Saturday, January 14, 2023

Picacho Flyer 100k Permanent Populaire

On January 10, I rode the Picacho Flyer 101k Permanent Populaire. The start/finish is about 10 miles from where we stay in Tucson, so I rode to the start and back. 

More importantly, while the official route turns around at the base of Picacho Peak, there's plenty of time to go into the park and enjoy the scenery, and the only real climbing on the route. I wonder if that was the original idea the route designer had, that folks could optionally tour through the park.

The start is at the Christina-Taylor Green Memorial Park, which is related to the Cañada del Oro Path. 

Much of the route is on the I-10 Frontage Road heading NW in the direction of Phoenix. En route you can peer west to the Pinal Airpark, a facility in the desert that is a boneyard for airliners and other aircraft (and may rehabilitate some).

As you proceed outbound, you see the ever growing image of Picacho Peak before you.

At the entrance to Picacho Peak State Park, I paid my $3, got the stub below, and some advice from the ranger - also a road-bike rider - as to some particularly steep stretches within the park (Barrett Loop) that a cyclist might enjoy. 

Nice vistas from Barrett Loop ... which does have its steep spots.

Next touring down the main park road.

A view across the valley.

A nice assortment of saguaro and other cacti. And lush green grass, after New Year's rain.

Heading back south into a headwind, it was comforting to have aerobars. It was a reminder of some earlier perms I rode here, the Picture Rocks 100k and the Old Pueblo 200k, which also went through Marana NW of Tucson.

A nice perm finish back at this artful bench. And then it's on back to our dwelling.

This was a surprisingly fun and pleasant ride, especially Picacho Peak, the figurative high point of the experience.