Monday, July 19, 2010

Escaping the Heat

The Arizona Artist Blacksmith Association had a demonstration in Flagstaff on Saturday. I'd been planning to go for a couple of weeks, but the weather forecast was not in my favor. There was an Extreme Heat Advisory for the entire weekend, and a couple of hours in high, humid heat sounded pretty awful. It also sounded risky, since if the bike were to break down, I'd be stuck without shade in the middle of the desert, which is a bad thing.

I know I could have avoided the heat on the way up to Flagstaff by leaving early in the morning, but the only way to avoid it on the way home would be to leave Flagstaff very late in the evening, which wasn't acceptable.* So I didn't go.

Since Flagstaff was out of the question, it was imperative that I find a new destination, perhaps a little closer to home, for a recreational ride. I recently realized my ride to Tortilla Flat on Father's Day this year was the first ride I'd taken in a long time that wasn't commuting. Which is unacceptable.

Payson is approximately seventy miles from my house, and is at a higher elevation, so I decided to head that way. I got up early on Saturday and set off for cooler weather.

The ride was fun, but uneventful. I decided to ride on from Payson to Pine, and try to scope out some new pizza. Unfortunately, the only pizza place in Pine, apparently, is in a gas station. Frankly, I didn't ride all that way to have gas station pizza, so I cruised through town a little bit more and settled on HB's Place.

I suspect I was the only non-local in the joint. Everybody turned to look. Nobody smiled back. I think it was because I was on a Triumph. If I had to describe the restaurant's ambiance, I would call it patriotic.

Explaining to the crowd that the British were our allies in WWII and it is therefore totally OK to ride British iron seemed like a lot of work, so I just ordered my grilled ham & cheese, ate, paid, and left.

After that, I rode home. The weather was pleasant until I was about thirty miles out of town, which is where the heat really kicked in. All told, I got about 200 miles of pure recreational riding in. Woohoo!

*In hindsight, there's a longer route to Flagstaff that I forgot about which would have worked quite well. Oops.


cpa3485 said...

We have had a lot of heat here too. Mornings not bad, but afternoons awful. Dripping sweat from a 15 minute ride is hardly fun. Am sure it's a bit hotter where you are so I do feel sorry for you. I remember as a kid on a family vacation driving through Flagstaff and it actually snowed on us a bit, in August.
Glad you got some recreational miles in. I need to do more of that myself.

Stacy said...

Re the reception you received at HB's Place: That's funny, you don't look like a brown person!


mq01 said...

repeat after me; must get more riding in, must get more riding in. lol ;) sorry lucky, im in the same boat...

Canajun said...

Those of us who suffer through extended winters often look to you "lucky" folks in Arizona with envy. It's hard for us to appreciate how hot it can get there - and how dangerous. But it seems you still found a way to get out and enjoy the day. Good for you. Now if I could only do the same....

RazorsEdge2112 said...

In situations like that, maybe just bring along a Harley sticker or something; let people think, "ooo, cool. A Harley Trimph." :-P

Can't even remember how many people have complimented me on my 'Little Harley' It's a Honda.

Lucky said...

cpa3485 - One of the amazing things about Arizona is that you can go skiing in the morning, drive a couple hours, and be in the desert in the afternoon. And I've got to say, taking some time to just go ride did wonders for my mood.

Stacy - I am something of a dazzling urbanite, however... ;)

mq01 - Yeah. It's too easy to be lazy and sit at home. And in the summer, it's tough to convince myself to put jeans on.

Canajun - I used to live in Minnesota, so I know the agony of winter pretty well. Temperature extremes are no fun either way.

RazorsEdge2112 - That's not a bad idea. "Yeah, didn't you know? Harley is moving in to the sportbike market..." :D