touring the Sonoran DesertOnce you’ve made that exciting decision to take an Arizona bike tour with Sojourn, you may be wondering how to prepare for it.

For the purposes of this post, we’ll assume that since you are the type of person who would even consider a bicycling vacation, you have a certain level of fitness and a certain love of adventure, but there are some things you can do to get ready to go. Let’s look at the two most important things you need to prepare: your body and your mind.

Your body is probably ready for this bike trip. Bicycling is a non-weight-bearing form of exercise – the bicycle will do some of the work and the terrain is gently rolling terrain with a mix of longer hills. Daily mileage ranges from 25 – 45. Depending on your interests and abilities you’ll have some fun opportunities for additional miles or more time in the hot tub. If you’re worried about it, take some vigorous walks or hit the stationary bike or the treadmill at the gym a couple times a week before you leave.

Get into the habit of keeping hydrated. Some people find it difficult to keep properly hydrated just sitting at their desk at work. Keeping hydrated on a bike tour – especially one through the Sonoran Desert – is even more essential to your enjoyment of your day.

Your mind may take more work to get ready than your body. Here are some fun things you might consider in order to get into the mood.

Watch movies filmed in the region: The diverse geography of the Sonoran Desert not only makes it the perfect location for a winter bike tour through southwestern Arizona, it’s a great place to make a film. The Old Tucson Studio was built by Columbia Pictures in 1938. Hundreds of films were shot there on location. Other films shot in southwestern Arizona include Easy Rider, The Gunfight at O.K. Corral, and The Outlaw Josey Wales.

Listen to local music. Tucson has its own official troubadour, Ted Ramirez. He sings in English, Spanish and O’odham. The music here has many influences: Native American, Mexican, Spanish, and American Pop. Here are a two examples from the opposite ends of the music of Southwestern Arizona:

Read. Some get ready for a bike tour by reading books about their destination. Here are a few about Arizona, the Sonoran Desert, and Bike Touring:
A Natural History of the Sonoran Desert
A Great Aridness: Climate Change and the Future of the American Southwest

The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver is a novel set in Tucson
The Good Life by Bicycle Sojourn’s 2012 Bike Tour Catalog

Practice up on your Spanish. “Es un día hermoso,” is a phrase you’ll use often on your bike tour here in Arizona. It means “It’s a beautiful day.”

Sign Up. You may be the kind of traveler who starts to do his laundry the morning of the flight out of town, or you may be the kind of traveler who pours over maps and guidebooks months in advance. In either case, the most important thing you need to do to get ready for your Arizona bicycle tour is sign up.