Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

Tucson The Loop

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

Tucson The Loop

Old 03-04-19, 04:54 AM
  #1  
Life Feeds On Life
Thread Starter
 
Hondo Gravel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Hondo,Texas
Posts: 2,143

Bikes: Too many Motobecanes

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4410 Post(s)
Liked 4,521 Times in 3,023 Posts
Tucson The Loop

Thinking about riding the bike paths around Tucson Arizona. Any of you have cruised these paths? Need some guidance and insight.
Hondo Gravel is offline  
Old 03-04-19, 10:13 AM
  #2  
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 27,342

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, a black and orange one, and a few titanium ones

Mentioned: 152 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6201 Post(s)
Liked 4,204 Times in 2,358 Posts
Originally Posted by Hondo Gravel
Thinking about riding the bike paths around Tucson Arizona. Any of you have cruised these paths? Need some guidance and insight.
Don't do it in June. Or July. Or August. Or early September. You may not want to do it is February either

DSCN1893 by Stuart Black, on Flickr
DSCN1884 by Stuart Black, on Flickr

Taken on a very cold 22 February 2019 during a record snow fall.

But if you do want to do it in June do the Bicas Hottest Day of the Year Ride. But, generally, the loop around on the Santa Cruz/Rillito River trails with associated connectors is a pretty good ride. The whole "Loop" in Tucson includes a lot of other bikeways and connectors and is 130+ miles long so you might want to consider some short cuts in some places.

And, if you haven't ridden in Tucson, it is the land of pokey stuff. Saguaro aren't anything to worry about. The Teddy Bear cholla, on the other hand, will reach out and bite you

DSCN1875 by Stuart Black, on Flickr
DSCN1876 by Stuart Black, on Flickr

They make mountain biking down there an exercise in precision

image by Stuart Black, on Flickr
image by Stuart Black, on Flickr
__________________
Stuart Black
Plan Epsilon Around Lake Michigan in the era of Covid
Old School…When It Wasn’t Ancient bikepacking
Gold Fever Three days of dirt in Colorado
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!



cyccommute is offline  
Old 03-04-19, 10:28 AM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
Rob_E's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 2,709

Bikes: Downtube 8H, Surly Troll

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 303 Post(s)
Liked 22 Times in 21 Posts
Maybe try here: https://www.bikeforums.net/southwest/
Rob_E is offline  
Old 03-04-19, 10:13 PM
  #4  
Life Feeds On Life
Thread Starter
 
Hondo Gravel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Hondo,Texas
Posts: 2,143

Bikes: Too many Motobecanes

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4410 Post(s)
Liked 4,521 Times in 3,023 Posts
Cool pictures. I was at Sedona about this time last year but I didn’t feel any vortexes had a great time didn’t bike but hiked. The Southwest link I’m checking out it has good info. If I can manage to go I will take my gravel bike and cruise the paved pathways the mountain biking looks great but I don’t want to lose all that blood I have mountain biked Lajitas Texas trails and left some blood behind.
Hondo Gravel is offline  
Old 03-04-19, 10:34 PM
  #5  
velo-dilettante
 
diphthong's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: insane diego, california
Posts: 8,315

Bikes: 85 pinarello treviso steel, 88 nishiki olympic steel. 95 look kg 131 carbon, 11 trek madone 5.2 carbon

Mentioned: 26 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1627 Post(s)
Liked 3,113 Times in 1,683 Posts
did a little segment of it beginning of february. well signed and well paved with plenty of entry/exit points. hoping to get back there within the next year to hit mt. lemmon, ride the 9.5 mile loop
of saguaro national park-east portion again and do a bigger portion (30+ miles) of the loop.

the regional forums would seem to be the best place to post queries about riding places that you're traveling to but many of those particular regional forums
are dead as a doornail and not very helpful ime/imo. the southwest one is one such deadend-usually. there are a few of us in the southern california forum that are pretty helpful or try to be.
historically, i've had pretty good luck posting the occasional "hey...gonna be riding ____ for a few days. recommendations?" styled threads in the touring forum.
the ladies and gents that make up the touring forum have been around the block once or twice and are super helpful. you were right to post here. this forum is jumping.

Last edited by diphthong; 03-04-19 at 10:53 PM.
diphthong is offline  
Old 03-05-19, 05:29 AM
  #6  
Mother Nature's Son
 
delbiker1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Sussex County, Delaware
Posts: 3,107

Bikes: 2014 Orbea Avant MD30, 2004 Airborne Zeppelin TI, 2003 Lemond Poprad, 2001 Lemond Tourmalet, 2014? Soma Smoothie

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 852 Post(s)
Liked 1,433 Times in 815 Posts
That is a great picture of the Seguro cactus/desert. I was there once back in the mid 70's in the spring and saw the blooms. Beautiful! Was not bicycling.
delbiker1 is offline  
Old 03-05-19, 08:36 AM
  #7  
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 27,342

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, a black and orange one, and a few titanium ones

Mentioned: 152 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6201 Post(s)
Liked 4,204 Times in 2,358 Posts
Originally Posted by Hondo Gravel
Cool pictures. I was at Sedona about this time last year but I didn’t feel any vortexes had a great time didn’t bike but hiked. The Southwest link I’m checking out it has good info. If I can manage to go I will take my gravel bike and cruise the paved pathways the mountain biking looks great but I don’t want to lose all that blood I have mountain biked Lajitas Texas trails and left some blood behind.
Snow like that is rare in Tucson. The ranger at Saguaro National said that she hadn't seen anything like it in 30 years.

