Closing the Loop - Winterlude 2020 - CycleBlaze

February 7, 2021

Closing the Loop

Before going to today’s ride, let’s correct an omission from the last post.  How can I have neglected to include this memorable rendition of Goodbye, Old Paint, by our own Singing, Cycling Cowboy?  You should watch too for a cameo appearance by Ms. Grumby.

And, before going to today’s ride, let’s say a few words about yesterday’s.  Rachael went off on her own again, on the Hank Aaron Ride, returning an appropriate 44 miles later.  Rachael has some difficulty with maps and place names, and doesn’t immediately recognize rides we’ve taken when I describe them to her.  For some reason she has no trouble remembering the ride we took to commemorate Hank Aaron’s passing though.  We’ll have to experiment with this memory trick to see if we can apply it elsewhere.

I didn’t go with her, because when I wheeled the bike out I found that the front brake was badly out of alignment.  It apparently was impacted when putting it into or removing it from our new car without the front wheel for protection.  So that’s an issue - one ride, one injured bike is a poor average.  No big deal though - we’ll just start folding them.

So, that interrupted my ride plans.  Instead, I rode it the mile over to Fairwheel Bikes, hoping they could get it in today.  Remarkably, even though the place was bustling a mechanic looked at it immediately, threw it up on the rack, and five minutes later returned it in perfect working condition.  Five bucks.  A great shop, if you need bike work in Tucson.

So that’s some of the news from yesterday.  The really exciting news though is that I remembered my drivers license number!!  It almost came to me overnight.  I woke up with a cloudy vision of the number, enough to trigger a memory.  I pulled up the Oregon DMV website and tried to sign on using my best guess, and failed.  I tried two other permutations of the same seven digits and failed again, eventually getting locked out from the site as a repeat offender.

While biking back from the bike shop, the correct number flashed through my mind.  I tried again when I got home, happy to find that I wasn’t locked out any more and thrilled when I signed on successfully.  I feel so smart!

I feel so smart now! One of the great things from this is that I could look up the registration information on the Jetta to send to our auto dealer to show that we owned the car we just traded in.
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After that success I took the Sportswagen out for a drive, to get more familiar with it and to make the rounds of REI and a few other bike shops to find a replacement for my lost yellow long sleeved jersey.  No success there, but the Golf is going to be great.

Later in the day we went out in the Golf again, for a celebratory dinner sitting in the warm afternoon sun on Bacio’s outdoor patio.  One last time, before we leave Tucson in a few days.  

At Bacio: celebrating our newest member of the team, and a toast to our departed friend.
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OK.  I know you’re getting impatient and want to get on to today’s ride.  Hardly worth waiting for, really - just another spin on the Loop.  This one does have a few interesting details though.  For one, it was actually a loop this time.  Up until now, we’ve only ridden out and back rides together along its various sides (other than the day when I biked my age in miles, riding the complete loop and then some).  Today we closed the loop by riding out Julian and back by the Hank Aaron route.  Not quite the entire loop, as we lopped off the northwest corner; but still longer than usual.

And, it was interesting because we took a different route from our house to the Saint Mary’s access to the Loop.  Rather than skirting downtown along the northern edge, we skirted it to the south this time, passing through the Presidio district and seeing some new streets and noteworthy structures we haven’t passed by before.

Tucson is amazing. After all the murals we’ve seen here already, new ones just keep popping up.
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On N. Meyers Avenue, we stop to admire a set of elegantly maintained historical adobe casitas.
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On Meyers Avenue.
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On Meyers Ave. Every doorway and window seems worth a second look.
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Yes, this one is beautiful too. Can we please start biking again though?
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On Main Avenue, we pass by the elegant Owls Club home, built in 1902, now the home for the Center for Biological Diversity. From our good friend Wikipedia, we find that the Owls Club was a group of wealthy bachelors, who named themselves the Owls because their parties would often last deep into the night. They intended their new building to be one of the most elegant private clubhouses in the west.
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And, the day was noteworthy because of another pathside encounter with Kelly Iniguez, who’s back in town for another brief break feom the Colorado winter.  This is the third time we’ve met up like this, chatting at twenty feet from opposite sides of the bike path.  One of these days we’ll have a proper visit.

But that’s it for excitement.  Just more miles on the Loop, without even a roadrunner to spice up the day.  Tomorrow though will be something completely different.  It looks like the snow is pretty well receded from the top of Mount Lemmon, so we’re going to see if we have any climb left in these old legs any more.

Those Loop lasses.
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Spoiling a nice view of Tanque Verde Peak.
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Hell on wheels.
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And one final mural for the day: in Navaho Wash Park, just off Mountain Ave. Rachael has known of this one for awhile, but I’ve biked right past it for weeks without spotting it before.
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Rocky’s mountains.
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Ride stats today: 47 miles, 1,300’; for the tour: 2,591 miles, 93,700’; for the year:  30 riding days, 1,328 miles, 39,700’, and 2 flat tires

Today's ride: 47 miles (76 km)
Total: 2,592 miles (4,171 km)

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