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Hello all,

We are leaving the dreaded Midwest this weekend for three days to either Tucson or Phoenix. Never having been to either city, I am pleading for some advice. Here is a brief list of what is important to us:

--Good roads for riding of course, with some elevation changes (mountains, big hills)
--Hiking/nature close by
--Looking for more quaintness as opposed to giant city
--Some things for my wife to do when I am cycling
--A bit of nightlife


Much appreciated,

Jeff
 

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Tucson Advice

Rather a damning review from the author above! Tucson has pretty good riding although I have never ridden in Phoenix so cannot offer you a comparative review.

Tucson is a good place for riding with some very challenging climbs, the two most notable are Mt. Lemmon which is about a 25 mile climb at an average of roughly 5% gradient and the climb up Kitt Peak with the bonus of seeing the telescopes at the top, this is a bit steeper but much shorter. Just note at the moment that although Tucson is currently around the low to mid-60F, the temperatures will be colder on the mountain which will make the decent pretty unpleasant. A ride that is nice is through Saguaro National Park, with a climb over Gates Pass back to town which is pretty short but steep and a great climb.

As far as Tucson itself, it is a pretty big city with a small town feel, it is pretty spread out. I live on the north side, just north of Oro Valley. Most of the roads have cycle lanes although they aren't regularly swept so watch out for glass. There are numerous nice places to stay, Miraval is about 1 mile from where I live and is a popular haunt for Oprah. There are a lot of decent restaurants worth checking out and if you want to visit some high end bike shops we have plenty (Fairwheel, Arizona Cyclist, Miles Ahead, Arizona Bicycle Experts and Trisports all have as much eye candy as you would want to see).

A good resource for local rides can be found at:
http://psy1.psych.arizona.edu/cgi-bin/megahurtz

If you need any further information let me know. Enjoy your vacation!
 

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My brother and mother live in Pheonix, so I've been there a lot. The mountain biking is good, but the road riding isn't. I don't know about Tucson, but Sierra Vista, Bisby, Tombstone area has good riding.

Sajuaro National Park (Monument?), not too far from Tucson, has good hiking.

If you're up for a drive, an amazing place is Chiracahua National Monument, about 100 miles from Tucson. My hike there is in my all-time top 10.

http://www.nps.gov/chir/
 

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Hermia commutes
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Come to Tucson. Almost all roads are bike-friendly (the drivers less so!) and there are tons of good long rides. If you pick Tucson, you could drop your wife off at the Sonora Desert Museum and ride from there. Long stretches of pretty quiet desert roads with great scenery and rolling hills. Greater Arizona Bicycling Association is the local bike resource, but I don't know their website. River Road has good bike lanes, too, and winds through Tucson on the East-West axis. Good luck.
 

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Tucson

Rides all over the valley, desert, mountains, high plains south of town.

More ride info here

http://www.aliciarides.com/

Phoenix is a big city, lots of traffic, no bike lanes. endless suburbs.

Lots of Phx rider drive the 100 miles to Tucson just ride Mt Lemmon.

No contest really, unless you need to have "world class" shopping as part of your trip.
 

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I've ridden in both places. I wouldn't even think about returning to Phoenix. Tuscon has some great riding, is much more scenic, lots cleaner air, and south of town is Tombstone, Bisbee and other great places to ride.
 
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