My chest was wrecked when I awoke Wednesday. I wasn’t even going to ride. Alex was intent on doing at least one really big climb on the trip, and he wanted to do a classic one. That of course would be Mt Lemmon. It is paved all the way to the summit, so one would have to be a bit whacked to climb it with a full suspension MTB.
Upon reaching the turn-off to Ski Valley, I decided to make a summit run with Alex. The steepest part of the climb is from Summerhaven to the summit, another 1300ft of climbing. I figured I could just turn around and coast back down to a cookie if I ran into trouble. I was never one to err on the side of caution when trying to recover from illness.
The temperature dropped precipitously as we climbed above the ski area. Lots of snow up there too. A hiker took a shot of us at the observatory, then it was cookie time. The Summerhaven cookie shop has to be world famous. We each got cookies the size of paper plates fresh out of the oven and 7” pizzas. Perfect fuel for the 32 mile descent.
We thought about hitting the Bugs/Molino trails on the way down, but our late start and waning daylight suggested we should call it good. This was the first time I descended Mt Lemmon without needing long layers. One year it thunder snowed while Dave and I descended. We got back to the car with 72.4mi, 7900ft and 5:21hrs on the Garmin. I definitely was not getting over my cold. Neither was my wife Cathy, who was getting lots more rest than I and came down with this nasty bug at the same time. How do you not ride when purpose of the trip was to ride? This is the first time I got sick at the beginning of a trip.