Life is so easy when it’s 80 degrees. Cold at night, warm (almost hot) in the afternoon. No need to think about how to dress–it’s not going to get cold.
Both weekend days were picture perfect, I wouldn’t have adjusted by one degree in either direction if I could have.
Saturday was Chad’s housewarming ride / party. We rode from his new house to the Golder Ranch trailhead, causing me to immediately burn in righteous jealousy.
The trails off Golder Ranch are some of the best in Tucson, and perhaps the best to have nearby.
I say “we” rode from his house, but I was actually late, quite late, so I played catchup on the Behemoth (noon is apparently too early for me to be ready to ride these days). I torched through the lower 50, stopping to say “hi” to Kendall and Joan, then spun a fast lap of the chutes before heading to the high 50 in search of Chad’s crew.
chad giving one of his classic faces
I found them descending GEM, then we cruised up through mid gate. Man, it has been too long since myself and the Behemoth have been on these trails.
Chad had to split to get ready for the par-tay, and most of the group splintered with him. I volunteered as the “long” ride leader, with Lee, Jeff and Nancy joining me. We headed for the “CP” singletrack.
Get it, Jeff! On a singlespeed no less. The crew was patient with me as I led them astray many times, sometimes on purpose, sometimes not so much. What can I say? I’m tempted by open rock and vague memories of following Louis to ‘the goods.’
CP is cow singletrack through and through–narrow, twisty, brushy and hike-a-bike-y. Some incredible nuggets, though, like the above oak forest that pops up at a very low elevation. And look, everyone is riding in that pic!
After pointing out the Mother Mary / Baby Jesus rock formation to Lee, he declared it was his birthday (Happy B-day Lee!!) and that he was happy to have finally seen where Baby Jesus Trail / Ridge gets its name. Then the group broke out some food and I went and played on the rock.
Baby Jesus is not my favorite trail in the world, but low expectations often lead to surprising moments. Like finding myself muscling between chutes, shifting my weight to push a rock out of the way (!) then continuing to shoot down into the wash, with momentum to attack the next rock problem on the climb out.
Yes, the Little Niño (trail) really surprised me, and I think I surprised Nancy coming around that corner too!
Both Jeff and Nancy were only planning a short ride and only had a single water bottle (!). And they had singlespeeds. Not exactly the best setup for a CP/BJ loop, but no complaints were heard. It was great to ride with them outside an AES event, finally.
The Birthday Boy negotiates yet another tight squeeze on lower Baby J.
Lee is dwarfed by many a giant saguaro. Dwarfed in age, too. Those are some wise, old cacti.
We rolled back to Chad’s in time to feast on endless tacos de carne asada. I get the feeling this won’t be my last super ride that ends with good grub and good friends at Chad’s casa.
Sunday was another 80 degree day. I took my sweetie out to Sweetwater for a toasty tour of the preserve.
Paula’s getting into the whole “carve the singletrack” thing, wouldn’t you say?
And me? Just playing around, per usual.
What a beautiful, lazy day. When home there was nothing to do but sit outside on the lounge chair and eat a burrito while enjoying simply being outside. The neighborhood was alive with the subtle sounds of warmth — basketballs bouncing, freewheels spinning, hammers pounding, rakes pulling, kids laughing. Everyone was outside, it seemed. I love winter in Tucson, but the hint of the warmth of spring is perhaps even better.