Day 12: Tombstone to Douglas, Arizona – 50 miles

A beautiful roll out from Tombstone. A quick stop through the fun historic downtown. A kitschy scene but looked fun. Off we went after that. We had been told of our ascent of the highest elevation of the tour. 5885 feet. It was the toughest hill of the tour, prior to rolling into the very cool hippy tourist town of Bisbee, Arizona, the Queen of copper camps. Great old buildings and stores. It is the home of the Bizbee Bicycle Brothel. A great collection of bikes and accessories. Incredible L’Eroica bicycles. A nice downhill out of Bisbee into Douglas and the great historic Gadsden Hotel. Middle of nowhere. No pics today. Peace.

Day 11: Tucson to Tombstone, Arizona – 73 miles

Huge climbing day right out the shoot rising out of southeast Tucson. The climbing was beautiful and STRENUOUS. It seemed like I bonked during this first 25 miles of climbing. It was hard.

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3700 feet of climb.  The scenery did change and the Sonoran desert is gone because the mighty Saguaro is gone.

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More mechanical problems with the seat post. Called Carl and with his guidance and my roommate seemed to be fixed. Tired blogger, short post.

Day 10: Catalina to Tucson, Arizona – 44 miles

A beautiful day in bicycle heaven. 39 miles on an urban bike path called the Loop. This bike path may be the best bike path in America making Tucson probably the best bicycling city. The bicycle community is top notch. I had problems out the gate with the seat clamp and had to cautiously tighten it while it would move downward, but fellow ride member, Kurt Friedrich, rode with me all day stopping all along the way.

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It was so reassuring to have help as needed. He was so patient. First stop was the Mercado San Agustin.

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Very nice. Great Italian espresso at Stella’s. This was a state-of-the-art coffee shop.

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Went on to Ajo bicycle shop in Tucson. Unbelievable bike shop that had what I needed. They could not have been more helpful.

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A quick bean and cheese burrito and out on the path again. The path finally ended much to our regret.

Day 9: Catalina, Arizona – REST DAY

My foot problem had motivated me to lower my seat post a little and consider a shoe and SPD cleat on my rest day. Coach, the tour mechanic was invaluable help after I broke my seat clamp bolt. We scheduled a bike shop visit that afternoon. It left the morning, after a beautiful breakfast by Anne, a leisurely walk through Catalina State Park. Great lunch. Coach took me to the local Trek in Oro Valley and they were great. Replaced the bolt in the clamp and got a spare. New shoes and SPD’s. This was very anxious afternoon. Hopefully better day tomorrow. Great dinner of steelhead trout. Peace.

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Day 8: Casa Grande to Catalina, Arizona – 61 miles

A nice night in a hotel and away we go. It was a shorter day than originally slated. It was 61 miles (instead of 70). The mountains were beautiful as we rolled toward Tucson.

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My 2 big toes continue to be very sore after 30–40 miles. I am looking forward to the rest day. We lunched at Nico’s Mexican. Shredded beef tacos, refried beans and Jarritos tamarind soda. We went through Marana. The very nice Dove Mountain. I rode by the Ritz-Carlton. We are staying in Catalina State Park for 2 nights.

Day 7: Gila Bend to Casa Grande, Arizona – 78 miles

A nice roll out on a beautiful road in the Sonoran Desert.

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There was a head wind most of the way. Overcast skies helped the heat of the day. The first part of the day was rolling and beautiful. Sag stop 1 was at a school in the middle of nowhere.

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The road got busier going into Maricopa, Arizona. We headed down toward Stanfield. The cattle feeding pools and the vast agriculture seemed to leave a different type of feeling.

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It seemed as if the grandness of this part of the desert was tortured. Lunch at the Stanfield ranch market. It was great.

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81 miles to the barn. Motel 6 did not have our reservations right. We are adapting. 402 miles with 5 extra in 7 days.

Day 6: Dateland to Gila Bend, Arizona – 52 miles

Another beautiful morning rolling out of Dateland. I hit something with my rear tire that cut the center of the tire and made it flat.
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The tire was not repairable. I had the old tire in the bag and one tube and I made it the rest of the day without a problem. Curly was there with a few others and he asked if I wanted the nut and cap. I told him I did not use them. Curly dryly replied is that because you will be taking that tube out 10 minutes from now. It was hilarious. 35 miles on I-8 then off. The desert continued to be vast and huge.

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There seemed, as we went on, a harshness that was innate with this part of the desert. A great Mexican lunch at Sophia’s in Gila Bend and a little turn out to the KOA.

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It was becoming hot by the time we got to camp.