ETT 08: The Week Before

Rode in the club ride on 11/15 to Mummy Mountain in Scottsdale, but took the shorter and less hilly 30 mile option with Mary Ellen.  Johnny’s combo was playing a set out in front of Milano’s Music in downtown Mesa, and I didn’t want to miss it. It has nothing to do with the ETT ride, but below is a pretty nifty picture of John at the gig. On Tuesday, I spit-shined up the bike, cleaned and lubed the chain, adjusted the brakes, then did a 10 mile loop around Las Sendas, but otherwise took it very easy leading up to

Continue reading

ETT 08: Preparations

This past spring, I was talking with Leon Smith, a.k.a. Captain America, following a Sunday Kokopedalli ride at Einstein’s Bagels.   Since he was such an accomplished cyclist, I asked him to tell me his favorite ride, the one everyone must do.  Without hesitation, he stated that the El Tour de Tucson ride was it. I signed up for the ETT in early summer.  My thinking was to register early, pay the money, and ink it onto my calendar.  Otherwise, I might find a hundred excuses why not to do it. In early September, I met with my buddy Jules Moore

Continue reading

Golf Day in Ensenada

Both up by 7am or so. Phil was out the door early to get his cigarette-lighter air pump working on the left rear tire, which took a while but worked well. Both of us were fairly well sunburned from yesterday. We ate breakfast, cleaned up, packed up, checked out, and were soon on Mexico 1D headed south. The motel clerk told us to go about 17 or 18 lights down – I’d never gotten directions quite like that. We found signs to the Baja Country Club easily and headed east back into a canyon area between steep mountains. It is a

Continue reading

Ride Day in Rosarita Beach

We were entertained throughout the night not by the group downstairs, but by numerous anxious fits of barking by nearby dogs. One agitated outburst of shouting woke me up at another hour. But mostly, I slept peacefully with my earplugs firmly in place. The ride started at 10AM, but Phil was up by 6. He’d had to check on a similar-sounding car alarm at night, and he’s an early riser anyway. I slowly rolled out of bed by about 6:45 and puledl on my bike clothes. We enjoyed bowls of cereal and more fruit, and made Gatorade for the ride.

Continue reading

Drive to Ensenada

Met Phil at his place just before 8am, September 26.  We had originally decided to drive the X5 down, but when we added golf clubs, we decided to take his Suburban.  Phil was already packed and ready to go. We took Riggs to Maricopa Road, then the short cut AZ237 over to Gila Bend.  Phil fired up the Suburban once on I-8 and we were in Yuma in no time.  Loved seeing the dunes, and then the interesting boulders in the steep mountains before San Diego. We took I805 south to the border, bypassing the traffic in San Diego, and

Continue reading

White Mts Tour 08: Springerville to Hondah

In the morning, Phil and I headed over to the Rode Inn lobby for a freebie breakfast.  We sat with two ladies he’d met on the ride yesterday, and talked about our riding experiences.  They weren’t wearing pink jerseys but we enjoyed the company plenty.  One of the ladies talked at length about the Bicycle Tour of Colorado, a weeklong 400-mile loop through Colorado’s gorgeous scenery, including mega-climbing.   Sounded pretty awesome. Jules soon joined us and Phil told me he again had gotten almost no sleep last night, so I’m not sure how’s he’s going to survive riding today.   After breakfast

Continue reading

White Mts Tour 2008: Hondah to Springerville through St. Johns

Phil rises before the alarm in the morning, and he’s in his bike clothes before I’m out of bed.  He tells me that he’s gotten almost no sleep. We find the Hon Dah Casino and Resort easily enough on AZ260, then search around for a coffee shop.  We enter the casino restaurant from the back door, and find a very nice looking breakfast buffet on one side – perfect.  I even enjoy half a cup of coffee, for both the good flavor and the unaccustomed caffeine jolt. Phil and I quickly register and receive a map, door prize ticket, and

Continue reading

White Mts Tour 2008: The Drive Up

It’s around noon and I’m just about finished packing gear for our weekend tour in Arizona’s high country.   It’s been raining up there, so I check the forecast, then give Phil a call to give him an update. Answering the phone, Phil says, “What?  It’s Friday already?  We’re driving up there today?”  Hmm…what more evidence do we need – that guy works too hard. I’m happy that Phil pulls his Suburban into my driveway about 3pm, and it’s me who is not quite ready, but almost.  We head east on US60, through Superior and Globe, then up through the Salt

Continue reading

Luna Lakes 2008: Reserve to Springerville

Monday May 26 – We decided to leave earlier this morning, but I guess everyone else had the same idea.  We enjoyed a breakfast of eggs, bacon, and sausage, and an interesting pumpkin streudel with a tasty topping.  I had a rare cup of coffee that gave me a good morning jolt.  After stowing our stuff for the truck, we found ourselves again the last riders on the course. Monday’s route started directly into a 14-mile climb from 5770 feet in Reserve up US180 (the Colorado Trail Scenic Road) to the Luna summit at 8000 feet in the San Francisco

Continue reading

Luna Lakes 2008: Quemado to Reserve

Sunday May 25 – Electing not to use an alarm, Mary Ellen and I awoke about 6:20AM the next morning.  Unfortunately, our pre-paid breakfast was 5 – 6:30AM at the high school, nearly a ½ mile walk from the hotel.  We dressed in a flash and practically ran there, arriving about 1 minute late, then grinned and pleaded our case for service.   I was happy to see cold cereal and milk, my favorite, and downed several bowls.  They also served leftover chocolate cake, which Mary Ellen started with, then added 2 pancakes on top of that. On our walk back

Continue reading