Back for More Arizona - Winter 2014 travel blog


We completed our second ride with the Monday group and as promised it was a bit longer, but by no means taxing. It seems to be a cross between the two bike groups we enjoyed in Texas. They had a breakfast bike group which rode less than five miles to a local restaurant and a serious group that rode twenty miles. The group here always includes a local eating opportunity. Today's featured cinnamon rolls the size of dinner plates. I was pleased that the cereal I had for breakfast was still doing its job and we were able to resist this guilty pleasure. There are many short paved bike trails in Tucson and the city is working to tie them all together. The bike leadership here knows all the short cuts through quiet, residential neighborhoods and by the time we leave here we should have a good handle on all the route possibilities. In a few years it will be possible to ride many miles off road on paved trails.

Yesterday we enjoyed a wine tasting which cost us each $4. A fellow resident owned a wine shop in her working days and she enjoys traveling around metro Tucson looking for great deals and putting together a palette of eight wines for us to taste. We've been to wine tastings on cruise ships where the sommeliers go on and on talking about the soil, and the weather and the barrel woods and the aging and the grape varieties until our eyes glaze over. There are also all these descriptive words you are supposed to consider as you sip and swirl. Here the lady in charge told us the important things: where she bought the wine and how much it cost.

As newbies we did not know that we were supposed to bring our own glasses (I ran back and got ours) and a nibble that went well with wine. The other folks at our table were more than generous and shared chocolate covered strawberries (to go with the sweeter reds), cheese, crackers and Cheetos. Nothing pretentious about this group. We are scheduled to go again in two weeks and will be better prepared. One of the ladies at our table comes here for four months every winter from Switzerland and as we talked about Americans' inability to speak other languages, I bowled her over with a bit of my German still remembered from childhood. After a few rounds of tasting, my tongue had been loosened and so had everyone else's. Great fun!

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