RIDE GUIDE: Sedona, AZ

My February riding tutorial from Sedona, AZ is live!

Screenshot of Jeff's Sedona, AZ riding tutorial

Travel: Getting to Sedona & getting around 

We’re lucky enough to have family with a house in AZ so we’re there quite a bit. After many trips, some issues and frustration, I’ve got travel in Arizona dialed in. There are two airports in Phoenix, AZ- the closest city to Sedona. The Mesa-Gateway airport is home to Allegiant Airlines, which is a great low cost airline- my airfare for a nonstop, roundtrip from Bellingham, WA to Phoenix was only $150 on Allegiant! Once you’re there, you’ll need a rental car to get to and around Sedona with your bikes and gear. Traditional rental cars can be really expensive, so I use Turo, which is basically the AirBnB of rental cars. Also, traveling with your bike can be a hassle, so simply renting a bike in Sedona can be a great option and there are plenty of places to rent from in the Sedona area.

Tech Climb TIPS for az terrain

The riding in Arizona is awesome. The most difficult (or different) thing about the riding in AZ is all the technical climbs, but they can be mastered using a combination of rather simple things I’ve talked about in past tutorials. Tip 1: Believe that you can do it! Confidence is key. Don’t set your goal below the actual top because chances are, if you set your sights on the top, you’ll get there! Tip 2: Line Choice. If a climb is really tricky, I generally use the main line, but a critical component of line choice is pedal timing. Pay attention to how many pedal strokes you’re using, then think about the kind of pedal snags you need to avoid. Tip 3: Pacing and Energy Conservation. I think of this in terms of having matches in a match book. You only have so many matches, and every time you hop or use another big burst of energy, you’ve burned a match. The key is to plan ahead so you don’t burn all your energy before getting to the crux of your climb. Tip 4: Saddle Height. If you’re spinning a really fast cadence, your saddle will be higher up. That will limit your body movement, and you’ll be way more likely to catch a pedal. Now, if you have your saddle way down and you’re using a high gear, you’ll have a lot more torque, but you’re going to burn more matches going up that climb. Tip 5: Rear Wheel Traction. If your saddle is lower, you’ll be able to use your lats to pull back on the handlebars, and that will increase traction to the rear tire. Tip 6: Body Positioning. If you’re leaning far forward and pulling back on your handlebars, you’ll increase traction to the rear wheel but the front wheel won’t come up too much. That slightly more advanced technique helps a ton when traction gets more tenuous. Tip 7: How do I get up a ledge without an energy intensive hop move? The Punch! The goal is to place your front tire on an obstacle and then lunge the bike up as opposed to doing a full on bunny hop. Using the Punch, you’ll be able to get your bike onto higher obstacles and you can use the Punch while pedaling to include it on a tech climb. Once your front tire is up, you’ll be able to push forwards on your handlebars, lift your feet and utilize the front end of the bike as a lever to lift the rear. I generally use zero front brake when lifting the back of the bike using a Punch.

Where to Start

There’s a ton of riding in Sedona, and if you don’t quite know where to start, I recommend heading out to the Posse Grounds bike park. The bump jump trail will be a great way to familiarize yourself with Sedona-area obstacles before heading out onto some of the more advanced trails. One of my favorite runs in Sedona is Chimney Rock, to Teacup, to Grand Central.

Click here to see the Sedona area trail system on Trailforks

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