Editor’s note: Karilyn Roach wrote this post. She works as a Program Coordinator with Watershed Management Group, a Tucson non-profit and currently sits on the Tucson-Pima County Bicycle Advisory Committee. She rides a Jamis Aurora Elite.

Most Tucsonans do a little dance of joy at the arrival of every monsoon rainstorm, and I am generally among the first to dance. Along with the joy though, often comes a little dread at what the next day’s commute will bring.

Below are just a few pictures of the streets in my neighborhood (probably among the worst in Pima County even on a good day) after Sunday’s insane storm in north Tucson. Among the highlights on my streets were baby-head sized rocks (and larger), sand bars, flowing washes and hand-sized chunks of cactus.

Some are saying it was the fabled “100-year” rain that we all say we hope for but secretly fear. I was in a hurry on my commute today, but I will try to post more photos tomorrow of Via Entrada.

Did the storm affect your commute? Share your best (worst) monsoon commute story in the comments below.

7 thoughts on “Photos: Post Monsoon Commute Obstacle Course”
  1. The rain did indeed affect my Sunday afternoon bicycle commuting. Here’s how:

    As some of you already know, I have this alter ego named Deejay Martha Jean. Said alter ego makes occasional appearances on our community radio station, KXCI-FM 91.3.

    This past Sunday afternoon, I had a show. Was substituting for the regular host of the “Broad Perspectives Radio” show, and oh, did I have some nifty jazz to play. All by women, and how cool is that?

    Shortly after 3 p.m., I noticed quite the cloud deck along the southern horizon. Mind you, I have been very unimpressed with our monsoon season so far, but I thought that it  might be a good idea to get to the station a little early. Just in case it rains.

    Well, I get down there, the Sunday afternoon public affairs programming is in full swing. I head into the KXCI library to find the music for my show.

    After 4:30 p.m., I’m signed into the station log, and what’s that outside? A big, black cloud. Adding a sinister backdrop to the pr-recorded LGBT community radio show, “This Way Out.”

    Emergency Alert System! It’s a bad storm! Headed our way! The station’s power blinks out! Power comes back on! Good!

    And then it’s a little bit before 5 p.m., and…

    “91-3 KXCI Tucson. Real People. Real Radio. My name is Martha Jean, we are having some severe weather outside…”

    A-a-a-ack!  A-a-a-ack! A-a-a-ack! Emergency Alert System butts in again during my first music set.

    It’s really pouring rain outside, and you know me. I have to tell tens of thousands of my very best friends that I rode my bicycle to the station.

    The “Broad Perspective Radio” show only lasts for an hour, and hey! Guess who’s next! It’s Ron Cipriani!

    If you’ve been around Tucson bicycling for a few years, you’ll probably remember Ron from his bicycle frame painting days. Suffice it to say that he was very good at it.

    Any-hoo, Ron and I had to get all caught up on our bicycling, KXCI, music, and all other forms of gossip. And since it was raining cats and dogs outside, I sure as heck wasn’t going anywhere.

    I finally left the station during the 7 o’clock hour. As I was passing by the Hotel Congress, I heard a loud thunderclap. And I yelled “Oh, be quiet!”

    By the time I got home, the rain was really starting to come down again.

  2. I’d like to thank the people who work the Rillito path for clearing it by mid afternoon. Thanks people! I didn’t cross Curtis yesterday morning, but it was still real muddy in the afternoon. I’m lucky enough to have a bike with fat tires in addition to a road bike for riding through less than perfect conditions.

    Also new is a traffic counter at the north end of the Mountain Ave. bridge over the Rillito. At least I assume that’s what it (two air hoses across the path) is for.

  3. My commute was easy as pie – a straight shot down 4th Avenue, lucky me – but  my early morning ride on the bike path was a different story!  Along the Santa Cruz is quite a mess in many spots, with gravel and mud scattered about.  I had to get off my bike twice to get through spots with silt piled up about 4 inches deep.  At the hairpin turn where the path sends you underneath the highway, I was met with yellow caution tape blocking the way, so I can only imagine what disasters lay beneath!  I’m very happy for the rain,  and not much makes summer desert life more enjoyable than these monsoon sunsets, but I feel like I need a plow on the front of my Raleigh!

  4. The section of the Loop between 29th and the new bridge is clear. Some dirt on the path but it’s nothing to impede your ride. The new bridge near Congress is coming along nicely. I stopped and looked at it for a while. When it’s finished you’ll be able to take Granada Ave under the freeway and right across to the Farmer’s Market without going on Congress, which will be nice.

  5.  I’m looking forward to that new bridge! The streetcar team promised a July opening (for bikes at least). Unfortunately, I don’t think they’ll make it. 

  6. The Loop between Drexel and Ajo is open. Mesquite seeds and horse poop on the east side, 2 large sections washed out on the west side, plus one broken bottle near Ajo. Tree trimming going on at Irvington but it’s away from the bike path.

  7. The Loop between Congress and the new bike shop on the Loop is open and clear. (Camino del Cerro?) The new bridge near San Agustin Farmer’s Market has been painted a weird orange sherbert color. The new bike shop on the Loop is open and has snacks, repairs, parts, and a loo. Friendly people too. Someday The Loop will have it’s own traffic report and that will be awesome. 😀 Have a happy morning everyone!

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