For weeks a friend of our family's and longtime cyclist has suggested we take a ride to together. We always had good intentions, it just never seemed to happen.
We found a few hours to hit the road Friday and my only wish is I had done this much earlier. From the beginning, it was relaxing, yet challenging and I blocked out the cars. Tucson, Ariz., is a great cycling town and dozens of professionals and other serious riders descend on the city each year to ride the hilly terrain of the foothills. The strong cycling advocacy in my town has resulted in lots of nice bike lanes. I was still afraid of traffic, even with the bike lanes and never felt totally comfortable with cars whizzing by.
Friday's ride changed all that. We took off from my house and made our way along River Road, an east-west hilly road that splits Tucson between the foothills to the north and the city to the south. We rode to Sabino Canyon, a beautiful desert park at the eastern foot of the Santa Catalina Mountains and then cruised through a variety of neighborhoods. We returned following the same path for the first half and then headed south into the city and finally back up to my house.
I am no cycling expert. I fall much closer to the rookie category. Our ride was mostly instructional and I've started to inch my self away from rookie. I learned a lot more about shifting technique, riding with traffic and even practiced - as silly as it sounds - drinking out of my water bottle more effectively.
I can't wait these days to get back on my bike. Everyone has got to find a maven for themselves. Although Mike, it sounds like you might be one yourself.