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  1. #1
    Senior Member nathan.johnson's Avatar
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    Official Tucson Photo and Route thread

    I was looking for somewhere to post routes and pictures and couldn't find a suitable thread, so I decided to start one.

    Use this thread to post interesting pictures you've taken on your travels around the Tucson area.

  2. #2
    Senior Member nathan.johnson's Avatar
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    Garmin Connect link

    foothills_loop_sabino.jpg

    Friday's route took me along River Road out to Sabino Canyon. After once up and down, I traveled west along Sunrise as it turns into Ina. I really enjoyed going downhill with the wind on this leg, which this time of year is quite common. The left turn from Ina onto Thornydale is a little hectic during the morning rush hour. I think next time I'll try going the opposite direction around the loop. This is a longer loop than I usually do. I like going up 1st and doing the shorter loop in the opposite direction.

    another_cloudy_morning_in_tucson.jpg

    This was taken going south on River between Orange Grove and Camino de la Tierra. The morning clouds were really nice and kept the ride cool.

  3. #3
    Senior Member nathan.johnson's Avatar
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    This morning I decided I'd take a long my Nikon Coolpix point-and-shoot camera and document the bike riding conditions along the Mountain Avenue bikeway starting at the Rillito River Park and ending near the University of Arizona. The route is about three and a half miles (thanks to MapMyRide.com). I started at about 8:30 and got to campus at around 8:50 for an average speed of 10.5 miles per hour. I would usually go much faster than this, but was going slow to take the pictures.
    mountain avenue map


    Map and elevation profile from Mapmyride.com.

    So the route isn't much to look at. It's straight south on Mountain Avenue. The elevation profile shows a continuous uphill climb, but if you look closely it's only 200 feet over a distance of 3.5 miles. So that's like a zero percent grade. Okay, it's more than that, but it's relatively flat and even the most novice cyclist should have no problems riding this route. I started documenting when I got to this little park within a park on the Rillito River Park multi-use path. There's a couple tables to sit at and enjoy a snack or picnic plus a garbage can to throw your trash in. So don't be a litterbug.


    Picnic area where the Mountain connection meets the River Park multi-use path.

    Immediately adjacent to the picnic tables is a bridge that connects the linear park to Mountain Avenue. Both sides have a nice arch that proclaims it to be the River Park Gateway bridge. It is a very nice bridge and I'm glad I live in a community that thinks it's important to build infrastructure for biking and pedestrian use. I have no idea what it cost to build this bridge, but thankfully the City of Tucson was wise enough to do so. I always see people using the bridge whether on bike, pushing a stroller, and even on horseback. And this wise investment was built with tax dollars.


    Crossing the River Park Gateway Bridge.

    After crossing the bridge there is a sharp 90-degree turn that you need to negotiate which is followed within a few dozen feet by this T-intersection. The 90-degree turn will soon be another T-intersection as the south side path is completed. Make sure to be especially careful in this area as there are short sightlines and high volumes of traffic moving at different speeds. I was thinking that to myself this morning as I was taking this picture and making my left hand turn onto the connector between the river path and Mountain Avenue.

    ... read about the riding conditions along the rest of the bikeway at Run Nathan Run: Documenting the Mountain Avenue bikeway.

  4. #4
    VoodooChile zoste's Avatar
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    Nice idea for a thread.

    I took this picture about a mile up Mount Lemmon


    No need to post the route. I live on the east side so I ride north on Houghton to Catalina, then it's a straight shot up.

    I've also ridden a loop West on Speedway, North on Swan, West on Sunrise/Ina, under the 10 then South on Silverbell to Camino del Cerro, up La Cholla to the Rillito, and alont the Rillito to Craycroft then home. The whole route was a tick over 50 miles.
    Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand

  5. #5
    Senior Member nathan.johnson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zoste View Post
    I took this picture about a mile up Mount Lemmon[snip/]
    I love that view! It's been a few weeks since I've been up Lemmon. I may need to go up and get a pic from Windy Point now.

  6. #6
    Pedals, Paddles and Poles Daspydyr's Avatar
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    Keep em coming. I grew up in AZ and like anything with a Saguaro in it!
    I think its disgusting and terrible how people treat Lance Armstrong, especially after winning 7 Tour de France Titles while on drugs!

    I can't even find my bike when I'm on drugs. -Willie N.

  7. #7
    VoodooChile zoste's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daspydyr View Post
    Keep em coming. I grew up in AZ and like anything with a Saguaro in it!

    This one was taken about a week after the last shot. I rode South on Old Spanish Trail, and turned around and snapped a shot looking back at Mount Lemmon...this is probably a mile or so south of Saguaro National Forest (East). Sorry 'Spyder, no saguaros, but that's a pretty cool cholla in the foreground.




    Not bike related, but my son and I have done some hiking in the area. This was taken in the Tucson Mountains west of town:




    This was another hike. We climbed the rocks above Gates Pass. This is looking west toward Old Tucson movie studio:



    This was taken during the 2010 Tour of the Tucson Mountains.



    I'd been in Tucson less than two months and had never seen a javelina before...I thought it was a wild boar
    Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand

  8. #8
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    photos like that last one just piss me off. Why isn't pouring shoulders a requirement in American road engineering!!?!?!?

