The Bearded One and I took a fun week-long holiday mountain bike trip just outside of Phoenix, Arizona.We loaded up our rigs and drove 12 long hours to desert country, where we stayed with his aunt Marsha and cousin Breck. Every morning we’d set out from their lovely home for our daytime excursions to White Tank Mountain Regional Park, Estrella Mountain Regional Park and Phoenix Mountain Preserve, and they’d spoil us with delicious dinners upon our return.

The riding in this region is a world apart from Northern California with its dry, dusty and rocky terrain that’s peppered with cactus. It was quite a challenge for me to negotiate the seemingly endless fields of rocks as I’m still an off-road novice, so I took my time and slowly explored the alien-like landscape of the parks. I’m hoping that mountain biking in Marin will seem a bit easier after this trip!