The Barrio Viejo - Winterlude 2021 - CycleBlaze

December 19, 2021

The Barrio Viejo

After three respectable Loop rides and yesterday’s hike up Wasson Peak I’m due for lighter fare today.  There are lots of ways to loaf through a day here in Tucson, especially since we haven’t been here for a while; but my interest was piqued by briefly biking through the Barrio Viejo at the start of our REI ride two days back so I’m going there today.

I invite Rachael to join me, but for some reason the idea of spending the day biking half a block, stopping and waiting while I look at something that catches my attention, bike twenty yards and stop to look at it from a different angle, bike to the corner and then double back for a third look doesn’t appeal to her.  Instead she bikes solo out to Oro Valley, a component of the loop she hasn’t ridden yet this winter, and logs another 48 miles.

And, it should be noted: between a new saddle and suspension seat post, an increased dosage on her thyroid prescription and the southwest’s drier and warmer climate, Rocky has turned into a cycling dynamo.  42 miles used to be her ideal standard ride, but ever since we left Portland she’s been averaging 46.

I’m doing pretty well myself as far as that goes, but I’m not doing any 48 miles today.  When I roll back to the apartment mid-afternoon I’ll get credit for a very lazy 28.  Which is fine - besides being in recovery from yesterday’s climb I’m resting up for my 75 mile birthday ride, which I’m hoping to take on the day after tomorrow.

So, no real ride report today.  Mostly just a photo dump from the colorful Barrio Viejo, one of the oldest districts in the city that dates back to when it was still part of Mexico.  There are plenty of excuses to stop and look again here, and I won’t be surprised if I crawl through a second time before we leave town.

Teatro Carmen, one of the iconic sights in the Barrio Viejo, originally exclusively presented dramatic works in Spanish.
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Most of the older, original homes in the Barrio Viejo are single story adobe, many dating back to the mid-19th century. The neighborhood is in transition now and experiencing a revival and gentrification, with many of these older homes receiving colorful face lifts.
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Three doors and a window.
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Graham FinchVery nice... a hat trick.
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1 month ago
A corner of a larger, wall-sized mural. The lighting was off this morning and there was a van blocking the center, but I’ll come back some time and get a complete photo.
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I was surprised to see this outdoor ice rink, but it’s because we’re here at the right time. It’s only open for about two weeks over the holiday season.
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In the Barrio Viejo.
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If we had a home I would love having a mural like this on it.
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It’s nice that the old storefront has been preserved, but I should go peek in the window next time to see what’s really here now.
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In the Barrio Viejo.
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These irregular triangles are suggestive of the Tucson Mountains.
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Corrugated sheet metal is a common construction material in the Barrio Viejo.
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Jen GrumbyRodriguez brings some sophistication to the scene.
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1 month ago
Another creative use for corrugated sheet metal.
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This is the only place I found though that uses swords as a framing material.
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Jen GrumbyCuz .. why not?

The only thing that's missing is a quote from Don Quixote.
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1 month ago
Lila’s place.
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In the Barrio Viejo.
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Ocotillo fence line.
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A Nash Ambassador Super, maybe around 1950?
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It’s been sitting idle for awhile.
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For the Alphabet Quest: Quaint Religious Scene.
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Jen GrumbyIf I hadn't zoomed in I would have assumed it was just any ol' nativity scene.

There's an interesting assortment of characters there .. the only one I recognize is Buddha. And maybe something that looks like a lava lamp?
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1 month ago
I finally tore away from the Barrio Viejo and just rode for the next two hours. Others have their favorite spots on the Loop, but this is high on my list - a sinuous stretch along the Santa Cruz River north of Valencia Road.
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It wouldn’t feel like a complete ride without an interesting wildlife sighting. Just another roadrunner again, but I like the way his crest is flared up.
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Today's ride: 37 miles (60 km)
Total: 719 miles (1,157 km)

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