This is what stick season looks like in Vermont and New England: this is why it's time to hit the bike tour circuit in Arizona!

It’s 50 degrees and raining in Vermont and most of New England today. That’s why you need to take a bicycle tour in Arizona!

We are entering the season known to many in the northern parts of the US as stick season: post-foliage, pre-snow. Skies are grey, winds bluster, outdoor adventure is to be had somewhere else. For bicyclists in the know, that place is Arizona’s Sonoran Desert.

Cycling in the Sonoran Desert is about as close to heaven as most of us can get this time of year. Almost any bicycle tour will deliver a little slice of heaven; but winter tours in Arizona deliver many. Sunshine, blue skies, and daytime temperatures in the mid 60s and 70s are only the beginning.

Southeastern Arizona lies at the crossroads of five major bio-geographic regions: the Rocky Mountains, the Sierra Madre of Mexico, and the Chihuahuan, Sonoran and Mojave deserts. The diversity of plants and animals here is the prefect antidote to stick season.

There are more than 1oo species of birds in the Sonoran Desert (101 if you count the snow bird). Arizona is home to the greatest diversity of humming birds in the United States. Sojourn’s bike tours pass through Tucson’s Sabino Canyon, where you’ll find the Broad Billed, Black Chinned, Anna’s, Costa’s and during migration, Rufous hummingbird.

Desert blossoms in the Sonoran Desert: much better than stick season in New England...

Plant life in the Sonoran is dominated by cactus. This is the only place in the world you’ll find the saguaro cactus growing in the wild. Other species of cactus found here include the Cholla, beavertail, hedgehog, fishhook, prickly pear, night blooming cereus, and organ pipe cactus.

Wildlife ranges from the ever-present Gambel’s quail to the Road Runner to the Javelina to the storied cowboy. You’ll get your chance to take part in that particular tale at the Rancho de La Osa Guest Ranch, where you can lose your cycling cleats and don cowboy boots for horseback trail rides.