Best Road Bike Ride - 2009
Usery Pass Road
There are a lot of killer bicycle rides in the Valley, but the one along Usery Pass Road is our absolute favorite, thanks to the backdrop of desert plant life unharmed by the gated communities that swallow up the land to the east and south. Plus, there are super-spacious bike lanes on each side of the windy route, so you won't feel like you're about to get steamrolled by a boat-towing pickup truck. A good and challenging way to tackle the blacktop is to head west from Red Mountain Park, 7745 East Brown Road in Mesa, then north up Power Road along the Salt River until it turns into Bush Highway before finally looping back south on Usery Pass/Ellsworth roads. If you take this 21-mile route, which gains/loses more than 1,000 feet in elevation along the way, the stretch between the 12- and 16-mile markers is the biggest leg-burner. However, once you get through that, it's a smooth coast.