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  1. #1
    JP
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    Arivaca and Mt. Lemmon 200K Times Two

    So we just got back from a week in Tucson. The good wife had a conference, and I tagged along. I'm on a mission to ride a "R-12" which is 12 months in a row with at least a 200K each month. I'm a sucker for a pin. I have heard at least one randonneur refer to the sport as "riding with paperwork," and I needed to complete some paperwork for November.

    What I really enjoyed about this was that I didn't have a clue where to ride, but by tagging up with the local randonneur community I found some fantastic routes.

    I rode the Arivaca permanent on Tuesday and pre-rode the 200K Mt Lemmon brevet on Friday.

    Let's go for a ride, shall we?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Arivaca and Mt. Lemmon 200K Times Two-arivaca-1.jpg  
    Last edited by JP; 11-15-2008 at 09:06 PM.
    "Another shot of the 6th Street Bridge. I guess I'm feeling sentimental because word is they're going to tear it down and build a replacement." DrRoebuck

    http://subterraneanhomesickrandonneurblues.blogspot.com

  2. #2
    JP
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    The Arivaca permanent starts a few miles southwest of Tucson and makes a big loop by going south. You start near the Seguaro National Forest, ride through ranching and mining towns, and pass through the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge. It took me almost 11 hours, so I pretty much took all the daylight there was at this time of year.

    There was a bunch of wildlife that I don't normally see. A couple of coyotes ran towards me on the road before scooting off. I saw big rabbits and this cow. There were some buzzards that looked like they wanted to eat me, and a cool little salamander ran across a rock.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Arivaca and Mt. Lemmon 200K Times Two-vaca.jpg  
    Last edited by JP; 11-17-2008 at 04:32 PM.
    "Another shot of the 6th Street Bridge. I guess I'm feeling sentimental because word is they're going to tear it down and build a replacement." DrRoebuck

    http://subterraneanhomesickrandonneurblues.blogspot.com

  3. #3
    JP
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    You ride through some pretty remote places. I think you get within 10 or 15 miles of Mexico, and I saw quite a few border patrol guys. They even had a roadblock at one point in the middle of nowhere. I carried three bottles and a bunch of food as well as a reasonable stock of tools, tubes, and clothes. I wouldn't want to get stuck out here.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Arivaca and Mt. Lemmon 200K Times Two-arivaca-2.jpg   Arivaca and Mt. Lemmon 200K Times Two-arivaca-4.jpg   Arivaca and Mt. Lemmon 200K Times Two-arivaca-5.jpg   Arivaca and Mt. Lemmon 200K Times Two-arivaca-6.jpg   Arivaca and Mt. Lemmon 200K Times Two-arivaca-7.jpg  

    "Another shot of the 6th Street Bridge. I guess I'm feeling sentimental because word is they're going to tear it down and build a replacement." DrRoebuck

    http://subterraneanhomesickrandonneurblues.blogspot.com

  4. #4
    JP
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    Here's a little burger joint. If you check out my cue sheet, you will see you want to be prepared. I pumped in a ton of water and electrolytes.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Arivaca and Mt. Lemmon 200K Times Two-arivaca-burger-joint.jpg   Arivaca and Mt. Lemmon 200K Times Two-shadow-man.jpg   Arivaca and Mt. Lemmon 200K Times Two-arivaca-no-services.jpg  
    "Another shot of the 6th Street Bridge. I guess I'm feeling sentimental because word is they're going to tear it down and build a replacement." DrRoebuck

    http://subterraneanhomesickrandonneurblues.blogspot.com

  5. #5
    JP
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    It was late in the day by the time I got back to the car. Shadow man got longer. Oh, and I usually just use clear lenses in Seattle, but these dark ones that came with the frames come in handy here. I was beat but happy when I got back to the car.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Arivaca and Mt. Lemmon 200K Times Two-shadow-man-longer.jpg   Arivaca and Mt. Lemmon 200K Times Two-sun.jpg   Arivaca and Mt. Lemmon 200K Times Two-sunset.jpg  
    Last edited by JP; 11-15-2008 at 08:48 PM.
    "Another shot of the 6th Street Bridge. I guess I'm feeling sentimental because word is they're going to tear it down and build a replacement." DrRoebuck

