Whether you're an avid mountain biker or a leisurely road cyclist, you'll find year-round fun in Cochise County. In addition to the beautiful scenery, there are interesting ghost towns and historic places which make it almost essential that you bring a camera to capture sights along the way. The rural roads which wind among the various mountain ranges lend themselves well to loop rides and can accommodate every level of expertise from beginner to veteran. Traffic on most of the back roads is light to non-existent.
A mountain biking enthusiast may want to match his or her time against the record holders for the killer hill-climb of the Vuelta de Bisbee, a 2.1-mile ride up Tombstone Canyon, featuring a 700-ft altitude gain.
LaVuelta de Bisbee Held annually in April A 3-day staged bicycle race through Bisbee, Hereford, and Tombstone. For more information, Bisbee Visitor Center, 866-2BISBEE or (520) 432-3554.
Ghost Town Loop
The back roads around some of the ghost towns in the Pearce area offer a pleasant ride of around 30 miles, from Pearce (4400 ft.) through Courtland (4790 ft.) to Gleeson (4923 ft.). The dirt road continues on to U.S. 80 Tombstone.
Chiricahua National Monument
In the Chiricahua National Monument bikers must remain on the paved road, but it is a challenging road, to say the least. From the junction of state routes 181 and 186 it is a three-mile ride to the park's entrance. There is an entrance fee ($3 for bicycles, $5 for automobiles.) From the entrance you'll travel to the visitor center at 5400 ft. After this the road climbs through Bonita Canyon and up to Massai point at an elevation of 6870 ft. At this point there is a self-guided nature hike that will get you up close to some of the fantastic balanced rocks and other wonders of the area. The view is incredible. The ride down is easy, but it is especially necessary to be wary of the blind curves and oversize vehicles.
San Pedro Riparian Conservation Area (BLM)
Bicycles are allowed on designated roads and trails, including the San Pedro Trail from Mexico to Willow Wash (2 miles north of Fairbank). Maps which indicate which areas are open to bicycles are available at the San Pedro House and from the BLM.
Local sources for bikes, supplies and repairs
L & B Bicycles, 264 E. 4th, Benson, (520) 586-7766
M & M Cycling, 1301 E. Fry, Sierra Vista, (520) 458-1316
Sun'n'Spokes, 164 E. Fry, Sierra Vista, (520) 458-0685