Rancho Vistoso - Winterlude 2021 - CycleBlaze

December 26, 2021

Rancho Vistoso

Rachael fared really well on yesterday’s often rough roads, and continues to be very happy with her new post/saddle combo.  Still, she’s ready for an easier day today with fewer rough roads and no hills, and just wants to get her miles.  We decide to split up, and she heads out northeast along the loop.  Sheputin her standard 42 today, plus another ten for good measure.  She definitely knows what to do with an easier day! 

She comes home with no photos, but she does return with a short video clip: not one, but two roadrunners crossing the bike path!  I don’t think I’ve ever seen two roadrunners together, which causes me to wonder - what happens during mating season, how do they do it with those long tails and odd architecture, and what do baby roadrunners look like?  I’ll have to study up.

I’m just out for a simple ride myself also, but with an extension to explore a new area that has a good cycling reputation: Rancho Vistoso, the elite neighborhood at the north end of Oro Valley that’s crammed with golf courses, estates, and gated communities.  It doesn’t sound like a natural place to ride, but I’ll have to see for myself why it’s so popular.

I note that my rear tire is worryingly low before I start out.  It looks like I’ve got a slow leak, but for today I pump it up and take my chances.  Hopefully I’ll be lucky.

The ride begins with a normal 20 miles on the loop, down the Santa Cruz and up Oro Valley.  The water that was flowing in the Santa Cruz two days ago has all soaked in by now, and it’s back to its usual state - a dry wash with more than its share of trash.  I wonder if it just keeps accumulating, or if there are periodic cleanup campaigns?

Looking south on the Santa Cruz cycle path. Interesting sky today!
Heart 2 Comment 0
Some pecans, in the grove alongside the path near Flowing Wells. They might get harvested by scavengers if it weren’t for all the signs around the perimeter warning folks to keep out because of the danger of open pit mines.
Heart 0 Comment 0

Twenty miles in the new stuff commences when I cross Cañada del Oro.  This is the furthest I’ve ever come out this way, although I think Rachael’s gone on a bit further on one of her solo outings.  I stop at the bench there, eat lunch, and check the rear tire.  Yep.  Slow leak, but slow enough that I hope another infusion will get me home.  I apply one and hope for the best again.

The advance press is right - there really is great riding beyond this point. Today I follow a horseshoe shaped arch that lifts me a few hundred feet above the valley floor before dropping back down to the Loop again along La Cañada Drive.  The architecture is none too inspiring - you’ve seen one modern desert golf course estate you’ve seen them all as far as I’m concerned - but the views are definitely spectacular, with the dramatically rugged north face of the Catalina Mountains on one side and the Tortalita Range to its north on the other.  And the cycling itself is very pleasant - all the streets are wide, modern, smooth surfaced affairs with an amazing eight foot shoulder on both sides.  There are plenty of other bikers zipping around up here with me today.  Definitely a place to return to and explore some of the dead end lanes that branch off of it.

I’m in luck and make it home without flattening.  I’m excited to brag about my 50 miler, until Rachael insists that I report my miles first.  I know what that means - upstaged again.

In Oracle. I’ll have to research this place on a rainy day when I have more time.
Heart 1 Comment 1
Bruce LellmanA very cool sundial.
Reply to this comment
7 months ago
Ditto.
Heart 1 Comment 0
The typical look in Rancho Vistoso.
Heart 0 Comment 0
The Catalina Mountains dominate the views up here. I’m gradually coming to appreciate that the rugged north side of the range is even more striking than the one you see from Tucson.
Heart 1 Comment 0
Plenty of bikers up here. Great riding conditions, and just enough contour to keep it interesting.
Heart 0 Comment 0
Another look at the Catalina Mountains.
Heart 4 Comment 0
The living and the dead.
Heart 2 Comment 0
A bike and two ravens, Rancho Vistoso.
Heart 1 Comment 2
Gregory GarceauYou captured a great picture there--the biker, the ravens, the sky and the saguaros. I love it. But why can't I ignore the nearest saguaro flipping you the finger?
Reply to this comment
7 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Gregory GarceauFlipping eight of them, it looks like to me.
Reply to this comment
7 months ago
Caw talk. There’s a lot of noise up there, but it looks like it’s all a one way conversation.
Heart 2 Comment 0
Those Catalinas again.
Heart 1 Comment 0
The Tortalitas, the smaller range just to the north.
Heart 2 Comment 2
Jen GrumbyThe saguaro in the foreground is pretty spectacular!
Reply to this comment
7 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyI thought so too - and virile! You’d need to have pretty stout arms to hold up all that weight.
Reply to this comment
7 months ago
A wildlife sighting for Bill: a ferruginous lizard.
Heart 2 Comment 1
Heart 0 Comment 0

Ride stats today: 50 miles, 1,300’

Today's ride: 50 miles (80 km)
Total: 1,037 miles (1,669 km)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 7
Comment on this entry Comment 12
Kelly IniguezWas the source of your flat one of those mesquite thorns? They are worse than goat heads around here.

You had slime put in your tires in Sierra Vista. But didn't continue the practice? I presume at some point those tubes flatted and you changed them out? Hank says the sealant has to be refreshed every so often. He has the applicator and the know how . . . . I think Jacinto's method of dealing with his tire today is to not deal with it. Sounds like he's going to the gym.
Reply to this comment
7 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Kelly IniguezI don’t know what the cause of the flat was, but likely a thorn of some kind. When I went to change it this morning I saw that the tire was way past its useful life - I’ve been lucky I haven’t flattened before this, really. Thinking back, it’s probably the original tire I got when I bought the Rodriguez. I took it into Fair Wheel Bikes on 6th (great lbs, in my opinion) and started over - new tire, new tube, new rim strip.

As far as those slimed tubes - we replaced them and then hung them up in the closet when we got back to Portland, but I don’t remember ever reusing them. They worked fine, but we’ve never slimed our tubes since.
Reply to this comment
7 months ago
Kelly IniguezTo Scott AndersonDo you typically replace the rim strip as a maintenance replacement? That is something I haven’t thought of but sounds good
Reply to this comment
7 months ago
Gregory GarceauIt took me much longer than it should have to figure out what "Sheputin" meant in your first paragraph. All I could think of was Rasputin. Were you implying Rocky was some kind of female Rasputin? Or was it a typographical error? Or was it something more nefarious? Like a purposeful plant to keep us readers on our toes?
Reply to this comment
7 months ago
Bruce LellmanTo Gregory GarceauMaybe Scott is starting to combine words like the Germans do and end up with very long combinations. He definitely keeps us on our toes.
Reply to this comment
7 months ago
Gregory GarceauTo Bruce LellmanIndeed, he does.
Reply to this comment
7 months ago
Bob DistelbergTo Gregory GarceauI admit to struggling over "Sheputin" for awhile myself. I first read it as some some of exclamation.
Reply to this comment
7 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Kelly IniguezNo, I’ve only replaced the rim tape when it appeared damaged or there was indication of getting flats from the rim side. In this case, the technician showed me the state it was in and recommended replacing it.
Reply to this comment
7 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Bruce LellmanKeepsyouonyourtoes.
Reply to this comment
7 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Gregory GarceauOr one of those dictatorial, authoritarian types? Yeah, that fits.
Reply to this comment
7 months ago
Rachael AndersonTo Scott AndersonVery funny!
Reply to this comment
7 months ago
marilyn swettGlad you did a ride in that area. It's one of our favorite areas.
Reply to this comment
7 months ago