Gates Pass, trip number seven. Photo by Jen Judge.
The 2012 Outside Bike Test ended on Saturday, and thank goodness. After seven days of straight riding, I needed a rest day. But we had plenty of fun. Between a total of 57 testers, we racked up 1,700 miles and over 157,000 feet of climbing on 58 bicycles.
We spent the last three days of the test spinning road bikes around McCain's Loop, a 12-mile lasso from the hairpin pull-out on Gates Pass, on Tucson's western outskirts. But the laps never ended there. As is so often the case when you get a bunch of strong riders together, testosterone trumped good sense, and nearly every test loop ended at the top of the pass three-quarters of a mile beyond—after a three-minute uphill sprint. Even the coast back to the truck became a contest to see who's bike descended best. I thought of protesting once or twice but then realized just how good a test it was for the bikes.