Cycling vacations create everlasting memories that help inspire and sustain healthy lifestyles. For many of us, it’s our favorite way to experience beautiful places, our favorite way to be invigorated in the great outdoors, and a fantastic way to share adventures with those who are special to us. We thought we’d share a few favorite rides from our intermediate and avid summer cycling vacations to help whet your appetite. Begin your dreaming here and, remember, these are dreams that really can come true.
This great ride provides expansive scenic reward throughout the climb up Cadillac Mountain, the highest mountain on the east coast of the US. It features a bald, granite-domed summit with spectacular 360° views over the islands and coastline of Downeast Maine. This epic option during the final day of our very scenic Acadia bike tour is perfect for both intermediate and avid cyclists alike with a max grade of 7.3% and an elevation gain of 1100’ over 3 ½ miles. Yes, those are Sojourn guests riding the gradual and winding road to the top – you can do it this summer too!Read More
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!Read More
As we descended upon the breakfast place next door this morning – great spot called the Gathering Grounds – everyone was excited for another sunny day. A burrito loaded with poblanos, spinach, avocado, green chilies and black beans seemed to be calling my name but a mouthwatering display of pastries was awfully tempting. Thankfully, our leaders had enough insight to pick up some of the “sweet stuff” to add to our lunch!
Today’s ride led us over a beautiful route where the only vehicle was saw was the Sojourn van. In addition to far-reaching views, we rode through unusual rock formations as we climbed to a picturesque lake, certainly a rare desert oasis. Half the group chose to shuttle ahead to walk the trails around the lake while the rest of us tackled the climb. As we all re-grouped for picnic overlooking the lake, I marveled at how our leaders, so supportive during our rides, found time to prepare delicious Southwestern spread for lunch.Read More
I have to admit, I could happily spend the winter months doing our Arizona bike tours one after another though my wife and my boss probably wouldn’t approve. Leaving Tucson behind, we climbed steadily to a stunning plateau showcasing mountain vistas and miles of traffic-free riding!
Our first stop would be Arizona’s oldest vineyard to learn the history of winemaking in the region and to enjoy a sampling during our catered lunch. Lori, the granddaughter of the winery founder, took great pride in showcasing the fruits of her family’s labor. It’s incredible that most all of the moisture for growth in Arizona’s Wine Country comes during a two month period of sudden downpours during the summer.Read More
Writing in from our bike tour in Arizona – Day Two! As we meandered east today, I couldn’t help but think how grateful I was to revel in summer-like conditions during our ride: sunny and warm, not a cloud in the sky! It was evident that our ‘packtrain’ of sorts developed an early bond as we all paused for refreshments at the surreal sight of the Airplane Graveyard. Decommissioned (retired) planes stretch as far as the eye can see and the sheer numbers make me wonder what these aircraft experienced in a past life. Pushing on toward open desert excited me as our destination was one of those special places set aside solely for the “benefit and enjoyment of the people” – one of our nation’s amazing National Parks.
The loop around Saguaro National Park is extremely well-suited for bicycles whether you choose to ride casually and soak in the scenery or let it all out, swooping over the rolling terrain. I’ve never witnessed such profuse numbers of statuesque cacti in one place in my life, and for good reason given the plants’ seriously limited ability to grow elsewhere. When we paused for lunch we were treated to a wonderful spread put on by our fearless leaders. I have no idea how they managed to find time to accomplish such an inviting array of foods amidst the events of the day – it was truly delicious!Read More