The Mt. Lemmon Hill Climb is scheduled for this Friday morning, but for a brief time it looked like it might not happen at all.

Pima County officials and the Sheriff’s office  placed new demands on Greater Arizona Bicycling Association, the ride organizers who have put on the ride for the last 28 years.

The demands included raising the amount of insurance from $1 million to $3 million.

GABA president Jim Harms said the increase in insurance would have cost the group an extra $1,000, essentially meaning they would lose money on the ride.

Harms said the county and GABA compromised on $2 million of insurance, an earlier start time and slightly new route to avoid conflicts between cyclists and students driving to Sabino High School.

In an email from GABA, the group warned that they expect Pima County Sheriff’s Department to have several officers along the route ensuring cyclists are obeying traffic laws including stopping at stop signs.

The ride starts between 5:30 and 7 a.m. depending on your expected speed up the mountain and costs between $10 and $20.

Check out all the ride details on their website.

The ride is a great way to make it to the top of Mt. Lemmon if you’ve never done it before. Not having to worry about the logistics of water and snacks makes it much easier.

Last year, I rode my Xtracycle up the hill. Check out the report here. This year, unfortunately, I won’t make the ride because I have a graduation ceremony to attend on the same day.

4 thoughts on “GABA’s Lemmon ride a go despite rocky start”
  1. Speaking as a TUSD taxpayer, I’d like to point out that school bus service is available for students. Meaning that the Sabino High School students don’t HAVE to drive to school.

    I can remember having to take the bus to high school when I was growing up. This despite the fact that my mother taught at the same high school I attended.

    Mom needed to get to school well before the bus would have brought me there. So, the family agreement was that she would go to school early, get her workday rolling, and I’d arrive on the bus like all the other kids. Trust me, having to ride the bus didn’t harm me in the least.

  2. The route wasn’t even changed!

    On April 13, at a special meeting of the BAC Enforcement Subcommittee, a PCSD deputy brought up the Sabino High School/Stop Sign issue.  That was the first GABA had heard of the Sheriff’s Department’s concern. The GABA people at the meeting were able to come up with an alternate route to avoid the stop sign.

    Also at the meeting, we discovered the difference between $3 million in insurance versus $2 million is the $3 million coverage was only going to be good for the single event.  The $2 million coverage will also cover other GABA events later in the year.

    However, the permit came though for the original route with no modifications. Someone at Pima County just wanted to jerk GABA around.

  3. Oooh, that could be a government mis-direction.  I’d verify that permit to avoid a Friday surprise.

  4.  Many years ago when I was a GABA member, I was part of the committee organizing the cross-state ride.

    We had to work with various law enforcement agencies, and guess what? One of the most friendly and accommodating agencies we dealt with was (get ready for this) the Pima County Sheriff’s Department.

    Yes. Really. The PCSD.

    My GABA cross-state ride committee experience was back in 1988. As we all know, policies and personnel can change a lot in 24 years.

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