Scottsdale Arizona Desert Road Cycling Tour

The Arizona deserts are a mecca for cyclists in the winter season! The weather makes it perfect for riding throughout the daylight hours and pro athletes, from tri-athletes to professional cycling teams come to the dessert to train. So, train like a pro, or at least get out of your cold northerly weather and come warm up on a bike ride; enjoy the western spirit of Arizona as well as the nightlife and ambiance of the sun!
Available October 15 – May 15. With over 300 days of sunshine and incredible scenery, the conditions are perfect for exhilarating road rides, including challenging climbs to beautiful views of the surrounding desert. The ever present Saguaro Cactus, our nation’s largest, is everywhere, but also are all the other wondrous species that comprise the most diverse southwestern ecosystem in our country. Our cycling trip in Scottsdale and the Sonoran Desert is tailored to each guest and incorporate the best cycling routes in the area, offering daily lengths from 15-100 miles. Choose a bike from our top-notch rental fleet, let us know your pedal requirements and the type of rides you are looking for and we will design it for you. This self-guided road bike trip is perfect for the casual road biker, the visiting triathlete looking for winter miles, or the avid cyclist.

Day 1 – Bicycle tour orientation and bike fitting
Upon arrival at the Pure Adventures/AOA rental and tour center in North Scottsdale one of our experts will review in detail your Route Book and reservations. After getting to know you, they may suggest some customized rides or activities to enhance your week. Next we will provide a brief bike fit and collect your luggage (change room available) before you set off on a classic local’s ride to the charming town of Carefree, AZ. When you arrive at your resort you will find you luggage waiting for you at the bell stand. Standard Route: Distance: 31.7 mi Elevation: 2148 / – 1233 ft. Max Grade 4.5 % Avg. Grade 0.8 % Lodging: Carefree Resort (Upgrade to Boulders Resort)

Day 2 – Into the Desert!
Today’s ride takes you north east into the wild Sonoran Desert to a surprise you may not expect: a lake! In a few brief pedal strokes, you will find yourself away from the sounds of civilization, ascending over a cactus-laden hill into a wide ravine shadowed by towering giant saguaros. Watch out for the Whiptailed Lizards as they scamper off the roadside as you negotiate the high speed descents and what goes down, must….. get ready to tackle a few climbs today. Once you arrive at the lake, head to Rattlesnake Cove for a refreshing swim or simply refuel at the Marina shop. If you still crave burning thighs and breaths that come in gasps, not problem! Today is a great day to extend your ride and we know all of the nearby extended route options. Save some energy though, because tonight is a good one to let loose with the cowboys in nearby Cave Creek post ride. Standard Route: Distance: 44.9 mi Elevation: 5084 / – 5081 ft. Max Grade 12.2 % Avg. Grade 0.0 % Lodging: Carefree Resort (Upgrade to Boulders Resort)

Day 3 – Rest Day with options
After burning it up on the road yesterday (or maybe it was the amateur bull riding last night in Cave Creek) most guests choose to spend a little time off of the saddle today. In addition to our standard ride, options from hiking, to rock climbing, to shopping, to world class spas are all just a short ride away. Today’s route assumes that you still want to be active and rolls past 2 fantastic trailheads if you care to hike. Those that want to get out on foot and get to know the desert a little more intimately should throw their shoes in a small backpack so they can hit the trail. Other ride highlights include the spectacular homes on the side of Black Mountain and the granite boulders of the Legend Trail area. Standard Route: Distance: 29.8 mi Elevation: 1605 / – 1605 ft. Max Grade 5.9 % Avg. Grade -0.1 % Lodging: Carefree Resort (Upgrade to Boulders Resort)

