Friday, December 25th, 2009

Tucson Trip: Day 6 – A Kentucky Camp Epic Ride as Xmas Gift

It was our last day of riding, and it was Christmas. So, the ride had to be special. What could be more special than an epic ride. We wanted to check out this Kentucky Camp (near Patagonia, AZ) ride, aka IMBA Epic Long Ride. Despite our best intention, we didn’t get started riding until almost 10am. But even then, there was snow on the ground where we were. And it was still there when we returned. As a result, within the first 2 miles, our tires were covered with a thick layer of mud. Fortunately, the tires were able to self clean as soon as we got on some dry dirt. We followed the IMBA Epic ride religiously, meaning doing the north loop in clockwise direction and the south loop in CC direction. The entire ride was a mixture of dirt road and single track. But when I reached Kentucky Camp the first time, I naively thought the entire ride would be as smooth as our first 17 miles or so and almost felt a little disappointed. But as soon as we got on the south loop, we were greeted with a rocky ledgy dirt road climb, which made it challenging and fun. And there were many challenges on the ride after that, mainly loose climbs. The ride to a great extent reminded me of Californrian rides. There were moments, when I thought I was riding in Henry Coe! We timed the ride so well that we got back to the car exactly 8 hours after we started, and right before it got dark. We were all very happy with this Christmas gift we received.

Kentucky Camp / IMBA Epic Long Ride

Online resources: SDMB, AZ Endurance Series

Navigation: You can download map from either link above. We followed Tom, who followed his GPS. It worked out really well. You need to pay attention to the direction of those two loops. We actually got on the wrong direction when we entered the south loop and had to back track. (That shows in my track.)

Stats and Map (Click on Trip Details below the map for links to GPX & TCX and other files):
Distance (mi) 46.1
Elevation Range (ft) 4597 – 5944
Total Ascent (ft) 5699
Total Ascent Distance (mi) 18.6
Total Descent Distance (mi) 27.5

Mei’s Subjective Ratings (all out of 5 star system):
Overall Rating 5 stars (Just because it was epic)
Technical Difficulty 3 stars (Link Trail, a very loose and ledgy climb, was under snow, which made it so much harder to clean)
Aerobic Difficulty 3 stars
Grin Factor 4 stars (We were so out there. It made me happy.)

Photos: All are in this album

Hitching a ride from Kentucky Camp


3 Responses

  1. Chadon 28 Dec 2009 at 9:28 am

    Good stuff. Glad you enjoyed AZ!

  2. Jeanneon 28 Dec 2009 at 4:03 pm

    wow. 46 miles on a mountain bike! I loved the post of your trip. It was so pretty down there. Thanks!

  3. Patrick Herlihyon 29 Dec 2009 at 3:06 pm

    Awesome Mei & Erik! Got a friend in Phoenix (now) and I feel a sidetrip to Tuscon is now on the cards 🙂

    Please desist using the word “epic” – Specialized claims it as a trademark.. 😮