Cyclerides.com Weekly Update



Greetings Riders,


I would first like to extend our condolences and send our thoughts and prayers to those who lost loved ones and were involved in the Tucson shootings this past weekend. I can't imagine what the people who witnessed this must be going through right now and my heart goes out to them. It is humbling to see how one deranged person with a gun can change the lives of so many people in a matter of seconds. No matter how much we try to protect ourselves, things like this remind us how unpredictable and fragile life can be, especially when evil is released into this world. Unfortunately, this sad event has already been politicized and will be for the next few months. Some in the government will try to over regulate, but no matter what new laws are put into place, it is still a matter of fact that evil people are going to do evil things. We just have to do the best we can to protect ourselves and others.


Hearing about these types of unexpected random tragedies should remind us to make sure that we always give our loved ones a hug, a kiss and a blessing of protection on the way out the door. That's all the control we really have. May God Bless and give the strength to carry on to all who were affected.



Cyclerides.com Top 5 Destination Rides in Arizona


Prime riding season will soon be upon us and I for one am already putting together a "to do list" of where I would like to go. We have some beautiful places to ride in the State of Arizona and the scenery is so diverse that within a couple of hours the landscape can completely change. I have been fortunate enough to have seen most of the State and am now planning on visiting some of what I consider to be the most special places from the North to the South. 


This week I will list for you 5 of my favorite destinations in the State. Some happen to have good roads to get to them, some not so much. But these are 5 destinations of what I consider worthy of putting on your "to do list" this year. I will give you a brief description of each and then a link to the story and photos. These will be listed from the Northern part of the State to the South.


1. North Rim of the the Grand Canyon.   

Whenever anyone mentions the Grand Canyon, the South Rim is usually what they are referring to. It is the closest to the Phoenix area, the easiest to get to and the most often visited by far. In fact, of the 5 million visitors to the Grand Canyon every year, only about 10% make it to the North Rim. But as far as I'm concerned, those 90% are missing the real beauty of the Grand Canyon. The North Rim is much more beautiful in my opinion. It seems to be enhanced by more erosion which creates more of a 3D look to the canyon versus the "big ditch" look of the South Rim. It is a really pretty ride to get there and plenty of miles to ride along the rim. Cabins are available for overnight stay. Dress warm as it is at 8800 feet in elevation. The park is only open from Mid-May to Mid-October. Put this one at the top of your list for an overnight ride this year. Click Here for Full Story.

Click Here for Google Map.

Click Here for 190 Beautiful Photos.


2. Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon.

Located just 25 miles South of Flagstaff, Arizona.The red rocks of Sedona at 5000 feet in elevation are so unique and one of a kind that it is a place that I never seem to get tired of. I have ridden all over the Western United States and Canada and haven't seen a place that compares to the color and beauty of Sedona, Arizona. And the good part is that it is only 90 miles away from Phoenix. People come from all over the world to see the red rocks of Sedona and it also happens to be one of the best places to ride a motorcycle through. The best way to get the full view of riding into Sedona is to take Hwy. 179 off of I-17. This way you get the views for about 20 miles as you ride in. There are plenty of places to eat, stay or hike while you are there. Then head up 89A toward Flagstaff to cap off your ride. This is a really good 25 miles of riding. Here are some photos from the ground. And here are some exceptional photos from the air that will give you an overview of what you will see.

Here is a link to the Day Ride feature for Sedona that was done several years ago with a map that includes Jerome.

Click Here for Map.

Click Here for Full Story.


3. Tortilla Flat and Canyon Lake.

Located just 14 miles East of Apache Junction, Arizona. This destination has been and always will be my favorite ride in the Valley area. If you are looking for a ride with magnificent desert landscape packed with centuries old Saguaro cactus nestled in between the mountain backdrops of the Tonto National Forest, this is the one for you. In my opinion, if that is your criteria, this is one of the most beautiful, curvy, and enjoyable rides that you can take in the Phoenix area topped off by an extraordinary view of Canyon Lake as you make your way to the old stopping point known as Tortilla Flat for lunch. Don't forget to take the additional 6 miles of asphalt past Tortilla Flat. Most riders have not done this section or have even heard of it. But it is the icing on the cake. When the road turns to dirt, turn around and enjoy the 20 miles back to Apache Junction.

Click Here for links to recent Story, Photos and Map.

Click Here for original Day Ride Feature with map.

Ever wonder what the road looks like from the air? Click here for a birds eye view. Very interesting.


4. Mt. Lemmon and the Catalina Highway.

Located on the outskirts of Tucson, Arizona. The ride up to Mt. Lemmon on Catalina Highway is exceptional in many ways and is a motorcyclists gem of the Southwest. This 30 miles of road has you in awe from the beginning as you ride through 3 eco-systems with massive amounts of huge saguaros and beautiful desert, twisty roads and canyons, breathtaking vistas that will have you rubber necking to get a peek as you are riding, Hoodoo's that will entertain you followed by tall pines and Aspen as you drop into Summerhaven to try and absorb all that you have just experienced. It is truly like being in 3 different places all in a 30 mile ride. The best way that I can describe this ride is that you start out on your way to Tortilla Flat, you get a glimpse of Bryce Canyon minus the red Hoodoo's on your way to the Sierra Nevada's and Yosemite National Park in California before ending up in Colorado. At the top in Summerhaven there is a good little place to eat. This is at 8200 feet. So check the weather before you go. Click Here for the Full Story with photos and maps.

