The Cyclist’s Guide to Scottsdale
Photos courtesy of Bespoke Inn and Bespoke Cycles Scottsdale
When partners and avid cyclists Kate Hennen and Rob Taynton embarked on the design and construction of downtown Scottsdale, Arizona's first small boutique inn, creating a bike-friendly atmosphere was a top priority.
At their four-room Bespoke Inn, uests can borrow English Pashley bicycles for leisurely rides around town, or stop by the inn’s onsite bike shop, Bespoke Cycles Scottsdale, to rent road bikes and gear for more lengthy routes.
Here, Hennen shares her favorite bike rides around Scottsdale, ranging from 11-mile cruises to 80-mile climbs.
Downtown Scottsdale Public Art Tour
This map depicts the art-lovers’ route around downtown Scottsdale, which includes stops at 10 of the city’s most striking public art pieces including the “Soleri Bridge & Plaza” by Paolo Soleri, the “Bronze Horse Fountain” by Bob Parks, and “The Doors” by Donald Lipski, which shows you what it would be like to stand inside a kaleidoscope.
Indian Bend Wash Greenbelt
Just a half-mile from Bespoke Inn, this 11-mile stretch leads to parks, lakes and golf courses in the heart of Scottsdale. View the interactive map here.
Arizona Canal Path
This paved path runs for about 36 miles between Phoenix and Peoria along the Arizona Canal. Pack a lunch for a waterside picnic.
ROAD BIKE RIDES
Saguaro Lake, Usery Mountain Regional Park
A 70-mile ride from Bespoke Inn will net approximately 3,000 feet of climbing through dramatic rugged desert rock formations and rolling two-lane roads with wide shoulders. Saguaro Lake is beautiful anytime during the year, but is especially stunning in the winter and spring when the desert comes alive with an array of colors from the blooming plants.
Expect to have logged approximately 80 miles and almost 4,000 feet of climbing by the time you return to the Bespoke Inn from this ride to Bartlett Lake. Located in the Cave Creek area of the Tonto National Forest, Bartlett Lake is a staple of the Scottsdale cycling scene. Beautiful Sonoran Desert vistas unfold as you climb and descend toward the lake.
Fountain Hills, Rio Verde
A 64-mile loop that takes you through Fountain Hills with a fair amount of moderate climbing. With average temperatures in the mid-70s during the winter and spring, you can expect to log some quality base miles without donning leg or arm warmers. Be the first in your club with tan lines at the season opener!
Paradise Valley is a suburb adjacent to Scottsdale with bike-friendly roads. Offering a variety of ride options, the roads nestled in and around Camelback and Mummy Mountains are well-used by local cyclists and showcase some of the most lavish homes in the valley.
South Mountain Park is one of the largest municipal parks in the country and has one of the best climbs in the greater Phoenix area that tops out with a view of the entire metro area. The park is closed to automobile traffic the fourth Sunday of every month. With approximately 1,300 feet of climbing at a 7-percent gradient over seven miles, South Mountain can provide an exceptional climbing workout. Add a 40-mile perimeter ride around the mountain and log a 63-mile ride with a mountaintop finish.
Need a break? Hennn suggests stopping by these downtown Scottsdale staples for some R&R during your ride.
See also: Essential Scottsdale: What to Do