Nine Mile Hill winds it's way through Fountain Hills, then pecan groves and the McDowell Mountains, then Rio Verde. Then there is Nine Mile Hill. After climbing, you guessed it, nine miles, the pavement dumps you into north Scottsdale where you encounter something akin to this:
Okay, okay, so it's not quite THAT. But there are dozens of bikes parked, propped and balanced on the curb and walls of a mighty Circle K. Where is my camera when I need it?
Like a hive of bees making honey for the queen, there are cyclists coming and going and milling about in all states of busyness. In all their colorful and tightly clothed glory, they are refilling their water bottles, sippin' on sodas, munching on power bars and even grabbing fresh donuts.
I've been mulling over in my brain lately the human desire to be part of something. The desire to share with others something that is really awesome to you. To belong. For me, I guess it's this triathlon thing. For my friend Shane, it's the Rollercoaster Enthusiasts club. To each his own.
What I like about cycling, is this: getting off the bike to refuel, to say hello, to talk amongst yourselves, to congregate. You just don't get that in swimming and running. Swimming is so solitary. And not many runners stop off for a Krispy Kreme mid run. But cyclists do!
At this Circle K you'll see Tri Scottsdale northsiders swappin stories with East Valley Brumbys. The DNA posse mingles with the Landis roadies. It's all very communal and joyful. There is talk of poor road conditions and the water truck that tried to side swipe any/all cyclists in her path. And there is a lot of oogling over the newest ride in the bunch. Ooooh, a Pinarello Prince in black on black. Nice.
It's a funny bunch. But, I belong. And so does anyone who rides up on a bike, looking for a drink, and ready to make a friend.