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Old 02-19-2021, 11:23 PM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
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With my brother visiting, we made a trip to Summerhaven, 27 miles, my first trip.

I was driving around Greece one time and I recall going up a mountain and it was zig-zag, hair-pinned curves all the way up. Why couldn't they have done that here?
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Old Yesterday, 06:36 AM
 
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The zig zag, or S curves, really slow you down.
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Old Yesterday, 06:43 AM
 
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They have hiking trails that take you straight up, even going that route it's still 13 miles to Summerhaven. Plus Summerhaven isn't perched on top of one giant monolithic mountain, you have to navigate around numerous canyons. I've been in many of the canyons, there is no way you're getting a road in them. The 27 mile road to the top is honestly an engineering marvel and the fastest way to the top.
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Old Yesterday, 11:37 PM
 
Location: Chemnitz, Germany previous in AZ, CA, AL, NJ,
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grmi66 View Post
They have hiking trails that take you straight up, even going that route it's still 13 miles to Summerhaven. Plus Summerhaven isn't perched on top of one giant monolithic mountain, you have to navigate around numerous canyons. I've been in many of the canyons, there is no way you're getting a road in them. The 27 mile road to the top is honestly an engineering marvel and the fastest way to the top.
I have pedaled my bicycle several times up the Mt Lemmon road, usually starting from the base near the intersection with Snyder Rd. One notices the subtle details about a road pedaling uphill at less than 9 mph, more so than sitting comfy in a car at 30 mph. I agree it is very well engineered mountain road, and don't know how it could have been done any better or any shorter. If you look at a map, Mt Lemmon is about 11 miles north of the intersection of Snyder Rd, plus about 1 1/2 miles higher elevation. Aside from boring an uphill tunnel, I don't know how it could possibly be any shorter distance. It follows the natural canyons, and if it were any steeper, vehicles would burn out their brakes on the way down. Or, trucks would not be able to make the climb to bring supplies up to the community of Summerhaven.

Few cities in the US or elsewhere have such close access to a wonderful mountain area like Tucson. Another excellent mountain road that is further from Tucson, but worth a trip (especially in the hot weather season) is to Mt Graham, which is southwest of Safford. It has no shortage of zig zags and turns!
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Old Today, 12:38 AM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
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As i watched all these bicyclists going up and down the road to Summerhaven, I go to think about bike brakes. You'd surely have to carry a spare set of brakes, for if your brakes went out, going downhill, what on earth would you do!!!

Thanks for the feedback!
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Old Today, 09:26 AM
 
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Originally Posted by recycled View Post
I have pedaled my bicycle several times up the Mt Lemmon road, usually starting from the base near the intersection with Snyder Rd. One notices the subtle details about a road pedaling uphill at less than 9 mph, more so than sitting comfy in a car at 30 mph.
My parents used to live near the intersection of Tanque Verde and Catalina Hwy and I was a semi-elite bicycle racer in college. I've been up and down Mt Lemmon on a bike at least 500 times, including a few times doing the old Mt Lemmon Hill Climb Race up to the ski area. Agree that what you see at 12 MPH going up without a windshield to protect you allows you to see the subtle changes.

As far as going downhill, it's actually not that fast of a downhill on a bike, simply long. One, maybe two sections that were steep enough and straight enough to approach 40 MPH coming down. The steepest road I've ever done on a bike was State Route 77 coming from Globe and approaching Winkleman during a race back in the 80's. Chasing a breakaway and our chase group hit 63 MPH on old steel framed road bikes and sew up tires. It was nuts, think I had a death wish back then.
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