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Thursday, 5 August 2004
Long ride
Topic: Cycling
I rode 19.69 miles (love my odometer) and I'm tired. About 12 was in the afternoon as I had to ride to another office further away and then home. Toward the end I got a few drips of rain but never enough to really cool things off.

Since I was near 5th St, just east of Granada, I rode just north of 5th to 4th Avenue. Then I rode south to just before the underpass where I curved east and onto the bike route that connected with the Snake Bridge, which I rode across Broadway. I'm trying to find a good way to ride to Broadway and Campbell and then on home without having to get on Broadway too much since there is no bike path till Columbus where it shares the bus lane. That is dangerous since people are whipping in and out of shopping centers and stores and I've nearly been hit several times.

I rode the back streets to Columbus and then got tired of winding back and forth and rode on the sidewalk till I got home. Even so I had to stop fast a couple times since people whipped right in front of me. I know, I know. That's bad but I was tired. I'm really enjoying riding my bike again but I am eagerly awaiting cooler weather.

P.S. I just noticed that my total odometer since I got it last week is 100 miles, exactly. Cool!

Posted by rachela at 10:23 PM MDT
Updated: Thursday, 5 August 2004 10:35 PM MDT
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Tuesday, 3 August 2004
Gadget time
Topic: Cycling
Last week I got an odometer/speedometer for my bike. It's so much fun. I did check that it was 7.5 miles to work and it's almost exact. Usually just a little over because of minor side trips. I only rode three days last week and today was my first one this week due to fear of rain. I have 65 miles on the odometer which is a little over the 15/day for last week and 17.44 today since I went down to 22nd to the Albertsons on the way home.

I did see some lightning today but it wasn't close but I was a bit afraid a couple times last week. If only I could go by the forecasts but they don't always know what's going to happen and what does 40% chance of rain mean anyway? It wasn't bad today as the clouds kept off the direct sun and even with the high humidity and heat I had much more energy riding home.

I've found that when it's this hot I just don't ride much on the weekends since it's hot by the time I get up. During the week I ride to work when it's comparatively cool and once I'm there, I have to ride home nd it's starting to cool down when I leave work, usually.

Posted by rachela at 10:51 PM MDT
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Friday, 16 July 2004
Rainy week
Topic: Cycling
I only rode my bike to work on Monday and today. Our monsoons started in earnest and the chance of rain was well over 50% most of the week and I always have to take a big breath and face riding home in the rain. It's not really the rain but the chance of lightning. If there's lightning when I leave work I just leave my bike and work and take the bus home but if it starts when I'm halfway home and no place to stop it's a bit scary. I've also had fairly deep water of the streets to ride though that I'm not too crazy about.

Today I rode though and it was nice. It's cool in the morning but so humid. I can usually ride to work without really breaking a sweat but now that we're getting the humidity it's like riding in a sauna. It was fairly cool this afternoon because of the clouds and a nice ride home despite the humidity.


Posted by rachela at 9:54 PM MDT
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Thursday, 8 July 2004
Riding in the rain
Topic: Cycling
I had two meetings this afternoon at a building about two miles west of where I work. Since I knew it would be after 5:00 when we finished I rode my bike over so I could just head home from there. As I wended my way west it started raining. More a light drizzle but I was damp when I got there. At 5:30 when we were finally done, it was just spitting as I headed east and toward home.

It was so nice. It never was a real rain, just enough to get me very damp though I did finally stop and cover my backpack with a plastic bag so my stuff wouldn't also get wet. I never could not see through my glasses so it was a light rain.

It was a hard ride though because I rode into the wind the whole way. Our monsoons come from the east. Southeast technically but it always seems strongest from the east. One place I lived faced east and when the rains came with the wonderful coolness and wonderful smells, I always had to shut my door because the rain blew right in. The wind plus the extra two miles, well four miles counting going to the meeting place meant my legs were tired. Still it was so wonderful to work that hard and not get too hot.

There was a full rainbow to the east and I just followed it home. Toward the end the middle of the rainbow disappeared but to the north it became a double rainbow. Just beautiful! After I got home the drizzle turned heavier though it was never heavy. The sunset turned the sky a deep burnt orange. It's still drizzling heavily now, 8:00 pm. Hopefully the monsoons have arrived though they are usually heavier and don't last as long.

Posted by rachela at 9:15 PM MDT
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Tuesday, 6 July 2004
StIll hot, staying hot
Topic: Cycling
It got to 102 today and some humidity so I was very tired when I got home. I'm doing better though. My face is still bright red for a while but I don't feel almost sick which I did a couple times when I first started riding in the heat. It's still not my favorite thing but riding to work in the morning is great and makes it worthwhile.

Posted by rachela at 9:56 PM MDT
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Thursday, 1 July 2004
Arroyo Chico bikeway
Topic: Cycling
Feeling peppy after work I took Highland south from the university to the Arroyo Chico bikeway. The Arroyo Chico runs from Highland in the west to Harrison in the east. It goes up to 1/2 mile south of Broadway so right away that added a mile to my ride and it jogs much more than the 3rd Street bikeway, going up to Broadway at one point and back down so it's easily two miles more.

The ride runs through an industrial area just east of Campbell Avenue but most of it is through nice residential areas. There are a few shabby areas since the south side of Tucson has more of the lower income areas than the north side. Ok, it even has some slums but there aren't many since Tucson tends to have very mixed neighborhoods with nice homes in one block and shabby ones in the next. We also don't have many high rise housing areas so our poverty is spead out more.

The streets are so much worse than the 3rd street bikeway. They are cracked and warped and make for a bad bike ride. I was going slow and still was bounced around much more than I like. All in all it's a nice route but you have to take it slow in order to enjoy it.

It runs along the Arroyo Chico wash for quite a way and through a very nice area north of Reid Park with the wash on one side and very nice homes on the other. It then loops north on the Bell Bike path that runs around the golf course in Reid Park. On the other side you turn into another residential area and wind back and forth through residential areas till Harrison.

I was tired from the rough ride and the extra mileage when I got home but it's nice to take a different route

Posted by rachela at 9:55 PM MDT
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Wednesday, 30 June 2004
Mesquite crunchies
Topic: Cycling
I've been riding through dried mesquite beans to and from work. Some places they are thick on the ground and make such a nice crunchy sound as I ride through them. Other places they are already being ground into the asphalt or carried off on tires.

The Third Street Bikeway which runs from Pima Community College in the west to Wilmot in the east jogs quite a bit but is a very traffic free ride on nice wide streets. The trees are beautiful the whole length. I can go faster on Broadway in the morning since there isn't much traffic but in the afternoon there is too much traffic and people are turning in and out of stores without paying much attention to cyclists. I'm also going much slower and I feel pushed on the main streets.

Yesterday at a small, sleek, brown dog was running across Rosemont and a lady in a car and I stopped and tried to get the dog but he ran into a fenced yard where he seemed at home so we assumed he was back where he belonged. It was amusing to see a tiny little dog stopping those big cars, though he's lucky he didn't get hit.

Posted by rachela at 11:00 PM MDT
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Monday, 28 June 2004
Clouds
Topic: Cycling
It was cool this morning riding to work. I am always amazed how nice it can be in the morning when it's triple digits in the afternoon. Even now with more moisture than usual it was nice, even in the afternoon due to the clouds. Wow! It's wonderful how nice a few clouds are. They say we aren't really in the monsoons yet, something about we have to stay at a certain humidity for three days or something. All I know is I got sprinkled on yesterday and today it's humid.

Posted by rachela at 8:40 PM MDT
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Monday, 21 June 2004
Bicycle pump
Topic: Cycling
My bicycle pump gave out last night. It was one of the foot pumps, a cheap one, and it just busted. On the way home I picked up a floor pump so now I'll have to build up my arm muscles. I once tried one of the itty bitty pumps the cool bikers use and couldn't make it move. With the floor pump I can at least lean on it with my entire body weight, which unfortunately, is weight enough.

Posted by rachela at 10:00 PM MDT
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Wednesday, 16 June 2004
Behind the big buildings
Topic: Cycling
On the way home I took Columbus south to a couple blocks past Broadway and then curved back to follow the road behind the big office buildings between Columbus and Swan. It's always interesting to see the neighborhoods tucked behind the fancy big buildings. It was a shock to get back on Broadway but it is faster.

