Sunday, September 25, 2011

Connect 2 Tucson Ride

On Saturday, Crazy Jim (my good friend) and I did this ride and it was great for us.  The ride was meant to show people the new links that now connect some bike paths into one larger 22-mile path.

Crazy Jim downs one last bite before the ride.
Crazy Jim earned his nickname this weekend, because prior to the ride this Saturday, he had not been on his bike in about 3 months.  Amusing for me, painful for him.  But he is a trooper and never complains.
A gorgeous bike path with the sun shining through the trees!  Loved it!

As for the bike path itself, we were mostly on actual bike paths along the Rillito River in Central Tucson.   The fact that the City of Tucson has connected various river bike paths is commendable and should continue to boost cycling in Tucson.  On the city streets, we were nearly always on designated bike paths that were wide enough for us to be two-wide.  There is an even greater set of connections coming soon that will make this a 55-mile loop.  (Although I've come to realize that the "loop" that they speak of still involves crossing some city streets in crosswalks, etc....a small price to pay).

We got there and were reminded that the event was sponsored by a "move beyond fossil fuels" organization.  Depending on family size, geography, job location, etc., going car-free just does not work for everyone.  However, I commend those that DO choose that lifestyle when they can.  Personally, I try to take my bike or walk for most local errands.   That never would have occurred to me two years ago.

The ride was awesome.  We went at a very steady pace of about 17 mph for the first 11 miles.  Given that we were getting through town and then following a river, the first 11 miles were somewhat downhill (downstream).  It looked flat, but it is pretty great to be going 17-18 mph with little effort on my heavy commuter bike.  For the second half, we were riding slightly uphill (upstream).  It never looked uphill, but it did slow our pace and we were both getting tired.
Waiting for the train to pass...

I feel a bit pathetic about getting tired on a 23 mile ride.  It is not that far, given my history, but I haven't ridden this far in one ride since March.  Instead, I've become more accustomed to 30-45 minute rides.  I need to expand that into 1-2 hour rides more often.  It was fun and it felt like a great accomplishment.


Every Tucson race ends with a mariachi band at the finish line.

At the event, I was able to see a friend of mine who is the editor of http://www.tucsonvelo.com/.  I'll write more about him in another post.  He has a great website that features not only Tucson-based cycling news, but links to interesting stories nationally and internationally.

I also was able to test drive an electric bike.  That was a first for me and it was a blast.  More on that later also.

Keep moving everyone!

Big Clyde

6 comments:

Michael said...

Sounds like a fun ride. It was probably good to get out there and go on a longer ride. Sounds like you guys kept a pretty good pace considering both of you hadn't ridden that long for awhile. Great job!

Dr. Fat To Fit said...

Good for you. Glad to see you back on the bike and loving it. I wish our city was more bike friendly. I might ride more also. Around here if you're on a bike, you're kind of a target for those crazy Texan drivers! Keep up the good work!

Bruce said...

They are slowly making progress on more trails around here. They are currently closing in a irrigation canal and are putting a multi-use path on it. That will help us here.

Great job getting out. I am sure it was a bit warm. My daughter was happy because it was only going to be 93 today around Phoenix!

Kimberley said...

Looks like a fun time!

Alan (Pounds Off Playoff) said...

Great ride, Clyde. Long rides are fun, huh?

Susietri said...

Envious. Sounds like a great trail system. And mariachi bands at finish lines!!