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Like many Tucson area DS riders, I'm no stranger to riding up the backside of Mt. Lemmon.

What I didn't know before is that there's a second road coming from South of San Manuel that meets up with the popular route from Oracle to the summit. Amazing what you learn when you look at your map with a new riding buddy!

For some reason my Spot stopped putting down footprints at the summit, but we took that squiggly yellow line you see on this map back down (the Catalina Highway).


I tried out a new GoPro mount on my headlight fairing, and for video it's totally unusable. Even on pavement it's too shaky to watch, but in time-lapse mode it takes OK pictures of roughly what I was seeing if I was looking forward. Set to 5 second intervals, it missed the two deer and one steer that darted in front of me, so maybe next time I'll set it to 1 second intervals and sift through 8000 pics instead of just 1600!

Heading up Redington wasn't new, but it was still beautiful.













We stopped just before Cascabel Rd. for a break, and I either tried to adjust my camera or pinch off my riding buddy's head. Either way his KLR looks pretty good.



We rode on and found the route to the summit that would spare us the cruelty of 20 paved miles.



I never get tired of watching the landscape and vegetation change as the elevation rises.



Continued below...
 

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In some places the sides of the road were pretty steep, it must have been a tough job cutting this road bed.



Too steep for some I guess! We watched the successful recovery of this "suburban warrior" type 4x4. They had a tough time as both the distressed and rescue vehicles had open differentials, but they got that sucker out!



The more elevation we gained, the bigger the trees got.





We stopped here to shoot a mid 90s alternative rock album cover.





We reached the connection with the Catalina Highway, took the side road to the summit, and then we got stuck behind one of those backward-trike thingamabobs that apparently top out at 15mph in the twisties.



The air was cool and clear at the top of Mt. Lemmon, and the view was fantastic. We relaxed and soaked it all in for a little while before barreling back down the smooth-paved Catalina Highway to Tucson.

Continued below...
 

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I've talked to sport bike riders who regularly descend the Catalina Highway at 90-100mph speeds. The posted limit is 35, and I'll suffice it to say that for me somewhere in the middle is exciting enough!

It might be paved, but it's still a fun ride.



















Here's where the camera battery died, just before the turnoff for the Gordon Hirabayashi campground, the site of an old WWII Japanese internment camp. Some of the old building foundations and such are still there, along with signs and information. I highly recommend making a visit if you're in the area.

The whole ride amounted to something like 5 hours, a little over 60 dirt miles, and 40 paved miles.

Many thanks to Chris for the last-minute route-change suggestion which proved to be much better than the route I had planned!

Not bad for a hot summer day.
 

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Hey thanks for sifting through all those pictures and sharing some of them with us! Looks like there are some nice views from the mountain. I notice that you were taking advantage of the shady spots so must've still been kind of warm, even up on the mountain. I took the opportunity to do a little reading about the internment camp. Interesting. Thanks for taking us along on your ride.
 

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Was staring at this photo for a long time waiting for the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote to go by. Unfortunately you had your camera set for the 5 second interval and they must have gone by between photo's. :D


My video camera has the interval mode as well. I don't think I can change the interval though. It takes a photo every second like you're thinking of changing yours too. I used mine just that once and didn't care for it. Maybe I should give it another try. Most of the time I don't have the camera on because I don't want to sift through hours of video. Sometimes I miss stuff for this reason. If I leave it in photo mode, I just might catch a glimpse of something special I would otherwise miss.

Nice ride DB!
 

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i've been up the paved route, so weird to leave 100+˚ and end up in pine trees and snow! thanks for the shots of the cool rocky outcrops on the way down, i forgot how pretty that road is.
 

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thanks for all the pics i felt like i was along for the ride
Thanks! I'm pretty new to this GoPro thing and I'm still trying out the different modes and settings.

Hey thanks for sifting through all those pictures and sharing some of them with us! Looks like there are some nice views from the mountain. I notice that you were taking advantage of the shady spots so must've still been kind of warm, even up on the mountain. I took the opportunity to do a little reading about the internment camp. Interesting. Thanks for taking us along on your ride.
It was a hot day, even with an early start the sun was pretty brutal. I was kicking myself for forgetting my boonie hat.

The bike-mounted GoPro captured some views that would have been missed with a handheld, but I did have to throw out about 80 pics for every 1 worth a second look. It's a nice complement to the more thoughtfully framed shots I'm used to taking, but definitely not a replacement.

A lot of people enjoy the Catalina Highway every year, but not a lot of people know who worked to build it. I also find it interesting.
 

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Was staring at this photo for a long time waiting for the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote to go by. Unfortunately you had your camera set for the 5 second interval and they must have gone by between photo's. :D


My video camera has the interval mode as well. I don't think I can change the interval though. It takes a photo every second like you're thinking of changing yours too. I used mine just that once and didn't care for it. Maybe I should give it another try. Most of the time I don't have the camera on because I don't want to sift through hours of video. Sometimes I miss stuff for this reason. If I leave it in photo mode, I just might catch a glimpse of something special I would otherwise miss.

Nice ride DB!
Wile E., The Roadrunner (which I actually did see a few of!) and a host of other critters snuck by between photos!

I'm not the videographer or editor that Tiny Wheel 200 or others are, so most of the video I've shot is pretty dull. I figure with the time lapse mode I have a chance of tapping into the professional photographer's secret: if you take a few thousand photos, there are bound to be a few good ones in the mix!
 

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Great pics and great country to ride. Thanks for sharing.

I like the idea of taking a progression of still pictures vs the endless video on long rides. I have a Swann camera, looks very much like a GoPro only it is about $300 cheaper. I hope the old adage you get what you pay for doesn't apply.
 

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i've been up the paved route, so weird to leave 100+˚ and end up in pine trees and snow! thanks for the shots of the cool rocky outcrops on the way down, i forgot how pretty that road is.
I forget how pretty it is every time! On summer trips up to the top I always come up with reasons to procrastinate up there for a little while. Nice to have some natural air conditioning so close to home.
 

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Great pics and great country to ride. Thanks for sharing.

I like the idea of taking a progression of still pictures vs the endless video on long rides. I have a Swann camera, looks very much like a GoPro only it is about $300 cheaper. I hope the old adage you get what you pay for doesn't apply.
Maybe I'm just oldschool, but usually I like stills better than video. If someone is really good at shooting and editing video then it's a real treat, but if not then a well-chosen or well-framed still does a better job of telling the story in my opinion. Seeing as how I've been handed this cool little HD camera, I guess I need to brush up on my videography to make the most of it!
 
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