Sunday, February 26, 2017

Taking our Bikes for a Walk

In our years of planning before we hit the road we read every blog we could find on this lifestyle. We had no idea what to expect, what it would cost and what we would need? Although in the past three years we have answered many of those questions there are still a few we have yet to get all the answers. Mainly in the "What to expect" category. We have learned to expect the unexpected.....like a window falling out!

We were most proactive in the "What do we need category" buying many of the more expensive items while we were still working. As we look back on it now two of these purchases might not have made the cut if we had to do it all over again. First was our induction plate. Blog after blog stated how much they use their induction plate to do cooking and save propane. I don't think we used ours once in two years before we finally gave it away.

The second items were our bikes. We researched, test rode numerous bikes before we finally found the right bikes for us. And no, they could not be the sub $100 bikes you buy at Walmart, we had to get the best bikes we could afford because we were going to be riding them all the time right? In the past three years I can think of four times we have had them off the bike rack. One time was to get the bike rack welded because it bounced around so much and developed stress cracks and two other times we actually got out on rides but got flat tires both times. Since then we have "thorn shields" installed in our tires AND filled them with Slime.

So here we are in Tucson with hundreds of miles in bike trails and several areas designated as mountain bike trails. Last week we hiked one of these mountain bike trails (Camero Trail) and said to each other that we should get our bikes out. So that is just what we did earlier this week, got our bikes off the rack and headed for the trails!

Ready to conquer the trails!
We learned two things very quickly; 1) You use a totally different muscle group mountain biking versus hiking. 2) Never and I mean never, try to bike a trail called Boulder Trail.....it has a lot of boulders. We ended up walking our bikes for better than 1/2 of the trail and we both decided that we would stick to the hard pack gravel or asphalt in the future.



Barb walking her bike up one of the steeper sections

Downtown Tucson off in the distance
We were able to ride on the flat areas and downhill

But walked them up many of the hills
The big event this week in Tucson was the fact that the rodeo in town. Rather than going to the main rodeo performance we opted for watching slack. Many rodeos have more contestants than they can show in the main performance so they run what is called slack where competitors perform without all the hoopla and the crowds.

We prefer slack for a couple of reasons. One is that there is no one else there so you can sit pretty much wherever you want. Parking is free and getting in the gate is only $5. Over the course of 4 hours we watched barrel racing, tie-down calf roping, team roping and steer wrestling.

As many of you know, Barb used to run barrels competitively for a number of years so getting to see some of the top NFR participants run was the highlight for her.


Speaking of highlights, you can see a couple of Barb’s runs from a few years ago in these short videos below (each are less than a minute long).


Giving up her horse Scout was the hardest thing she had to do when we started full-timing. Although he is now 17, Scout is still out there burning up barrels.

Tie-down roping
Back when we had a bunch of horses and cattle we used to rope and wrestle them on occasion but never competitively. I once got the hankering to wrestle and a friend of mine who did it said the easiest way to find out what it was like was to ride on the running board of a truck going 25 miles per hour and tackle the first mailbox you see. After that description I decided to just stick to riding and gave up on the wrestling.


Steer Wrestling
A couple days later they had the rodeo parade which Barb, Forrest, Lily and I attended. We got there about an hour early so we could get a front row seat. Parades sure have changed over the years. They had “parade marshalls” lining the street to make sure you did not step off the curb and there was no candy throwing at all.
Lots of sponsored floats and marching bands. After a couple hours you could see the effects of the parade and rising temperatures taking its toll on some of the marchers.

Look who shaved off his beard!







   With only a week left here in Tucson (if our window arrives) we still have lots of things on our "to do" list, it is going to be a busy week!!!!!



33 comments:

  1. You can jump off my running board anytime. I also just thought those bikes where to impress people with. Like, "Hey, look at us, we have bikes!"

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    1. I have brought up the idea of selling them a couple of times but get shut down pretty quickly.

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  2. Sounds like you are having a great deal of fun. Ya the bike thing .... we brought our bikes down the first year and the only time we pulled them off the rack to ride, I ended up head first in a wash flying over the handle bars. If it wasn't for my upper "mounds" for some give I probably would have factured ribs! Ray ... was of no help as he watched me from behind and then could not stop laughing at me as I had launched myself over my bike. My only thought was please do not land on me! Last time I rode ... the bikes stayed in storage after that. Ray fell later on, on the same ride, and ended up straddling a cactus. Fortunately for him he did not get "stuck in a private place"! NO MORE BIKES IN THE DESERT!

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    1. We each almost fell a couple of times and there would have been no way to avoid a cactus. Did you watch the videos of Barb? Thought you would appreciate those!

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  3. We have ridden our bikes more than you have, but not as much as we initially thought. We like rails-to-trails as they are usually pretty flat - no walking up hills. We've never been to a rodeo, will have to do that some day!

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    1. Now that you have new bikes you will have to get out on yours!

