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Arizona Mountain Biking Holiday Winter 2005

As i still had two weeks of holiday left to use up for 2005 in November I decided to go mountain biking in Arizona, and catch some winter sun shine. Checking out guide books i had from previous holidays to to Arizona it looked like the last week of November through to the first week of December would still allow me to ride up high and low down in the deserts.

Before booking my flights etc, I posted a message on the Arizona forum on MTBR.COM asking about weather conditions and the best rides to do, and found out that the weather should be ok for riding high in the mountains and down in the desert on the dates on i had decided to travel. I also arranged to meet up with two very helpful Arizona locals Dan in Flagstaff and Steve in Phoenix for some rides.

I booked up a direct flight to Phoenix with British Airways from London Heathrow, an SUV from Budget rent-a-car and the only Hotel reservation i made before heading out was with a La-Quinta Inn & Suites located in Scottsdale (Phoenix) for my first 2 nights, where i had found a really good weekend special rate.

The guide books that i used for this holiday are listed below, the guide I used the most was Cosmic Rays, and i used the other MTB book as extra reference where Ray's guide was slightly sketchy.

Check out my Arizona Links page for details of useful Arizona MTB sites

1) Cosmic Rays Arizona Mountain Bike Guide (ISBN : 0-9664769-6-4)

2) Mountain Bike America - Arizona (ISBN : 0-7627-124-4)

3) Lonely Planet Southwest (ISBN : 0-86442-539-2)

I had a fantastic time riding out in Arizona, it only rained once in the two weeks i was out there and that was one night in Flagstaff so did not matter. I managed to ride every day of the holiday, some days even getting a night ride in as well as a day ride.

The only thing that I really didn't like about biking in Arizona was at time the pollution levels really got to me when out riding hard in the Phoenix area, and I always had a dry cough when riding around the Phoenix area. Up higher at Flagstaff and Prescott the air was nice and clean.

Below I have listed top 3 favorite rides of the holiday

1) Blasting down Schultz Creek trail singletrack with Dan in hot pursuit

2) Riding the excellent trails at Pima & Dynamite - so good that i went there 3 times !!

3) Riding around Sedona - as the trails were great and the scenery very impressive

To read more about this holiday click on each day in the left pane, where i have recorded what i got up to on each day, with ride descriptions and pictures.