Tag Archives: Gravel

Tortolita Circumnavigation, Self-Lead

Hope for better whether next weekend. But our host can’t make it. So have your GPX and bike computer with you. There will likely be riders attending who have ridden much of the loop. But no official host.
Walmart Supercenter at Oro Valley Marketplace, 2150 E Tangerine Rd, Oro Valley
5 to 6 hours
I’ve had a few requests to lead this loop encompassing the Tortolita Mountains that is largely off pavement (there is some bike path along Tangerine). The ride starts in town but gets into remote areas. Bring water for 5 hours as there is no support until mile 45. It’s tough route starting with pleasant rideable single track, fun double track, groomed gravel roads, rugged power line utility roads, finishing with bike path. Total 52 miles and 2,100 feet. A few sections of cobbles, single track, and longer sand crossings; put this in the “Challenge Gravel” category. The short Big Wash single track has sand and rocks that will play to your handling skills. And the Marana Powerline section sand will strain tired legs. Wide tires, 50mm plus are a must.
“Challenge Gravel”: to see some of the really spectacular areas, we might need to get just a little uncomfortable, but only when the challenge is worthwhile in amazing areas. Expect to walk certain technical stretches with pitchy climbs, or along a sandy creek bottom. The better your skills and the wider your tires (50mm or more), the more fun this riding will be. Everyone who came out last year, finished these rides, but had really worked by the end. Examples are often following gas lines thru the back country, or the Tumacacori mtns.
This is not a speed run, it will be a casual pace and we’ll regroup from time-to-time making a reasonable effort to stick together.
Our rides are intermediate in terms of physical effort. Rides are generally 4 to 6 hour efforts in remote unsupported areas sometimes without cell coverage. Riders are expected to be capable of self-supported repairs like fixing flats and mechanicals, carrying sufficient food and water for the multi-hour rides, and have on-bike navigation. There is no sag, nor a final ride sweep. If a rider falls far behind, makes a wrong turn, or turns back; we aren’t capable of seeking them out or all turning back to regroup.
This group, its members and host assume no responsibility for the health and safety of any attendee. In accordance, each attendee agrees to assume personal responsibility for any injury that may occur during or after participation in the event.

The Pinewood Showdown


September 14th

Folks have been asking us for years. When is Zia Rides going to do a gravel event? Well, we were waiting to find the right location with a venue and gravel roads that live up to the quality and expectations that people have come to expect from Zia Rides. And boy did we finally find it!

The base of operations for the Pinewood Showdown will be the scenic Wilderness Ranch outside Pinetop-Lakeside/Show Low, Arizona where we have access to some of the most beautiful and fun dirt roads in Northern Arizona. We found a spot worthy of your trusty gravel or mtb steeds, and we don’t plan to disappoint.

Riders will have the option of choosing between a 25, 50, or 100 mile routes to test your mettle. Couple this with an amazing venue, live music in the camp pavilion and you have the recipe for a fantastic weekend. The various courses will also delight with fully supported aid stations, well marked courses and plenty of options for all ability levels. Mark your calendars for a full weekend of family fun in the White Mountains. It’s going to be epic!

Camp Wood Roundup Gravel Ride

Camp Wood Road

Camp Wood Road

When exiting the Bar-Triangle Ranch onto Williamson Valley Road, the first mile and a half will be a neutral roll-out. The race will begin once the pavement ends and you turn left onto Camp Wood Road. This is a wide open gravel road that gradually slopes upwards before reaching a 7-mile, 1000-foot climb at approximately 10 miles into the loop. Around the 14-mile mark, the road will top out, followed by a sweeping descent towards Walnut Creek Rd.

photo credit: Dirty Freehub

Walnut Creek Road

Walnut Creek Road

At 15.5 miles, riders turn right onto Walnut Creek Road (FR 95), a rustic Jeep road. It has many twists and turns and crosses several streams (dry and/or wet). The road mostly goes downhill, with some steep parts. There are some short “kickers” with inclines as steep as 14%. Eventually, you will reach Williamson Valley Road.

Williamson Valley Road

Back on a smooth gravel road, Williamson Valley Road runs to the north. At a bit past 28 miles, you’ll see a steel-truss bridge that appears misplaced in this remote landscape. Once a smaller part of a grand seven-span bridge that succumbed to floods in 1916, it now stands here, relocated and rebuilt by the AZ Highway Department in 1936. You’ll complete the loop and head back into the Bar-Triangle Ranch. 88-mile riders will turn right on Camp Wood Road for a second loop.


