For many years a small band of dedicated cyclist have met on the SW corner of Kolb and Sunrise at 5:30AM to attack the hills in Fairfield. This foothills community is a hidden gem for cycling. The roads are well maintained by the HOA’s, the streets are wide, and deed restrictions prohibit cars from parking in the street and driveways. The climbs have nicknames like “puke hill” and are well named with grade in the 20% range.
Most days the ride follows the same path. Territory to Via Velazquez, South to Via Colorado to the top of the hill, Loma Del Bribon to Camino De Carillo, North on Tanuri to Via Velazquez, East on Valle Di Cadore, SE on Territory, North on Via Velazquez, NE on Paseo Otono, SE on Via Sempreverde, cross the street to Valle Di Cadore and do the reverse to Camino de Carillo and Via Colorado and back to Bashas. Depending on who shows up there is usually extra credit to be earned in Sabino Canyon. This group has met year round for many years. Urban mythology says Mike Solan started the ride, but after retirement and not having anywhere to go, he quickly abandoned the group for sensible rides when the sun is in the sky.
Occasionally, the ride is altered to climb the other hills in the area or head out east for more miles and less climb. The group is open to anyone who shows up. They ride at a steady pace, but will usually regroup at the top of every climb. Many of the homes look the same in the area and it is very easy to get turned around, so it pays to look at the map in advance.
5:30 is early. During the winter it is cold and often the sun is just coming up as the ride is finishing. The price professionals are willing to pay in order to get in a bike ride. One of the best rewards is watching the sun come up from ridge top streets.