A good deal of time spent on the 10 Freeway in search of Saguaros, sunsets, elevation, rough roads and good friends. Tucson is home to The Cycling House and is a winter getaway that we look forward to every year. Camps are hosted there all year round but this one in particular focuses on Moots owners. We go to connect with the brand, the people who make the bikes, other Ti Enthusiasts, and this time was no different.
We arrived just in time for a little evening gravel spin before the first group dinner and the chance to introduce ourselves. Once the wheels have stopped spinning and the first set of kits are tossed in the hamper it’s time for some much-needed hops. The crew this year is diverse and as the evening runs on we delve into riding stories, more suds and even some whiskey begins to animate the crowd.
Sunrise in the desert is a magical thing to say the least, rivaling any ocean or forest with its sublime beauty. I begin a single origin pour over and slowly fill my cup with the dark ride fuel for the day. Eggs, bacon, porridge, the legendary Power Pancakes beckon the sleepy guests to the long communal table to enjoy their first familial breakfast. Last night’s extra curricula’s have slowed but not deterred, once fed, well stretched, lets ride.
The first day’s ride is a classic spin through Tucson, making our way eventually to Pistol Hill. Some fireworks and flyers ensued as we push towards the turn around and can enjoy the reality of fresh legs. The way home is a bit more cordial as everyone knows that Mount Lemmon lies in wait for us tomorrow. Saguaro National park is that days’ icing on the cake and reminds us once again that cactus forests do exist.
Mount Lemmon looks down on the little Cycling House is if to challenge all who sleep in its shadow. 21.5 miles of microclimates, vistas, flora, fauna and sights that beg you to stop and just stare for a moment. Topping out around 10k, athletes from all over the world come to this proving ground to give it a go. We are no different, and as the numbers dwindle each rider must find where they want to be on this rather humbling ascent. Now, burgers.
The remainder of the trip plays out fairly similarly to how it began, with each passing meal and conversation becoming more familiar and comfortable. The beauty of the Cycling House is often found in the mundane moments. We all have ridden in beautiful places, pushed ourselves on the bike, but The Cycling House provides something very different. When you look across a table or road and find commonalities with another rider that only days earlier seemed to be your total opposite you often have to grin. The house, the hearth, the home, a domicile, a gathering place, a place to rest ones head. At the moments when we are all in the house and time has a chance to make it presence known is when I appreciate the collection of individuals the most.
Clouds roll in and the high desert has one last chance to remind us of where we all stand. We awaken to a dusting of snow in the foothills and embark on a final jaunt into the spiny landscape. As if to send us on our way, back to the comforts Southern California that we hold so dear, 4 and a half hours in the freezing rain, hail and sleet will do just that. Good thing that the last night at camp is always taco night. Can you say carne adobada?