Hello friends! I hope you are enjoying the warmth of spring wherever you may be. I am enjoying (enduring?) what is more like summer in Canada than spring; this week will see “seasonal norms” here in Phoenix.
(This little chart is for my Canadian connections.)
The above chart “translated” into Fahrenheit for my American allies looks like this:
Last week was actually nice, though, with cooler temperatures and rain. I felt comfortable enough to check out a ladies’ group ride on Friday morning that catered to the working gal (6am start!!!!). By anyone’s standard, I am no longer a beginner road cyclist, having done a double century. However, I am a beginner group rider as I rarely rode with a group while training for that double century. As a result, I am hesitant to follow too closely behind a cyclist I do not know (this is called “drafting” and the closer you stay to the wheel in front of you, the more efficient you are on the bike because you are letting the person in front of you act as a wind shield. All you have to do is ride in their “wake.”). What if the rider in front of me is a new rider and has yet to learn how to stop….or turn….? What if the rider in front of me is an erratic rider and is unpredictable? The other thing I have yet to learn about group riding is to trust that the person in front of me (and the people in front of the person in front of me) is aware of his/her surroundings and will warn me about obstacles and debris on the road. When I am in someone’s “draft,” I often can not see in front of me because I am typically shorter than him/her. It’s unsettling for me to ride my bike in a group without having a clear view of the road.
Anyway, the ladies’ group ride on Friday morning was very small (only 3 showed up), so I didn’t feel pressured or stressed at all. Plus, the pace was really moderate, almost bordering on slow. But that’s ok because I wanted to meet some other women! And I did. I will join them again for a weekend ride, as that is when more ladies are able to participate and the rides are a little longer.
More girl stuff! I met a girl at church who is also a Canadian (fellow Vancouverite!) and Asian….does that make us “Canasians?” Haha. Anyway, we took a spontaneous little field trip to Mexico this weekend while the guys were away at a retreat. Many people from Arizona and Southern California visit Puerto Peñasco (known as “Rocky Point” in English) in Mexico, as it’s only a few hours away and it’s a different place to see the ocean. We stayed at a cute little motel, ate lots of food, waded in the ocean, and checked out the shops and streets. Puerto Peñasco really caters to American tourists, as there are bilingual signs and people everywhere. The main industry used to be fishing, but I believe that tourism has taken over the #1 spot now. The one thing that really struck me was the obvious difference between the wealthier tourist area with its resorts and the poorer residential areas with its sandy roads (i.e., unpaved), neglected houses, and wild dogs running rampant wherever you look.
(Photo 1: slightly neglected buildings on the beach; Photo 2: the nice, touristy part; Photo 3: a fancy residence that is very out of place in its neighborhood; Photo 4: across from the fancy house in photo 3.)
And now, here are some beach pictures! The sunset was really pretty.
(The daylight picture was taken on another part of the beach on an old, abandoned lookout point.)
One of the funnier things we saw was a German-Mexican restaurant called the Kaffee Haus. It is owned by a German man and his Mexican wife. The husband was away when we visited, but the wife was really happy to chat with us and she even gave us a free brownie. Their restaurant is super busy and caters to both the tourists and locals. All of the German pastries are made by the German husband!
(Photo 1: the pastry case; Photo 2: a taste of the German “kitschy” decorating!)
We had to remind ourselves to stop eating at numerous points during the weekend….and with that, I will end this post!