Last ride of the year? - Winterlude 2021 - CycleBlaze

December 30, 2021 to December 31, 2021

Last ride of the year?

New Year’s Eve looks to be a complete rainout - wet all day with thunderstorms in the afternoon.  Today looks better than expected though - cool and overcast but dry, with rains not expected until later this evening.  This is apt to be the last ride of the year, so we decide to ride it together and just put in the miles on the loop, with Rachael’s main concern being to get far enough to keep her all-important YTD statistics on track for another ideal end-of-year average.  

We keep a fast, nearly nonstop pace out to the end of the trail in Oro Valley, stop for lunch at the traditional spot where the trail crosses the wash and turns north, and then head home again.  We make it home at about 3:30, which is perfect - the rains come in earlier than expected, the first showers arriving about a half hour later.

Up Oro Valley, and it clears up enough to see there’s a bit of snow up top. There’ll be more when it clears up after the coming rains, we hope.
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Vermillion flycatcher! We’ve spotted these a few times, but they’re always on the move and quickly disappear.
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Coopers Hawk! The best look I’ve ever gotten of one. Look at those talons!
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Kelly IniguezThat's a beautiful boy. I think we have these around Rifle. I have (had) a pair that I used to keep tabs on when I was driving bus. They were always within a certain area.
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3 weeks ago
The view of the Catalina Mountains from our lunch stop. Just guessing from what I read on the map, but I think we’re looking up the gap between Table Mountain on the left and Bighorn Mountain on the right.
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Crossing back over the wash and looking east. Maybe that’s the peak of Mount Lemmon behind? I’ve always just thought of this range as Mount Lemmon, but there are dozens of significant peaks up there.
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Ride stats today: 43 miles, 1,100’

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