    http://subterraneanhomesickrandonneurblues.blogspot.com

  6. #6
    JP
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    I goofed off the next couple of days. Here is Munchkinhead's puppy at the pool.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Arivaca and Mt. Lemmon 200K Times Two-img00241.jpg  
    "Another shot of the 6th Street Bridge. I guess I'm feeling sentimental because word is they're going to tear it down and build a replacement." DrRoebuck

    http://subterraneanhomesickrandonneurblues.blogspot.com

  7. #7
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Nice report. It'd be fun to do a desert ride. Every year I think about getting down to, say, Bend, but it has yet to happen.

  8. #8
    JP
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    OK, that's enough rest for now. Let's go climb a hill, shall we?

    This was one of the coolest rides I have been on. After riding through suburban Tucson to put in the requisite miles, you do the climb and then return the way you came. As you climb the scenery changes dramatically. It never gets steep, but the climb goes on for about 25 miles. I was fine lower down, but I had no gas at all at the higher elevations. I was surprised how much better I felt back at 2500 feet at the bottom.

    I ended up riding into the night to finish this one, but with lights and reflective gear, I felt fine. What a great day. This ride was a nice compliment to the Arivaca ride, for it was totally different scenery. This morning I drove the course with my wife, and we saw some of the riders on the brevet. I saw two others from the Seattle International Randonneurs slogging up the hill. A good showing indeed.

    Oh, and you can get a mean bowl of tortilla soup in Tucson.

    My thanks to the AZ randonneurs who helped me out.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Arivaca and Mt. Lemmon 200K Times Two-share-road.jpg   Arivaca and Mt. Lemmon 200K Times Two-hoodoo.jpg   Arivaca and Mt. Lemmon 200K Times Two-twisty.jpg   Arivaca and Mt. Lemmon 200K Times Two-8000.jpg   Arivaca and Mt. Lemmon 200K Times Two-overlook.jpg  

    Last edited by JP; 11-17-2008 at 04:33 PM.
    "Another shot of the 6th Street Bridge. I guess I'm feeling sentimental because word is they're going to tear it down and build a replacement." DrRoebuck

    http://subterraneanhomesickrandonneurblues.blogspot.com

  9. #9
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    Those rocks are really cool.
    JP, was that the first time you`ve ridden without drops of water falling from the sky?

  10. #10
    JP
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar
    Those rocks are really cool.
    JP, was that the first time you`ve ridden without drops of water falling from the sky?
    Thanks! Not the first time, but I left the fenders off, and yet I felt prepared. I would venture that it is the first time I did 250 miles in a week in November without a drop.
    "Another shot of the 6th Street Bridge. I guess I'm feeling sentimental because word is they're going to tear it down and build a replacement." DrRoebuck

    http://subterraneanhomesickrandonneurblues.blogspot.com

  11. #11
    crj
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    I rode Mt Lemmon in September while I was in Tucson at my son's house. Was the 8000 foot elevation the first one or the second one?

    Joe
    "If it ain't broke the government will keep fixing it till it is."

  12. #12
    JP
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    Quote Originally Posted by crj
    I rode Mt Lemmon in September while I was in Tucson at my son's house. Was the 8000 foot elevation the first one or the second one?

