We started the day off with a swim - the owners of the condo we're renting are members at a country club down the road with a lane pool, and as a result we have guest access. We headed there early, and lo and behold had the entire pool to ourselves! For those of you in the know (now you all are), I LOVE swimming in an outdoor lane pool. There's just something about the light in the water that makes any swim magical.
|Starr Pass Country Club pool - all to ourselves!|
After the swim we got Jason ready for his ride. Before we left I googled "best rides in Tucson" and the Shootout Loop combined with Madera Canyon came up. Long, lots of climbing - sounds like a Jason special. I'd follow along with more bottles (it was another hot hot hot day here today), and point the way at intersections so he wouldn't get lost.
He headed down Mission and I booked it to the end of the road to head out for a run. I parked the van in a pullout, grabbed my hydration belt and headed down the lonely, dusty road in the middle of nowhere. Literally. Well, I'm sure it was somewhere. I felt like I was in Mexico as the terrain reminded me of hiking I'd done on the Baja peninsula. Lots of cholla and prickly pear cactus, and lots of sand and dust.
Jason rode up to me just as I was finishing my run. I pointed him in the right direction and we headed through a town near a large placer mine (I think). The mine was so huge I'm sure it can be seen from space. Jason headed up towards the climb, and got to enjoy a long combination of false flat and headwinds. Lucky me for taking an easy day! I met him at the top of Madera Canyon (5500 feet) where he refueled and jumped back on the Super Six for the ride down - needless to say the ride back to town, downhill and with a tailwind, took much less time!
|Madera Canyon nestled in the snow - meaning lots of climbing!|
The Shootout Loop is definitely on my list for a future visit to Tucson. We still have a week here and so many rides to do! It's been so hot and sunny, I feel like we're in a spring break fantasy. Tomorrow is the climb up Mt. Lemmon, so stayed tuned...