Stages Cycling Barn Burner

Just outside of Flagstaff Arizona, The Barn Burner is endurance mountain bike racing at its Western best.  The course is a 25-mile loop on Coconino and Kaibab Forest Service roads.  Riders have the option of going 1 lap, 2 laps or 4 laps.  Both the 50 and 100 mile versions can be done as a relay.  The course is not technically challenging, and is considered a “roadie” mountain bike course, meaning it is beginner friendly(ish) and fast for those with more experience.  Keep in mind this is also a high altitude event with min/max elevation of 7,277 ft and 8,113 ft respectively.  Total elevation gain for the full course (25 miles) is 2,145 ft.  All in all, you are riding at altitude, in cooler weather, with cool people and camping out — what more can you ask for?

Stages Cycling Barn Burner is the last stop on the Leadville Race Series just outside of Flagstaff Arizona.  The Leadville Race Series is stable of mountain bike events across the US that represent the best in one day competitive experiences.  The series double as qualifier events for the famed Leadville 100 MTB which is the grandaddy of bucket list events for the most serious endurance athletes.

Route map for Barn Burner Course by Michael Melley on plotaroute.com

Tour de Palm Springs – Coachella Valley

The 24th annual Tour de Palm Springs offers a mid winter opportunity to get a big ride in the seasonally mild dessert mountain climate.  This is one of the largest cycling charity events of its kind in America, welcoming 6,000-10,000 riders every year from 46 different states and 4 countries.    The Tour de Palm Springs (and Coachella Valley)  raises money for local charities in the Coachella Valley.   Since 1999, the event has raised over $4,000,000 for Coachella Valley charities.

This years routes include 103, 50, 25, and 10 mile options.  The 103 Mile route has lots of rolling hills and gradual climbs, but nothing to steep.  Total elevation gain for the 100 mile route comes in at 3,200 feet  and 1,700 feet for the 50 mile route.  This is an extremely well supported event with over 2,000 volunteers, 30 SAG vehicles, and 7 food stops.  Entertainment before, during, and after the ride include over 20 bands, vendor expo, post ride party, cheerleaders, and even a marching band!

El Tour de Tucson

2022 will mark the 40th annual edition of the Tour of Tucson, one of Arizona’s largest and longest-running participative events. Held annually the Saturday before Thanksgiving, El Tour is a fundraising ride that features nearly 6,000 cyclists of all ages and abilities from the United States and worldwide. Participants range from novice to professional as they ride either the 100, 57, and 28mile rides. Fun Ride distances are 10, 5, and 1 mile bringing great options for kids and family.  Main event routes feature beautiful landscapes of Tucson and Southern Arizona and the crisp, cool air of the Tucson winter. Of course, mountain ranges and the desert’s signature saguaro cactus are highlighted throughout the route. Course profiles range from flat to rolling or moderately hilly. The 28-mile route is mostly flat, which is great for families and ideal for a first-timers and beginners.

All rides conclude at Armory Park in Downtown Tucson, the location for the day-of-the-event party as well as the two-day packet pickup (Thursday, Friday).

Cyclists collect a commemorative finisher’s medallion based on distance and/or finish time. Conclude your ride at the post-ride party with family and friends at the party complete with music, a Beer Garden, numerous food vendors, El Tour Perimeter Store merchandise, kid’s activities, and the Award Ceremony.

More than 12,000 fans, spectators, and cycling enthusiasts gather to celebrate the weekend that is El Tour de Tucson.