/ Modified may 14, 2015 12:21 p.m.

Mt. Lemmon Ride Promises Physical Reward - and Pie

300 expected to take part in one of the most challenging in the region.

Mt. Lemmon SPOT Visitors travel up and down Mt. Lemmon highway which leads to the top of this popular "sky island", one of many in Southern Arizona. (PHOTO: AZPM)
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About 300 cyclists are expected to take part in the Mount Lemmon Hill Climb on Friday.

The ride will take them up a 6,600-foot climb in elevation in the first half of the 56-mile course.

But it's not just for pros.

"We encourage intermediate cyclists, who might be a little intimidated by having to take up all the water they need and all the food they need, to try our ride," said Patrick Rinckey, one of the organizers. "Because we have support, we have sweep vehicles running the course in case your bike breaks down or you get nervous on the way down the hill, and you want a lift back down. And we have food and water every eight miles."

If the physical reward of making it to the top is not enough, Rinckey said there’s something else that may help cyclists pump a just a little bit harder.

"There used to be a pie shop at the top of Mount Lemmon, which we encouraged people to go purchase a slice of pie to go celebrate," he said. "But since that shut down, we decided that we would bring pies to the top of Mount Lemmon instead."

This year there will be about 50 pies waiting to feed hungry cyclists and fuel them for the ride back down.

After the sugar rush, Rinckey warned participants to use brakes during the descent.

Go over the 35-mile speed limit and you may get a ticket – even on a bike.

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