December 24, 2018

Vail: Empirita Lite Loop

Team Loco was itching for a board meeting ride, it had been a while. I had yet to do a local ride with Shannon & Beto since they moved into their house. It was about time!! Beto had a route in mind, but the only question was if this ride would be a local #loco ride? I wasn't sure what to expect, just lead the way.

We gradually ascended into the hills south of their home in Vail. That's Vail, AZ, not CO!!
It was amazing how quickly we left suburbia behind.

The dirt roads were in great shape too. Photo by Shannon.

We linked up with this trail...I forget the name, but I've been on it before.

Practicing my 'no passing' form. Photo by Shannon.

Christmas Eve and short sleeves in the desert!!

We hopped over SR83 heading for the pass in the mountains ahead.

I think the street signs are trying to tell me something...

The happy climbing couple.

Odd to see this bit of road paved, but it sure helped attain the summit.

Closing in on the top. Photo by Beto.

Looking south towards the Huachuca Mtns. Mexico is on the other side.

A long gradual downhill led us through the foothills. It was mostly fast, but there were a few chunky bits.

So far, we had the entire route to ourselves.

The downhill kept going...and going...

The 3 Amigos with a stellar view of the sky islands that surround Tucson. It was interesting to come at these mountains from a different angle, everything looked a bit different, yet the same. I love exploring new routes!!

Anyone Jonesin' for a bike ride now??

Rut-roh, powerline riding!! Clearly, this is where the ride gets #loco.

Or not. Sure was a nice piece of singletrack. I wonder if it's the same trail from earlier in the ride?? We were on a time schedule so we stayed straight, making a beeline for home.

A sea of Prickly Pear cactus.

Even Bumble was in disbelief that our Loco Board Meeting wasn't #loco at all.
Well done, Beto!! I thoroughly enjoyed that route, just enough climbing to make you work and a ton of downhill as the payoff. It closely resembles the north section of the bigger Empirita Loop. By the looks of it, there are countless ways to ride the surrounding mountains. Let's do it again soon.


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