Prescott, AZ – May 4, 2024

The Start/Finish venue will be at the Bar-Triangle Ranch, a working cattle ranch.  This is the site the former site of the tiny hamlet of Simmons, where a stage stop and post office once operated.

88 miles and 46 mile routes


Many hotels, motels, homestays in the nearby towns of Prescott, Prescott Valley and Prescott National Forrest


Dear gravel riders, soul surfers & anyone who uses the bike to escape time… 

We are Heidi Rentz & Zander Ault

We’re co-creators, gravel cyclists, chefs & party animals. We’re so freaking excited to see you in Patagonia, Arizona for a gravel road race that has inspired every aspect of our lives.  

The Spirit World 100 is a down home gravel road expedition that has been in creation for 4 years. We’ve been exploring the outer reaches of our abilities to be spirited entrepreneurs in an attempt to bring something from another universe to the event scene. Our main goal is to connect more people through our contagious love for riding bikes, cooking and throwing a mean party. Now, we just need all you special humans to bring your creative and powerful energy to the desert southwest.  

The Spirit World 100 and 50-mile course options are 2 of our most coveted and adored gravel routes in southern Arizona. Each course option is a reflection of the thousands of hours we’ve spent soaring through the San Rafael Valley since 2015. In order to showcase one of the Nations best remote and purely quiet destinations, we have partnered with the Town of Patagonia to invite riders and their families to the high desert. Obsessed with the landscape of the borderlands region, we’ve studied the maps of this area and are working closely with regional government, land management and private entities to make this place more accessible for the entire gravel cycling community. We want to help redefine the future of outdoor recreational tourism in the greater Tucson and borderlands region of The Copper State and The Spirit World 100 will be a key player in this mission.   

If we said this wasn’t a race, we’d just sound ridiculous. Any time you place 100’s of riders on the start line, it’s a race! This race is a place to find the answer to why challenging ourselves in unfamiliar conditions is so sought after. We’re only human and we were put on this earth to move, sweat, be affected and feel the power of confidence that our raw and natural surroundings can instill. The Spirit World 100 is a celebration of exactly what you’re searching for every time you jump on your bike. You’re welcomed in, wholeheartedly. 

Tucson, Arizona is our home. When we aren’t there, we’re hosting private gravel and road cycling camps around the globe. For sometime now, we’ve wanted to create an event that everybody felt comfortable committing to. Cycling camps aren’t for everybody. They may never meet your personal schedule or provide enough of what you’re looking for in a vacation. The Spirit World 100 has been designed to deliver fun, challenge and growth oriented human interaction over the course of 4 days. We couldn’t be more excited to show you Patagonia, Arizona and the San Rafael Valley. See you in The Spirit World!

Teeth to the wind,


RAAZ 2024 Header


All updates for the route will be posted here and here only! No emails, texts, FB messages or Instagram messages. If you have anything you would like to share (water sources, camp spots, etc.) please forward them on to us and we’ll get them shared here.

– detour has been added for the Buffalo Crossing Bridge closing at mile 571.5 (12/2/2023)

For those interested a group of individuals will be riding 600 mile Ride Across Arizona starting May 6th. The ride requires no entry fee or formal registration (no start lists or waiting lists). The route uses public roads, anyone can join in. They will be following the current route posted on this page. There are no fees, awards or prizes. This is not an organized or sanctioned event in any way. Each rider is responsible for their navigation and well being. For those that want to start at the same time (Grand Depart), meet in the Topock Route 66 parking lot at the Arizona side of the Colorado River near the community of Topock at 6:00AM on May 6th. There is NO PARKING at the Topock Route 66 Bar, this is just a convenient meeting place for the start located directly on the river.

If you own a tracking device (e.g., SPOT, Garmin InReach) and would like friends and relatives to view your progress or have a record of your ride you can register your device with the Trackleaders service. More info can be found on their website: http://trackleaders.com/ They are not affiliated with AZ Gravel Rides or Ride Across Arizona.

We view RAAZ as a long, hard unofficial ultra endurance cycling challenge that tests our perseverance, self sufficiency and competence. It’s also a fantastic workout! The idea behind the Grand Depart type of start is to be able to have a like minded group of individuals on the route at the same time to boost camaraderie and safety. However, be advised, this is not a “group” ride. You will be on your own most of the time but might be lucky enough to encounter another rider here and there. It’s that simple. Ride as far as you feel like and above all try to remain positive and have fun. The scenery is stunning and the length of the ride becomes an adventure.

