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Riding Around Tucson

Old 12-04-22, 07:51 AM
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Riding Around Tucson

We hope to rent an Air BnB in Tuscon for the purpose of road riding. What part of Tuscon should we stay in that will facilitate riding from our home best? Thanks (I plan to post this elsewhere also because I rarely get a response on the regional threads.)
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Old 12-04-22, 01:09 PM
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personally like the west side of town close to the 8 freeway. the western leg of “the loop” bike path runs north/south through there and the western unit of saguaro national park is there along with sentinel peak and gates pass/anklam rd. can get that out of town feeling quickly or dip in and out of town. hills/light mountains if you want ‘em, flats if you don’t.

other preferred area would be the ne corner of town close to sabino canyon (cycling restrictions) and mount lemmon. it’s hillier over here with the foothills but mount lemmon (as far as your legs and the weather will take you) is a must do, as is sabino canyon and the 9-mile loop (do the loop at least twice) in the east unit of saguaro national park (saguaro has a west side unit (mostly dirt so take bigger tires like 28’s or larger) and an east side unit (paved) i only had time to do three rides, those would be my go-to’s

not to be confused with the loop in the east unit of saguaro np is “the loop” bike path of roughly 60 miles which is easily accessible from much of town and a handy way to avoid cars.
https://www.arizonabikerides.com/rid...e-ride-tucson/
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Old 12-04-22, 04:07 PM
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fwiw I'd rather stay in the North or Northeast part of town, and then maybe drive to the few rides that are worth doing in the far West side of town, versus vice-versa. Getting from the East or even Central part of town all the way West often involves a crap-ton of junk miles, and arguably there are more better cycling routes easily accessible from the East/Northeast.
And for god's sake don't stay in the South, there be dragons there.

Also:
Routes in Tuscon
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Old 12-05-22, 05:35 AM
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due back out thar last day of january-first two daze of february. can't wait. hoping for mid-60's to low low 70's (but, of course, it'll be
in the upper 30's-low 40's at the eff me sunrise start times). kitt peak and madera canyon are the two, must-do's, this visit. will likely
be dayumed happy to hit sabino canyon and saguaro np-east unit again if waking up omg early is an issue as it was the last visit...
blaming the owl's club dtown.
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Old 12-05-22, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by ooga-booga
kitt peak and madera canyon are the two, must-do's, this visit.
FYI, SR 386 up Kitt Peak is completely closed to all traffic due to damage from the Contreras Fire last summer. No date given for reopening.

Last time I rode that highway was New Years Day 1983 starting at Ryan Field. Tough climb, fun descent, long ride back along SR 86.
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Old 12-10-22, 02:26 AM
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Originally Posted by RCMoeur
FYI, SR 386 up Kitt Peak is completely closed to all traffic due to damage from the Contreras Fire last summer. No date given for reopening.

Last time I rode that highway was New Years Day 1983 starting at Ryan Field. Tough climb, fun descent, long ride back along SR 86.
grrr...
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Old 12-11-22, 03:11 PM
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Maybe look for a place in the Garden District. It's fairly centrally located, and is aptly named. The Rillito bike path would be a couple miles away to the north.
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Old 11-07-23, 11:17 PM
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initially wasn't planning on getting dragged to the 2024 tucson gem faire 1.27-2.13 w/the lady this year but she wants to go again. that means two, early morning rides. brrr.
couldn't do kitt peak last year but looks like hwy 386 is open again. having done sabino canyon, parts of the loop, mount lemmon (the whole enchilada), gates pass, sentinel peak and saguaro np-east loop,
kitt peak is #1 on the to-do list. madera canyon is second on the to-do list so will try to hit that as well the following morning. obvs, weather is huge so if it's super windy, cold or potentially wet, will stay close
to the hotel and look to do some of the loop and/or saguaro np-east loop. visit last year same time found temps just above freezing with a 6:30am start. verry tuff for this socal old-timer. hoping for am starting temps
closer to low-mid 40's. please. please. please.

hotel this year looks to be in the gates pass area or nearish. def west side of town. done much of this area but closer, freeway-wise, to kitt peak. farther away from the closest whattaburger i've found tho. we'll see what happens.
this will be the 4th year (5 visits in 6 years) in a row hitting tucson. wouldn't mind another two days/rides but can only take what is given.

