That climb is Mingus mountain but not to the summit just up to a small old mining town, that is now just a tourist getaway. Jerome is cute and fun.
As you depart the gazebo in the old fashioned town park at the center of the heart of Clarkdale, the grade is quickly 6.5%. When you near the first mile of climbing the grade mellows to just bellow 5% which sustains for nearly two miles until the last of the switchback curves. Then there is a harsh 7% grade for three quarters of a mile. As you make the turn past the first of the old houses hanging on stilts off the side of the mountain you can click down into your higher gears for the nearly half mile of flat road that takes you past the old school building, that now houses art studios. Just as you begin to feel comfortable a quick right towards the business district puts you at 12% for about one hundred and twenty yards. Then 4% for a mile, up past little shops selling candy or jewellery, trinkets and wine tasting rooms. The beautiful new firehouse shows one a flat mile before the final mile that reaches near 14% up to the old mine road. The climb allows beautiful views of the appropriately named Verde Valley bellow and averages just over 5% from valley floor to the turn off to the old mines. It is my favorite ride in the area. If wanting the whole experience of what the mountain has to offer one can stay on the main road when you go past the fire house. The climb from Jerome to summit is nearly 6 miles and averages 5% with a small descent after the false summit. There is nothing more than 7% after Jerome but lots of sections that are around 6%. The whole climb is astonishing, winding mountain roads and stunning valley views.
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