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Old 07-25-08, 03:30 PM   #1
nkuvu
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Riding in Tucson

My friend and I have picked up the habit of doing two rides a week, at insanely early hours of the morning on Wednesdays and Fridays.

The rambling background:

So far the best ride we've found is the path next to the river -- I know parts of it are the Rillito River Park, the whole thing may be that as well. Long paved ride, crosses only two roads, not too congested during the early hours. We start at 1st Avenue, head east all the way to Craycroft, then back. Round trip distance of about 17 km (10.5 mi).

I've taken a look at the PAG bike map, and based on that we saw a few more bike paths that are separated from the street. One was down along Golf Links, so we tried that last week. In a word, bleh. Right next to a lot of traffic, crossing several streets, and we eventually lost the path somewhere in a semi-urban area (not too familiar with south side, so not sure where we were).

Another listed path on Old Spanish Trail. But a perusal from Google maps revealed that to be similar to the Golf Links path (next to the road, crossing several streets, et cetera). So this morning we tried the path next to the river just west of I-10. Went south from Grant to Silverlake, with a round trip distance of 12.5 km (just under 8 miles).

So both of the river paths are good. The distances aren't very long, but we're also looking at limited time frame (my friend has classes and I have work). The time limit also restricts how far out of town we can go.

(end background ramble)

But the question is, where do you ride for leisure? Any nice, secluded routes that are in town or very close to town?

We ran into some minor issues with the path next to Golf Links, namely that the park we'd intended to start from was still closed when we got there. Anyone ride the Sabino Canyon road, and if so, any issues with them during the wee hours of the morning?
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Old 07-27-08, 08:21 PM   #2
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Been riding in Tucson since 1978.
We ride the road, not bike paths.
Rillito River path rambles along but have to share it with walkers/runners, dogs on long leashes, roller bladers and folks who have no idea what 'on your left', means.
The PAG map shows separate bike lanes (yes, next to the road with all them cars) and currently the county has over 400 miles of those lanes. Use 'em, we paid for them with our taxes.
We have ridden every major road in Tucson: Speedway (don't do it during car commute time), Broadway,
Grant, Sunrise, Ina, Golf Links, Old Spanish Trail, etc.
Sunday mornings are quiet with minimal traffic anywhere in town (except near churches . . . watch out for folks leavin' church, they are in a hurry to get out . . . no kidding!).
We live north of town in Oro Valley and ride Oracle Rd regularly; nice lane ( safety pull-off lane, not marked as bike lane) all the way from Oracle/Ina to the town of Oracle (50 mile round trip).
Commuted to work for 16 years 'til I retired 13 years ago.
Even a 'bent trike has enough space; hope you're running a flag on a pole on that trike. Oh, and we ride a tandem, so we take up a bit more room than a single also.
Learn to get comfortable riding with traffic . . . been doing it for a long time.

Pedal on!
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Old 07-28-08, 04:19 PM   #3
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We could theoretically ride on the road. But even the bike path next to Golf Links was very loud. We're out to just relax and pedal around and talk -- not to listen to cars.

Due to schedule issues, we're riding very early on Wednesday and Friday, which means that the roads are still busier than they would be on a Sunday morning.

The people on the river park trail may be slow, and may not react to "on your left,"
but that's a minor annoyance in comparison with trying to converse over traffic.
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Old 07-28-08, 04:41 PM   #4
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Sounds like you've got your reasons . . .
We have no problem talking while riding, we ride a bit closer than most folks, we are on a tandem 99% of the time.
Currently spending part of summertime riding in cooler northern Utah.
Check out your local bike shop and perhaps pick up a copy of the Update, the monthly free newsletter of GABA (Greater Az Bicycling Ass'n); they do have a few short beginner group rides if you are so inclined.
Pedal on TWOgether!
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Old 07-28-08, 09:48 PM   #5
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Below is a link to a great book on the best rides in Tucson, AZ.

http://www.trisports.com/road-bike-rides.html
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Old 08-01-08, 11:57 AM   #6
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Hey folks, I just got in and am staying up at my sister's in the Foothills off Ina.

Anyone up for some early morning (6AM) road rides Sat, Sun or next week up Oracle?

I'll send a PM as well.

Best/Steve
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Old 08-01-08, 06:19 PM   #7
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I'm always up for some riding - on thursdays and fridays (my weekend). I have both a mountain bike and a cyclocross bike. Email me at chip at wiegand dot org if anyone is available on those days.
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Old 08-03-08, 09:43 PM   #8
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A couple of nice rides in Tucson...

http://trail.motionbased.com/trail/activity/6418910
http://trail.motionbased.com/trail/activity/6418911


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Old 08-03-08, 10:05 PM   #9
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Steve:
That looks like it could be in the Sun City Vistoso area . . .
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Old 08-23-08, 04:37 AM   #10
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Or Rancho Vistoso, one of my favorite places to ride...nice bike lanes up there.
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Old 08-28-08, 10:08 PM   #11
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Here is a good book on all the best rides in Tucson, AZ

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0981722202
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Old 08-28-08, 10:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trouble View Post
Or Rancho Vistoso, one of my favorite places to ride...nice bike lanes up there.
Bingo! The "training ground" for this flatlander...
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Old 10-01-08, 11:25 AM   #13
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I liked the path along the river best (it's very wide, so an ideal share-the-road path) when I visited Tucson last year. But no problems riding on e.g. Ina or Oracle Road. I did very often.
Only - to my experience - you should be aware of traffic going to the right. Actually they should, of course!! Generally speaking Tucson cycle-circumstancs are very good, that being said by someone from a very cycle-minded country, the Netherlands. But I can only - qua towns - compare to ABQ, Flagstaff and Sanfran.
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Old 10-05-08, 01:49 AM   #14
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I prefer riding River Road to the river bike path... there is a generous bike lane and the terrain has lots of curves and brief hills to make it interesting.

Oracle, First Ave, La Cholla and a few others just north of River are fun with the big hill there... again, very nice bike lanes on all those.

My favorite is Ina/Sunrise going east from Oracle to Sabino Canyon. Fun ups and downs, and a few hundred feet elevation gain total over that stretch make for a fun speedy downhill return to town.
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