Sunday, October 04, 2009

Riding in the Tortolitas

After a quick stint up at the Tour of the White Mountains yesterday, we came back early to find the weather seemed to be superb. I tried my normal means of persuading people to join (Tucson forum and prank calling), nonetheless I was met with a uniform no, not today.

Hmmmmm.... solo ride it is then.

Scott, Eric and I had ridden a section of the Tortolitas last year and I was curious to try to connect both sides of the Tortolitas via Wild Burro Wash (left side trail is Wild Burros, right side trails are the Como Trail/Rail X). As Scott mentioned, nobody really ever talks about riding in the Tortolitas.

I spent the early afternoon scanning some aerial views before starting down Tortolita Preserve. At the first windmill/mine area, I headed on my exploratory "road" that would head toward Wild Burro Wash.

The "road" ends at a now solar windmill and trough, where this was scribbled into the side

The rest of the wash (I concluded from aerial views) would be a combination of wash and cow singletrack. At first, the cow singletrack was very, very rideable. I was praising cows in the southwest.

Nice eh? This lasted for about 1 mile, too short lived. I passed some great slickrock sections. After riding a little under 3 miles, I could see the Wild Burro ST come into view onto my GPS. Success, some may say but I doubt anyone would ever want to ride this wash and cow singletrack.

After reaching the Wild Burro Trail system, I turned around and started riding back to the first windmill to ride what I call Como Trail. I saw this little critter before the big descent

Como Trail is everything that a trail needs, views and technical rock sections. A few rider might dislike the trail b/c of the overgrowth, but on the whole it is pretty darn good singletrack.

It's a shame nobody ventures out here. I only saw tracks on the first few miles of the powerline road, no tracks on any of the singletrack sections.

A true sign of a legit trail, a gate.

Sad to see one of these critters in this state...

At the top of the trail, before the you drop into some pretty fast, technical shoots, you have a great view into Oro Valley and the La Cholla Airfield.

I enjoyed an easy ride east on Moore Rd to my car, I periodically would glance around my shoulder to see the car-less stretch of road and this

Pretty amazing. It's quite different than a race with 60+ people, isolated on singletrack that few people ride. If I had to choose between a race and a solo ride, I would go for the later. There is a time and place for the former, although I find that once/year is perfect. Now back to the smaller-participant races, like the Coconino Loop Race.

As it starts to get cool here in Arizona, I hope to see more people riding around Tucson and in the Tortolitas. If you want the GPX file, you can get it here.

1 comment:

ScottM said...

Dang, lesson learned: don't hang up on crank callers.

Looks like a great ride and sweet evening out there.


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