Posted by rachela at 9:40 PM MDT
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Tuesday, 15 June 2004
Cool 99 degrees
Topic: Cycling
I left work at the same time as yesterday, about 5:30, but it was so much better even though it was just 4 degrees less in the high. I also drank constantly today because I think part of the problem yesterday is that I didn't get hydrated enough before I started riding. I do tend to dehydrate easily.

I stopped at Wild Oats just east of Country Club to pick up a couple things so I cooled off there and the rest of the ride went well. I rode along Speedway to Alvernon where the bike lane ran out. I don't feel comfortable riding on a main road without a bike lane. I do it occasionally but it make me very nervous. I rode just south of Speedway till I got to Rosemont and headed south. I passed Rosewood and thought that would make a great address: "I live on the corner of Rosewood and Rosemont".

South of 5th Street, just north of Arcadia Wash, I turned left into the residential area and sort of followed the wash. I had to curve north around a neighborhood park that had cars packed wall to wall. As I turned around the north side I realized there was some kind of competition at the pool there. They all looked so cool! I then curved south along the east side of the park and then east to Craycroft. I never noticed it but there's a bike left turn lane just to the right of the two car left turn lanes. I assume that's what it's for and I used it as such to make the turn onto Broadway. It was nice to wait to turn without cars impatiently waiting just behind me.

Posted by rachela at 10:41 PM MDT
Updated: Tuesday, 15 June 2004 10:42 PM MDT
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Monday, 14 June 2004
Cycling hot
Topic: Cycling
The heat really hit me on the way home. It was 103 for the high but some days are worse than others. I finally had to stop and cool off. I managed to stop at a Barnes and Noble and spent half an hour looking through books, but the heat and exhaustion was real...really!

I guess it's because it's no longer getting as cool at night and doesn't start cooling down as soon as it used to. I'll just have to find places to break my ride in the afternoon. In the morning it's still great.

Posted by rachela at 9:27 PM MDT
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Thursday, 10 June 2004
Cool 90s
Topic: Cycling
There was almost a nip in the breeze as I cycled off to work this morning. It only lasted till I warmed up. It was a lovely ride. I didn't time it quite right and a bus whizzed by. I feel guilty taking up the bus/bike lane because I also ride the bus and I know how frustrating it is to be stuck behind a bike, unable to get by, when people have connections to make in order to get to work on time. If I time leaving till just after the bus goes by I get to Craycroft after the Wilmot only bus heads west from Craycroft. From Craycroft west they are running every 10 minutes but that gives me time to get to Arcadia where I head north because the bike lane runs out and Broadway gets a little narrow for my comfort.

I can go so much faster riding straight west on Broadway because the 3rd St Bikeway goes back and forth quite a bit since 3rd Street doesn't go in a straight line. It's a conspiracy to make riding bikes difficult. This bikeway jogs more than the others that I've been on.

Coming back was a little warmer but the low 90s don't seem too bad once you've accepted that it's summer in southern Arizona. I'm cycling a little faster I think. Yeah! I'm getting in shape.

Posted by rachela at 9:46 PM MDT
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Monday, 7 June 2004
Hot Commute
Topic: Cycling
The ride to work was beautiful. Perfect cycling weather. Our high today was 102 so it was hot coming back but I didn't start till 5:30 and stopped at the grocery store for half an hour shortly into the ride so it was ok. It's surprising how much difference half an hour to an hour makes. Totally different than last week when I started back a little before 5:00 and though I would collapse with heatstroke.

Posted by rachela at 11:04 PM MDT
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Friday, 4 June 2004
Night cycling
Topic: Cycling
I waited till 7:00 pm and did a little shopping on my bike. It was just too hot before then. It was dark by the time I left the first store and my front light was already going out. I had to change batteries before continuing. I use rechargable batteries but they don't last long. Regular batteries don't last very long and they cost more. This way at least I can just recharge them but I need to get a few more since it's going to be a hot summer.

It was night when I left the first store as the sky was still colored and it was beautiful. Dusk is so wonderful. It's a shame we are always either running frantically around or watching tv during it.

Posted by rachela at 10:26 PM MDT
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