Day 4 – East to the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation and Salt River
It is time for a change of scenery, so leave your luggage at the bell stand and get ready for a great 1-way ride that is a net loss of over 1000 feet in elevation! Once you crest the pass on Dynamite and start your 9-mile hill descent you will be gazing over 70-miles across the desert, the Verde River Valley, and Tonto National Forest. Enjoy an extended ride and even a picnic break in McDowell Mountain Park or simply continue on to the Fort McDowell Yavapai Indian Reservation, the choice is yours. After a short wind swept grind on the Beeline (a road used for the Ironman Arizona Course) a big smile will come over your face as you descend to the Salt River at the base of the 1000-ft Bulldog Cliffs. Nestled in the Tonto National Forest your home for the next 2 nights is a historic ranch. Standard Route: Distance: 48.1 mi Elevation: 2242 / – 3258 ft. Max Grade 7.5 % Avg. Grade -0.6 % Lodging: Saguaro Lake Ranch

Day 5 – Creeks and Cliffs and Cactus
Get ready for the most spectacular scenery of the trip! Here we will ride along the Salt River beneath towering rhyolite cliffs and past cactus studded canyons. The soft greenery and plentiful water attract many animals who make their home’s here including beavers, otters, loons, eagles, turkey vultures, and bobcats. The Salt River flows from its headwaters in the White Mountains of Eastern Arizona and rushes along through the high elevations until it winds its way to the lower arid desert. Here the riparian ecosystem created by the mellow flow of the Salt is an indispensable oasis, home to many plant and animal species, and a perennial slash of green across the dry brown of the surrounding landscape. Keep your eye out for the wild horses that still roam this range and steel your legs for the short, but punchy climbs. Extend your ride for a swim in the river or hit the beach at the nearby lake. If you need some time off the bike, have a seat on a kayak or one of the ranch’s horses. Standard Route: Distance: 35.4 mi Elevation: 2561 / – 2561 ft. Max Grade 13.6 % Avg. Grade -0.3 % Lodging: Saguaro Lake Ranch

Day 6 – Fountain Mountains and Recovery Suites
Today your ride takes you through Fountain Hills including a popular KOM ridden last year by Bob Roll during a Gran Fondo, plus we include sections of the Tour De Scottsdale to finish of your legs. Upon arrival back at the Pure Adventures/AOA rental shop we have one more surprise in store for you: the Recovery Suite at the Faster Performance Optimization Facility. The Faster®Lab is a unique service offering riders state‐of‐the‐art training and equipment designed to maximize road cycling efficiency, including 3D motion capture bike fitting, North America’s only wind tunnel dedicated to cycling performance, the recovery suite spa, and advice from pro‐team cycling coaches. Once you have toured the facility, donned some compression boots, or taken an icy / hot plunge, you can shower in the locker room before heading to the airport or your next destination. Note: Upon Luggage Pick up at SLR guests can be shuttled to Fort McDowell if you want to shorten the ride. Standard Route: Distance: 40.2 mi Elevation: 3082 / – 2978 ft. Max Grade 20.0 % Avg. Grade 0.6 % Lodging: NA

What’s Included
– Luggage transfers day 1,4 and 6
– Route Book and personal review with expert staff day 1
– 2 nights lodging at Saguaro Lake Ranch – double occupancy
– 3 nights lodging at Carefree Resort – double occupancy
– Meals (lunch Day 4 through – breakfast Day 6) at Saguaro Lake Ranch
– Recovery Suite at Faster Lab day 6
– Gloves, helmet and specific pedals when requested with bike rental below

– Airfare to and from Phoenix
– Airport transfers
– Rental Road bike fully equipped with emergency repair kit, floor pump, and Extra tool kit – (Giant Defy $180 or upgrade)
– Park Entry (McDowell Mountain Park optional)
– Pre- and post-trip accommodations
– Optional gratuities to Pure Adventures staff
– Personal insurance and expenses

– High performance bike upgrade: Trek Madone 5.2 or Specialized Roubaix ($125-175 per bike)
Accommodations: We use 2 hotels in this program, the first is an ideally situated resort in the north valley town of Carefree; close to great rides with low traffic and very dessert feel yet with all the comforts of a deluxe facility. The 2nd is a more traditional Arizona historic property near Saguaro Lake, along the Salt River. Rustic and authentic, this ranch property offers cabins, peace and quiet, and a beautiful dessert ambiance. Hotels included:
– Carefree Resort ****
– Saguaro Lake Guest Ranch ***