The mountain bike pictures were taken on Fantasy Island which is at the southern end of the main loop around town. It's actually a fun ride and not too hard. The route is about 7 miles long but, I swear, it doesn't go outside of a square mile area. It's a bit pokey but as long as you keep your elbows in and don't try to cut corners, you are fine
__________________
Stuart Black
Plan Epsilon Around Lake Michigan in the era of Covid
Old School…When It Wasn’t Ancient bikepacking
Gold Fever Three days of dirt in Colorado
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!



cyccommute is offline  
Old 03-05-19, 12:40 PM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Elevation 666m Edmonton Canada
Posts: 2,476

Bikes: 2013 Custom SA5w / Rohloff Tourster

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1233 Post(s)
Liked 318 Times in 245 Posts
... Or March ....GloBULL warming LOL
Palm Springs hasn't hit 80F since middle of Nov. The record was 88 days, 3 weeks ago I think. It's going past 120 days likely.
Going back to the 40s for a couple days. My cousin stays there 3 months to ride MUPs. 3 inches of rain Valenine's day ate their golf courses and roads.
In 1997 I drove thru Tuscon, T+C and Tombstone, then off to California. Was there in April, was just right temps.
GamblerGORD53 is offline  
Old 03-06-19, 10:39 AM
  #9  
Full Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 362
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 128 Post(s)
Liked 115 Times in 80 Posts
Are these mainly Mountain Bike trails? Are there plenty of good Road Bike tours?
WaveyGravey is offline  
Old 03-07-19, 04:07 AM
  #10  
velo-dilettante
 
diphthong's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: insane diego, california
Posts: 8,315

Bikes: 85 pinarello treviso steel, 88 nishiki olympic steel. 95 look kg 131 carbon, 11 trek madone 5.2 carbon

Mentioned: 26 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1627 Post(s)
Liked 3,113 Times in 1,683 Posts
Originally Posted by Hondo Gravel
Cool pictures. I was at Sedona about this time last year but I didn’t feel any vortexes had a great time didn’t bike but hiked. The Southwest link I’m checking out it has good info. If I can manage to go I will take my gravel bike and cruise the paved pathways the mountain biking looks great but I don’t want to lose all that blood I have mountain biked Lajitas Texas trails and left some blood behind.


perhaps you missed this spot. amitabha stupa and peace park.
diphthong is offline  
Old 03-07-19, 09:52 AM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
locolobo13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Phx, AZ
Posts: 2,112

Bikes: Trek Mtn Bike

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 281 Post(s)
Liked 2,634 Times in 945 Posts
For the cholla burrs carry a comb
locolobo13 is offline  
Old 03-07-19, 05:51 PM
  #12  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Golden, CO and Tucson, AZ
Posts: 2,835

Bikes: 2016 Fuji Tread, 1983 Trek 520

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 674 Post(s)
Liked 739 Times in 430 Posts
I just cycled The Loop a few days ago. Just hop on anywhere, don't worry about maps. It's extremely well signed with excellent pavement. I don't think I went much more than five miles without seeing a water fountain and bathroom.

It wasn't easy finding the distance of the basic loop. Tucson brags that it's 130 miles long, but that includes spurs and both sides of waterways in many cases. It's actually just over 50 miles. Total elevation gain about 1000'.
andrewclaus is offline  
Old 03-08-19, 10:58 AM
  #13  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: northern Deep South
Posts: 8,895

Bikes: Fuji Touring, Novara Randonee

Mentioned: 36 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2599 Post(s)
Liked 1,924 Times in 1,208 Posts
I had no problems with the heat doing it in August a couple years back. Start at dawn with lots of fluids, be done by noon, enjoy a good long drink when you're done.

I did have a problem following the trail in NE Tucson. IIRC they had closed part of the trail to rebuild it (or de-build something else), and I took a signed bike route on the road, which then disappeared. Traffic was pretty well behaved, pavement was variable on the streets, and I found my way back to the trail after a few miles. Get the route map from one of the many bike shops in town and take it with you in case something similar happens to you.

If you can do climbs, head up the road to Mt. Lemon -- it's a lot cooler if you drive up to 4,000' and ride from there. Beautiful scenery, generally decent road and polite traffic, and coming back down is an absolute blast!
pdlamb is offline  
Old 03-10-19, 07:48 AM
  #14  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Golden, CO and Tucson, AZ
Posts: 2,835

Bikes: 2016 Fuji Tread, 1983 Trek 520

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 674 Post(s)
Liked 739 Times in 430 Posts
Originally Posted by pdlamb
...If you can do climbs, head up the road to Mt. Lemon -- it's a lot cooler if you drive up to 4,000' and ride from there. Beautiful scenery, generally decent road and polite traffic, and coming back down is an absolute blast!
Ditto that suggestion. Mt Lemmon is probably the best road climb in the western US. It has a dedicated climbing lane all the way. And though you have to share the lane on the descent, it's so fast all the way, no traffic will need to pass. There's one stretch on a ridge it feels like you're in an airplane coming in for a landing. I generally do not enjoy descents that much.

And yes, the first 2000' in summer can feel like an oven if you have a tail wind. That can be rough.
andrewclaus is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
The Golden Boy
Classic & Vintage
21
07-02-23 09:47 PM
CV-6
Classic & Vintage
39
05-14-20 09:25 PM
CV-6
Classic & Vintage
15
06-25-18 05:17 PM
2cam16
General Cycling Discussion
2
06-24-18 02:24 PM
h2oxtc
Fifty Plus (50+)
17
06-01-14 11:15 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.