Tucson Training Routes

Anyone done camps or live in Tucson and have route recommendations for a spring training camp?
Looking for 3.5-5 hour routes. Know about the shoot-out and Lemmon, but not much else so am open to feedback. Been playing around in strava heatmap but hard to discern what is good for training and what is maybe used for other stuff.

Im in the same situation. Im following Keegan and Sophia on strava and grabbing routes from them since they train there all winter.

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Kitt Peak is probably a better climbing workout than Mt Lemmon. The Saguaro East loop is close to my personal favorite ride ever. It’s only 8 miles, but it’s a one way loop, so you can stack loops and add a trip down Old Spanish Trail toward Colossal Caves.

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I live there, but I don’t know where to start with answering this question. What is the line between “good for training” and “other stuff”?

Ha fair point.
Looking for routes with minimal start/stop unless getting out of town, decent pavement, and water sources along the way.
Always easier to do intervals on some climbs but happy to do them on the flat as well.

Edit: I’ll add to the list quiet roads or decent shoulder. Don’t know how drivers down there are with cyclists.

Check out ride with gps, if you don’t already. They have a great way to check out routes using the map. I use it whenever I go on vacation.

You can compare this to your heatmap to get an idea of which roads have bike lanes, for whatever that’s worth: PLAN YOUR ROUTE | Official website of the City of Tucson

Minimal starts and stops will be the loop (few to none) and just about everything outside of the loop will be less start-stop than midtown (so foothills, east side, west side… and, of course, further out of town, e.g., toward Saddlebrook/Catalina/San Manuel or Green Valley or Kitt Peak or Lemon).

Road quality has been going up by leaps and bounds the last 2 years or so, but still a bit hit-and-miss. The west side is probably the worst for the good-routes-but-bad-roads dichotomy (e.g., TMFR … gate’s pass was finally repaved, but Kinney needs repaved badly and isn’t schedule for at least another year or two). As inequity would dictate, usually the more affluent areas have better roads (so, the foothills and Oro Valley). Most of what were the El Tour routes this year have been recently repaved (note: you cannot ride on Aviation, nor would you want to).

I could go on and on, but not sure it’s helpful. Drivers here are like drivers everywhere–fine until they are not. We do have a big cycling community, though, so most drivers are generally used to bikes and how they operate in traffic.

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How is riding on the road that parallels the I-10, N. Casa Grande Hwy/Frontage Rd?
Was looking at a route that would go up Gates Pass, then head north and east back towards the hwy so that it eventually gets to Red Rock and head east on East Park Link Drive.

The same route then comes back down the 77, google maps is helpful but the shoulders don’t look great and not sure how busy those roads/route would be car wise. Looks to make a pretty nice loop though

Please don’t do intervals on the loop! It’s a great system, but is a true multi-use path and there are stretches with a lot of pedestrians. I can definitely recommend it for z2 rides.

I’ll second Saguaro East. Great loop and good roads getting there and beyond. As for something that parallels the freeway, Silverbell has great shoulders (north of Ina, at least, and sees a lot of cyclists.

Edit to add: I moved up to Reno from Tucson area, but was up north in Oro Valley. As you say, plenty of good roads up that way, and heading north on Oracle was always one of my favorites for longer rides.

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If you are talking about silverbell, it’s pretty good. The roundup goes up it (2018 Roundup Route | 89.0 km Cycling Route on Strava). The Grupo Fondo went up it: El Grupo Fall Fondo 2021 - 75miler | 120.3 km Cycling Route on Strava. You could do something similar but add in all or part of the Tuesday route (Tuesday Ride) at the start.

There is not much shoulder south of Ina, but it’s also not a terribly busy road (at least not on the weekends or mid-day).

I occasionally do sweet spot intervals on certain parts of the loop, but there are definitely crowded sections that don’t work well for even that.

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Kitt Peak is still closed from the Contreras fire this spring.

What does closed mean if you’re on a bike?

Following but also looking for sub 3.5 rides. Mostly 1-2 hours.

I’ll have a day or two for some long rides but I’m going down with a non-riding wife and friends so I’ll have to squeeze in some quick rides when I can.

Check this resource out, not limited to Tucson but a lot of info

It’s closed to ALL users.