So many tours and camps in the area. I have been surprised at how many originate in Canada, especially the province of Quebec. Someone drives a van with some help with all the bicycles while everyone else flies in. They love it here and why not? I have been here since March 1 and it has rained twice with temps in the 70's and 80's. Actually, it reached 90 a couple of times but that is unusual for March and early April. A few days have been windy but usually it is single digit wind speeds until noon or 1:00pm on those days and then the winds ramp up quickly.
It was especially windy on Wednesday and after doing a group ride, I came back via the bike path and approached a woman who was riding her comfort bike in the middle of the path while hitting the bell. "Ding ding, ding ding." I yelled "On your left" and she replied, "Bobcat" and so I braked. She had been riding and there was a bobcat, sunning itself on the path. She turned around, gathered herself and went back, dinging the bell, which caused the animal to move in to the brush a second before I arrived. Not taking any chances, she kept the bell dinging. Thursday, I headed to Saguaro East and took the above image at the start of the 8 mile loop. A great ride with around 500' of climbing that I did a few times, finishing with 55 miles.
I am aware there is a back way to Summerhaven, close to the top of Mt. Lemmon. I have asked around about the route but few have done it and those that have did so on a mtn. bike. Then, a couple of weeks ago while searching ride reports I came across a blog from "Chole Woodruff" a pro cyclist who had done the ride while on a road bike with 25" wheels, a few months ago. I emailed her and she was kind enough to reply back with info. An epic ride would be leaving my place, riding to Catalina, onto Oracle, up the back of Mt. Lemmon, down Catalina Highway and around the mountain, returning home. A little over 100 miles. Saturday, I drove to Oracle to reconnoiter the dirt/rock route and while getting ready, a couple rode up on these machines.
Really nice people who flew from Vancouver, BC to Tucson then hopped on their bikes to ride north to the Grand Canyon and Utah before returning home. They told me about a ride from Banff to the coast that you can do, "With a bike and credit card". It sounded interesting. Well, more to come on my road bike gravel ride, later.