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.
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!
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.
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…
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.
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.
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…
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!
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.
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!