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Tucson & Mt Lemmon

Old 01-11-19, 01:50 PM
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waitforme
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Tucson & Mt Lemmon

I have a conference in Tucson mid March and if I can swing it, I'd like to ride Mt Lemmon on Thursday the 14th. I'll be staying on the West side at the Marriott Starr Pass Resort, which unfortunately means I'd have a +/- 23 mile ride to/from the base of Mt Lemmon climb. I don't see any other options than turning this into a solo century that includes crossing downtown Tucson twice and climbing Mt Lemmon. My initial thoughts would be to leave the hotel around 10am to miss the rush hour traffic both ways and hopefully also get the best riding temps. A few questions:


1) What's the traffic like in Tucson and will my proposed timing miss the worst of it?

2) Any recommendations for an West/East bike route across Tucson?

3) Assuming I can fill my bottles at the bottom of Mt Lemmon, are there places to get water on the way up?

4) Apart from riding my bike or Uber, any other ideas for how to cross Tucson?

5) Any other thoughts or comments on my proposed ride?


I'd classify myself as an intermediate level cyclist, age 56, 170 lbs, 280W FTP, typically ride 8-10 hours/week.


Thanks

Kevin
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Old 01-17-19, 12:38 AM
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looking to do the mt. lemmon climb starting at dawn on feb 4th...the day after the super bowl... along with two smallish (25-40 miles) rides on the sunday and tuesday on either side of that.
saguaro national park-east is a definite destination (if able to access with government shutdown still going at that point) as is gates pass. will probably incorporate some of the loop as well.
have only been to tucson once and never ridden it.
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Old 01-17-19, 06:06 AM
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You might consider taking a Sun Tran bus across town - they’re equipped with bike racks.
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Old 01-30-19, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Greenhil View Post
You might consider taking a Sun Tran bus across town - they’re equipped with bike racks.
Thanks I was looking at their routes to see if one was convenient. I might just bite the bullet and rent a car, it would probably be close to the cost of taxis to/from the airport anyway.
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Old 02-06-19, 12:55 AM
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saguaro national park-east side 9 mile loop was magical. did it in mixed rain, mist, clouds and sun. no wind tho and i'm okay with that.
had i more time, woulda ridden that loop 2-4 times as is was technical in places and challenging in others. hit it on the monday morn after super bowl sunday
and dealt with exactly one car on one go around the 9 mile circuit. it's a must-do if you're in the area and it's not 95+ degrees.

brought the rain with me from san diego. wanted to do mt. graham and the weather was perfect just before my arrival and less than perfect during my entire
stay and beyond. the mountain was shrouded in clouds the entire 2.5 days i was there. next time.

managed to hit a small part of the loop, downtown and both sides of gates pass. the loop was a joy. dtown and 4th avenue was fun and funky and gates pass
on the se side (from old tucson) was short and scenic but challenging (and a decent workout from the tucson side). descending both sides of gates pass was
less than enjoyable, however, as the pavé was a far from perfect to put it mildly. anklam rd (connecting gates pass rd and starr pass rd) was (too) short and sweet tho.

didn't get to hit 3-4 other rides i wanted to do (only had 5 hrs total to ride/transport) so another visit during better weather is in the long-range plans.
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Old 02-08-19, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by waitforme View Post
1) What's the traffic like in Tucson and will my proposed timing miss the worst of it?
Depends on what you're used to -- it's never too bad and you could easily pick a route that keeps you away from busy streets. Most roads have good bike lanes.

Originally Posted by waitforme View Post
2) Any recommendations for an West/East bike route across Tucson?
I can be more specific, so let me know if you decide to ride it. You might make your way to 'The Loop' and follow it north along the Santa Cruz River, then east along the Rillito River, then jump off to connect with the Mt. Lemmon Hwy. It's an easy ride, for what that's worth.

Originally Posted by waitforme View Post
3) Assuming I can fill my bottles at the bottom of Mt Lemmon, are there places to get water on the way up?
The first water is a long way up, usually at the Palisades Ranger station, though I am not sure there's water available this time of year. In summer, I carry a third bottle in my jersey.

Originally Posted by waitforme View Post
4) Apart from riding my bike or Uber, any other ideas for how to cross Tucson?
Where you are staying, you really do have to cross ALL of it!

Originally Posted by waitforme View Post
5) Any other thoughts or comments on my proposed ride?
Happy to help if you have questions.

Bob
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Old 02-13-19, 01:57 PM
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Thanks for the responses. Slight schedule change so now plan to ride on Wednesday March 13th, I'll drive to the Safeway/Le Buzz Cafe at the bottom of the E Catalina Hwy and ride from there. Sounds like I'll need 3 bottles to get to either the Ranger Station at Palisades or failing that, try to stretch the water out to Summerhaven. Looking forward to it.
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Old 02-14-19, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by waitforme View Post
Thanks for the responses. Slight schedule change so now plan to ride on Wednesday March 13th, I'll drive to the Safeway/Le Buzz Cafe at the bottom of the E Catalina Hwy and ride from there. Sounds like I'll need 3 bottles to get to either the Ranger Station at Palisades or failing that, try to stretch the water out to Summerhaven. Looking forward to it.
Sounds like a good plan. If the temps are cool, you might not need three bottles, but I would carry the extra just in case.
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