I've ridden up Mount Lemmon a couple of times in last few days but not all the way, once to San Pedro Vista at mile 18 and once to 7 Cataracts at mile 9. I talked to a couple of cyclists who were telling me about an 80+ year old guy who rides up it 4 times a week and is stronger than 80% of those who climb the mountain. Wow. Anyway, ….
….drove north of the town of Catalina and got on Willow Springs Road, passed beneath the ranch gate, past the 24 Hour at the Old Pueblo course and was exploring new territory.
Looking to the east there is still snow on the mountains.
There is a long climb which passes by Black Mountain. The average grade is only 2% and 4.5 miles but there was a section that had to be close to 20%. A guy had started up it and fallen over and was sitting in the grass, waiting for a friend to ride back and retrieve a car. He told me he was ok and to keep going.
The roads were in great shape and traffic is very light but when a vehicle or motorcycle passed, I was glad the wind blew the dust away from me.
There are a variety of dirt roads northwest of Oro Valley going all the way to Florence and Phoenix. Dang, southern AZ is beautiful if you like the mountains. Finished with 31 miles and 1600' of climbing.