In addition to biking to work, I decide to take a brief tour of the Tucson Mountains foothills this morning. As I leave the house, I think "Do I need a rain jacket?" I instantly determine it will be sunny later in the day, and the door is locked, and I really can't be bothered to get the jacket. I ride downtown in remarkably cool weather (for September in Arizona, about 78) and cloud cover.
Dump my backpack of work clothes and lunch at the office and head for Grande Avenue south to Starr Pass Blvd. I have a flashing red light clipped to my jersey. I turn west on Starr Pass and face a very dark sky ahead. Hmmmm, what was that about a jacket?
Instead of wondering about rain, I focus on climbing ever upwards on Starr Pass Blvd, through the curves of the resort community, past Genser Trail head and its tempting mountain biking, to Players Club Drive. Turn right and enjoy a lovely descent to Anklam. Turn west and head into the ever darkening sky again, and I see rain falling on the upper peaks of the Tucson Mountains. I wave to a few cyclists flying down Anklam in the opposite direction--early birds!
Then I feel rain on my arms and hear the pitter patter of drops on my helmet. It was so peaceful and cool, and not pounding like the usual monsoon rain storms. A lovely morning rain in the desert. I figure that as soon as I head east, back toward downtown, I'll ride right out of the rain anyway.
Turn downhill and east on Speedway, and the rain continues. This part of Speedway can be amazingly quiet, I can hear the sound of rain hitting the desert grasses, creosote, hard packed dirt.
Looking north, clouds cover a few peaks of the Catalina Mountains, but the sun illuminatesPusch Ridge. The rest of the Tucson Valley spreads out before me, looking not quite awake and slightly shrouded in misty rain.
Is there such a thing as a dry rain? Because although the rain was light and steady, my body and bike don't seem to be getting that wet. Desert evaporation at its best.
I make my way back to Anklam and tried to take a picture near Pima College West. Cell phone photography doesn't work too well with limited light.
I continue my descent into town, past the joggers and walkers finishing their Tumamoc Hill punishment, through Menlo Park, beneath the freeway to my office. I'm happy my wet tires don't slip on crosswalk bricks.
Great to be on my bike, in the desert, in the rain--perfect start to this beautiful day!
If you want to check out this 15-mile ride, here's the map: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/12965618