well last night. I kept both of us awake coughing. My mouth is all gummy from sucking on cough drops all night. One of the heaters was really loud kicking on and off all night. I don't think our saved $50. was worth it.

It was 41 degrees, I added the Buff. As usual, Jacinto will start later.
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By the time I had the presence of mind to photograph this cyclist, he was far gone and I had to zoom in and crop the photo. He was wearing red shorts, they were very visible from down the road. If you are man enough to wear red, they are a good visual for drivers.
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Jacinto gave my air horn a mischievous push. Nothing happened but a little fart of air. We tried it again. It appears to be discharged.
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Mission Road had a wide variety of greenery. It was worth the climbing, little traffic and great vistas.
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I was careful to calculate an appropriate squat distance when taking a pee break in this area.
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There's snow in the mountains!
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I think this is for someone who passed away, since there's a couple of crosses. But I'm not sure.
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Today's ride: 41 miles (66 km)
Total: 208 miles (335 km)

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