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Old 04-09-09, 10:51 PM   #1
Cleave
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Info on Mt. Lemmon near Tucson

Hi,

Anyone in the Tucson area have any advice for riding up Mt. Lemmon. I'll be in Tucson starting this Saturday through the following Thursday.

I've already looked at the info on the GABA-Tucson web site, but I'm interested in hearing some first hand experiences. I'm hoping that a 39X25 will work.

TIA.
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Old 04-10-09, 01:32 AM   #2
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Just mention anything that has Mountain in the name of it and 34/ 34 sounds good to me.
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Old 04-10-09, 11:50 AM   #3
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Hi Cleave:

No Lemmon experience here but it looks like 7000 feet in 27 miles or 2300 feet per 9 mile segement. That looks to me like 39/25 will be okay. At 80 rpm, 39/25 is 9.8 mph which should be easy for that grade. I did not see profile of the climb but I assume there will be some steeper sections where you can stand if required.

On second thought, who needs the above analysis. Any lower gears are for wussy.
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Old 04-10-09, 12:46 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
On second thought, who needs the above analysis. Any lower gears are for wussy.

In this forum, we're allowed to be wussy.
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Old 04-10-09, 12:52 PM   #5
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Anyone who thinks my 26x28 mountain climbing gear makes me a wussy is a ******.

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Old 04-10-09, 12:58 PM   #6
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Hi All,

Thanks for the info and words of encouragement.

Hermes, I saw some info on the web about the ride but it didn't get into details like steepest grade. I know a 27 mile climbs can have widely varying pitches.

Hopefully, 39X25 will work as I don't own anything lower. There are a couple of rides where I wish I did though.

(BTW, Hermes, I saw Laura last weekend, actually on Tuesday too, and she was pretty excited to hear that you and Velo Diva were coming to town. Keep us posted on your schedule.)
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Old 04-10-09, 02:42 PM   #7
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Here is the profile

http://bicycling.trimbleoutdoors.com...=TripElevation

Approximately 5000 feet in 21 miles (4.5%) with some steeper stuff at the top. You can probably get by with the big ring.
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Old 04-10-09, 04:19 PM   #8
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I climbed it last summer. I really don't recall anything very steep but was very glad to have my compact crank. You can certainly do it in a 39/25.....but a 39/27 would be even nicer.

Gotta go meet some folks right now but will give you some more details in a bit. We just got back from Tucson.


Elevation Profile all the way up to the Ski Resort



A couple views





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Old 04-10-09, 04:40 PM   #9
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Well it all depends what kind of shape your are in and how much climbing you've done.
Yes, have actually raced up Mt. Lemmon 30-some years ago when there was still a stretch of unpaved gravely road.
Now it's nicely paved with a bike lane going up most of the way.
I recall, at that time I had a 13/28 cog with (I think) 52/42 chainrings on my Fuji Finest and had never climbed anything that long and high as we had just moved her from not-so-high Michigan
I was the oldest guy racing (46) and placed 3rd in the event. Yes, some guys climbed it on corncob gears, but managed to stay ahead of all but 2 of them.
Pace yourself. Steepest is probably around 6% but remember it's an 11 mile climb UP from the base of the Lemmon.
Remember, it's about 20 degrees cooler on top of the mountain compared to the dessert. Could be a cool decent part of the way.
Oh, and do save some room for some great pie at the top in the town of Summerhaven . . . you'll have deserved it!
Pedal on!
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Old 04-10-09, 05:22 PM   #10
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Hi,

Thanks for the great information. This is just what I needed. Now I'm really looking forward to this. Sounds like a couple of SoCal climbs so I'm feeling better about my gearing.

30 years ago I would have been using a 42X23 because that was all I had back then. Of course I was also 25 lbs lighter 30 years ago.

I drag my camera up the hill so that I can take some pictures.
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Old 04-10-09, 06:32 PM   #11
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Cleve,
At the beginning of the climb convince yourself that your easiest gear is the 39 x 23. Then as you climb and really, really need that one last gear keep telling yourself that you are not a "girly man" and just keep working on perfect circle pedaling. Yea, that's what I'd do.
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Old 04-10-09, 07:01 PM   #12
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Cleve,
At the beginning of the climb convince yourself that your easiest gear is the 39 x 23. Then as you climb and really, really need that one last gear keep telling yourself that you are not a "girly man" and just keep working on perfect circle pedaling. Yea, that's what I'd do.
Hi,

That's what I do frequently and sometimes it even works.
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Old 04-10-09, 11:04 PM   #13
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Oh, there is a bit harder climb past the ski lodge near Summerhaven. You can go to the very top by the antennas and road's a bit rough and steeper yet. Think you'd be just over the 8.000 ft mark.
Have never bicycled that part, but hiked it a few times.
BTW they are predicting snow for that part of Mt. Lemmon tonight (Good Friday).
Enjoy the ride!
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Old 04-11-09, 12:00 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
Anyone who thinks my 26x28 mountain climbing gear makes me a wussy is a ******.

(rhymes with "spanker")
In the current economic climate- The rhyme is "Banker"

And Have to agree with BD on the gearing. Ventoux was only 13 miles long with an average of 7.5% but this was my first mountain and was surprisingly easy. Even easier with 28/28
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Old 04-11-09, 05:24 AM   #15
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Cleave-you have a couple options on parking. There is room on the shoulder on the side of the road to park near the start of the climb. However, I'd suggest parking 2-3 miles before that point at the intersection of E Tanque Verde and Catalina Hwy (Mt Lemmon Rd) at a shopping center. There is a Subway there you can use as a landmark if that helps. I've done both but like parking in the shopping center to give a few miles of spinning before hitting the actual steeper part. There is a very good bike lane between there and the climb as well.

Here is what it's like parking on the shoulder:



Looking back towards Subway:



About 1/2 way up is a parking area/overlook where a lot of cyclist turn around. Seems like it's called Windy Point but I suspect that's not right-there will be a lot of people there anyway. You can get water at a small fountain about 2/3 the way up-it is on the right and on the outside of a small building associated with the Park up there-can't recall the name though.

If you go all the way to the top as Zona said it is a LOT cooler. The elevation is 8000+ ft. It was 100 in Tucson but really cool on top one of the day's I rode up. You can see from the elevation profile there is a little downhill (1-2 miles) near the top and then another climb back up to the ski lodge. Up there you can get a good view to the East (at some point you start seeing trees!!).

View looking east (in August!):



Ski Lodge





On the way up:

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Old 04-11-09, 07:15 PM   #16
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One last piece of information-we've eaten at a number of Mexican restaurants in Tucson and have found this one the best of the lot:

Guadalajara Grill
1220 East Prince Rd

Salsa prepared at your table to your liking.

I did think if one more thing-if you wanted to rent a bike with a triple, I rented a Trek 2000 from Tucson Bicycles for $25 a day. It wasn't anything to brag about but you sure wouldn't have any problems with the climbs. The one I rented was a 58.
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Old 04-11-09, 07:29 PM   #17
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Here is a grade graph provided to me by an AZ local who has ridden it.
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Old 04-12-09, 06:30 PM   #18
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Hi,

Once again, thanks for all the great info. Was only able to ride for a short time this morning but I met up with a local club at the shopping center that jppe noted. Rode with them up to the 4,800 ft mark (per my Garmin) and then turned around. So far it's about what I expected from all of the descriptions -- which is a good thing.

I'll have a chance to do the whole climb on Wednesday. I'll take pictures on that trip.
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Old 04-12-09, 08:03 PM   #19
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Great!! I don't think it gets any steeper above 4800 ft except for one section at the very top. Tucson is a terrific place this time of the year.
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