Arizona Sonoran Desert & Tucson Bicycle Tour 2018

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or 706-363-0341 or 800-490-2173
 
Celebrating 11 years bicycling the best of all 50 states, where will you go next?
 
2018
 
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  • Cycle through the Arizona Sonoran Desert, an amazing experience and although in the desert the weather is normally ideal for riding in October; the perfect final warm ride of the season before the winter is upon us
  • We ride on "The Loop"  completely paved bike path that encircles the city of Tucson and overlooks the Santa Cruz and Arroyo Chico rivers
  • Before we even see our first mirage, we will take in the two visually dominant life forms of plants specifically found in the Sonoran Desert: legume trees and columnar cactus from behind our handle bars
  • We of course will see two of the most well known artist and craft communities in Arizona: Tubac and Patagonia
  • Snack on some of the best homemade pastries available anywhere in the U.S. at the Tubac Deli & Coffee Co.
  • We have a scheduled Free Day to explore the various tourist destinations in the Tucson area on your own, including the eastern or western side of the Saguaro National Park; the Pima Air & Space Museum & "Boneyard" featuring 4,000+ planes on 2600 acres; or Biosphere 2, which was originally built to show the viability of human life in outer space; or if you are very adventurous climb/ride down Mount Lemmon.
  • The sites in the Sonoran desert are beautiful and although we are not climbing mountains, we are taking in all the beauty of the mountains, plains and foothills surrounding us
  • The untouched beauty of the Arizona desert are sights we will remember for years into the future
Day 1, Saturday
 
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Check into the hotel throughout the day. Explore Tucson, Arizona, one of the most bike friendly large cities in the U.S. with designated bicycling streets and numerous bike paths and designated bike routes. Tucson is surrounded by saguaro (cacti) forests and mountain peaks with the excitement and amenities of a thriving city. Enjoy unique Southwestern cuisine, arts and shops. Meet around 5:00 pm for the welcome meeting and dinner.
 
Dinner:
 
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El Corral
-One of the oldest restaurants in Tucson, dating back to the original restaurant on the site in 1926-

Tucson, Arizona

 
Salad:
El Corral Garden Salad

Entrée choices:
* Prime Rib - Over 50 years of experience has taught El Corral how to make the most tender and delicious prime rib around. Slow roasted, we serve it with au jus and uncut horseradish.
* Shrimp Special - Large shrimp grilled on our mesquite fire.
* Tucson Chicken Breast - Mesquite grilled chicken breast stuffed with green chilies and cheese
* Salmon Fillet - A fresh cut of salmon served with lemon and butter

Lodging:

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Homewood Suites by Hilton
-Located adjacent to "The Loop" Bike Path-
Tucson, Arizona
(All suites hotel, swimming pool, 2 fitness rooms, full kitchen and Internet)

 
Day 2, Sunday
 
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Bicycle from hotel and immediately join "The Loop" bike path as we head to the awe inspiring beauty of the Mission San Xavier de Bac, riding primarily on bike paths overlooking the Rillito River and the Santa Cruz River.  Make a stop at the Mission, known as the White Dove of the Desert, which can be viewed for miles before arrival. Stop to take pictures of the church, visit the gift shop or get a bite to eat at the small local restaurant.  The church was originally built in 1783 and has never been completed; though, it has been in continuous operations. Continue riding south and view the mountains and what appear to be mountains, but are actually two huge copper mines. Enjoy the city of Green Valley which is one of the most popular destinations for people spending the winters in the Southwest.
 
Bicycling Route: 18 miles, riding from the hotel in Tucson to Mission San Xavier Del Bac (mostly on bike paths); or 42 miles, riding to Mission San Xavier and then continuing on very low traffic roads to the hotel in Green Valley (including one of the most spectacular 2.7 miles downhill rides on Helmet Peak Road.)
 
Lodging:
 
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Best Western Green Valley
Green Valley, Arizona
(Swimming Pool, Hot Tub, fitness room and Internet)
 
Dinner: 
On your own.
 
Day 3, Monday

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Head further south to Rio Rico, enjoying the desert views, while always viewing the mountains in the distance. Take a stop at Tubac, which was established in 1752 as a Spanish presidio. Working artists with art galleries, working studios and gift shops now surround the area that once served as the home for a Spanish military garrison. Have a bite to eat at one of the many small locally owned restaurants including Tubac Deli & Coffee Co. that makes some of the best homemade pastries anywhere in the U.S. Take a stop at Tumacacori National Historic Park, which was the first Anglo settlement in what is today Arizona.
 
Bicycling Route: 20 miles, riding from the hotel to Tubac (riding on one of the most popular cycling routes in Arizona); or 33 miles, taking a stop at Rio Rico and then continuing on to the hotel in Rio Rico also taking another optional break to see the Tumacacori National Historic Park)
 
Lodging:
 
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Esplendor Resort
-Reopening in spring 2018 after undergoing an 18-month massive renovation
Rio Rica, Arizona
(Swimming Pool, Hot Tub, fitness room and Internet)
 
Dinner:
 
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San Cayetano Restaurant
Rio Rico, Arizona

 
Salad:
San Cayetano Salad

Entrée choices:

  • New York Strip Steak - Grilled and topped with specialty-made Amaretto Demi Glace. 
  • Chicken Relleno - Panko breaded chicken breast stuffed with Jack Cheese with roasted green chiles and mushrooms.
  • Camarones Rancheros - Butterflied shrimp in Ranchero style salsa
  • Lemon Butter Sole - Softly baked Sole topped with a lemon butter sauce with capers
  • Classic Caesar Salad & Tortilla Soup - Hearts of Romaine tossed in creamy Caesar dressing with herbed croutons and Roasted chilies with pinto beans, corn, onions and herbs with fried corn tortillas, Monterrey Jack Cheese and Avocado soup.
Day 4, Tuesday
 
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We ride to Padagonia, the laid-back and bird watching town of Patagonia. Have a bite to eat at the Gathering Grounds, a delicious deli and coffee shop. Visit this part of Arizona with land that is virtually undiscovered and unbelievably beautiful. The climate is mild with lots of abundant sunshine and the terrain is high desert prairie grassland surrounded by magnificent mountains. We will then load the bikes and proceed by van back to Tucson.

