Riding Dirty: High and Dry

April 1, 2014

Riding dirty in the spring is fun. I personally like to go to the desert. Whether singletrack or the open road, I like to ride where, if there is mud, it's red mud. But I mostly like the desert because it's dry. I enjoy the desert flowers that often grace the trail or roadside and the austerity and unique shapes of the desert geology. And of course there is the heat. I love it. Some of my favorite spots are in Southern Utah and the Grand Canyon area. If you want to try a high and dry spring tour with us, I would suggest the Grand Canyon, Van or perhaps Wild Country Utah, Van.

Another option that I love is trying some new trails and touring with friends on my own. I make it into a celebration of the end of winter — sort of a do-it-yourself experiment to get out and enjoy the desert after a long, cold, snowy winter. We have resources on our website to help you plan your own bike vacation on your own terms. A couple of my favorites are Bike Overnights and How to Create Your Own Route.

For the last 14 years or so, my husband and I and 100 of our greatest ski area friends from Northern Utah have been trekking down to Rockville to camp just outside of Zion National Park — to celebrate the end of the ski season in Alta and welcome the coming of summer. The whole idea is to pack away your skis, boots, hats, gloves, and polypro, and go south to do the desert dance with your shorts, sandals, bathing suit, and your bicycle in tow. We have been fortunate to have our friends Max and Julie host us on their property along the Virgin River where we could all camp in style with unbeatable company. The mountain biking trails near Rockville and Springdale are fantastic and there are other rides just a little further out that are accessible by vehicle: the JEM TrailLittle Creek, and Gooseberry Mesa to name a few.

So like me, in the end, you may end up dirty and sandy with a sunburn to boot, but the huge smile on your face and the sun in your heart will last you all year long — even in the longest and coldest days of winter. So give the desert a try, whether it be by mountain or road bike, and enjoy!

Post by Darrah Rogers  | Top photo by Barry Blocker, Grand Canyon Van 2012 | Middle photo by Julie Gregoric, Rockville, UT | Bottom Photo by Barry Blocker, Grand Canyon Van 2012

ON THE ROAD is written by the tours team — Lydia, Darrah, Mike, Mandy, and Arlen — tours specialists and intrepid bicyclists, covering all things related to the Adventure Cycling tours department. Check out our 2014 Guided Tours today!


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