BaseCamp alumnus Ali Knutson shared her experience riding the Dirty Lemmon in Tucson, Arizona.
On March 18, I joined a lovely crew for an adventure ride, The Dirty Lemmon, since I could not justify taking time off to travel to the True Grit Gravel Race in St. George after being off sick for two weeks. I rode to the meetup, then we headed out from the Le Buzz parking lot. The group broke apart as we climbed Redington, but most of the folks would pedal together and we'd periodically regroup for a moment. I set my own pace, coming back from COVID. The weather was delightful, even with the headwind up the Redington climb. It would serve as a speedy descent and return home at the end of a long day. There were water crossings. I separated again from the group after a snack and water resupply at the Salt and Pepper gas station. The gravel roads below seemed endless. I saw Ron up the road, out of reach from my pace, but he was a good carrot. We eventually met on the Control Road and enjoyed a snack and brief convo before I pushed onward. It was a slow grind. Side by sides cheered me on over rocky, punchy bits.
There was no snow on the road and only a little mud. I was able to ride it all, but there were a lot of stops. I thought I'd see the group again, but I stayed solo. Near the top, I viewed the damage from the fire two years ago. I hit the pavement near the fire station and stopped to snack, pump my tires up for the paved Lemmon descent, and get some layers on. It was going to be chilly. I was vibrating. I ended up doing 124 miles (with the commute to meet up). What a day.