Spending New Years Sonoran Soaking in Tucson!

The Holiday season is my favorite time of year. It gives me a chance to reconnect with friends, to travel, and to ride without feeling the need to take a camera with me each time. After a relaxing Christmas in Santa Fe, we headed South to the city of Tucson, where we spent five days Sonoran soaking! This gallery showcases a few of the places we rode and visited during our stay.

Starr Pass Trails

I rode once in Santa Fe and the rest of our trip there was spent shoveling snow, so once we arrived in Tucson, I was ready to ride. The Starr Pass trail network is a dense network of chundery igneous rock-laden singletrack. There’s something for everyone here with several bandit lines coming down from the surrounding peaks and Saguaros towering overhead. Just an hour in these trails had me hooked!

Redington Road

Come New Year’s Day, we wanted to see more of the surrounding mountains, so Ty, Julia, Cari and I hopped in the Cruiser and took Redington Road up and over the mountains. We explored some of the 4×4 off-shoots, got plenty muddy, and even found a beautiful crested Saguaro. What was meant to be an hour or so drive, turned out to be a full day’s endeavor.

50 Year Trail

In the Catalina State Park area just outside of Tucson is the 50 Year Trail. Like Starr Pass, there’s a lot to bite off here, with riding for any experience level. Want swoopy meandering trails? 50 Year has that. Or if you’d prefer to drop in on granite boulders and hit drops, there’s plenty of that too, you’ve just gotta work a bit harder for it…

Stonewarewolf

Staying with Ty and Julia provided ample time to document Julia’s pottery process. She’s lucky enough to have a studio at their home and the light the space gets in the morning is a photographer’s dream. While we were staying with Julia, she was in the middle of a large order of Mezcal Copitas for SRAM. For hours she sat at her wheel, peeling off these cups, which would later be glazed and fired. If you fancy something from Julia, drop her a line on Instagram.

Blue Dog Bikes

Visiting a city during the New Year proved to be difficult in terms of visiting shops. Many shops were closed during our time in Tucson, but we managed to swing by two, the first being Blue Dog Bikes, an intimate shop in a courtyard space, where bikepacking rigs abound. The guys were there cranking away on bike builds and tune-ups as I snuck around shooting a few photos of their space. The guys at Blue Dog have extensive knowledge of bikepacking and touring routes in the surrounding area, so be sure you swing through and say hello.

Presta Coffee

My day can’t begin without coffee. Luckily with Presta Coffee, you know you’re in the right place. If the name didn’t imply it enough, the owner is a cyclist, who showcases many of his vintage builds on the walls of the cafe. As for the coffee, it’s delicious! They even have oat milk…

Cicli Noe

I’ve met Noe before at Interbike and the like, so it was great to finally see his shop, which really impressed me. Cicli Noe is a neighborhood shop, with a few gems hidden inside. While Noe displays a few of his bikes up front, he also has that super spicy Salsa track bike in the back. If you ask nicely, he might show it to you!

Taliesin West, Scottsdale

I left the architecture profession, but architecture will never leave me, especially when it comes to Frank Lloyd Wright’s southwestern masterpiece that is Taliesin West. It was the perfect way to end our trip.

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We’ll be spending most of February in the Tucson area, so expect more coverage to come! Thanks to everyone that made this trip so memorable!

  • Nicholas Haig-Arack

    You were telling me about Taliesin but words fail to capture the geometric beauty of that place! Looks astounding.

    • FLW is a hard sell for me, but that’s his best work, IMO. The stories about that place are wild!

      • Hubert Dautremont

        Amen to that. The man gave us the carport…

  • Matt

    What bike rack do you have on your toyota there? Great photos!!

    • It’s a 1Up Rack. The red Tacoma, the white Toyota pickup, and the tan Land Cruiser all have 1-Up Racks.

  • Tytanium

    Was great having you both in town!

    • We had so much fun. Can’t wait to be back!

  • James Jay

    Living here in Chandler and I still have never been to Taliesin.

  • chrismoustache

    The Taco in #27 with all the doors open looks like some sort of sweet landing craft.

  • Transit

    Sad we missed you on this visit, make sure and swing by next time you come to town!

    • I’ll be back in a few weeks and can’t wait to see the shop!

  • Forrest Guy

    Great photos per usual. I’d love a post about your photgoraphy set up and post production!

    • My post work is done through a preset I’ve developed over the years, so I kinda keep that close to me. It’s the one thing I don’t think I’ll ever share. Sorry! But I’m more than stoked to share the camera information. The photos in this came from a 5D + 24-70 + 100-400mm lenses and a Leica M10 50mm 1.4. The Leica shots should be easy to pick out.

      • Forrest Guy

        Damn about the presets, but very understandable. All of your photos toally inspire me. Keep it up and thank you for the reply!

  • James Holmes

    Need more information, photos and build of that LandCruiser. Please!

    • 1990 HDJ81 Turbo Diesel from Japan I’ve been building for two years. Still working on it – hell, it’s a work in progress – but once it’s at a good place I’ll make a post. Waiting on one big thing to get done before I post about it. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/47b9a588898c18deeb5055e076098731861dc0e9b42c7fc5d3432dda65f15f21.jpg

      • James Holmes

        I assume you’ve heard of ih8mud. Do you have an account with them? I’ve got a ‘91 that I’m hoping one day is as functional as yours. Or at least looks the part. If you have a build progression I’d love to see/hear it.

        • Yeah I know all about Mud, but don’t have time to post there, so I mostly just use the resources and support the vendors. My bumper came from Costa Fab – heard about him from Mud, same with my drawers – Land Shark Outfitters. I’m just waiting on a GFC RTT to replace the roof rack and soft RTT. I’ve also got a long travel kit to put on it. It’s been a fun project and a good hobby to take a break from bikes.

          • James Holmes

            If you ever want to sell the stuff you are replacing let me know. I live in Mesa.

  • DODGERDISCIPLE

    John, if you have time while in Tucson come by and see me and the crew at Broadway Bicycles. We’ve been here since 1975! Love that you’re here hanging in our desert. -Bruce p.s. Go eat at Tumerico!

    • I’m coming back in February! See ya then!

      • DODGERDISCIPLE

        Hit me up when you get here! Would hate to miss ya on a day off or something like that.