It’s been raining in Tucson, or at least in the Northeast part of town. We have had almost an inch and a half of rain the last few days. What does this have to do with riding your bicycle? Well, it creates sand bars in the dips, puddles of water and sometimes small lakes all to be avoided. In addition we have the columns of those flying ants that appear after rains in late July or early August. That’s what I found the last two days. I had not ridden this last week as life got in the way. On Saturday, I decided ride from home to the Saturday ride start with the possibility, if I felt ok, to just ride home for some extra miles. Well I did ride home, up Campbell, then over to Sabino Canyon and then home. 63 miles. Today, set the alarm early and with Barb went out for another ride that I expected would be around 40 miles. The plan, down Freeman to OST then Loma Alta to Colossal Cave Road then over to Mary Ann Cleveland to Houghton. Up Houghton and when I got near Speedway, I received an alert that a virtual training partner had posted a time from there to Tanque Verde. The virtual training partner’s time was 2:44. I had been riding fairly easy the entire time, but given the challenge, I went for it. Bested Caroline Audilet by 3 seconds!
I slowed down to let Barb catch up. We rode over to Ft Lowell and neither of us noticed any signs for the Agua Cliente crossing on Ft Lowell, so we proceeded up Melpomene to Limberlost only to find it closed at the wash and the water flowing pretty swiftly. At that point, I had calculated our days mileage at about 43. We had to backtrack, figuring we would cross on Ft Lowell only to find the signs up. We missed them earlier. So we go back to Houghton, then Tanque Verde and back up Soldier Trail, an additional 7+ miles on an already long ride.
On the far side, where we turned around you can see a black stripe across the road. That’s ash from the Burro fire. It’s quite a way up from the existing water level, so the was was flowing with much greater volume earlier.
Rain is very beneficial for our desert but not so beneficial for ending a ride with the mileage you really wanted.