Respect the Cacti!

I have new respect for those darn chola cacti down here in Tucson. I got bit by one on the wrist during the ride and yes, it did just jump out of no where!

Nick and I stopped in Tucson to ride in the Fantasy Island park. It was great single track and a good refresher to desert racing. The same kind of twists and turns that we'll be facing in 24 hrs Old Pueblo. I had a few near misses with the prickly pears and my shoes - I will be wearing booties the whole time while racing. I don't want to mess with spines in my toes. I was also doing pretty good with keeping up with Nick and not running off the trail. There were a few well named features on the trails - like "Goal Post" a straight shot between two upright cacti and "Over Under" a figure eight deal that went over a bridge, then curled back around, under the bridge. We were getting close to the end of the ride when all of a sudden, there was this stabbing pain in my wrist. Had no clue what it was, just started yelping and grabbed the brakes. A large chunk of Chola was lodged in my wrist and glove. Getting it out without a comb was not easy. It jumped from one hand to the other, then onto Nick's shorts.

Making matters worse, was the weather. When we left for the ride, it was nice and sunny. There were a few clouds in the distance, but so far away that we really didn't pay any attention. We did both bring our rain jackets, just in case. As we were cruising along, enjoying the ride, those clouds were getting closer. Just before the Chola jumped onto my wrist, the rain started. A gradual sprinkle at first, then a full fledged downpour. We were soaked by the time we got back to the camper. But the riding was fun and we manged to get in a good two hours even with the cacti attack and the rain.

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