Tucson: Getting there is not quite half the fun

Travelling is hard.

I know I’m not going to get much sympathy with that statement, but it’s true. As much as I love going places, getting there usually sucks serious ass.

Boxing my bike, even though done under the skilled surgical hands of Scottie, was much like dismembering one of my children, wrapping the pieces in old triathlon t-shirts and packing them in a large Thule box.Travelling with a bike is awkward and physically exhausting – especially if you have a purse big enough to carry Paris Hilton and her 12 chihuahuas, a laptop, and a suitcase containing 200 pounds of shoes and beauty products.

The upside of travelling laden down like a sporty gypsy is doing so attracts a lot of attention – especially from lecherous guys in their 50’s and 60’s heading to California to golf. Apparently the combination of the enormous Thule box and my blonde hair was enough to convince them I was from Sweden. Imagine their disappointment when I told them I’m from Winnipeg.

I also hit the jackpot when I was specially selected from my among my fellow travellers for extra security screening. Thankfully I took my mother’s advice and wore clean underwear and ensured my various cavities were clean and clear of clutter.

Travelling also entails lots and lots of waiting – which is also hard, so distractions are important. In this age of technology and portable screens, you are never more than a click away from a rousing game of Angry Birds.We travelled to Phoenix, having arranged for rental cars to drive to Tucson. With all the bikes and luggage, unfortunately we were not able to rent a Camero convertible as I would have liked. Instead, we rented a mid-size SUV with ample room for all of our heavy and enormous shit. I had arranged for the rental so it was up to me to pick the vehicle from the lot. I did my best to get something cool and macho that Ben would like, but fell in love with this pretty gold Jeep instead. As far as SUV’s go, it is still a bit of a vagina. Sorry Ben.

Upon our arrival in Tucson we received a somewhat worrisome message from Ron, the guy from whom we had rented our sprawling five bedroom villa. Apparently said sprawling villa was sold on Sunday and the new owners were not agreeable to a group of strangers staying with them in their new home.

We were assured he has made other arrangements for us, in a newer, nicer and even sprawlinger villa on the other end of town. For Ron’s sake I certainly hope that’s true, because everyone knows how unwise it is to fuck with Swedish cyclists.