So, what to do on a warm sunny Saturday in southern Arizona? Cycle to a sanctioned Arizona BBQ Throwdown, that’s what! Burn up a few calories on a rather testy 30 mile ride into Tucson, peruse some of Arizona’s best BBQ, then burn the calories consumed on the 30 mile return ride.
Craziness abounds at these events. You see every size, shape, and configuration imaginable of grills and smokers. Competitors often have thousands invested in trailers, gear, and signage. By judging time on Saturday afternoon, they’ve been up for hours, having put meat on the grill at 3am. There’s chicken, ribs, pork, and brisket to be presented to the judges, and these guys are dead serious about winning.
This BBQ Throwdown was hosted by Freedom RV Sales. So, while waiting for BBQ samples,we wandered through motor homes costing hundreds of thousands of dollars, congratulating ourselves on our good taste and fortune in having our T@DA Fireball. We try to operate on the KISS system, and that’s very apparent in our camping choices. Different strokes, I guess. It’s entertaining to see all the glitz that manufacturers put into the big rigs. Seriously? You CAMP in this?
The high and low point of the day was the bike ride. There aren’t many road choices for the trek into Tucson. Nogales Highway is a two and four-lane state highway. Parts are smooth and wonderful. Since it’s a pretty flat stretch between Green Valley and Tucson, it should be a dream run, especially with the tail winds we had (both ways!) today. But, the road shoulder for about 20 miles is so chewed up that enjoyment really doesn’t factor into the ride. It’s more like survival. Every ten feet or so, there are cracks similar to frost heave, which provide a painful ‘thump’ with each wheel. How many ten foot sections are in 20 miles? My butt could probably count them for you.
Anyway, a fun, interesting day. We sampled some tasty ribs (best in our opinion were prepared by Badcats Backyard BBQ). John heard angels singing when e was pulling the succulent meat off the bone. High praise from a guy who really knows his BBQ!