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Cycling in Arizona at the end of December (aka next week).

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Cycling in Arizona at the end of December (aka next week).

Old 12-19-16, 02:28 PM
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Cycling in Arizona at the end of December (aka next week).

I mentioned my visit in another thread, but I did not want to continue to thread jack someone else's post. Have a few more details about my trip. I knew I was going to Phoenix area, but now I know it is actually Sun City.

My only plan was to ride Mt Lemmon since I love to climb hills, but now I am debating whether I should do it or not. It seems like the road is closed as of December 15. Not sure where the actually closure is, or if bikes are still allowed. How will the conditions be like during the time between Christmas and New Years? What are the best sites to use for road closures and weather conditions (at the top, not down below).

The other issue is being in Sun City rather than Phoenix, which adds about an hours drive extra to Tucson. Not sure if I want to drive 3 hours to make the climb, during what are the shortest days of the years (in terms of sunlight).

Any other good rides around Sun City? I will be stuck in a retirement community. Need an excuse to leave!
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Old 12-21-16, 10:57 PM
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Could go up toward Lake Pleasant or out toward the White Tanks west of Sun City. South Mountain is supposed to be a good ride. Not too far from the west side.
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Old 12-22-16, 08:31 AM
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Yeah, you're not too far from Lake Pleasant. Also the Arizona Canal. It will take you into the metro area. Lots of paths available there.
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Old 12-22-16, 12:12 PM
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Definitely check out the strava heat map for that area, it'll help with making routes.

https://labs.strava.com/heatmap/#11/-...0492/gray/bike

I used to live out in the West Wing area, just NE of Sun City. There's tons of bike lanes and beautiful scenery out that way. Riding out to Lake Pleasant will have some climbing, some long gradual climbs and a few short steep ones. There's also a lot of nice riding around the Vistancia area and a few bike clubs that ride out there if you were looking for a group ride.
https://www.meetup.com/Trilogy-Bicycle-Club/
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Old 12-22-16, 02:36 PM
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It is sometimes hard to use Strava since it does not differentiate between road cycling and mountain biking. This difference is especially notable when looking for climbs to do since mountain biking are sometimes more apt to do climbing. The heatmaps mostly show flats, which I am not interested in.

How about Mt Lemmon? Doable? I think my limit in terms of weather is that the daytime high temperature should be at least in the mid 50s. My max elevation ever has been 6600 ft, although I did start from a much lower elevation. The climb itself look manageable, it is the final elevation and weather that worries me.

Or just forget about biking and eat my heart out?
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Old 12-22-16, 02:51 PM
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If you want long climbs in Phoenix, your best options are 9mile hill road in N Scottsdale and then South Mountain, also Ursery Pass out in Mesa.

9 Mile Hill
https://www.strava.com/segments/616867

SOMO
https://www.strava.com/segments/733052

Ursery
https://www.strava.com/segments/524383
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Old 12-22-16, 03:42 PM
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You are not going to get much vertical on the west side. There are some good roads to ride, Lake Pleasant Parkway, Happy Valley, east towards 35th ave and west into Vistancia, Up into the Westwing and Deem Hills area. There are a few short hills and some places to get some good efforts in. Jomax Hill, 93rd and 92nd ave N of Happy Valley.

HWY 74 west of Lake Pleasant Parkway has a few hills as does Castle Springs Road to the back of the lake.
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Old 12-22-16, 05:55 PM
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This is the time of year to ride "The Valley of the Sun." I grew up in the South Mountain area. We used to ride our Schwinn Varsities up to the TV towers and Dobbins Lookout. I recommend that ride. there are a variety of ways to get in and out of the park system. There is a system of Picnic locations inside the park. You can ride around and see a variety of Lookout points for the Phoenix Valley.


Mountain biking is where this location really shines. If you have a pair of fat tires you can take.
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Old 12-24-16, 07:58 AM
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Catalina Highway (road up Mt. Lemmon) is not closed.
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Old 12-25-16, 07:47 PM
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Thanks for the help everyone and Merry Christmas.

In the end, I decided not to bring my bike at all. As someone that puts in lots of hours weekly, not biking for several days just feels wrong. Might go mountain biking tomorrow in South Mountain with a cousin. Besides, I am so absolutely stuff from 24 hours of eating. Can't imagine dragging these several extra pounds up a mountain.

I guess that means I just have to come back. Any good century rides? My cousins say that they close Mt Lemmon (or perhaps it was another road) to vehicular traffic once per month for cyclists.
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Old 12-27-16, 09:37 AM
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Mt Lemmon never closes for cyclists, not sure where your cousin got that. If you get back to Tucson, check out the Shootout.
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Old 12-27-16, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by robabeatle
Mt Lemmon never closes for cyclists, not sure where your cousin got that. If you get back to Tucson, check out the Shootout.
I think he meant that it closes to car traffic for the day, most likely similar to SOMOs silent Sundays they do once a month...personally, I avoid SOMO that weekend. Car traffic is easier to deal with than 500 cyclists.
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Old 12-28-16, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by SpeshulEd
I think he meant that it closes to car traffic for the day, most likely similar to SOMOs silent Sundays they do once a month...personally, I avoid SOMO that weekend. Car traffic is easier to deal with than 500 cyclists.
Yup, got that, it doesn't happen at Lemmon.
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Old 12-29-16, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by robabeatle
Yup, got that, it doesn't happen at Lemmon.
D'oh. Rereading what you said and that makes perfect sense. Apparently my reading comprehension was having some issues the other day.
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Old 12-29-16, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by SpeshulEd
D'oh. Rereading what you said and that makes perfect sense. Apparently my reading comprehension was having some issues the other day.
No worries, it's the holidays!

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