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AZ Trail on Thursday Morning

April 9, 2010

Riding the Arizona Trail at 8 a.m. on a Thursday morning feels like I’m cheating, and it feels so good! We start at Sahuarita Road and head north toward Colossal Cave. Totally ridable, no hike a bike sections like Canelo except for a couple steps here and there. I have to work late tonight, so I have to start work late this morning—all logical. Plenty of time for a happy morning ride!

The wind blasts across the hills and so do we. Then Chuck and I backtrack to see if the others are still with us, they are, and off we go. Ocotillos are tipped with red blooms and yellow flowers carpet the trailside. Occasional white and purple flowers add to the springtime mix. Creosote bushes and palo verde trees also bloom yellow.

We come to I-10 culvert and underpass, “watch out for sand on the other side” Chuck warns. So we roll into darkness of the culvert, pass under the median grate, and I fishtail in the sand. Well, I couldn’t see it, it’s dark! On the north side of the interstate, we ride the edge of Davidson Canyon. It’s deeper and wider than I expected and sometimes the trail is a little too close to the edge.

We hit a super fast section where Chuck catches air on the speed bumps, and I don’t. We arrive at Three Bridges: two railroad bridges and one road bridge over the canyon that is filled with spring green cottonwoods and saguaros.  We have entered La Cienega Preserve. “This is where it gets interesting,” says Chuck, as we hit some moderately rocky sections and switchbacks.

Chuck rides past ocotillo and out of La Cienega.

Alas, it’s time to turn around, we run into some other guys from Chuck’s crew and I show off my new bike. Chuck hangs back to ride with a beginner, and I speed away. I meet another young fellow on the trail, Taylor, who will also be doing AZT 300. I explain how to find the trail at Three Bridges and send him on his way with “See you in a couple weeks!”

On the way back, I take the new and twisted section of the trail that was designed to go as close to as many cacti as possible.  About to burst with flowers, many yuccas also line the trail.

Behind my handlebars is better than behind my desk any morning of the week!

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