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I wanted to go for a long bike ride on Saturday, and [personal profile] scrottie acquiesced. Due to some bike wheel maintenance issues, I convinced him to hop on the Jolly Roger while I did a thorough shake-down ride on Froinlavin*.

I suppose I'd say I managed to successfully shake down, if by that I mean that I got to practice my roadside tire-changing skills after pinch-flatting on a random rock. Ahem. While I worked on swapping out my tube and adjusting a cleat, S worked on his bike tube hula-hooping skills.

From there, our itinerary was to go to the Downtown Phoenix Farmer's Market and then ride the long way around the Phoenix Mountains Preserve, stopping by a bike shop and surprise mystery destination on the return leg.

It was a beautiful day for a bike ride. I think I've only done this particular route twice before, so we had to stop and check the map often. It involves heading northwest on the Arizona Canal, then north on the Cave Creek Wash Trail, up to the Cave Creek Golf Course. From there, I was pleased to see that a small but important connecting segment has been completed. So then the route hooks back to the east, along the Cave Creek Tributary Trail, which crosses back and forth across the wash several times before basically turning into a sidewalk along E Greenway Parkway.

The sidewalk bit is the section where things always seem to get interesting for me. For better or worse, I always feel like I'm still supposed to be down in the wash, instead of up on the sidewalk, so I somehow manage to find a road or ramp that goes back down into the wash, and continue to ride along while observing that hmm, the walls on either side of the wash are growing steeper and steeper, and there are large culverts with grills over them, and all sorts of random debris in the middle of things. Eventually, there are points where one must ride up ramps and under north-south roadways, and everything feels like it's not quite right, or maybe more like you're riding in an adventure video game. But there aren't any signs or people to stop you, so why not see what's around the next bend?

Eventually, we reached a point where instincts told me it was time to make an exit, and we popped out on a drainage strip near 22nd St and E Monte Cristo Ave.
Near 22nd St and E Monte Cristo Ave

Inspecting the map just now, my instincts were correct. From there, we did a whole bunch of jiggity-jogging and uppity-downing to make our way south and then west, then south and back east (past Mummy Mountain), over to the neighborhood around 36th St. and Indian School where we found that our next two destinations were closer together than we'd realized. We picked up some bicycling supplies at Bike Barn, and then S took me over to a highly entertaining underground bar called Undertow for fancy cocktails:
Fancy hipster cocktail spot

The people who made this bar did a fantastic job with their gimmicks: this bar is inside of another establishment, in the basement, and decorated to look like you're belowdecks (sorta?**) on some sort of tiki-themed seafaring vessel. It's small enough and there's enough buzz about it that seating is pretty exclusive, but the cocktails were on-point and S and I are easily amused by this sort of thing anyway.

After some fun belated birthday beverages and some snacks, we pointed our noses back to Tempe and home. So that whole roundabout trip, plus the extra miles to and from the grocery store in the evening, netted us a solid 69 "garbage" miles. Not bad for a day of leisurely bike errands. And now I feel adequately prepared for next Sunday's 200k.



*Postscript: So, here's one way to solve your bike transportation and maintenance problems: just get a new bike! I'm more than a little envious of the single-speed Salsa MTB that S found, which has S&S couplers so he can take it on the train to/from California and never have to deal with crazy CA Lyft drivers again. That's his "N plus one" face, by the way:
Someone has an N+1

**So, you're belowdecks, but the views out of the 3 portal windows show you above the water line, and apparently the boat is spinning in circles because the view goes in one direction on one side of the bar, and in the opposite direction on the other side of the bar. So, yeah.

This entry was originally posted at https://rebeccmeister.dreamwidth.org/1206405.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

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