Posts Tagged ‘Southern Arizona Road Adventure’

Get OUT!

August 4, 2020

Getting away from it all in 2010, when the Adventure Cycling Association’s Southern Arizona Road Adventure spent a day in Bisbee.

It’s not just bikes that are as rare as hen’s teeth, rocking-horse shit, and integrity in the nation’s capital.

Now it’s everything outdoorsy, from camping equipment to boats and birding binoculars.

Pretty soon “getting away from it all” will mean “going home.”

Home again, home again

March 22, 2010
Turkish shows his delight at my return ("Ho, hum, were you gone? I didn't notice.")

Turkish shows his delight at my return ("Ho, hum, were you gone? I didn't notice.")

Agh. Reality rears its ugly head once again. I am no longer a snowbird but a jailbird, locked in a cell of my own making, which is to say I’m back at work for VeloNews.com, posting stories about cycling instead of cycling my own bad self. Oh, the humanity.

Ten Thousand Waves was a treat as always, and I wished that I could have spent ten thousand years there, but without money there are no vacations and without work there is no money, so there you have it. But it’s a rude awakening nonetheless.

Turkish — a.k.a. The Turkinator, Turkenstein, Big Pussy, Mighty Whitey, et al. — was confused and displeased by my sudden reappearance at dinnertime and took a while to reacquaint himself with the luxury of the Large Irish Lap. Which, I might add, is a little less luxurious after 240 miles of roadwork — I’m down to 172.5 pounds, which for me is positively svelte. I bet it only takes me a trip and a half to haul ass now.

Miss Mia Sopaipilla, clearly smarter and braver than her big brother, instantly remembered who I was and marched right up to me for an ear rub while Turk’ pussyfooted around with a look of distrust on his whiskered mug. But eventually he came around and I was able to scratch his big shovel-shaped head without losing a finger.

Naturally, Herself recognized me straight away as the profligate swine who has been causing the Visa card to smoke like a poorly tuned diesel for the past couple of weeks. But she forgave me and even cracked a bottle of The Prisoner to celebrate my return. That rascal will rattle your cage at 15.2 percent alcohol by volume.

And so will clocking in at the old license-plate factory after 12 days on the road. Hey, screw, call my lawyer! I don’t belong in here … I’m innocent, I tell ya!

Cold comfort

March 21, 2010
The iPhone warns of cloudy skies ahead as we motor north through New Mexico toward a frostbitten Santa Fe.

The iPhone warns of cloudy skies ahead as we motor north through New Mexico toward a frostbitten Santa Fe.

So much for spring break. Our tour wrapped up on Friday afternoon and I spent the evening in a South Tucson motel enjoying all the benefits of modern living — hot shower, cold beer, a bed that doesn’t stuff neatly into a waterproof sack and of course, another combo plate at El Minuto. Two of my riding buddies and I went there post-tour to eat, drink and talk of things both great and small before drifting back to the motel for a dolorous chorus of hasta la vista muchachos, compañeros de mi vida.

Come morning at least five cars had been burgled in the parking lot, windows bashed out and various items liberated in the name of the people, and the manager was muttering about chicken-shit gangbangers and forming a motel owners’ co-op to hire armed security. Seemed like a good time to get out of Dodge, as my weaponry consisted of a Swiss army knife and a rapier-like wit.

I hit the road in shorts and T-shirt, watching gloomily as the Subie’s thermometer slid from the high 60s to the low 40s by Socorro, New Mexico, where I switched to jeans and long sleeves.

Don't let the sun fool you — it's 25 degrees outside of the Guadalupe Cafe.

Don't let the sun fool you — it's 25 degrees outside of the Guadalupe Cafe.

By dinner (green-chile cheeseburger, fries and IPA at Second Street Brewery in Santa Fe) I had pulled on a fleece jacket and gimme cap. First day of spring, my large Irish ass.

But wait, it gets worse. En route to a platter of sausage-and-cheese enchiladas this morning at the Guadalupe Cafe I was wishing I’d thought to tug on a tuque and winter gloves; the Subie told me it was all of 25 degrees in The City Different. Waaah.

Well, whatever. Nut up or shut up, as Woody Harrelson said in “Zombieland.” As soon as the sun gets a little higher in the sky I plan to soak my battered carcass in the public tub at Ten Thousand Waves, no matter what the ambient temperature, and then it’s off for the final leg of my trip, over icy Raton Pass and back to Bibleburg. Rain and snow are in the forecast until Friday, and I fear for my larval tan lines.

But the pants fit a little more loosely, and I kind of like that feeling, so I’ll break out a fendered cyclo-cross bike and reacquaint myself with neoprene kit in the never-ending struggle to keep my inner fat bastard under lock and key.

Parking it

March 17, 2010
No, it's not another Bibleburg homeless encampment — it's the Souther Arizona Road Adventurers, camping in the town park in Bisbee, Arizona.

No, it's not another Bibleburg homeless encampment — it's the Southern Arizona Road Adventurers, camping in the town park in Bisbee, Arizona.

