Some of my favorites were:
1) head west on Speedway and continue over Gates Pass past Old Tucson, then turn right (north) to the Desert Museum and western part of Sahuaro Nat'l Park. Return either by heading east over the Tucson mountains or loop around to go south on Kinney and then back to town via Irvington and Mission.
2) go east of town on 22nd and continue on to the eastern part of Sahuaro Nat'l Park. Do the paved loop through the park before returning to town.
3) head southwest out of town to Kitt Peak and climb to the summit and tour the observatory there. From town the round trip is about a metric double (125 miles) or you can start part way out to shorten the ride.
I went out on the ride two weekends ago and when returning to town a cop driving next to our group told us to ride single file (not sure why even?) , which we did for about a mile. Then we passed him two abreast and he didnt bat an eye. Thing is that the law, as far as I have heard, is that a group can ride two abreast. So, wtf?? I really don't think that there is anything to worry about at all. I will be out there again likely next weekend if it warms up.
PS: did I mention to ride Mt. Lemmon ~6000 ft climb in ~25 miles!
I totally plan on Mt. Lemmon climb at least twice while I'm out there, can't wait. Let me know how the shootout rides go in the future. Do you have any MUST DO RIDES to recommend. I will rent a bike through fairwheel bikes and I see that they have group rides a few times a week, do you recommend these? I will be coming out of winter in Minnesota so my fitness will not be super but I do plan to ramp up as much as I can before going out to Tucson.
Also can you recommend any kick ass eateries? Mex food etc..
Well, like I said, Mt. Lemmon and the Shootout are the two best rides IMO. You might want to check out either Saguaro National Park East or West too.
I have not been on the fairwheel rides.
As far as Mexican food, wow too many options...Look up the Tucson Weekly Chow Section for specific reviews.
When are you coming?
Shootout is good, tough but a blast. I definitely recommend riding saguaro national park east. It's one of the best rides you will ever find. Also if you decide not to do the shootout try the Miles Ahead shop ride, saturday morning (right now @ 7:30) it's the best shop in town and the group varies weekly, very welcoming and a fun ride.
Are there nice shoulders on the road in Saguaro National park East? I prefer to stay on wider roads when I'm somewhere that I'm not familiar with. I have read that there are nice shoulders on the road going up Mt. Lemmon.