When surrounded by stagnation, stay moving

I haven’t posted in several weeks. In Tucson, I’m in an entirely different environment and I’m less happy about this place than I’ve ever been. I have been putting a lot of miles in. Yesterday, I did over 30. Today, I did about 17. Everything is far from everything else here, so running errands can give you some legs. But, few here seem to get this and this is why I ride with a lot of cars.

On Saturday, this place became eerie as the shock and grief set in. That incredibly violent event happened six miles from me. Everyone around me took it as a signal to A: Drive around or B: pace around with a cell phone. I guess this is the new expression of grief. Today, the president came and I steered clear of that radius of police power, by skirting up near Grant Road.

8 miles of heaven
8 miles of heaven

I live close to the entrance of this relatively sweet stretch of paved road. It runs in a loop through the National Park lands. My friend Mike and I took a ride there. This is the old route of El Tour standard Freeman road; it is an example of a ‘false top’ hill where you get there and there’s much more hill. It has ‘blown up’ a lot of cyclists that are not prepared for it, and gun it to the false top.

Southward on Freeman
Southward on Freeman

Tucson is superb when I’m in my saddle. Otherwise, it’s one of the most stagnant places around. There’s a broken social scene like you wouldn’t believe, and Tucson is a place where people very often don’t do what they say they are going to. Theft is a huge problem. There’s little trust between neighbors and even less with strangers.

The beauty to Tucson is the layout of the vast streets and alleys that are lined with flowering trees and walls. Many of them follow the washes, which cut through the city; dry creek beds that flood in late summer. Most of the people are here because of the great winter weather, and I guess that includes me, now. I lasted 2 years in the Northwest. I miss Seattle’s hills. I can’t find good wine for the prices I did up there. (but booze is almost half the price as in WA) Back down here, I’m getting tanned. I shaved my legs. I don’t even bother with the bus even riding into the headwind. This week I rode all the way on 22nd. Here is my view from the duece-duece bridge; gateway to South Tucson:

The more miles my tires eat up, the better I’ll feel.

Aviation bike path down there
Aviation bike path down there

I’ll try to bring some good photos next posting, bringing you some images and experiences of deep Tucson.

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About littlejar

5 - Learned to ride in paved alley behind liquor store in Lowell. 16 - Road bike riding alone while peers do soccer practice. 18 - First new road bike bought with winnings from Project Graduation. 20 - Burlington VT. Nuff said. 22 - Joined the Air Force. 23 - Joined team Fair Wheel in Tucson - rode the Shootout. 24 - Rode El Tour in under five. 26 - Toured to Quebec City 28 - Toured Oklahoma to Vermont 30 - Found my dream bike - a 1989 58cm LaBan (#22) 32 - Experienced Minneapolis and saw BIKE CULTURE. 34 - Building my first bicycle frame, with a self made jig. USA

5 thoughts on “When surrounded by stagnation, stay moving

  1. I ride Freeman Rd all the time, usually on my way to Saguaro E monument. Since you are on the E side you should hit up the AZ Trail near Colossal Cave or off Redington Rd. In fact, heading E even down Speedway and then Tanque Verde until Redington will get you your hill fix. They paved the forst few bends of Redington as it climbs into the Rincons, but it’s still steep and stays that way after it turns to dirt. Ride your MTB from home up Redington, hit an AZT loop and head back home (watch out for the gun enthusiasts on Redington)

  2. El Tour de Tucson. The most drunk cyclists you’ll ever see. I hate freeman. it’s like an hour of hate. Readington is the shit with a clipped fat grip. pop pop pop. I used that road to ride around lemon a few times. I loved that ride. dirt road whore.