Universally Accepted Rider Etiquette:

– Complete the entire route under your own power.
– Aerobars and their accessories are allowed
– For the purpose of this ride a bicycle is defined as a vehicle consisting of a frame mounted on two wheels one behind the other, and having a seat, handlebars for steering, two hand-operated brakes, and propelled solely by the operator via two pedals connected to the rear wheel by a chain or belt.
– LEAVE NO TRACE.  If you carry it in, carry it out.  The goal is to keep the area we are rolling through better than we found it.
– Follow all traffic laws. You must use lights when riding at night on any public road.
– Unless you can actually see another rider coming behind you, always close a gate you open
– No trespassing. Please respect private property.

Popular ways to ride the RAAZ course and accepted definitions from other similar rides:

Self-Supported Bikepacking (example: Tour Divide)

– No support crews or caches of any kind.
– No motorized transport along the route.
– Unplanned support from a fellow rider is allowed.
– Gas stations, restaurants, hotels, campgrounds, and any other commercial services along the route are fair game as long as they are not pre-arranged.
– If your bike breaks and you wish to continue the ride, you must hike, walk or crawl to the next town to get it repaired. Once fixed, you must return, under your own power, to the exact spot you left the route. This is a completely self-powered ride. If you get in a  motorized vehicle, your ride is over (you may switch to the supported category**).
– You may ride with other people, but drafting is not allowed.

Duo Riders (same as above except):
– You and your partner may share resources.
– You and your partner should stay together for the duration of the ride.
– Drafting off your partner is allowed.

Supported (example: RAAM)

– Support vehicles allowed to follow along and provide assistance (high clearance vehicle recommended).*
– Any number of bicycles or replacement parts may be used during the ride.
– If a rider makes a wrong turn and rides off the event route, regardless of the reason, the rider must return (either riding or support vehicle) to the exact spot where the course deviation was made, then continue riding.
– No hand offs or mechanical support from a moving vehicle.

Relay Team (same guidance as for supported riders except):
– Riders share and exchange a single tracking device.
– Riders determine when to exchange.
– Riders can ride at the same time sharing pulls and drafting, you decide what is best for your team.


GABA – OFF THE GRID-Monster Gravel- Intermediate/4/55

OFF THE GRID-Monster Gravel- Intermediate/4/55


Ride Description:
We will travel from Sonoita on a combination of pavement and singletrack to the eclectic town of Patagonia alongside the Patagonia Mountains. After climbing along Harshaw Creek we will cross the stunning San Rafael Valley, and climb over rugged Canelo Pass.

We will return on hilly pavement through “The Grasslands” to the Vaughn Loop and Papago Springs Rd. When we finally hit pavement we will roll downhill three miles into Sonoita. The last ten miles of this route are new.

In total this route is over 33 miles of gravel, 22 miles of pavement, and 3,000 ft. of climbing. It is challenging and requires intermediate+ skills.

PLEASE READ: This ride is NOT suitable for mountain bikes due significant road riding. Gravel bikes only please. It is also not suitable for Novice gravel riders. We will be riding singletrack, doubletrack, dirt roads, and may even bushwack a short section.

Bathrooms are available in the Sonoita Mercantile Country Store at the start, and at Ovens of Patagonia in Patagonia.

Ride Type: Social/Re-group.
Pace: 12 mph on gravel, 15 mph on pavement.
Terrain: 12 miles downhill to Patagonia, long uphill to Canelo Pass, then rolling pavement back to Sonoita.
Total Elevation Gain: 3,000 ft.
Traffic: light with the exception of Rt. 82. Please have rear flashing light on your bike.
Group Size: This ride is limited to ten riders.
Water: Bring enough for four hours. However, we can top off water in Patagonia

Monster Gravel Route

Participation rules:
Your GABA membership should be current. If not, please consider joining at www.bikegaba.org. Bring food & fluids for 3 hours. Front and back flashing lights are encouraged on The Loop. Helmets must be worn at all times while riding. No ear buds. This ride is unsupported. Please obey traffic laws and represent GABA well.

Skill Code:
• Beg- Beginner- First timers, dirt roads.
• Nov- Novice- First year riders, mostly dirt roads, some double-track.
• Int- Intermediate- Doubletrack, singlegrack, sandy, rocky terrain.
• Adv- Advanced- Steep climbs and descents, singletrack, loose, rocky.

Terrain Code:
• 3-Moderate Hills
• 4 Long climbs and descents

COVID-19 safety measures

COVID-19 vaccination required
Event will be outdoor
The event host is instituting the above safety measures for this event. Meetup is not responsible for ensuring, and will not independently verify, that these precautions are followed.