  9. #9
    VoodooChile zoste's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vicelord View Post
    photos like that last one just piss me off. Why isn't pouring shoulders a requirement in American road engineering!!?!?!?
    Sorry to piss you off...I'm actually pretty happy with the bike infrastructure in Tucson. There are a lot more striped shoulders and bike lanes here than there are in southeastern PA where I used to live.
    Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by zoste View Post
    Sorry to piss you off...I'm actually pretty happy with the bike infrastructure in Tucson. There are a lot more striped shoulders and bike lanes here than there are in southeastern PA where I used to live.
    you didn't piss me off, lol. Road engineers did! I just wish they would pour a shoulder or lane as a standard, especially in a location like that with plenty of room.

  11. #11
    Senior Member vredstein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zoste View Post
    Sorry to piss you off...I'm actually pretty happy with the bike infrastructure in Tucson. There are a lot more striped shoulders and bike lanes here than there are in southeastern PA where I used to live.
    Would that be Twin Peaks road?
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    Fenders....because it's probably urine."
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  12. #12
    Senior Member vredstein's Avatar
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    I mapped out a route I frequently use. I drew it up on Mapmyride, but can't figure out how to post it as an attachment. It starts out at Jame D. Kreigh Park in Oro Valley, runs counterclockwise west. There are many variations. Once on Tangerine, you could head north on Dove Mountain and ride up to the resort rather than heading south on Twin Peaks. Or you could keep heading west on Tangerine and ride all the way to Marana past I-10, stop at the Marana Park and turn around.
    Not sure how any construction along Frontage road might affect it.
    http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/fullscreen/54917586/

    Here's a link to a map of a similar ride that goes much further west and south to Gates Pass.
    http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/fullscreen/54918850/
    Last edited by vredstein; 10-19-11 at 01:12 AM.
    "See, it's not that getting wet is a big deal. Really, it's what you're getting wet with.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member vredstein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daspydyr View Post
    Keep em coming. I grew up in AZ and like anything with a Saguaro in it!
    Here's a shot with a Saguaro protecting my bike, and another shot of a Tucson forest, and a shot of Gates Pass looking east. The poorly drawn arrows show the way the road heads for those willing to ride the road up.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    "See, it's not that getting wet is a big deal. Really, it's what you're getting wet with.
    Fenders....because it's probably urine."
    Bike Snob NYC

  14. #14
    VoodooChile zoste's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vredstein View Post
    Would that be Twin Peaks road?
    It was somewhere along Camino de Oeste:

    http://ridewithgps.com/routes/347719
    Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand

  15. #15
    Senior Member nathan.johnson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vredstein View Post
    Here's a shot with a Saguaro protecting my bike, and another shot of a Tucson forest, and a shot of Gates Pass looking east. The poorly drawn arrows show the way the road heads for those willing to ride the road up.
    I was thinking of doing hill repeats on Gates Pass this morning... decided to sleep in instead and ride this afternoon/evening. I've seen that view many times. It's not as hard riding as the picture makes it seem.

    I need to bring my camera along again and take some pictures.

  16. #16
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Moved to Tucson in 1978.
    Ridden all of the areas mentioned.
    While we are enjoying more bike-friendly street layouts, when we got here it was not quite so although there was a heck of a lot less car traffic.
    For several years worked on the Pima County bicycling committee; takes an inordinantely long time to properly develop a good network of cycle friendly roads.
    Tucson has done much better than what Phoenix area offers.
    Pedal on!
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    2011 rudy and kay.jpg

  17. #17
    Senior Member LarryMelman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zonatandem View Post
    Tucson has done much better than what Phoenix area offers.
    Sorry, but either your knowledge here is horribly obsolete, or you have that mysterious anti-Phoenix attitude that many Tucson folks seem to have.

    Bike lanes and routes are plentiful and well-maintained here. And I have always found the streets in Tucson to be in terrible condition.

  18. #18
    I'm Melting..... 03FinestAL's Avatar
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    I do believe that being free men in this wonderful country of ours gives everyone the right to their own opinion. Stop trying to piss in everyone's Wheaties around here.

    Quote Originally Posted by LarryMelman View Post
    Sorry, but either your knowledge here is horribly obsolete, or you have that mysterious anti-Phoenix attitude that many Tucson folks seem to have.

    Bike lanes and routes are plentiful and well-maintained here. And I have always found the streets in Tucson to be in terrible condition.

  19. #19
    Senior Member nathan.johnson's Avatar
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    kinney_road.jpg
    On Kinney Road looking at Gates Pass on the Tuesday group ride route.

  20. #20
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    Rode Gates Pass west to east on Sunday morning after el tour...

    It was supposed to be an easy spin ride but it certainly seemed steep the day after 111 miles.

    I live in far north Phoenix (carefree hwy/i-17). My buddy and I were commenting during el tour that the tucson roads have nicer bike lanes than our area (wider/marked through the intersection instead of disappearing 100 yds before etc). But... The road surfaces in north Phoenix and north Scottsdale are much smoother.

    I do realize our roads are probably newer as well.

  21. #21
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    I stumbled across this link a few years ago and it is the motherlode of all collections of Tucson bike routes, or at least the ones that I am aware of. This one has many rides, with details and maps. Check it out!

    http://psy1.psych.arizona.edu/cgi-bin/megahurtz

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