    Joe
    That was the second one (closest to Summerhaven.) I was surprised how hard the last 5 miles to town and back was. The little climb to get back out is tough for someone from sea level. There was even a little snow in the shadows between those two signs.
    "Another shot of the 6th Street Bridge. I guess I'm feeling sentimental because word is they're going to tear it down and build a replacement." DrRoebuck

    http://subterraneanhomesickrandonneurblues.blogspot.com

  13. #13
    crj
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    Quote Originally Posted by JP
    I was surprised how hard the last 5 miles to town and back was. The little climb to get back out is tough for someone from sea level. There was even a little snow in the shadows between those two signs.
    I agree about the climb from town, it is in a hole and at the TOP of the mountain. When I was there the temps at the bottom was high 90's and I nearly froze on the descents on the way back down with the temps in the low 50's. Hope to go back soon.

    Joe
    "If it ain't broke the government will keep fixing it till it is."

  14. #14
    duh...
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    yay for BFs

  15. #15
    Mess O'Potamist
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    Looks like you got a nice sample of S AZ. Nicely done. That little climb out of Summerhaven always feels like adding insult to injury after some pie.

  16. #16
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    I've done Mt Lemmon. It is a fabulous ride. Tuscon has the most # of sunny days of any major city in the U.S. The chances of finding good riding weather when you're there are somewhere between terrific and certain. I've been there several times for vacation. I've also gone to a couple of training camps in Phoenix. IME, it's impossible to drink too much. After just 5 or 6 days my skin was drying out, my urine turned progressively darker, etc. If you're unaccustomed to the climate, drink, drink, and drink.

    BTW, IMO Tuscon is MUCH nicer, less crowded and more scenic than is Phoenix.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  17. #17
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    When did you ride out around Amado? You might have seen me with my son. That's one of my favorite routes. I love the road between Amado and Arivaca.

  18. #18
    JP
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    Quote Originally Posted by My Own Private Idaho
    When did you ride out around Amado? You might have seen me with my son. That's one of my favorite routes. I love the road between Amado and Arivaca.
    Small world. I would have been there around 11 AM on Tuesday. I was going clockwise. You?
    "Another shot of the 6th Street Bridge. I guess I'm feeling sentimental because word is they're going to tear it down and build a replacement." DrRoebuck

    http://subterraneanhomesickrandonneurblues.blogspot.com

  19. #19
    Hermia commutes
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    Glad to hear you had a good time here. I think I have begun to take Tucson for granted. So many bike lanes! (But then I remember August and think maybe I don't take it too much for granted...)

  20. #20
    Bacon!
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    I'd love to do that climb. I've always wanted to ride in Tuscon but have never had the opportunity.
    “To kill, you must know your enemy, and in this case my enemy is a varmint. And a varmint will never quit — ever. They’re like the Viet Cong — Varmint Cong. So you have to fall back on superior intelligence and superior firepower.”

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by JP
    Small world. I would have been there around 11 AM on Tuesday. I was going clockwise. You?
    We were there the Saturday before you did it. I didn't do the full loop, just from GV to Arivaca and back.

  22. #22
    JP
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    Quote Originally Posted by chatterbox
    Glad to hear you had a good time here. I think I have begun to take Tucson for granted. So many bike lanes! (But then I remember August and think maybe I don't take it too much for granted...)
    Yes, I was surprised how "bike friendly" it is. I got a free bike map that the city produces, and there seems to have been real thought to building a network of complete streets. There seems to be a fair amount of real biking as transportation too. I would need to acclimate to August; I thought it was hot and dry last week. ;-)
    "Another shot of the 6th Street Bridge. I guess I'm feeling sentimental because word is they're going to tear it down and build a replacement." DrRoebuck

    http://subterraneanhomesickrandonneurblues.blogspot.com

  23. #23
    toomanybikes
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    That Arivaca ride looks to die for.

    Christmas break - I have a plan!

    zMud - what do you think???

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by toomanybikes
    That Arivaca ride looks to die for.

    Christmas break - I have a plan!

    zMud - what do you think???
    I'm crazy enuf, why not?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by toomanybikes
    That Arivaca ride looks to die for.

    Christmas break - I have a plan!

    zMud - what do you think???
    Let me know if you need a launch point / local guide.

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