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Old 11-09-23, 12:25 PM
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I haven't done it yet, but word from several aquaintances in the local cycle club say Kitt's Peak is open and quite a lovely ride now.

I did Madera Canyon earlier this year, and it was quite the slog: It's not steep at all, but it's just a relentless interminable road with undifferentiated features on either side for miles...and then a short blip at the end. If you're going up into a headwind, prepare to be demoralized

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Old 11-10-23, 03:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob Ross
I haven't done it yet, but word from several aquaintances in the local cycle club say Kitt's Peak is open and quite a lovely ride now.

I did Madera Canyon earlier this year, and it was quite the slog: It's not steep at all, but it's just a relentless interminable road with undifferentiated features on either side for miles...and then a short blip at the end. If you're going up into a headwind, prepare to be demoralized
thank you for the intel.
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Old 12-12-23, 04:55 AM
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hotel booked and it’s in the oro valley area so looking to do a ride or two in that area in late january. Bob Ross has spoken highly of the area in past tucson posts/threads and i've not ridden oro valley yet.
still going to try and hit kitt peak one morning and oro valley the other morning.

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Old 12-17-23, 12:19 AM
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Originally Posted by diphthong
initially wasn't planning on getting dragged to the 2024 tucson gem faire 1.27-2.13 w/the lady this year but she wants to go again. that means two, early morning rides. brrr.
couldn't do kitt peak last year but looks like hwy 386 is open again. having done sabino canyon, parts of the loop, mount lemmon (the whole enchilada), gates pass, sentinel peak and saguaro np-east loop,
kitt peak is #1 on the to-do list. madera canyon is second on the to-do list so will try to hit that as well the following morning. obvs, weather is huge so if it's super windy, cold or potentially wet, will stay close
to the hotel and look to do some of the loop and/or saguaro np-east loop. visit last year same time found temps just above freezing with a 6:30am start. verry tuff for this socal old-timer. hoping for am starting temps
closer to low-mid 40's. please. please. please.

hotel this year looks to be in the gates pass area or nearish. def west side of town. done much of this area but closer, freeway-wise, to kitt peak. farther away from the closest whattaburger i've found tho. we'll see what happens.
this will be the 4th year (5 visits in 6 years) in a row hitting tucson. wouldn't mind another two days/rides but can only take what is given.
Ill be there from the 24th to the 28th. Looking to do a century ride this time, one of the days.

Id appreciate and route suggestions

I loved Saguaro East last year and may want to add that loop into my century route. Gates Pass is awesome too.

We are staying in the Wyndam Starr Pass Golf club. 🤷‍♂️
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Old 12-17-23, 05:23 AM
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returnoftheyeti something like this-just general, directional thoughts-might give you some ideas. doesn't specifically incorporate "the loop" but could be opportunities to do so. sentinel peak right near the finish/where you're staying would be a nice way to cap it off.

https://www.strava.com/routes/3171427269143250276

it's not exactly close to where you're staying but consider sabino canyon must-do (along with saguaro np-east and mount lemmon which you've done). you can do any combo as a longer ride since they're all semi-nearby to each other
if you're doing a 40-50 miler starting at either sabino canyon, mt. lemmon or snp-east. also liked the redington pass ride last year as a little side trip in that area. sabino canyon has cycling restrictions like no bikes after 9am and no bikes at any time on weds and sun
or something like that. check online for the latest. because sabino canyon has restrictions, makes it an obvious starting point to knock it out before 9am. allot yourself 1.25 hours for the climb, descent and picture stops if you do hit it.

https://www.strava.com/activities/6615264260

https://www.strava.com/activities/8483383837

Last edited by diphthong; 12-17-23 at 05:39 AM.
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Old 12-17-23, 04:42 PM
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Ooo. I might do this.

https://www.strava.com/routes/3171427269143250276

Has Gates Pass the opposite direction I went last year and has the East Park loop. What more could a guy want.

Now to get in good enough shape in 35 days to do it.
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Old 12-18-23, 02:30 AM
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Originally Posted by returnoftheyeti
Ooo. I might do this.

https://www.strava.com/routes/3171427269143250276

Has Gates Pass the opposite direction I went last year and has the East Park loop. What more could a guy want.

