Usher in the Year 2017 by touring with us in sunny, warm Arizona and California, and spend New Year's Eve pondering how you're going to be averaging 80-100 miles a day for the first six days of the new year. Just see if your friends can top that! What better place to be when the rest of the world is trying to sort through their problems? We'll be using a great course through central and western Arizona, as well as Southern California.
Southwest Desert Journey is a fully-supported tour of the southernmost of US deserts. At a time when most of the country is buried in snow, you can cycle away your worries and have your every need catered to.
The route uses one big continuous (and sometimes self-crossing) loop, starting and finishing in Phoenix, where many flights are available. Riders will gather on the evening of 31st December, and be ready to ride bright and early the next morning. The trail fee covers everything except your evening meal (see the registration page for complete pricing information). All breakfasts, lunches, snack stops, and motels (9 nights) are included in the fee.
This will be a first-class tour. You'll have all the food you need each day. We'll be staying at nice inns and motels along the entire route. Most importantly, though, you can rest assured that the route has been researched thoroughly AND ridden and/or driven in its entirety. Your cycling pleasure is our goal. We can handle up to 25 riders. Our goal is to provide the level of personalized attention that we ourselves would want. Register early!
Half-tour or other partial options are also available. Please call or email for more information. Essentially you can select any number of consecutive days of the tour, but transportation to/from your starting and ending points will be up to you.
Travel Arrangements: You should plan to arrive in Phoenix AZ on the 31st of December. The international airport is only a few minutes away, and our host hotel is accessible by taxi. If you need assistance here, we will be glad to put you in contact with the hotel. We will return to Phoenix on the 8th of January. You are free to depart right after the ride, although your lodging is included in the trail fee.
Bicycle Containers: We will have room for your bicycle boxes in our equipment trailer, but they must be knocked down (disassembled) during this time. Other cases will be allowed as well, but please notify us in advance if you will be bringing a hard-shell case. If need be, we may rent storage space in the Phoenix area, since we will be returning to our origination.
Personal Luggage: Each Desert Journey is allowed one suitcase (up to 29") or one large duffel bag, NOT MORE THAN 40 pounds, as well as a computer backpack.
What Kind of Riding to Expect: The terrain is predominantly flat, with some desert grades thrown in. There will be 10.5 hours of available daylight each day, and with a lot of flat land to cover, anyone with a reasonable fitness base should do very well. This is not a race, so riders can choose their riding pace. There will be no riding after dark; we require all riders to be off the road at sunset, even if it means "sagging in."
What Kind of Weather is Normal? Normal highs range from 65-70F; low temperatures range from the upper-40s to the mid-50sF. Rainfall is virtually unheard of this time of year in the desert.
What Kinds of Clothing Should I Bring? There are eight days of riding, so bring enough to get your through this time period (there are places to do laundry along the way). It would be a good idea to bring enough variety in your gear that you could feel comfortable if the weather turned chilly. Tights, long-sleeve jerseys, jackets, glove liners, and one pair of warm socks would be good items to bring, just in case. If you have sensitive feet, bring your shoe covers. It's better to be prepared than to be caught off-guard. As for "regular" clothes, since you will spend most of your time riding, you'll only need 2-3 different casual outfits.
What's the Cost? The fee is $1599 double occupancy; private rooms are available for a single supplement fee of $599. Riders desiring Double Occupancy must provide their own roommate; otherwise, a Single Supplement will be assessed. If you pay after 1st December, there is a $100 additional fee. All fees are due not later than 15th December. We strongly recommend you secure your spot by making a $500 refundable deposit (refundable through 15 November).
What Do I Get For the Money? You will get 9 nights lodging 31 Dec through 08 January), breakfast at the hotel, lunch, road snacks, sag support, commemorative Desert Journey wearables, a nice suntan, and, most importantly, a great time touring the desert southwest!
Chow Time at Desert Journey: One thing is for sure: cyclists work up an incredible appetite riding the bike. As active cyclists, we know what it takes to keep cyclists happy and well-fueled. Thus, we make sure your belly is full at all times. We start each day with breakfast at our hotel (usually a Holiday Inn Express).
We have two snack stops during most days as well (approximately at mile 25 and 75), where we have fruit, cookies, sports drinks, water, Pop-Tarts, muffins, Little Debbie snacks, and well-known sports nutrition products. We also break for lunch after 50-60 miles. Melissa will have a nice place chosen for our midday meal. Served picnic style, she fires up the grill and prepares grilled cheese sandwiches, chili, spaghetti, hot dogs, burritos, soup, and a variety of other hot dishes. We also keep the regular stand-bys handy, like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and cold cuts. There's always some kind of salad, as well as dessert items.
Riders are responsible for their own dinners. We have scouted each Desert Journey stay-over town in advance, finding the best "feed zones." They're usually just a short walk away from our place of lodging.
We never want you to go hungry. If you lose weight during Desert Journey, it's only because you want to lose weight. We'd rather err on the safe side. Besides...Melissa loves to feed hungry riders.
The complete itinerary packet will be sent in early December to all registered riders.