Click Here for the original Day Ride feature with maps.

Click Here for Map


5. Kartchner Caverns.

Located at Kartchner Caverns State Park just 50 miles Southeast of Tucson, Arizona. Kartchner Caverns has got to be one of the coolest and most memorable places that I have been in Arizona. Kartchner Caverns is a still virtually pristine massive limestone cave that has 13,000 feet of passages and two rooms as long as football fields. The State Park offers tours through these multi-colored formations that are live and still developing today. You will see the 58 foot tall Kubla Khan column as well as many other formations.


The Caverns are the combination of the awesome colors and natural beauty that nature has been preparing for us over the last 200,000 years combined with the diligence of the State Parks to bring to us this phenomenon and light it in such a way that it is a real "life experience". I'm not going to give it away, but the end of the 1.5 hour tour is phenomenal. The last 5 minute production is worth the whole trip, you will be moved by this experience. The visit to Kartchner is still something that I think about often. The park is open year round. There are 2 separate tours in 3 rooms that you can take. The Big Room is only open October - April. You will need to make tour reservations ahead of time as there is limited space per tour. Cost is $22.95 per person for ages 14+ and well worth it.

I highly recommend a visit for the whole family to Kartchner Caverns.

Click Here for my story with maps and photos.

Click Here for Map to Kartchner Caverns.

Click Here for Kartchner Caverns State Park information and to buy tickets.


So these are 5 of my top destinations to put on your upcoming list of places to ride. I will be visiting all of these myself again this year. Enjoy and RIDE SAFE!



This Week


Saturday, January 15th

2nd Annual Stand Up Stand Proud Salute to American Veterans. Motorcycle Event helping homeless veterans. Event to be held at the Mesa Market Place located at Baseline and Signal Butte of U.S. 60 Hwy. 8am - 2pm. Registration $10. Parking, registration and breakfast begins at 8am. Salute begins at 10am. Bands begin at Noon. See flyer for all details.


Saturday, January 15th

Anthem Buddy Stubbs Hogs and Dogs. Join us for free hot dogs, drinks, music and much more from 11:00AM to 3:00PM for our New Year's Kickoff Party at Buddy Stubbs Anthem Harley-Davidson. Get up to 75% off selected items!!! Featured products include Headwear, T-Shirts, Housewares and Helmets. Stop by this weekend and help us kick off the New Year of riding. Buddy Stubbs Anthem is located at 41715 N. 41st Dr. in Anthem, AZ 85086. 623-465-1122.


Sunday, January 16th

Arrowhead Harley-Davidson SWAP MEET. This is your time to clean out that garage and get rid of a few things you have been tripping over. If you don't have anything to sell, then come by to find that nugget you didn't know you needed. Set up for vendors from 8:30am - 9:30am. Event time from 9:30am - 1pm. There will also be a Ladies of Harley Bake Sale and Hot Dog vendor on site. Limited spaces, so please call 623-247-5542 to reserve your spot. Arrowhead HD is located at 16130 N. Arrowhead Fountain Center Dr. in Peoria, AZ 85382.


Next Week


Saturday, January 22nd

Tucson Harley-Davidson Swap Meet. This is your time to clean out that garage and get rid of a few things you have been tripping over. If you don't have anything to sell, then come by to find that nugget you didn't know you needed. Set up for vendors from 8:00am - 9:00am. Event time from 9:00am - 2pm. There will also be a Hot Dog vendor on site and Harley Girls. Limited spaces, so please call 520-751-3389 to reserve your spot. Tucson HD is located at 7355 N. I-10 Frontage Rd. East in Tucson, AZ 85743. 520-751-3380 


Upcoming Events


February 25th-27th

Checkered Flag Run. The Checkered Flag Run is a weekend in Arizona hosted by the Second II None Phoenix Motorcycle Club, Phoenix International Raceway and Talking Stick Resort and Casino. The weekend culminates with an escorted motorcycle run from Talking Stick Resort and Casino to Phoenix International Raceway to watch NASCAR Drivers, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson tear up the track in the SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, Sunday, February 27th, 2011. 3 days of activities and fun. Go to www.checkeredflagrun.com for more information. Click Here for tickets.




Mid Week Updates will be made on the Cyclerides.com Facebook.

New Easy to remember Facebook address. Go to Cyclerides.com Facebook. Over 2800 FANS!

Take a look at all the new photos posted on the wall. If you are not on Facebook, you can still view the page, but you will not be able to post. There will be a link there for you to sign up for Facebook if you are inclined. Click the LIKE button!


The new Biker Information Guide is now out and expanded by 16 pages. Pick up a copy at your local dealership.


Ever wonder how referees get their training for dealing with coaches? This commercial has an answer. Click Here to View.


Here is an elaborate practical joke. The looks on the faces of these people are pretty funny. Click Here to View.


Video of the Week: Here is a commercial that shows that sometimes it is better to be lucky than good. Click Here to View. Click on the Video of the Week graphic on the page.


If you would like to sign up for the Cyclerides.com Weekly Update Click Here.


Until Next Week,
Blessings and Safe Riding To All,
Barry Caraway
"The Road Is Yours - Take The Ride"


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