Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Busy December

As the title implies, December has been a busy month, and I'm not referring to Christmas and all of its associated busy-ness. I'm talking scooter rides and the like. One of the great thing about Arizona is a near year-round riding season. This does, of course vary somewhat from person to person. We routinely get temperatures around freezing in our short winter and this is too cold for a lot of people. Additionally, when temps climb about 105 or 110 degrees that is too hot for some people as well. I try not to think any less of people who prefer not to ride in Arizona's extremes, I just don't happen to be one of them.

On to December's scooter events: We started with our Ride of the Month (ROTM). I had been wanting to ride to Arivaca, AZ. I prefer riding loops to the "Out and back" type of ride, so we had breakfast (partly to let it warm up a bit) then rode out Highway 86 west to Three Points, AZ, turned south driving through the Tohono Ohodam Indian reservation about 40 miles then east to Arivaca where we stopped for fuel and coffee.

The first photo shows us as we were preparing to ride out of Jerry-Bob's Cafe near the airport. It was 38 degrees when I left my house for breakfast, but the temps climbed rapidly to the low 50's as we rode out and I think it was mid-60's by the time we finished the ride.
One thing I have to be more aware of (apparently) are more precise distances from gas pump to gas pump on some of these longer rides. Three points just seemed to be too soon to stop, so we rode one toward Arivaca. Hwy 286 aka Sasabe Rd through the reservation has some incredible scenery. I had never been down that road and now I can't wait to go back. I believe my map calls the mountain to the west of 286 the Pozo Verde Mts, the northern end of which is where Kitt Peak Observatory sits.

Well, we took a short rest break at the Sasabe-Arivaca Junction, then noted it was another 35 miles to Arivaca. By the time we rode in, my Buddy was pretty low on fuel and so was everyone else. As you can see above, Arivaca is a small community with a grand total of 4 fuel pumps. Our thirsty scooters gathered round for some much needed refreshment. We then rode to a local coffee shop and had some of the best coffee I've ever had outside of my own kitchen.

On 12/12, we participated in Tucson's annual "Parade of Lights." The scooter club has always been well received at this event and it's popular among the riders as well. My camera was stolen as we were preparing for the ride so I'm sans photos. 22 scooters and riders participated and this equaled last years record breaking attendance.

On 12/15, we rode to Winterhaven's "Festival of Lights." this is a neighborhood that goes all out in decorating. There are hayrides and other activities there every year. They only allow motorvehicles 3 nights of the season, so we had a ride. As it turns out, only 3 of us made it out. I'm not sure if I'll include it next year or not.
A few days later, I found out the one of our newer members wanted to ride out to Sonoita, AZ. I love riding out there, so we agreed to ride out there on the 21st. Four of our wound up going on short notice. Some of the more well know (i.e. more expensive) restaurants were closed on Mondays, but the Four Corners Cafe was open. The picture above is taken as you walk into their courtyard. Isn't it beautiful. The mountains in the background are spectacular! It was a bit breezy but the ride went well. Because I had just replaced my Buddy's variator rollers with new sliders and hadn't yet test ridden it, I decided to take the Stella.

Between the mountain grades and the head wind, I was down to 30 mph in places. To tell the truth, it's refreshing to have the slowest bike on a ride sometimes. I don't have to keep looking back, afraid that I'm going to inadvertently leave someone behind. We stopped in Sonoita and had lunch. I highly recommend the burgers at the Four Corners Cafe. Mine was very tasty, additionally, my creamy potato soup with ham and green chiles was also very good. the coffe was good, but not a good as Arivaca's.
The area around Sonoita is in the heart of Arizona's wine country. It was still early when we finished lunch, so we rode a 20 mile loop around through Elgin, AZ and back to Sonoita. We gassed up and headed home. The photo above is take at the rodeo grounds/race track in Sonoita. We had a tail wind home, so the ride went much faster.

How many people in other states get to ride so much in December. I love riding my scooters! I hope you get to ride as much as you desire,

Ride on,