What exactly is Single Speed Arizona? Well, first and foremost, it’s not a damn bike race. A cesspool of degenerates? Sure, but only for the weekend – some of these people are actually really good at adulting! One might argue that it’s a borderline cult with congregants making an annual pilgrimage to The Grand Canyon State each February to hike a bunch with our stupid bikes, commune, and praise Jah. The reality is that whether you’re escaping winter in other parts of the world, or your own reality for a whole weekend, being sun-drenched while riding/hiking bikes in February makes for a wonderful family reunion. Welcome to Arizona’s Premier Outdoor Recreation Conference.
Following a hiatus in 2021, Single Speed Arizona (SSAZ) returned earlier this month – over an action-packed weekend – to Cave Creek. We’ll be hosting a full event report and photo gallery soon, but today we’re kicking off our coverage with a pre-ride tour of Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center and a gallery of bikes (and their riders), which is about as eclectic and diverse as it gets.
Before I go into the story of Single Speed Arizona 2020, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Nate. I’m from Tucson, Arizona and I own a bike shop called Blue Dog Bicycles. I eat, sleep, breathe, shit, and fart mountain biking. I’ve been making unique and challenging routes around Southern Arizona for 11 years and heading out with my friends to try to push ourselves. I host 10-15 bike events a year around Southern Arizona. Everything from taco scavenger hunts to 400-mile gravel epics. Bicycling and the Southern Arizona cycling community are almost all that I care about at this moment in my life.
Single Speed Arizona: Black Canyon Trail Edition
Words by Bryan Harding, photos by Josh Weinberg and Corbin Brady
“It’s the annual family reunion!” a friend exclaimed at Single Speed Arizona (SSAZ) a few years ago and, to me, it’s a sentiment that still holds true. This is in no way meant to indicate the annual ride/race is clique-ish. To the contrary, riders and volunteers descend on Arizona every February from all over the states, including Alaska and occasionally the UK. It doesn’t matter if you’re Lycra-clad, in baggies and pads, or prefer to remain in costume for the day, all riders are equal while pushing single speeds up a steep pitch in search of a cold one. The allure is simple: the weather sucks everywhere else in February, so venture down to Arizona where you can actually spend time outside and have a blast on your bike.