Closing out January - Winterlude 2020 - CycleBlaze

January 31, 2021

Closing out January

Last day of the month!  We close it out today with another out and back ride on the Loop that we’ve taken with several variations a half dozen times now - north on Mountain Avenue, and then clockwise along the loop to Harrison Greenway.    It’s sunny and warm again today, and a bit windier - we push into it on the way out, and ride the wave home.

With the nearly nonstop excellent weather, we’ve biked 25 days and ridden more miles this month - over a thousand - than any other month we can remember in a very long time.  My official Team Anderson distance tally is a surprising 1,111 miles; but as I’m sure you’ve noticed by now, we credit the greater number whenever Rachael and I ride a different distance for the day.  I’d estimate that each of us bikes 90-95% of the total though, and I’m sure we each broke a thousand in January. Not bad!

We begin the day by entertaining ourselves by speculating on whether we should move to Biccari, Italy or not.  We’d never hear of this Puglian mountain village near the borders with Campania and Molise, but were intrigued when we read an article about it.  It’s another of those Mediterranean villages that is losing population, and they’re trying to stay viable by recruiting immigrants.  They offer the usual fixer uppers for only one Euro, but they also offer what sounds much more enticing to us - turnkey homes and apartments in excellent condition, abandoned by owners who have moved on, at rock bottom prices.  Biccari itself looks beautiful, if very quiet.  It has a couple of restaurants; and it’s only 20 miles from Foggia, a significant large town near the Puglian coast and on the train line.

We could apply for retirement visas, buy a home in southern Italy, and open up a CycleBlaze BnB!  Unfortunately, under the terms of a retirement visa we wouldn’t be allowed to work at all, so I guess you’d have to just drop in as non-paying guests.  I suppose bringing a loaf of bread and a bottle of wine through the door would get by though.

We stop to remeniscence and give thanks that the camera still operates. This is the spot where I dropped it into the wash a few days back, standing by the railing at about the point where the bicyclist is standing.
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The view from the same spot today. From this southeast angle of the range the snow has almost completely disappeared.
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There’s still snow up there though, up at around 8,000’ perhaps. This angle from the Harrison Greenway gives about the best southern perspective on the highest part of the range.
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Lounge lizard, on Euclid Avenue. I’ve finally gotten around to biking past this delightful mural, after driving past it a few times.
Heart 2 Comment 6
Bill ShaneyfeltThat would be a collared lizard. Really cool beasties! One of my favorites. They like to sit on top of the highest rock in their domain to watch for unsuspecting small lizards to prey on like ornate brush lizards or side blotched lizards, or maybe a grasshopper.

https://tucsonherpsociety.org/amphibians-reptiles/lizards/eastern-collared-lizard/
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1 month ago
Jen GrumbyA lounge lizard with long yellow toes
Reads a book about donkeys and crows
And how pushups win romance
More than shows of strong finance
Or fancy and colorful clothes.
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyOne of your finer efforts, and a credit to this colorful subject. Remind me of this one when you show up at our door in Biccari.
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1 month ago
Jen GrumbyDoes this mean I have a prepaid night in Biccari?
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3 weeks ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyHow can you have a prepaid night, when no payment is involved? Makes no sense.
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3 weeks ago
Bruce LellmanNo payment required fits my budget perfectly. Let me know when you buy the place, please. Let me know what kind of wine you like.
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3 weeks ago
Do more pushups and find the mate of your dreams!
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The scene is more disquieting just around the corner.
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Rachael wonders if the Gila monster is savoring over the ice cream, the ant, or both.
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Bill ShaneyfeltKept one as a pet for 2 years while I was assistant curator of the ASU Herpetological Museum Collection. Fed it an egg a week.
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Bill ShaneyfeltDid it do push-ups?
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1 month ago
Bill ShaneyfeltTo Scott AndersonNope. I suspect that unlike diurnal lizards relying on eyesight for mating info. it is not in their repertoire. Most diurnal lizards do display pushups though. At least the Iguanid family species do. I do pushups too, but not as a mating display... in the dark of the basement before going to bed... :-)
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Bill ShaneyfeltAn infrared video would be nice.
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1 month ago
Bill Shaneyfelt:-)

Kinda boring.
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1 month ago

We’re back in town before 3, and head over to Opa’s Grill to take advantage of their open air back patio and the fantastic weather.  Over our meal we continue this morning’s other conversation, itemizing the ways we want to spend our remaining 9 days in Tucson. On the list: another hike, probably in the western unit of the National park; a repeat of the Saguaro to Colossal Caves ride; a loop through Gates Pass; a trip down to Green Valley to ride along  Mission Road and then splurge on another lunch at Quail Crossing; a ride up Madeira Canyon; and an assault on Mount Lemmon.

With so few days left here, we need to make every day count!

We celebrate a month of fine cycling and the balmy 70 degree afternoon with plates of fettuccini and grilled chicken at Opa’s Grill.
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Ride stats today: 43 miles, 1,200’; for the tour: 2,374 miles, 84,000’; for the year: 25 riding days, 1,111 miles, 30,000’, and 2 flat tires

Today's ride: 43 miles (69 km)
Total: 2,374 miles (3,821 km)

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Suzanne GibsonBaccari sound like a fantastic idea! Go for it! Not really that warm in the winter though... But then in the winter you will be in Australia or some other warm place.
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1 month ago
Jen GrumbyWe'll be happy to visit you at your retirement home in Italy. Since you can't take cash payments, maybe a limerick or two?
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyPerhaps, but I think we’ll want to limit this option to limericists with an established international presence.
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1 month ago