We are fortunate to have at least 131 miles of dedicated bike path available to us Tucson,AZ bicyclists. Why are we fortunate? It is so much safer to maneuver around other bicyclists, runners, walkers, roller bladers, and anyone else out on this dedicated path than to be on a roadway.
We have a beautiful, smooth bike path with appropriate signage and I feel safe cycling on it. (The farther I can be away from automobiles the better.) Yes, I hear people complain about speeding cyclists and working around walkers, but in the overall scheme of things this is all pretty great.
YET… my annoyance is when someone comes along and writes political messages in chalk on the pathway. I do not care what the message is, it should not be done! First off, I call that graffiti on a public space … I do not like it and would say a person should be found and fined. Secondly, we are all outdoors for exercise and a space to relax, not needing any prompts to piss us off!
Please keep your messages/gripes/political views to yourself and off our bike paths. Yup I was annoyed, so all I could do was squirt some of my water from my water bottle on those messages. Which annoyed me all the more since it was hot here and I did not want to be wasting my drinking water on graffiti. Geez don’t you know, water is precious here in the desert!
I am creating a new habit, especially when looking for a beverage break while on a bicycle ride. There are plenty of coffee stands, yet I think I have discovered a real treat. Horchata!
I had no idea what it was, but when the vendor said “cinnamon”, I was willing to give it a try, and have been drinking it ever since. Oh, did she also say the rest of the ingredients?
The authentic Mexican horchata is made during a process that seems to take a few hours to prepare…no wonder I will always buy it when on the road…soaking rice, almonds…and pouring through cheesecloth and adding cinnamon. Actually, I have no idea how to make the drink, but it is delicious.
Give it a try some day, especially if you enjoy cinnamon!
When bicycling on a bike path, here’s what to like:
1. Seeing people be active; roller blading, walking, jogging, bicycling. Even blind people can enjoy this space.
2. Knowing the bike path is a valued piece of real estate in a community. You can bicycle many places in the world; paths are available.
3. Seeing people support each other; a victory sign, a thumbs-up, or a hello from one to another. No other language needed beyond a smile.
4. Knowing people are choosing to cycle to the local coffeeshop or farmers market rather than use a motorized vehicle. Follow that person to some place fun!
5. Seeing a person help another person when a tire is flat or a chain is jammed. We all appreciate a helping hand!
6. Knowing there are railroad tracks being converted to bike trails (thanks to people who support Rails to Trails Conservancy).
Simply enjoying outdoor weather, wildlife, camaraderie and to know
the bike path will be here tomorrow to enjoy alone or with others. Actually, I love it!
I do not remember where I was 5 years ago when I heard about a shooting at a Tucson Safeway store. I heard people were gathered outside there to listen to Gabby Giffords speak, this young girl: Christina-Taylor Green was one individual in attendance. Gabby was severely injured, Christina-Taylor was killed and many other spectators were part of the horrific moment.
Now five years later there is a section of the Tucson bike path with an area, and future cacti garden, to commemorate Christina-Taylor’s memory. Her father, John Green, spoke about his family’s use of the recreational areas nearby and their use of the bike path. The family has plans to continue developing a couple of acres of land here with everyone’s financial support.
The bicycling group I was with the day of this presentation did bike ride to attend this plaque unveiling and rode to the Safeway store where flowers were present. It’s unfortunate we in the USA are still amidst such gun violence, but I have hopes we will always remember those we have lost and work toward a safer USA.