Monday, July 06, 2009


Since summer has fully ensconced us in its grip of heat, humidity and long days, it's often necessary for us Phoenix riders to get out early to avoid the wilting temperatures. A four o'clock alarm isn't unheard of and allows one to put in a good 40-mile road loop or 20-mile dirt ride and to enjoy the lack of traffic. While still dark, it isn't long before the sun begins it upward arc and lights up the rocky hills around the Valley with saguaro cactus casting long shadows. The quail and dove are out in force, taking advantage of the cooler morning before they hunker down and seek shade. The desert hare drag races the rider along small stretches of road before beginning their zig-zag escape, often at danger to themselves.

The network of canals can provide a slightly cooler alternative to many of the major streets as well as the MUT's that lightly lace the valley. It's often on these canals, trails and paths that we see other riders on the same pre-work mission. We also encounter joggers, runners and dog walkers. As creatures of habit, we often see the same folks at the same time. Our courses and routes laid out, typically because we know how long they should take and how much time we have before our first meetings at work and many of us begin our work day, the fun put to rest until our next ride.