Wednesday, May 4, 2011

These Things Don't Dig Themselves

Power, grace, and tunnel-digging prowess all rolled into one

I checked into the progress on the tunnel under 7th Avenue at the Arizona Canal. Clearly, since I am posting about it, there's progress to report. Voila! A tunnel is born, er, excavated!!

Whoosh, I can say

The Hitachi Zaxis 450LC has employed its power to excavate this future bike and pedestrian express route under 7th Avenue. This will all be paved, walled, and finished, of course, I just wanted to grab a shot of it as it was in progress, you know, for future reference. Perhaps the Zaxis's next stop will be the intersection of Scottsdale and Camelback, or perhaps, 40th Street and Camelback, to dig some similar tunnels there, too. Go Zaxis Go! 

Some of the broken glass was still around here, some of it seemed to have been swept up. If I had tracks like that excavator on my bicycle, I probably wouldn't care about a few shards of broken glass, but bike tires are more vulnerable, of course. I picked up my first flat tire in a long time this week, a piece of a nail that punched right through my tire and tube, and squirted green slime all over the place (not around here, though). Note to self: slime tubes are great for sealing small punctures, but really make an awful mess when punched through with a nail. It sounded like fiiizzzz-squirt-fizzzzzz-squirt-fizzzzz-squirt flop flop flop flop. Neon green. Everywhere. Yuck. Get up. Go ride.


  1. I have never used 'slime tubes'...all sounds a bit messy...!
    Great shot of the Hitachi 'Tonka Toy'.


  2. I know you are sometimes frustrated by some of the features of your bike paths etc., but as a reader it seems the city is a) recognizing there are bikes out there and b) trying to make the rides safer and easier. I'm impressed by the tunnels - they need to do more of that here! (or, at least, overpasses).

  3. Slime tubes are also very messy when you let the air out of the valve in a great rush. Then the slime gets hard and the tubes are impervious to putting air back in. What's more, the stuff goes all over your rim and then gets hard. Don't ask me how I know this.

    No, I don't use slime tubes and I'd rather not get any back into the inventory. Call it a "weight weenie" thing if you'd like.

  4. flop flop fizz fizz
    oh what a bummer it is

  5. Trevor I use the tubes with sealant mainly because of the goathead thorns, Tribulus terrestris, which otherwise cause up to one flat per ride anywhere off pavement here.

    PaddyAnne, your (a) and (b) are very true! I am not so much frustrated as interested in providing constructive feedback when millions of dollars are being spent. This tunnel is great, and I am amazed and grateful when stuff like this gets built in Phoenix, Arizona.

    Steve, due to the goathead thorns, I more or less feel compelled to use the sealant tubes on any bike that I take on gravel or mountain paths around here. So a couple of weight weenie skinny tire bikes I have don't need them, but the commuter and mountain bikes get them. I more or less arrived at that decision when, on one medium-length mountain bike ride with a friend, we got four flat tires between us from goatheads.

    limom, I can't believe I rode the whole thing.


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