June 24, 2017

Mt. Lemmon: Controlled Inferno

Loco minds think alike. I had begun to plan another ride down on Mt. Lemmon to check out a possible loop using the upper portion of Oracle Ridge. I thought Shannon & Beto were off to N. AZ, but found out they were camping up on Lemmon for a few days and had planned on a similar ride!! I guess it was meant to be. Oracle Ridge for fun...once again!!

I drove down to their camp spot and it still baffles me how it takes 3 hours when I can see Mt. Lemmon from my house!! (I have to go a few blocks for a unobstructed view) It was a pleasant 77º when I arrived, but it was still early and that was already a bit warm for that elevation. It was going to be a toasty one.

We were hoping to add in a loop up on Aspen Draw after Oracle Ridge, but we'd see how we felt upon our arrival to Summerhaven.

We were a bit delayed in leaving the campsite after chatting with Will and watching a clunker derby unfold before our eyes. Crazy stupid looking fun!!

A quick dirt, then road spin led us to the Oracle Ridge trailhead, let the fun begin!!
Ready for an Oracle Ridge adventure!!
Shannon knows how to shred some gnar.
At times, it feels like dropping off the face of the Earth.

Hard for some to believe, but there is sweet singletrack on Oracle Ridge!!
Before we knew it, we had arrived at Dan Saddle, our AZT exit.
This is the start of the nasty HAB on the AZT, but some recent trailwork has been completed. It looks inviting now...

The next piece of our ride puzzle was a jeep road connector over to the Control rd. It was all downhill and much to our surprise, it rode really well. We all noted how the heat was cranking up the lower we rode.
Beto all smiles in the cool shade.
Good riding surface all the way down.
#loco board meeting.
Our route led us just below the mine.
No gates or signs coming in the back way!!

Wake up!! Time to climb!!
It had to be 100º by the time we dumped out on the Control rd. Only 6 'short' miles back to Summerhaven. Did I mention they were all uphill? We took our time, stopping every so often for a slice of shade. Beto even rode ahead only to come back down a couple of times to ride with Shannon. Sweltering Control rd repeats!!
I spy two very small riders grinding up the road.
Shannon didn't see me sitting roadside, but I caught her snacking!!
The temps relented a bit as we reached the pines. In the morning we had talked about riding up to the top for a rip down Aspen Draw to finish out the ride, but we were hot & tired and only wanted cold drinks after reaching Summerhaven.
Ahh, ice cold water at the community center.
We headed over to Sawmill Run for lunch. They had the A/C pumping pretty good and after a short while Shannon was getting cold sitting there in a sweat soaked shirt. Beto insisted they swap jerseys and Shannon finally gave in to the idea. I knew this would be interesting, kinda like putting on a latex glove...
I don't know, but Beto rocked her jersey in style!!
It was now borderline hot in Summerhaven, so Beto & I rode the mostly uphill miles back to camp while Shannon hung back in town. When we reached camp Beto knew why Shannon had been so hot on the ride up the Control road. That blue shirt doesn't breathe!! He drove back to get her while I prepared to head down the mountain and back home.

Another fun ride on Oracle Ridge complete. This may have to become a summer tradition.

Route flyover


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