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