70 degrees at the base of Mount Lemmon, headed to 80 later in the day. Some large clouds appear to hover over the mountain, which is obscured by the front range. The forecast high in Summerhaven was 54 so I shoved arm warmers into the back of my jersey and headed up.
I passed the usual parking areas and pull-outs, rising through 4000', 5000', 6000' and 7000' elevation signs. I stopped at 7 Cataracts Vista to wolf down an energy bar and kept going to Windy Point Vista at mile 14, above. Note the climbers standing on the hoodoo to the left. This being Saturday, cars and motorcycles were plentiful. I was talking to a cyclist from Boston (and we think we had it bad in Ohio this winter) when a woman told us the temp, because of cloud cover, was only 45 at Summerhaven. Ohhhhh but I wasn't going to turn around again so I put on the arm warmers and headed up.
I passed Palisades Gift Shop and just before it a parking area with a pump, the only water between the bottom and Summerhaven. Later, I found the pump was still plugged for winter. A glorious sight, above as the road finally, at mile 20.6, flattens. I had gained 5200' of elevation on the ride up.
I stopped here, looking west.
I rolled a little farther and wanted to continue to Summerhaven, which is about at the same elevation as where I stood but it was too cold. I headed down. Soon, of course, I began shivering and so too was the bike. My fingers became numb and so too did my feet. I made it back down to mile point 14 at Windy Vista and....
....stopped to remove my shoes and help warm my feet but it did not work. I kept coasting down, down and the first time I noticed warm gusts of air I smiled, at around mile post 5. After a total of 50 miles and 5700' of climbing, I reached my car and not until I pulled on my running shoes, which had heated in the car, did the numbness in my feet go away. Good day on the bike.
3/22/2015 12:52:53 pm
40s and 50s are normal in Ohio now and feel quite warm compared to the two weeks of below 20s we had in February. Looking forward to another Tuesday night ride. Supposed to be in the low 50s. Nice adventure there. How short were you from Summerhaven? Sounds like you will need some winter clothing to tackle that challenge! Good luck!
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