Sunday, April 17, 2011
Just got back from Tucson AZ. Its always nice to get away from the rain and cold for a while. Borrowed my friend John's bike and rode up the Catalina highway to Mt. Lemmon. This is one of my all time favorite rides. Start in the saguaros and keep going up for 30 miles through scrub and then pine forest at the top, at a little over 8000 feet. There was still a little bit of snow at the ski area. There are stunning views across every switchback of the road. I always thought it was strange how the city of Tucson is touted as bicycle friendly, given the amount of fast traffic, bike lanes to nowhere, and aggressive bike hating drivers. But this time around it does seem better- there were a lot more bike lanes and I didn't feel uncomfortable riding on some of the busier streets. Other all time favorite road rides ( I like going up and down hills) Haleakala, Maui: sea level to 10,000 feet, amazing views. Really tight but banked switchbacks- this one challenges your descending skills. Going to the sun highway in Glacier National Park. Stunning scenery, old narrow Euro-style road blasted into the side of a cliff. Amazing swimming holes along the route. The RAMROD route, especially climbing up to Paradise and the long descent down Box Canyon to Ohanepecosh. I try to ride this one every year even if I don't get a RAMROD ticket. The Cascade High Pass Challenge route on Mt St. Helens- essentially riding up FS road 25 to Windy Ridge and back down. Its amazing to be riding through the forest, turn a corner and be in a totally different environment when you enter the blast zone.