Now to get in good enough shape in 35 days to do it.
the first 30 miles or so allow for fewer variations but we both know that once you get semi-close to the foot of mount lemmon, you might wanna squeeze out some climbing miles until that day's/weather turnaround point.
snp-east is such a gem. seriously, you could do 12 laps there, call it a century, and anyone that's ever ridden it wouldn't blame you one bit. once you bounce from snp-east, should be some "loop" considerations
that may take you back, in a more direct fashion, towards starr pass. goof around up mount lemmon or extra in oro valley or an extra go round or two at snp-east, and that meh southern tucson stretch could be
avoided/bypassed via the "loop." at the very least, you'd miss out on stoplight hell.

i'll miss you this time around. there from the 29th-31st. maybe 2025??

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Old 12-18-23, 02:01 PM
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https://www.******.com/r/Tucson/comm..._a_good_route/

This got spicy...

I think this is going to be my route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/45185261
I need to shake off my non-winter riding and pick this up.

And yeah, see you in 2025 :!
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Old 12-18-23, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by returnoftheyeti
https://www.******.com/r/Tucson/comm..._a_good_route/

This got spicy...

I think this is going to be my route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/45185261
I need to shake off my non-winter riding and pick this up.

And yeah, see you in 2025 :!
had a feeling "the loop" would assist-big time-crossing tucson to the north and south. was too late and lazy to map it out but threw out the suggestion that it might come in handy.
always nice to have local intel. have ridden out there 10-12 times but not exactly a local. if you're doing roadie socal (esp san diego county and a majority of la/orange county) at some point, that's my expertise. enjoy your rides out there in january.

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Old 01-22-24, 03:47 AM
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oooh...looks like mornings at the end of january will be in the upper 40's and midday temps will be in the mid-70's. may hafta demand a "late" shopping day starting around 2pm to enjoy a longer ride.

kitt peak is still number one on the to-do list for the third year in a row. last year's sunrise temps in the 33-34 degree range were not working for this wimp. 48 degrees ride starting temp? i can suck it up for an hour or three.
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Old 01-24-24, 10:10 PM
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I'm still holding out, but I have a feeling that in another year or two I may reluctantly concede that I need to get a handlebar bag to stuff my vest, arm warmers, leg warmers, etc. into so that I can go out on these rides that start at ~38°F and end up at ~65°F.
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Old 01-25-24, 03:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob Ross
I'm still holding out, but I have a feeling that in another year or two I may reluctantly concede that I need to get a handlebar bag to stuff my vest, arm warmers, leg warmers, etc. into so that I can go out on these rides that start at ~38°F and end up at ~65°F.
so bleeping annoying. that feeling of sucking it up because you're finally (too) warm and it's a nice change but stopping for 3-4 mins to (properly) remove, fold and sequester extra clothing vs freezing your assets off from the start is always a very fine line.
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Old 02-01-24, 01:05 AM
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gawd...only made it 38%/5 miles of the way up kitt peak. no other idiots out in the area. started at sunrise/7:22am. large parking area at the base of the climb. had time constraints to be sure and wasn't going to summit regardless, but it was slow going. sooo out of shape. still, informative to do some recon.

did have 35-40 head of cattle running alongside me (uphill!!) on both sides of the road from miles 2-3 which was more than slightly disconcerting since several had pointy, big horns. talk about being psyched out. sign at the bottom said road closed from 4pm-9am and another sign said road closed but one

half of the gate (downhill side) was open. had a handful of cars pass me uphill in 5 miles-all gubbmint white gov plates (mix of trucks, sedans/compacts). looking to add an extra riding/spa day to the proceedings next year to be able to knock this out. starting weather was supposedly low 50's but calling bs. was closer to mid-40's so had insulated skull cap,

neck gaiter, gloves + glove liners, 3 layers + shell jacket and two layers of socks. worked out pretty well. it was roughly 20 degrees warmer than it would have been last year so know that next year's adventure will likely be much chillier. with the entire climb navigating the colder north/west sides of the peak,

had perfect morning conditions but imperfect morning availability. road quality a 5 of 10. uphill, not an issue. downhill, more than a bit annoying with the chip seal, cut and paste. if the road got repaved, could be a stellar descent. here's hoping for 2025!

returnoftheyeti had a much better go of it in tucson this year. already decided to add an extra "just riding" day to the visit next year.


https://www.strava.com/activities/10660999963/overview

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