Tag Archives: Tortolita

Tortolita Circumnavigation, Self-Lead

Hope for better whether next weekend. But our host can’t make it. So have your GPX and bike computer with you. There will likely be riders attending who have ridden much of the loop. But no official host.
Walmart Supercenter at Oro Valley Marketplace, 2150 E Tangerine Rd, Oro Valley
5 to 6 hours
I’ve had a few requests to lead this loop encompassing the Tortolita Mountains that is largely off pavement (there is some bike path along Tangerine). The ride starts in town but gets into remote areas. Bring water for 5 hours as there is no support until mile 45. It’s tough route starting with pleasant rideable single track, fun double track, groomed gravel roads, rugged power line utility roads, finishing with bike path. Total 52 miles and 2,100 feet. A few sections of cobbles, single track, and longer sand crossings; put this in the “Challenge Gravel” category. The short Big Wash single track has sand and rocks that will play to your handling skills. And the Marana Powerline section sand will strain tired legs. Wide tires, 50mm plus are a must.
“Challenge Gravel”: to see some of the really spectacular areas, we might need to get just a little uncomfortable, but only when the challenge is worthwhile in amazing areas. Expect to walk certain technical stretches with pitchy climbs, or along a sandy creek bottom. The better your skills and the wider your tires (50mm or more), the more fun this riding will be. Everyone who came out last year, finished these rides, but had really worked by the end. Examples are often following gas lines thru the back country, or the Tumacacori mtns.
This is not a speed run, it will be a casual pace and we’ll regroup from time-to-time making a reasonable effort to stick together.
Our rides are intermediate in terms of physical effort. Rides are generally 4 to 6 hour efforts in remote unsupported areas sometimes without cell coverage. Riders are expected to be capable of self-supported repairs like fixing flats and mechanicals, carrying sufficient food and water for the multi-hour rides, and have on-bike navigation. There is no sag, nor a final ride sweep. If a rider falls far behind, makes a wrong turn, or turns back; we aren’t capable of seeking them out or all turning back to regroup.
This group, its members and host assume no responsibility for the health and safety of any attendee. In accordance, each attendee agrees to assume personal responsibility for any injury that may occur during or after participation in the event.

Tortolita 50 Arizona Endurance Series

Arizona Endurance Series

The Arizona Endurance Series (AES) consists of a number or grassroots, endurance races and rides. At the beginning of the year, the Antelope Peak Challenge will open the series with some little known singletrack near the town of Oracle. We have another Tucson ride, the Tortilita 50,  at the beginning of February. Next up is a ride that includes the famed Ripsey ridgeline. This is a great chance to check out a remote and rarely ridden section of the AZT.  In March we will be heading to Red Rock country for the Sedona Big Friggin Loop. Have you ever wanted to explore singletrack in Prescott? Come out to the Prescott Monstercross. We wrap up spring with a ride in the mountains of Flagstaff at the Aspen Asphyxiation. Then we will break until fall. First event of the fall season will be the Tusayan Tussle – up near the Grand Canyon. Then, a new addition to the calendar – Mogollon Mayhem. Next up is a 4 day stage race –  Coconino 250 .  The year will finish out with the Kentucky CampPicketpost Punisher and, Pleasantville.

There are no fees, no prizes, but all attempts will be made to record your finish time in comparison to others. The goal is to finish these challenges while setting your own pace. A start time and route are provided here and it is up to the participant to understand the route, and also have full responsibility for their navigation and well being. These are not group rides, although some people might do these as rides with friends or even other riders they meet at the start, along the route. Since the events are self-supportive, it should be understood that these are for experienced backcountry cyclists only. If you question your ability to complete such an event, it is best that you consider another option before trying one of these. Also, maps, gps devices, water filtration units, and other back country tools are methods to ensure you complete the race. Therefore it is up to you – and you alone – to ensure your safety!! The goal of the Arizona Endurance Series is to promote responsible grassroots endurance mountain biking in Arizona, and to provide a competitive outlet for the state’s current endurance racers – most of whom currently go out of state to compete. The AES will help train current endurance riders and perhaps enhance success by Arizonans in national events. We recommend that you join the Facebook site for all the updates, maps, and questions. So if you have interest, come on out and join us, and do your part to contribute to this grassroots effort! Only 74 participants can do the event, so make sure to sign up on each event page. Also, if you have any questions, you can use the comment section below each event.