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  4. Looks like a fun time. We often wonder if we should give up the bikes too. The only time we seem to do a lot of riding is when we're back at Fort Langley. Dianne has never seen a rodeo so I think that's on our to do list.

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    1. Those motorized bikes look pretty cool, I wonder if we would ride those any more or if they would just ride on the back of the rig as well.

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  5. We have a induction hot plate that we have not used in about 2 years as well LOL!! But our bikes are a different story for us, I have put over 1000 miles on mine in the last 2 years. We use them often.
    Dave & Diane

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    1. 1,000 miles, that is awesome. We need to make more of an effort to get out on ours. We enjoy biking but usually opt for a hike.

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  6. That takes a lot of training to do the Barrel Racing. Great job Barb.
    We loved doing the trails on our bikes but when Kathy had a few mishaps we found a Tandem to do the job.
    We'll be missing you guys again. We'll try to cross paths next winter.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

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    1. Riding a tandem would be interesting, we have never tried that. Looks like you had fun in Phoenix!

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  7. Geez! I wish you had asked and I would have told you that Boulder Alley is the hardest of the trails. Definitely an expert trail on a bike. But, hey, you did a hike/bike!! Great job!

    I didn't know Barb was a barrel racer. I loved the videos. Thanks for sharing:) Looks like a fun time at the rodeo and parade...but no candy! Really! What fun is that (probably fun for the clean up crew)!

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    1. Our original plan was to just bike Camero trail but when we got to that intersection we decided to head down Boulder. We should have known better. We cut across on the pipeline road when we got to it.

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  8. Tucson is one of our favorite places to get the bikes off the raxk, but we're not mountain bikers, love the pved Santa Cruz River Trail for our rides. We tend to use our bikes more in spring, summer and fall. Winter in AZ is somewhat unpredictable but Tucson does have some great paved bike trails.

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    1. We will have to check out the River trail, does it go near any breweries?

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  9. Yea the name Boulder Trail is a good indication of what lays ahead. I've taken Sharon down a few downhill ski trails that I should have aborted based on the name alone too - The Outhouse, Oblivion, Devils backbone, Broken Hip, Call The Doctor, Hope you have Insurance. :-)

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    1. We aborted a little early as we knew that it was just a matter of time before one of us got hurt!

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  10. With our TerraTrikes, we stick to paved trails. We actually use them quite a bit. Our kayaks don't get used as much, but when we do, we are soooo glad we have them.

    I'm cracking up about the mailboxes. Perhaps a seasonal job with FedEx next fall?

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    1. I would like to try one of those TerraTrikes sometime, they look like they are the way to go!

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    2. Whenever we meet up, consider that checked off your bucket list!

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  11. We love our bikes. Use them at campground, rail tail trails and some of the easier mtn trails. Most towns have them along rivers. I thought for sure we'd use an induction too but never did get one. Loved the videos of Barb! We're in Phx area for a couple of weeks with just the truck to visit his Dad. Let us know if you're coming through, we could grab a quick beer.

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    1. Beer is always good! We are here until our window gets here then we are either going to Organ Pipe or Winslow depending on when it arrives.

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  12. Cool barrel runs!! Our small town in Alberta hosts a CFR rodeo in late May each year and the pro chuckwagon races in July. It's a great rodeo facility and the whole town gets behind the events. Our parade tosses loads of candy for the kids still but it does give a few Moms heart failure as they run towards moving vehicles to grab the loot!!

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    1. Thanks! Small town rodeos and parades are always the best. Someday we would like to get to Calgary for the stampede, that sounds like a wild time!

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  13. Replies
    1. If you liked the riding, you should have seen the walking! There is no way we could have even considered riding in some of those area.

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    2. Of course I was talking about Barb's Barrel Racing. Ask her if she knows Tammie MacKinzie from Kalamazoo, Michigan. She is a friend and is a pretty good barrel racer.

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    3. Oh! Yes her riding ability is definitely much more impressive than our bike riding ability. I asked her about Tammie but they have not crossed paths on the circuit.

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  14. That's so funny that you mention the bikes going unused. We've been on the road about 7 months now and we keep talking about getting bikes, but just haven't done it yet. They are a lot of money for starters, and we're just not sure how much we'll use them... Plus, I don't like the idea of spending all that money and then having them get rained on all the time. BUT... it does seem like something we SHOULD do.... Hmmmmmmm. We'll see.... We might just keep ignoring the decision for a little while longer. :)

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    1. My personal opinion is that don't need them but I am alone in that opinion. So we will continue to cart them around until they eventually fall off the rack somewhere as we are heading down the road.

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  15. We finally gave our bikes away in Alaska. We could never protect them properly from the elements for they were always breaking down but more importantly I love to take pictures and I am simply not coordinated enough to do that and be on a bike at the same time.

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    1. That would certainly take a lot of coordination!

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