Nice save, Beth!

Well, let me tell you about my fun little ride today. It was a doozy. I’m just out there for some fun, pushing it when I feel like and sometimes JRA (our lingo for ‘just riding along’…you know, usually this is when something is about to occur).

Its a beautiful morning in the neighborhood and I’m heading out the door to play in my backyard, which lately has become something like a sandbox in places. Remember those? Any way, the temps are finally cooling off and it’s about 60 which is perfect riding weather. The sun is just peeking up over the mountains and believe it not there is no wind. Weee!

After the first climb is under my belt, and I am quite pleased at making it through all the sand this morning, I begin the second climb up to the saddle. Beautiful singletrack now, but a bit washed away after this summer’s massive monsoon season. There is this one spot I just can’t seem to get thru anymore. Well, that’s it…I’m sweeping that stupid sand off the line. So here I am, squatting with a big stick in my hand sweeping the sand off the trail. After about 10 minutes of work, I hop back on my bike, descend past where I cleaned up and climbed over it again. Yea! Much better. I feel satisfied…and dusty.

I continue on and descend from the saddle, not too shabby and the brakes are working! My back wheel is a bit squirrely, seems its not even on the same bike as the front wheel and has a mind of it’s own. The darn rim is bent, badly. If you can hear me out there, give a girl some help here, Stan’s! At the end of the sweet descent, I climb up towards the Gypsum mine (no longer in use). There is some double track, some single and definitely more sand. Its very quiet and even a little creepy at times knowing the only thing up here is me, a rundown mine and whatever ghosts might be lingering (ok, it’s Halloween, so, ya know). I turn around at the top of the main climb and head back down, JRA. (You feel it coming here, right?)

My wheels fail to communicate and I get stuck off line. I’m bouncing off baby heads and out of control. My butt slides off the back of the seat. My left foot comes unclipped. Getting faster and knocked every which way. Then my right foot comes unclipped. Uh-oh. I’m still hanging on with both hands and my belly resting on the seat, my left knee is rubbing against the back tire and as I come dangerously close to a rather large ocotillo, I manage to get the brakes on and come to a stop….without a major crash. Whew! Seriously, I sometimes wonder how I am still in one piece! Except for the super tender tire burn on the inside of my left knee (yes, I look like I’ve been run over. hahaha), I am otherwise unscathed. This whole ordeal lasted a meer few seconds, but it was certainly enough time to weigh out the consequences that [could have] lay ahead. This is one for the books, an excellent save if I do say so myself.

Next up is the sandy jeep road leading to the rest of the singletrack I will hit while still in the Tortalitas. Going smooth, if not a bit slow secondary to a loss of momentum thru the deep washes. The singletrack is awesome! Fairly fast and not too torn up. And I’ld like to say uneventful here, but that would put me in really deep shit. No really! And literally. I couldn’t miss it. I ran right thru that really deep shit, cow pattie to be exact. And as it splatters up onto my bike and onto me for the next several minutes while my tires roll over the dirt, I am thankful that it has missed my face. At least I am not eating shit! 😉

Onward! Cause that’s what I do. The rest of the ride, I will say went well. I headed over via a power line road into the Catalinas where I climbed up and descended out back to the paved road home. I was riding to enjoy the day and the beautiful fall weather that doesn’t last very long in Tucson, and that’s exactly what I did. I hardly saw any other people out there and I feel grateful that I was able to get out and appreciate what the world has to offer us here. 🙂

My backyard playground!


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