Sunday, January 10, 2010


It's often times the very nature for us to seek out new trails, discover something new, be it fun, dirt road (can't believe I just said that) or singletrack. That is the reason for riding in the Tortolitas just north of Tucson. At nearly 20 minutes from my house it beckons the part of me that is looking to ride something new, something never ridden before.

Max and I headed to finish riding every mapped trail in the Tortolita Mountain Preserve. After a quick breakfast out, we headed over to the Wild Burro Trailhead. Interested in checking out the area, Louis and Nate showed up in the parking lot.

I realized my camera died when we started riding. Although on Wild Mustang, Louis lent me his battery so I was able to snap a few pictures late in the ride.

The ride was slow at the beginning. Hike-a-bike prevailed at the beginning of the ride on Alamo Springs. We ate lunch in Wild Burro Canyon near the overlook and junction of Wild Burro/Alamo/Mustang before heading on to Wild Mustang.

A good shot into Wild Burro Canyon from Wild Mustang

We also ran into some more locals. Motivated by a map that Scott sent over, Matt and Co. was heading up Wild Mustang to check out the trails.

We parted ways at Cochie Trail, Max and I headed down to new trail while Louis and Nate headed home.

Cochie was another good ride. Not even hiker footprints on this trail since it is listed as an out-n-back. We were trying to loop it back around to the car.

Some more great riding with the occasional hike-a-bike.

Max as in front of me and just cleaned a pretty technical section with a big rock on the right and ledge on the left. I heard what seemed to be a "watch your barends." Just when I heard that, I hit the rock with my right bar end, jammed my front wheel and flew over the bars off the trail. That was my second time I flew of the handlebars today.

At the bottom of Cochie, I checked my GPS. Laughing aloud, I told Max the mileage. 12 miles in 5 hours. Statistics like this really make you happy to see one of these, a dirt road.

We took the dirt road out of Cochie Canyon and saw another mountain biker heading up a steep hill. Hmmmm, I thought, that is an awkward place for a mountain biker to be. I yelled at him if he needed help. Turns out to be a friend of mine, Max. He even offered to show us back around to the car.

Max led us to the Tortolita Mountain Preserve Trail. Pretty descent singletrack out there. My muscles began to fade. I had to stop fearful of bonking. Seems as though maybe a few of us are riding too much, too soon. Rest really is good.

After eating, we continued back to Dove Mountain Boulevard.

23 miles
3945 feet of climbing
5.5 hours moving time

The GPX Network that we have accumulated in semi-epic to epic rides out in the Tortolitas is pictured below. 163 miles with 21,482 feet of climbing. Few have even ridden a mile of these trails and roads, I encourage you to ride one of the 163 miles in blue below. Discover for yourself.

Max reminded me of some new bike path going in by Cortaro and Ina near the freeway, which reminded me of an idea. Seems as though a Scott's house to Chad's house via Tucson Mtn Park (Robles-Starr-Brown) to this bike path, then the Tortolitas (choose any of the above routes) to 50 Year and Catalina State Park. Seems like it would be a Tour of Tucson Mountain Biking. While it has been talked a lot between Scott and I, I think it is time to start working on the GPX file.

The power to discover new routes continues....


mgindle said...

Great to run into you guys yesterday Chad, we had an amazing time and spend most of the day marveling at the landscape and the quality of the trail.

Can you send me that .gpx file. I'm curious to look at the trails a little closer on the map.

ScottM said...

Quite a group of MTBers in that shot. It quickly went from zero to a dozen riders.... cool.

Wish I could have been there, but, yeah, I'm tired enough for a while.


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