Redrock Canyon Tour
Don’t miss this tour! While we love our beautiful and pastoral valley for cycling, Pierre and I wanted to see more of the US this summer and began our quest for the perfect bike tour. After years of camping tours and being self-sufficient, it was time for a real tour where all we did was ride and enjoy the sights of our wonderful country.
We found Lizard Head Cycling tours on line saw that they went to a region of Colorado and Utah that we wanted to see and spurred on the by the rave review of Christopher Solomon from the New York Times, we made our commitment and headed for Grand Junction, Co. The tour was organized and run by John Humphries and his experienced guide Chuck Hewitt. Trust us, these guys rival DBC for great rest stops. Beautiful nourishing food always set out on a well appointed table, routes through the canyons and bluffs that knock you socks off and local knowledge of the region and it’s rock formations made this tour hands down a fantastic experience. This is one of Lizard Head’s most challenging tours, but they do have tours with less mileage and you still see the same great sights.
My favorite day started in Gateway, CO on a chilly early morning where we rode out from the amazing Gateway resort, developed by John Hendricks of Discovery Channel fame. Hanging in the hotel’s Adventure Center, you can see the yellow Tour De France jersey Lance gave to John for his Discovery Channel tour support.
Our 112-mile route for the day first stretched for 30 miles along the Delores River with high canyon walls on each side. At turns in the road, the sun would creep over the bluffs creating spectacular patterns of light color on the surrounding rocks. It is like nothing you have ever seen before – breathtaking. The day was long and had us a bit worried on our tandem bike, but even with a substantial climb at mile 90, guide Chuck was there with us, talking about what we were seeing and making it seem so doable. That day ended in Dove Creek, CO. Now this is a place that you would not be likely to see any other way except on a bike tour, and while very modest, it was a wonderful farming community in the high desert plains and called the “pinto bean capital of the world”, where pinto and Anasazi beans are grown along with safflower, sunflowers and alfalfa.
Greg and Francie Wild at Wild Coffee treated us cyclists to a wonderful, home cooked meal. Not usually open for dinner, but under special arrangement with Lizard Head, we had a tasty, wholesome meal and quiet rest. There was great coffee and breakfast to get us going the next morning.
The days just went on from there, Bluff, UT with its amazing cliffs and settlement history (the visitor center and video on how the land was claimed is a must see), the sovereign Navajo nation at Monument Valley and then finally a swim in Lake Powell, AZ where the Colorado River joins Lake Powell. That day had a stretch of road with a gradual downhill for about 40 miles on a road where we saw less than 10 cars, but the scenery was truly amazing.
Never have we ridden so many quiet and spectacular roads, been so well supported and felt like we had really accomplished quite a ride. Covering about 420 miles in five days of riding with one delightful rest day in Bluff, it was the ride of a lifetime and we cannot encourage you enough to go to the Lizard Head Cycling website and find out more about how to join in tours that will transport you out of this time and back to the ages of geologic formation and a view from the road like you have never seen before.