A Christmas Eve meetup on the Loop - Winterlude 2020 - CycleBlaze

December 24, 2020

A Christmas Eve meetup on the Loop

It’s quite a bit less inviting this morning when we start out - overcast, cool, damp and windy.  We briefly consider turning back and returning to our cozy casita, but we feel committed.  We have a semi-date, to keep an eye out for Kelly Iniguez on the Harrison Greenway over on the east side of the Loop.  We’re both biking that direction today in order to enjoy the expected tailwind on the way back, and agreed to watch out for each other. 

Once we get underway, it’s not unpleasantly cold at all and the headwinds we’d imagined pushing into are really quite modest.  It’s a pleasant, brisk ride for the first half hour, braking only for a roadrunner sneaking around beneath the mesquite just beside the path.  We’ve seen roadrunners often enough now that I’ve become attuned to their odd spasmodic movements:  a short, fast dash, followed by a pause for several seconds while they scout out their new position.  You can tell when they’re ready to break out again by the way they tense up and raise the tail to a more erect angle.  I should take a video one of these times.

We ride south on the Harrison Greenway, looking far ahead for every new bike that comes into sight.  Many bikes, but no recumbents.  Finally though one appears, and a hand soon rises up from it.  CycleBlaze meetup!

Kelly and I have been in correspondence off and on over the years, but this is the first time we’ve met in real life.  At another time, I’m sure we would have arranged a different type of first meeting - a ride together, and a meal or snack break.  The plague year isn’t the time for that though, and it feels just right to get acquainted outdoors at a safe distance from each other.  We chat by the side of the trail for perhaps fifteen minutes, until it finally sinks in that the wind has picked up significantly and it’s getting cold just standing around.

We could and probably should have turned back and ridden with Kelly for a ways and included her in a video, but then we wouldn’t get our 42 miles in.  We have to keep our priorities straight, after all.  I’m confident anyway that this won’t be the last time we’ll cross paths with Ms. Iniguez.  We continue on for another mile until we reach our magic distance, and then turn around to enjoy the downwind blast back to the casita that we’ve been hoping for.

Eastbound along Rillito Wash, pushing into a chilling headwind.
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We brake for roadrunners.
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Kelly Iniguez proudly poses beside her super-stretch Stratus.
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Kelly doesn’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. Her Stratus comes with a wind vane.
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Rachael and Kelly get acquainted at a safe distance, shivering and thinking of how much nicer it would be to share a beer and a meal once all this madness is over. Rachael loves beer.
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Bill ShaneyfeltI was wondering when this would happen...
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3 weeks ago
Kelly IniguezI was so happy that it worked out to meet, however briefly!
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3 weeks ago
Rocky briefly considers a life in the fast lane but decides to hang with the slow old guy for now. Whew!
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In Pantano Wash. What a great ride - three wild creatures on the same day!
Heart 4 Comment 5
Bill ShaneyfeltPeccary! Those guys don't usually hang around long enough to get a photo!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peccary
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3 weeks ago
Scott AndersonTo Bill ShaneyfeltWe felt really lucky. I could hardly believe it when I saw him rooting around in the wash. First time we’ve seen one here.
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3 weeks ago
Kelly IniguezI saw three bunnies today . . . . but I haven't seen a javelin. Great photo!
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3 weeks ago
Scott AndersonTo Kelly IniguezThree bunnies? Out Oro Valley? We’re going to have to head back out.
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3 weeks ago
Kelly IniguezI wonder if it was the rain that brought them out? They were on the first section of path from our motel. Aren't you proud of me I didn't get lost? I'm slightly surprised.
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3 weeks ago
Going the right way for a change, we fairly fly most of the way home.
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Kelly IniguezI've been watching that flag also, as a weather vane. Great minds think alike, eh?
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3 weeks ago
Christmas comes to the Loop.
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Q

Video sound track: Bim-Bom, by João Gilberto

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Ride stats today: 43 miles, 1,200’; for the tour: 1,205 miles, 44,400’

Today's ride: 43 miles (69 km)
Total: 1,205 miles (1,939 km)

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Bill ShaneyfeltAlways fun when two journals I follow cross paths!
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3 weeks ago