Bicycling Route: 0 miles, taking the SAG van to Patagonia; 27 miles, riding from the hotel to Patagonia (riding beside the dry river bed for part of the route before viewing the wide-open beauty of Arizona)

Lodging:

 
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Homewood Suites by Hilton
-Located adjacent to "The Loop" Bike Path
Tucson, Arizona
(All suites hotel, swimming pool, 2 fitness rooms, full kitchen and Internet)

Dinner:
On your own

Day 5, Wednesday

 
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Experience a Free Day to explore the various tourist destinations in the Tucson area on your own, including the eastern or western side of the Saguaro National Park, featuring, featuring large saguaro cactus; the Pima Air & Space Museum with 80 acres of aircraft or the additional "Boneyard" Tour featuring 4,000+ planes on 2600 acres; or Biosphere 2, which was originally built to show the viability or human life in outer space in an enclosed ecological structure; or if you are very adventurous climb/ride down Mount Lemmon.
 
Lodging: 
 
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Homewood Suites by Hilton
-Located adjacent to "The Loop" Bike Path
Tucson, Arizona
(All suites hotel, swimming pool, 2 fitness rooms, full kitchen and Internet)

Dinner:
On your own

Day 6, Thursday

 
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After eating breakfast, we ride around the entire city of Tucson on "The Loop" bike path, riding past 28 parks and following rivers on one of the largest connected bike paths in any city in the U.S.
 
Bicycling Route: 0 miles, staying at the hotel; 27 miles, riding from the hotel to the PIMA Air & Space Museum; or 52 miles, riding the complete route encircling the city from and to the hotel. 
 
Lodging: 
 
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Homewood Suites by Hilton
-Located adjacent to "The Loop" Bike Path
Tucson, Arizona
(All suites hotel, swimming pool, 2 fitness rooms, full kitchen and Internet)

 
Dinner:
 
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Tavolino Ristorante Italiano
-Zagat Rated
Tucson, Arizona
 
Salad:
Tavolino Garden Salad

Entrée choices:

  • Pizza - Made fresh in the Wood Burning Pizza Oven, including Burrata e Pomodorini: Burrata, cherry tomatoes, oregano and basil
  • Salmone alla Griglia - Filet of salmon grilled medium rare with roasted potatoes an garlic broccolini
  • Filetto di Maiale - Pork tenderloin wrapped in prosciutto, red wine reduction sauce, roasted potatoes and baby spinach
  • Salti in Bocca alla Romana - Veal medallions, prosciutto and sage, white wine reduction sauce, gnocchi alla romana and spinach
 
Day 7, Friday
 
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Wake up in Tucson and ride on your own throughout the city or enjoy the pool before heading home.
 

Please note all trip information is based on previous trips and/or contracted lodging and restaurants and is subject to change based on availability or specific trip needs.
 
Riding difficulty:

Riders who are comfortable riding at least 10 miles per hour should have an enjoyable trip. We have designed the routes utilizing bike paths wherever possible with the first and last day utilizing bike paths. Though we are surrounded by mountains the routes were designed to have very little climbing as possible since we are in the foothills. Of course, if a rider is tired or does not feel like riding, the SAG vehicle will transport the rider to the hotel. All routes are on paved bike paths and low-volume roads. All riders may ride at their own pace, slow or fast.

Arriving by automobile:

Drive to the Homewood Suites by Hilton, Tucson/St. Philip's Plaza, 4250 N Campbell Ave, Tucson, Arizona, leaving your car at the hotel for the duration of the trip.

Arriving by Plane:
Fly directly into Tucson International Airport, then rent a car and leave it at the starting hotel for the duration of the trip; or take Uber or Lyft to the starting hotel.
 
Deposit:
  • $200 to reserve your spot and the remainder due 45 days before the trip start.  
What's included:
  • Hotel lodging
  • Ride packets including maps & cue sheets (directions)
  • Fully sagged including ride leaders, luggage transport, van transportation and rider assistance.
  • Breakfast with the group each morning
  • Dinner with the group three nights (see above)
  • Fun and Enjoyment
Bicycles:
  • Most riders bring their own bicycles.
  • To ship your bike: we would suggest using shipbikes.com or bikeflight.com for shipping directly to the starting hotel: Homewood Suites by Hilton, Tucson/St. Philip's Plaza, 4250 N Campbell Ave, Tucson, Arizona 85718
  • To rent a bicycle, please contact Tucson Bike Rentals 520-260-8293
Weather in October in the Tucson area: 
  • Average High 84°F
  • Average Low 57°F

 

Contact Information:

Vacation Bicycling, LLC
1860 Barnett Shoals Rd, Ste 103-514
Athens, GA 30605
Phone: 706-363-0341 or 800-490-2173 or email your question to our short Contact Form
 
Celebrating 11 years bicycling the best of all 50 states, where will you go next?
 
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