It's something we hope to do more of in the future and that is explore the world on bike. But for now, we must make do with other people telling us about their own personal favourite routes. CS Velo rider Sean Gardner, who recently broke the US National Record for Everesting, wanted to share one of his favourable routes in Arizona which includes a massive mountain climb...
As a professional athlete, I’ve had the pleasure of travelling far and wide to enjoy cycle routes across the world. I’ve always found the most rewarding rides to not only be a challenge to complete, but also to be breathtakingly beautiful. An essential I bring with me every time is Hammerhead’s Karoo - I have a habit of finding the most remote locations with stunning landscapes, and this smart little device ensures I can always find my way back, without worrying about losing signal.
One of my favourite routes is Mt. Lemmon in Arizona. The brutal climb of 28.44 miles and an elevation gain of 6,938ft is well worth the energy it takes for the amazing variety of terrain and different climates it takes you through.
For the first part of the route, you start out in the desert of Tucson, surrounded by huge cacti. You then start ascending the mountain and you get into the low shrubs and giant red rocks classic of northern Arizona. About halfway up the mountain, you hit the alpine forest and find yourself completely encompassed by pine trees.
Eventually, you reach above the treeline and the landscape and view completely changes again. Here the trees are far more sparse because they can’t survive the altitude and you’re left with a beautifully desolate landscape at the top of the mountain.
At the top there’s a small town with a gas station. While there isn’t much, the best part is a small cafe called the Cookie Cabin that sells cookies the size of your face - perfect for a recovery treat after the gruelling climb. One of the features of the Karoo 2 that makes it my essential for these types of cycle rides is that it shows you points of interest on your route - I love taking the moment to stop at a local cafe or bakery.
The biggest reward is the return trip - 28 miles of downhill cycling, which works out at a full hour of descending and makes the climb all the more worthwhile.