Saturday Zac and I planned for a longer mountain bike ride on some of the trails on Mt. Lemmon. We left early in the morning from our house and started the climb up the road. Leslie joined us for the road portion of the ride. Many mountain bikers shuttle the trails (drive to the top of the trail) but I've ridden the road so much on my road bike, I couldn't bring myself to shuttle.
I had never done the Bug Springs trail, so we rode up to Mile 11.5 and the trailhead. We said goodbye to Leslie as she got to enjoy the downhill on the road while we started the climb. The trail starts with a horrible hike-a-bike up a steep hill covered in waterbars. Then there's a short ride down before another long hike-a-bike up a waterbar covered hill. Finally, after a few miles, the trail opens up into rolling singletrack. For how much hike-a-bike there was, I didn't enjoy it on the bike. But I will go back and trail run it.
After Bug Springs, we cut across the road and rode the Molino Trail, from Prison Camp down to the Molino Campground. Word on the mountain bike forums was that a hiking group had come in and sanitized the trail. As we rode we could see large areas where rocks were removed. The trail is much less sustainable now, and I have a feeling much of it will be damaged when the monsoon rains hit.
By the time we hit the campground it was getting warm, and our legs were worn out from the climb up the road. So we hit the road and flew down the hill. It's much more fun to ride my mountain bike down the mountain as it's much more stable than my tri bike. We finished up with the last 3 miles down Soldier Trail to our house, and rolled in just as it was getting really warm out. Total rolling time was just over 4 hours, with 30 miles covered. Lots of stops for resting and picture taking.
Zac and Leslie starting the climb up the mountain:
Me and Leslie at a rest stop at Molino:
Thimble Peak from the 7 cataracs stop:
We noticed an old, crashed van in the gorge:
Zac at the trail sign at the start of Bug Springs:
The horrible hike-a-bike:
Zac at the top of the hike:
In the shade of the trees:
Some cool rock pics:
Finally on the rolly singletrack: