Arivaca - Three Points, AZ - South of Tucson - CycleBlaze

December 25, 2018

Arivaca - Three Points, AZ

I woke up again coughing in the wee hours. I took a second dose on NyQuil, hoping to dampen the cough and still be able to wake up in the morning. Steve and I had agreed on an 8 AM depart to beat the weather to town. The forecast was dire enough that Jacinto thought he would leave with us. Of course, when time came to leave, he was on the couch with coffee. His delicious coffee that came from home, fixed just the way he likes it.

Steve had an interesting morning. He was staying in the little, old travel trailer. Steve had the heater and the microwave running at the same time and a breaker flipped. After much investigation, he found the breaker box under the bed. That's a man for you, stubbornly inquisitive!

We were down the road one minute early. The wind was already blowing. At this point it was a cross wind, but we were anticipating a tailwind in 15 miles when we hit the main highway. Things looked quiet as we rode through Arivaca. The grocery was closed and the bar was going to be open on Christmas, but not until 11 AM. The road had a nice downhill tilt, but it was in bad condition with filled potholes everywhere. It was difficult to pick a good line, even using the entire road. I don't know if it was because of the holiday or not, but there was zero traffic on the road. It was a delightful ride. We were surrounded by mountains on all sides and the sun was shining. Did I mention the tailwind? Merry Christmas to us!

In no time at all we were down to the main highway where the wind was a strong tailwind and the road tilted down even more. I was in my highest gear and soft pedaling at over 20 mph. A border control point came up and I stopped. It was the same lady from yesterday, but in a new location. She recognized me. I stopped and chatted a bit. I mentioned that I'd seen only one red truck the entire distance and asked if the road was usually this deserted. Yes. I also mentioned that Steve and I had seen at least ten border patrol trucks yesterday while Jacinto had seen only one. I asked if she could answer if that was shift change time. she asked what time it was, then replied yes, that was probable. I wanted to ask her opinion about Trump wanting to build a border wall, but thought that might be a risky question and perhaps her demeanor would change.

I don't use Strava myself, but do love Jacinto's $2.99 safety contact (beacon) feature. He sends me a link when he departs and I can watch him live. I could tell that he was quickly gaining on us. Jacinto was happy, he said he spent almost the entire day standing up, pedaling in the big chain ring.

Steve and I had hardly arrived at the cars when Jacinto went blasting past. He soon realized his error and back tracked. I gave him my leftover burrito to eat and asked if 49 miles was enough or did he want to ride into town. Jacinto was loving the tailwind and would ride into town. He left.

Steve emptied out his Ortleib Gravel Pannier so I could heft it and feel how light it was. I was impressed. He had purchased locally from Bike Shop Hub. I believe I will go over there tomorrow and buy a set. I've been using backing plates with dry bags for the past couple of years. My primary interest was light weight. I also like keeping the weight down low on my bike. Marilyn Swett says she uses Ortleibs on her underseat rack and the accessibility was good and attachment is sturdy. The dry bags are a bit fiddly. Maybe I should just say that I'd like some new gear? How's that?

I finally started driving toward Tucson. I kept watching for Jacinto and didn't see him and didn't see him and . . . where in the world is he? I turned onto Valencia. No, still no Jacinto. Steve and I weren't talking THAT long. Finally, 12 miles later, there he was, pedaling standing up as usually. I passed and honked. I got back to the Quality Inn and checked in, unloaded the bike, and my gear. I was hardly in the room when Jacinto called. He had a flat tire and could I pick him up. What luck, but no surprise with all of the debris on Valencia.

Jacinto got right to fixing the flat. He found a wire and a couple of little rocks, but didn't think any of them had poked through. He inserted a new tube and installed the tire. THEN he looked at the flatbed tube. It appears that the hole is on the inside of the tube, which would point to a spoke. We shall see if he has another flat soon. Jacinto assured me that there was no rim tape on the wheel. But doesn't there have to be rim tape? I'm sure this stock wheel doesn't have plugs. Those are an upgrade? Tomorrow could be interesting for him.

By the time that was all done, I had showered and was starving. He wanted to go next door to Waffle House, but I argued for veggies. There were a surprising number of restaurants open along Valencia. I voted for Panda Express - not a terribly exciting choice, but they do have veggies.

We filled up with gas at a station selling gas for .10 less than the other stations. But they didn't take credit cards at the pump, only debit cards. ??? I went inside and the clerk said that their pumps were outdated and didn't take credit cards. It seems very poor business to not fix the pumps. I don't think a .10 discount is enough for the inconvenience.

I offered that we could eat at Waffle House for dinner. Jacinto said he didn't need to go to dinner, he still has a burrito left. I don't! Let's see what happens.

Steve had gone home and had lunch (far better than Panda Express, I'll bet) and a nap. We are hoping that weather will be friendly enough that we can ride The Loop tomorrow. Rain and wind are likely. I"m glad we moved the Arivaca loop up by a day so we rode the entire loop in good weather. Now we have an extra day in Tucson to play with, depending on weather. Let's see what we end up doing.

Ready for departure with my coat and long fingered gloves. The resident cat supervised our coming and going.
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Merry Christmas, Arizona style.
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The sun is out and the coat is soon to be traded for a vest.
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Bill identifies this as an Arizona barrel cactus. He says the fruit is not tasty to eat. But they were pretty. We saw only a handful of these today.
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There must be a number of residences in the hills, based on the number of mailboxes by the highway.
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There's nothing like a strong tailwind to make a guy smile.
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The sign enticingly says open, but the door was locked.
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Jacinto arrives in Three Points at the vehicles. He was enjoying the tailwind so much, he decided to ride the 21 miles into Tucson. That gave him a 71 mile day.
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A guestbook post helped me out. This is Baboquivari Peak. Thanks!
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I hope this often patched road is on the list for replacement soon.
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Bill has sharp eyes. He easily noted that the big cactus is the chain fruit cholla. But the little one next to it with the flowers is a creosote bush. Bill says it only flowers after rain. I would rather it not rain while we are here!
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The wind was blowing enough to kick up dust. Luckily not in our immediate area.
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Today's ride: 49 miles (79 km)
Total: 132 miles (212 km)

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