Ah, wi-fi. Back to civilization, such as it is. What it is, is Bisbee, Arizona, where we’re enjoying a layover day in the town park. This means the tents get to stay up an extra day, which cuts down on the carnival atmosphere a bit and gives everyone a chance to rest, regroup and reorganize.

After yesterday’s rigors some of us opted for bed-and-breakfasts or hotels rather than spend another night in wind-battered tents, so I poached a little bathroom time from one of them and shaved for the first time since Saturday. I was starting to look like Papa Hemingway, only without all that annoying talent.

Everyone’s hoping for a little less wind — or, even better, a tailwind — when we return to Tombstone tomorrow via a different route. Me, I’m hoping to find some Guinness on tap tonight, St. Patrick’s Day being a holy day among my people (the Drunkards).

But there’s some local ale to be had here, so if the Micks don’t come through, I’m sure there will be alternatives. Last night it was Moose Drool — and yes, it tastes better than it sounds.

Blow me

March 16, 2010

There’s one thing to be said about having a predetermined route for a 45.4-mile ride through howling winds from Tombstone to Bisbee — it’s either finish or feed the coyotes.
I haven’t seen wind like that since I covered the Casper Classic and a 50-mph gust blew a break right off the road like a busboy clearing a table.
I haven’t even looked at my cyclometer … frankly, I don’t need to see an average speed in negative numbers. At one point on a long straight stretch I thought I saw Rod Serling standing at roadside, laughing.
More tomorrow at the main site. I know where there is wi-fi to be had, and after two Moose Drools and a long sleep I may even be able to make some use of it.

That old gang of mine

March 14, 2010

Apparently the Revolution will not only not be televised, it will not happen at all – George Hayduke is selling real estate in Tucson instead of blowing up dams.
Meanwhile, I made it to Patagonia without incident or shaming myself or VeloNews (I was wearing VN shorts). More later – posting via iPhone while lying on your back in a tent is like trying to knit with boxing gloves.

Java jive

March 13, 2010
The very latest in Road Trip Breakfast Technology (circa 2005): a cup of Starbucks and a 12-inch G4 PowerBook.

The very latest in Road Trip Breakfast Technology (circa 2005): a cup of Starbucks and a 12-inch G4 PowerBook.

Comfort zone: A cage just big enough so that when you sit at its center, strangers can’t poke you through the bars with sharp sticks.

Like many of you, I’m a creature of habit. For instance, I must have powerful coffee immediately upon arising in the morning or someone will suffer. I used to haul a small espresso machine around, but in the age of a Starbucks on every street corner this has become unnecessary.

Or so I thought.

This morning I ambled into the motel’s breakfast nook and poured myself a cup of what appeared to be used chain degreaser, only not as tasty. Down the loo it went and out the door I went, cursing and spitting, in search of the velvety black jumper cables of life.

I prefer to deal with locally owned java shops when traveling but there was no time to waste on scientific experimentation. And besides, my motel is near the airport and nothing else. You’d think that where there are travelers there would be grog shops, taverns, alehouses, pubs, cafés, cantinas and yes, coffee shops, but not in South Tucson. Bubba. You want hot asphalt, fast food and faster cars, you’re in the right place. Everything else must be found elsewhere.

Incredibly, the nearest Starbucks was five miles away. A 10-minute drive! And I had to make it without coffee! Oh, the humanity. But I scored — a tall Americano, plus a bagel with cream cheese and a pint of Naked orange juice to stave off the scurvy (yeah, I checked out the motel’s “breakfast” before leaving, too).

Editor’s note: No motel staffers were harmed in the making of this blog post.

(Un)freeze frame

March 10, 2010
New Mexico via the iPhone through the windshield.

New Mexico via the iPhone through the windshield.

Whaddaya know — I found a weather window and drove right through it. Raton Pass was dry as the proverbial popcorn fart and the snow didn’t start falling until just outside Santa Fe, when the fuel light blinked on a few miles earlier than usual thanks to a stiff headwind.

The food and service at La Choza was undistinguished once again, which is a shame. It used to be the cheaper, easier little sister of The Shed, but I’m afraid I’m gonna have to start cuddling up to the higher-priced spread on the Plaza.

Happily, the IPA at Second Street Brewing was excellent as always, as was the cream stout. It was open mic’ night, and there was a kid’s birthday party going on right next to me, but the right beer takes the edge off that sort of thing.

It was interesting to watch as nearly everyone who walked into the brewpub instantly checked their smartphones to see if they’d missed anything in the handful of minutes they’d been untethered from the Giant Electronic Titty (this from a guy who just sent an iPhone pic to his PowerBook).

There won’t be any riding here tomorrow. The place has mud season and snow season going on simultaneously, and I didn’t bring a power washer with me. Maybe I’ll just grab a breakfast burrito at Tia Sophia, enjoy a leisurely soak at Ten Thousand Waves and then beat it for sunnier country — either Las Cruces or all the way to Tucson. I want tan lines, not brown stripes.