This weekend I experienced a great ride with fellow MTB enthusiast Dan Maloney. We set out early Friday on an adventure that lead us from the Starr Pass trail head to the Explorer trail and out to the Robles Pass under the Ajo freeway. The Explorer trail proved to be quite the ride as is switchbacks up Cat Mountain. The ride encounters many different points of interest. On the top of Cat Mountain we came across what appeared to be (and smelled like) two separate javelina dens. The rubbish left behind by the “stink pigs” was apparent. It was nestled underneath a low lying rock outcrop that was at a particularly difficult switchback on the trail. Having to stop and hike a bike past the den the flies immediately started to swarm us as they sought after the moisture seeping from our pores. Both Dan and I moved quickly along with our ride. The views from the pinnacle were fantastic. Looking down on the Starr Pass trail from so high puts perspective to the ride I so often take people for tours on. From that high up you get a realization of your efforts. The Tucson Mountain park can be quite a challenge, and the payoff being grand. There is truly a trail for all levels; most often one trail can offer multiple challenges for all levels. That to me is the beauty of the park. The trails force you to step outside of your comfort zone at certain while allowing you to gain access to the sweet spots in the route. This would sometimes mean walking parts of technical trail. Like my friend Dan would holler out “If you are not hiking, you are not mountain biking.”
I challenge you to step out of your comfort zone this week and go for it on a trail you have been hesitating to do. I did, and when it was all said and done I felt like a million bucks. It is the simple joys of the excursion that can be so gratifying. If you are seeking advice on what challenges abound the Tucson area contact Southwest Trekking for the inside scoop.