One of the many things we enjoy about the Tucson area is the off road bike trails. We look forward to every Monday morning when the campground bike group leads us to a new part of town. The trails are paved and well marked and go over and under major roads so we rarely have to stop for traffic. The best ones follow river beds. To our midwestern eyes, they do not look like river beds at all. It has not rained here since before Christmas, and these "rivers" look dusty and dry and some have greenish gray bushes growing in them. There are also frequent signs when we drive through town, warning of the danger from driving through the low spots on the road because of flooding. This is very hard for us to imagine. We've heard that there were good monsoon rains last fall and that the warmer than average temperatures this winter (sorry to those of you in the northeastern US) mean that the desert flowers will begin blooming sooner than normal. Admiring blossoms as we ride our bikes along the river beds will make Monday mornings even more fun. As long as those river beds get a good filling when we're not around, it's fine with us.
There are two kinds of bike riders around here. Many are built like greyhounds and look stunning in their lime green lycra tops with detachable sleeves and black lycra shorts with extra padding for the buns. As we drive around town there are often signs warning us to "share the road." We're happy to do so, when there's road to share, but some of the narrow roads outside of town twist and wind and you're never sure when you will come upon one of these bright greyhounds. The Roller Coaster Road is aptly named.
Our campground rides are too easy for these folks and when they see a chance to break away from the group, they do. This causes the ride organizer great stress since most of the participants carpool and he's never sure that there will be enough space for the riders that have gone off on their own versus those that stay with him. We put our bikes on our car rack and drive ourselves, so our only stress comes from trying to follow the lead trucks who do not seem to realize that they are guiding newbies through an unfamiliar part of town. Somehow it all works out and we have a wonderful time.
On the route to this weeks ride's we unexpectedly saw the Sonoran Hotdog food truck we enjoyed last year, so our ride ended with a lunch stop there. I'm generally not a hotdog fan, but these have so much extra added material, you hardly know there's a dog inside. The basic make-up of a Sonoran hot dog is a bacon-wrapped hot dog shoved into a soft Mexican roll topped with pinto beans, chopped tomatoes, onions, jalapeno sauce, cheese, mayonnaise, ketchup and mustard. They usually come with a roasted chili on the side – sometimes even with roasted green onions. We seemed to be the only gringos in line, but this year we knew what to order and the hotdogs were as tasty as I remembered. If you want to try them, the stand is located on the corner of Flowing Wells and Wetmore. Sounds like another watery spot, doesn't it?