Mt. Lemmon – King of the Mountain

This was my third year in a row climbing the epic Mt. Lemmon in Tucson– 27 miles and 7k feet of climbing.  As always, it didn’t disappoint.  It’s by far  one of the most scenic rides you can do in Arizona.

Kevin, Angi, and I left Phoenix at 3:45 a.m. to make the 6:30 a.m. meet up time at the base of the mountain.

We sang this along the way:

This year, I was really looking forward to the enormous cookie at the top the mountain. Last year, I missed out on all the fun.

Nick had me lead the group out at 7 a.m.  Let the fun begin!

After a five mile warm-up to the base of the mountain, I started climbing at a hard effort.    At mile one, the 20 person group was already reduced to five.  I made a move at mile three, and laid the hammer down for the early morning breakaway.  I looked back and nobody followed… except the sole survivor – Angi Axmann. There were 23 miles and 6,000 feet of climbing remaining… and we were already hammering!

She was the perfect climbing partner for me.  We both pushed each other pretty hard and worked well together.  When she’d hit a rough patch and I’d take the lead and help her out.  I felt like crap several times and she’d pick me up.  It made the climb really fun.

Angi kept singing this annoying “Call Me Maybe” song:

I was obviously starting to hallucinate at this point of the climb, when I started singing to these older cyclist dudes.

Me: “Heeey, I just met you!”

Old cyclist dudes: “And this is CRAZY!”

We shared a moment together.

Angi “giggled.”

We saw Nick around mile 15 and we quickly refilled our water bottles.  At mile 25, the road turns off to Ski Valley.  This adds on another two miles to the ride.  It is also the steepest section of the entire climb.

I made a move, and I dropped Angi like a hot potato to claim the polka dot jersey.

Me and the podium dog.

We put a huge gap of around 20 minutes on the next fastest riders on my team… and I was 15 minutes faster than last year.  Success!

Me and my climbing buddy!

I ate a pumpkin cookie at the top… just like Linsey!

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Categories: Training

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2 Comments on “Mt. Lemmon – King of the Mountain”

  1. Teri
    June 25, 2012 at 6:27 pm #

    Jealous!!!

  2. January 24, 2013 at 4:49 pm #

    That was a 3 hour grind to the top – Exploded down the hill with a nearly 28 mph average and a 1:06 finish. Nearly beat the car to McD’s. Great effort! 7000 feet and five or six climate changes.

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