Jay Rochlin, left, and I relax at Ski Valley on top of Mt. Lemmon.

Nearly 300 cyclists participated in the Greater Arizona Bicycling Association’s Mt. Lemmon Hill Climb on Friday.

This year, ride organizer Larry Robinson designed and sold t-shirts, the proceeds from which went toward buying pie for cyclists who reached the top of the mountain. (I had apple and pecan, for the record).

The Big Dummy wasn't the only strange bike on the ride. This guy was riding a Schwinn cruiser with a Rolhoff hub.

I rode up the mountain on my Surly Big Dummy — which was easier than I thought it would be because of the low gearing — but was still harder than riding it on my road bike.

I was joined by my friend and colleague, Jay Rochlin, who rode his vintage Gilmour, equipped with fenders and platform pedals without cages.

I’ve included the GPS and ride details at the end of this post.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from the Big Dummy on the descent. I was a little nervous, but in the end, the upright position counteracted the extra weight and I ended up going the same speed as I did the year before on my road bike.

What did worry me a little were the wind gusts. The Big Dummy acted like a sail and made the bike sway a bit.

Check out the video of me struggling up and then coasting down.

And check out more photos from the ride.

9 thoughts on “Photos & video: Mt. Lemmon Hill Climb”
  1. That looks awesome, I’m rather jealous. Just curious what was your max speed going down and what was your average for the ascent?

  2. On a Big Dummy. Nice! I was on the ride too, didn’t see you though. It was a great day on a bike.

  3. How fast were you going on the way down? Weren’t you afraid of killing yourself?

  4. Thanks @twitter-26058723:disqus! I was pretty sore on Saturday. I rode about 50 feet on the big dummy and decided to turn around and put it away.

  5. Hi, Justin! Good to hear from you. The max speed going down was 43.1 miles per hour.

    My average speed going up was 7.4 miles per hour, but that includes the 1000 feet or so of descending that it takes to get to the ski valley.

    The average speed on the way down was 18.4 miles per hour

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