Knickerbiker "Tucson Turnabout" Tucson,
Arizona -November 2009
In November 2009, 40 (yes, 40!) Knickerbikers descended on Tucson
for a week of cycling. The participants were Merle and Susan Vogel,
Gail and Forrest Roberts, Doug Paulson, Marty Hambright, Ron Manherz,
Lois Horowitz, Gail Markiewicz, Bonnie Brennan, Cindy MacLeish,
Joi Brewer, Barbara Dorris, Kathy and Scott Curriden, Joe Estey,
Hersch Kagan, Pam and Dwight Filley, Jerry Fitzsimmons, Steve Gebler,
Don Gold, David Johnson, Karen Rothman-Westrich, Bonnie Kaler and
Bill Franks, Dick and Joan Wayman, Gayle and Mike Ziaskas, Martha
Way, Jeff Gianformaggio, Walter Schmitt, Susan and Richard Andrews,
and Sheryl and Ken King (me). I initially intended to have 16 riders,
but I didnt want to disappoint any of the riders who wanted
to go! We were able to accommodate such a large number because it
was a loop ride instead of a point-to-point
ride. Therefore we had no need for a sag wagon. Fortunately the
hotel had a conference room that barely fit us all for
the farewell dinner!
The reason for this location at this time of year was due mostly
to El Tour de Tucson, a huge annual cycling event. Some
folks stayed an extra day to participate in that.
So did we all ride the same route? No way! Steve stepped up and
printed out over a dozen routes; the printed route slips were posted
in pockets outside his room. For each of the four riding days the
crowd broke up into about 3 groups each day, and it all worked!
It helped that the weather was close to ideal.
One of the highlights was the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, a world-renowned
zoo, natural history museum and botanical garden, all in one place.
Another popular destination was actually a DRIVE to Kitt Peak National
Observatory (KPNO) to attend the nightime program. KPNO supports
the most diverse collection of astronomical observatories (19 optical
and two radio telescopes) on earth for nighttime optical and infrared
astronomy and daytime study of the sun.
Most everyone visited Saguaro National Park, which contains many
of the enormous cacti, and is close by. Sabino Canyon attracted
many hikers, and air/space buffs enjoyed the Pima Air and Space
Museum. One of my favorites was Mission San Xavier Del Bac, the
beautiful White Dove of the Desert. It rises, brilliantly
white from the desert floor of dusty green mesquite and sage. The
imposing dome and lofty towers, the rounded parapets and graceful
spires etched against the vivid blue complete a skyline with a graceful
In summary, I have to admit that I was happily surprised that we
could pull of a tour of 40 people. Everyone was very understanding
when the happy hour accomodations didnt exactly come off as
planned, and (thanks to Steve) we had good route slips and the good
Thus the trip concluded: no injuries, some tanned faces, arms and
legs, and stronger leg muscles! Thanks to all for sharing your vacation