Traveling to Tucson Arizona

Yesterday started my two week adventure.  My first week will be spend in Tucson, AZ and my second week will be spent in Panama City, Panama.  This trip to Tucson is the first trip I’ve taken somewhere in a very long time that didn’t involve seeing family or a race of some sort.  So I guess you could say it’s my first vacation.  However, this vacation has more speed bumps than almost any other trip that I’ve taken since graduating college in 2009.

A friend of mine, Ashlie, took Ryan Althaus and I to the SDF airport for out 10:15 am flight with United.  However, with bad weather in Chicago the other night, that plane wasn’t able to make it to SDF.  So after some hassling  they put us on a flight with American Airlines that actually got us to Tucson about two hours sooner that what we were planning on originally.  The guy with American Airlines even didn’t make me pay for my bike to travel to Tucson, which saved me about $70.

We landed in Dallas Fort Worth Airport with some time to kill.  So we first started looking for our gate and then were going to find some lunch.  I looked at my ticket and it said D9 on it.  We got to the section of the airport with all the D terminals.  We walked past gate D10 and then D8.  Where was D9?  We asked an employee and he said there was no D9.  I looked at my ticket again and realized that was  the seat I was assigned during the flight, not the gate number.  Long story short, we found the gate and some food and made it on the plane for Tucson.

Landing in Tucson was great!  We got off the plane and it was sunny and in the 70’s.  We haled a taxi (which was my first time riding in a taxi), gave him our destination and soaked in all that was around us.  He dropped us off at a very rich/prestigious hotel.  A guy took our bags for us and we walked inside.  We told him what unit we were looking for,  but his face expressed confusion.  He asked us if we were in the right place… and it turned out our taxi driver dropped us off about 3/4 of a mile away from where we needed to be.  So much for giving the taxi a nice tip.

Ryan and I walked down the road, bike box in tote, and walked to where we thought we needed to go.  We entered another ritzy racquet and golf club… almost.  We were stopped by security asking us what we were doing.  We explained our situation, which probably sounded to them like an overly fabricated story.  Luckily, they bought it and sent us on in the right direction.  We continued down the road receiving more weirded out looks from people in cars and on bicycles as we walked with a bike box down the road about another 1/4 mile.

We finally arrived at our destination, unpacked and got a nice run in while watching the sun set behind the mountains.  When I got back and ate some dinner, I worked on putting my bike together.  I noticed right away that the headset cap was missing.  It was in there along with all my other small parts when I packed, but I’m guessing when the TSA opened it to inspect the luggage, it fell out and is currently laying somewhere around the SDF airport.

I went to a bike shop this morning and after about 20 to 30 minutes worth of phone calls, they finally found one at the Scott Bike warranty office in a parts bin.  Scott is going to overnight me the part to the bike shop so I can safely ride my bike over the weekend… and more importantly race in Panama.

This trip has contained a lot of of adventures so far, most of which worked out for the best, and even added some humor to the trip.  I’m glad that this potentially big issue can be corrected in time before leaving for Panama City, Panama in 5 days.

Now… if the rain will just stop.  It’s a desert for crying out loud!