So right about the time I started mtbing we had a huge fire on our beloved Mt. Lemmon here in Tucson. With that fire a few trails were lost that I have never had the privilege to experience and was unsure if I would ever get to. I just got to hear stories about how great they were and on and on. Now add to that the fact that us mountain bikers had been falling into bad graces with the local F.S. and things where just not looking good up on Lemmon. A change was needed.
A few of the awesome riders that we are fortunate enough to have here in town started working on reversing our image with the F.S. and some trail work days were completed. Things started improving and the F.S. started letting us venture out a little more on our own and trails started improving and everyone was getting along. We were and still are far from where we would be in the F.S. eyes but it a work in progress.
So this leads me to the moral of my short little story. After more prodding and pushing the F.S. is letting us open up a trail that had completely been lost to the fire and was it complete disarray. I wouldn't even call it a trail anymore it pretty much only existed on someones GPS. After some brave souls went to and did some grueling flag and route finding the work began.
So after a few very hard weeks of work by some very dedicated riders I was finally able to get up there and help tear out briers and see what this trail has to offer. I had dropped a few riders off Saturday who were able to stay overnight and then the our group the b-team was to meet them at the work site Monday morning to get dirty. The first 4.5 miles or so of this trail were in pretty great shape with the first 3 not needing really any work and the next 1.5 already done by the previous crews we got to the work site pretty fast and dug in.
The work went pretty well with us just tearing out briers, moving trees, tearing out briers, treadwork, and some more tearing out of briers. This trail was covered in these things I have no idea how the flagging crews got through there it was totally insane. We spent about three hours there doing work and were warned that we really needed to be back on the bike and heading down the mountain no later then 1pm. To the us (the ones who had never been up there) we thought man that seems like a long time to get down the mountain since it really only took us about an hour to get to the site but we listened to the wise ones and stopped work to head home.
Thats when the "fun" began. We started out "ride" from the work site by plunging through the briers for awhile till me came to a clear section which by that I mean just woods with no briers so we were able to get on the bikes and just follow the flags. After a while we made it to the spring where a few riders filled up on water and me thinking "I don't need water I brought 230oz" didn't take any on. From there we were instantly lost even with the GPS route and riders who had just been up there the prior weekend flagging the trail was so hard to follow that you could be lost that easy. After circle for a few minutes we found the flagging and continued to hike though thick patches of briers with only 10's of feet to maybe be ridden at a time. This went on for what seemed like forever till we finally made ourselves to the CorkScrew of Death.
I don't even now if I really want to talk about that section. Its horrible and talk of bring ropes next time was prevalent. This section is not fit for humans with bikes and would barely pass for something a hiker would do. Once we finally made our way down the SCD and back up the other side I started to realized why we left so early. We where not moving very fast at all and I was pretty much cooked. But promise of sweet downhill was in the air so we pressed on. We had a another mile of mixed rider/hikeable trail until we got to what would be out last hike a bike. At the top of the was a nice downhill run to the jeep road below that the F.S. had recently worked on that promised to be great.
From there we headed down the newly worked F.S. trail for seemed like forever on great trail with spectacular views. It was the exact thing our bodies and minds needed at the time. I just grinned and went downwards. After miles of downhill delight we were finally at the jeep road that would take us to or waiting cars and ice cold margaritas. Just as we headed down the finally miles of road we were treated to a wonderful sunset that capped what at the time was a brutal day but worth ever minute. Now as I sit and write this I realize how the words don't really do justice to hard hard this day and trail really were and it makes me wonder if I won't be back up there again in another week or two to do it all again.

Stats
230oz of water totally dry 30 minutes before we even finished.
19miles
9000ft of descending
3200ft of climbing almost all hike a bike
1 Sprial of Death traversed with no deaths.
Almost 10 hours from Car to Car.

Here are my pics.