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Now that tomorrow's exam is printed and mostly set up, I can breathe a short-term sigh of relief and write a silly blog post.

So, Sunday. On Sunday, [personal profile] scrottie and I got up at the crack of dawn and drove a rental car out to Buckeye to meet up with a randonneuring friend for a 200k permanent. This is a friend who we first met on one of our first-ever brevets in Arizona, and who has taught us many useful tricks, such as the care and use of Subway sandwich bags as protection to keep one's feet dry and warm in sudden rainstorms*.

After several years in which I wandered across the country and lost track of people (including myself?), I was pleasantly surprised to encounter M at the start of the Paris-Brest-Paris in 2015, although M had a series of horrible, unfortunate events unfold over the course of PBP. Subsequent to that, I followed M's recovery pretty closely, and was happy to learn that she's been able to gear back up and still complete long-distance brevets. A testament to determination plus the ability to adjust one's riding strategy around changes in how one's mind and body function.

Anyway! M pops down to Arizona on occasion to visit her father, and also ride her bike, particularly when the weather here is pleasant and warm and the weather elsewhere is still cold and rainy from winter. To achieve that end, she set up a 200k permanent that starts and finishes close to her father's home in Buckeye. The route circles around the White Tank Mountains, passing by the historic Vulture Mine at around the halfway point.

Highlights on the route: next to no traffic for the entire first 75 miles of the ride, as we traveled through the low Sonoran Desert, past countless creosote bushes and occasional stands of saguaro and cholla cacti. When we paused for some refreshments at one of the few corner turns along that section of the route, S spotted a white leather sofa, just sitting there. We made good use of it.

Enjoying delicious lemon bars on a white leater sofa in the desert

About 20 miles after that, we reached the highest point on the ride, close to the Vulture Peak Mine, which was a gold mine way back in the day. Now, of course, it's developing into a tourist destination.

Dropping by the latest AZ ghost town attraction

From there, we headed to Wickenburg, where we paused for a second lunch, and then had a long, tedious trip on the shoulder of Highway 60 (but downhill with a tailwind), until finally turning off and passing through Sun City West. I was tremendously pleased that the burger joint (Screamers Drive In) let me put roasted chilis onto my cheese fries. Hurrah for hatch chilis.

In the final stages, we zigged and zagged on smaller roads as we worked our way back towards Buckeye. At one point, S blurted out, jokingly, "Is it just me, or are we going in circles?" and I was tired/loopy enough to think it was a hilarious joke about our big loop around the White Tank Mountains.

All things considered, it was a great way to continue building back up to riding long distances, with good company and many tasty things to eat. I hope I can keep at it over the course of the rest of my time in Arizona.

*Well, not DRY and WARM, but maybe less wet and less cold?

This entry was originally posted at https://rebeccmeister.dreamwidth.org/1207660.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

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