challenge is as follows:
Ride your bike from Tucson to Mt. Lemmon, on as much trail as possible.
- Park at the base of the Catalina Highway (or, bonus points - ride there). (2500′)
- Stage 1: Ride up Milagrosa to the AZT (4000′)
- Stage 2: Follow AZT over the saddle, descending to Molino Basin. (4800′)
- Stage 3: Continue on AZT, climbing to Prison Camp (4900′)
- Stage 4: Climb Bug Springs Trail to MP ~12, near Bear Canyon Picnic area (6200′)
- Stage 5: Climb Green Mountain Trail to the San Pedro Vista (7200′)
- Stage 6: You ride the highway until the connector between Green Mtn and Butterfly is completed
- Stage 7: Butterfly trail to Mt. Bigelow (8400′)
- Stage 8: Bigelow access road to Catalina Highway, Sunset Trail (?) to Summer haven
- Stage 9: Aspen Draw to Mt. Lemmon (9100′)
Completion of this renders the rider immediate and irrevocable status as a mountain bike god.
Well I only know two other riders to complete the above mentioned ride. Both took the road back down,not to take anything away from either rider (they are gods in my book)
Since becoming consumed with the Colorado trail race, all I want to do is find rides that can test me physically and mentally.
With that being said, I thought about adding extra challenge to the ride, to do Climb or Die then instead of returning down the road, I planed on camping for the night, then do the ride in reverse.
So on Sat morning left fully loaded with camping gear to ride,hike,drag and claw my way up, while packing my gear, I had thoughts of do'n ITT for this ride, but to be honest I wasn't sure I could even complete the C or D part and then be able to go back down. I sure didn't want to sleep up there with nothing and the only other choice would have been to bail to the road, so instead of taking chances I thought I'd do it in two parts,( in hindsight I wish I would have left the camping gear). I had know idea the ride would go so smooth.
One other rider Steve (rocky road) showed up fully loaded for two days of adventure and pain. We rolled out from the trail head at 5am with a full moon lighting the way. We had talked about riding to the top, then back down to Bigelow to camp for the night before finishing the ride. Well sometimes things change when you find your groove, as we began the climb I seem to just roll right up, "this was gonna be a great ride" About 5 to 8 miles up there's whats known as Tequila tree(bottle chained to a tree), I'm no longer a fan of that drink, but with the way I was feeling and the adventure that lay ahead I could not resist,I had to do a shot.
As I looked back down the trail it would be the last time I see Steve.(hope things went well)
As I climbed up Milli I began toying with the idea of just going for the whole sha'bang in a day. When I reached the hike a bike for molina thats when it started to hit me, that I was most likely going to be the hardest one day ride I've ever done.
Once on top of the pass I could ride again, it was down to Prison camp then on up to Bugs where the sun could start to bake my skin. Once over bugs I was hoping to ride in the shade of tree's, but no such luck riding fully exposed to the suns rays was the order of the day. By the time I reached the climb at Hitchcock I stoped to lube my chain only to find out I left it at home, I had just seen some downhill guy's at the bugs trail head, so I turned around to see if I could get some lube, once they found out what I was attempting they were stoke to say the least. So as I rode off with a free bottle of lube(probably saved my ride)I knew if I could just get Greenie and Bigelow knocked out things will get much easier(be able to ride again) as I was suffering up Green I received a text from Mr. Chad brown go the distance failure is not an option, this really light a fire under my a** "thanks Chad" from that point on I knew I was gonna complete the ride. Once I got to Bigelow I dumped all my gear, I figured might as well enjoy what was going to be mostly downhill (ridable )trails in to the town of Summer haven. while riding through town I felt the urge to stop and refuel but being this close to the top, I just couldn't do it so one finale push to the top it was 2:00 on the button.
Now it was time for some fun downhill back in to Summer haven for some rest and pizza. While eating I looked up to notice my one and only flat for the day, O'well if it's gonna happen, this is the place. After changing the flat and get'n some fudge it was time for what I call squeezing the Lemmon, (back down)thats a joke.How can one trail have so much climbing both ways I'll never understand it's brutal and demoralizing, but what a great ride. By the time I reached Prison camp(6pm) I knew I would be doing Milli in the dark, at that point it was a race to get down.
I got lucky to make to the rock garden just as darkness set in, I did have a small light to get me out and to the finish.
I think I may be the first one to knock this one out, for whatever thats worth
15hrs sounds slow "try it"