Astonishing, mesmerizing, and other-worldly are not unusual reactions to first rides among the towering Saguaro cacti of southern Arizona. On what are typically brilliant blue sky days, the bright green hues of the Saguaro stand in stark contrast to a rugged and rocky landscape. From the seat of a bicycle, one often feels awestruck by the beauty and diversity of this extraordinary place, the sweet fragrance of desert flowers, and lilting sounds of myriad birds.

Even the most avid of cyclists can be slowed to a crawl by the compelling need to capture their experience through the lens of a camera. A 100′ Saguaro, a flowering Prickly Pear and a Jumping Cholla – snap, snap, snap. Hop back on the bike, pedal a few strokes, and there’s a multi-armed Saguaro that looks like a long, tall Texan. Roadrunners dart from shadow to shadow, teasing a photographer to get a clear shot. Sometimes it’s easier to settle for evening photos!

The Stage Stop Inn in Patagonia, AZ (Kevin Lindsay)

During a recent late fall tour, Sojourn guest Kevin Lindsay took some excellent photographs, including a few that we’ve added to our Arizona Bike Tour Gallery. Hailing from Ontario, he and his wife Nancy decided one last dose of sunshine and warm weather was just what they needed before the long Canadian winter sets in.

“From our first ride in Sabino Canyon to cycling through grasslands where John Wayne drove cattle to strolling among artist’s displays in Tubac, each day provided new and unique experiences. Not being ones to sit day-after-day on a beach, we wanted a trip that combined our love of cycling with our desire to see southern Arizona at a pace that would allow us to fully take in all the beautiful scenery. The trip was everything we hoped it would be and we have many fond memories, including of new friends we hope to see again soon as we continue to experience the good life, by bike!”

The Sonoran Desert, which encompasses all of the region included in our Arizona Bike Tour, features an array of plants such as the recognizable giant Saguaro which grows wild only here. Interestingly, the Sonoran Desert consists of much more than what we typically think of as a desert. Pedaling through riparian areas of deciduous forest and across sprawling grasslands serves as a reminder of the many unique environments that enable unusual flora and fauna to thrive…and provide many fantastic subjects for photographing.

We’re still looking for that perfect shot of the elusive Roadrunner…beep, beep!