For adventurous riders who don’t mind biking 10 or 20 (or more!) miles at a time, bike lanes and bikeable routes lead outward from downtown Phoenix to different parts of town—and even into different cities.
From downtown, ride east to Papago Park to admire sandstone buttes and visit the Desert Botanical Garden and the Phoenix Zoo. To the north of Greater Phoenix, the Sonoran Preserve’s Skip Rimsza Paseo is a five-mile, paved multi-use path that winds past the gentle hills of the city’s newest desert preserve. To the south, South Mountain Park—with its more than 16,000 acres of desert and mountainous terrain—is ideal for cycling. During the park’s monthly Silent Sundays, the rule on the paved roads is bikes only, no cars allowed. Pedal to numerous viewpoints with breathtaking city vistas.
Naturally, you’ll want to stop for sustenance along the way. Gertrude’s serves up seasonal dishes at its indoor/outdoor setting in the midst of Papago Park’s Desert Botanical Garden, while The Farm at South Mountain offers breakfast and lunch options in the shade of an old pecan grove. On the way back from the Sonoran Preserve, coast into Culinary Dropout at The Yard, a former motorcycle garage, for cocktails and appetizers.
Moderate to difficult
Written by Nora Burba Trulsson. Originally printed in the 2016 Phoenix Official Travel Guide, published by Madden Media.
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