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*DESERT CAMP 2010* Go with the snow! Tour of Historic Towns and Hotels - 7th great year



Desert Camp 2010 - Go with the Snow!
A chilly Arizona camp thawed by Friday funsters. PACTOUR crew Phil and Barb Boharty
YOGA for Cyclists Desert Camp 2010


Desert Camp 2010 Photos on the BF Facebook Fan Page Riders - feel free to go share your photos!


Desert Camp 2010 Complete Playlist 6 days of sizzling (snowy) southwest fun

Yoga for Cyclists Bend it or mend it! BF Customer Evangelist Galfromdownunder taught Vinyasa yoga every day of camp

PR Phil Cowles Desert Camp 2010 rainbow


Desert Camp Itinerary:

Day 1 Sat Mar 6 Arrive in Tucson 33-50 miles - On Your Own Ride

Day 2 Sun Mar 7 Tucson to Sonoita Inn -  49 miles

Day 3 Mon Mar 8 Sonoita to Tombstone's OK Corral -  57 miles

Day 4 Tue Mar 9 Tombstone to the Bisbee Copper Queen Hotel
with an optional side trip into Mexico -  40 miles

Day 5 Wed Mar 10 Bisbee to Douglas for lunch and return to Bisbee - 55 miles

Day 6 Thur Mar 11 Bisbee to Benson -  45 miles

Day 7 Fri Mar 12 Benson back to Tucson - 55 miles

Day 8 Sat Mar 13 Fly home from Tucson - Ride on own

Pictured right: BF Marketing Director Phil Cowles' rides somewhere under the rainbow...

THE 7TH GREAT YEAR for PACTOUR/Bike Friday Desert Camp was full of surprises.

For a start, it snowed. So chilly was the weather for most of the tour, the Canadians, Alaskans and even "hardcore" Hans from snowy Switzerland wondered if they'd entered some wormhole and gotten dumped out on their doorsteps back home.

"75 degrees and sunny," said the brochure. 

But as tour host and RAAM legend Lon Haldeman put it, "You don't have to enjoy it, you just have to know how to deal with it."

Spoken like a champion. And while Week 3 - Bike Friday week - is unquestionably the most lollygagging tour on his entire ultra-cycling roster, the challenging weather and respectable pre-spring mileage (average 53 chipsealed miles/day) gave riders a good wake-up call for the spring riding season.

Desert Camp 2010 - Mountain and 3 riders
Remembering to stop and smell the enchiladas!

Lon Haldeman modifying triple crank to double

Lon 'handy with a hacksaw' Haldeman. If there's anyone who can fix a bike in the boonies, it's Lon. He even does a talk called "Organic Mechanic" revealing his tech tricks using road debris. In the rush to get my new, double chainring Speeding tikit built and shipped ready for camp the only crank available in my size (155 mm) was a triple, which arrived set up with a double chainring.  So on my arrival in Tucson, Lon performed some swift cosmetic surgery in the back of his truck, removing and filing down the missing granny gear studs with the aid of a hacksaw, steady hands and two crew members. But why, oh why, pass up an extra ring of granny gears, I hear you cry? Well, with a 16" wheel, you don't need no durn granny gear! (Do the math: 39/26x16 = 24" low - a respectable MTB low gear. Google Sheldon Brown's Gear calculator if that math looks double Dutch). 

Phil Cowles Headshot

BF's new Marketing Director jumps into the saddle. Phil Cowles had barely joined Bike Friday when he found himself heading for Arizona, his new Pocket Rocket in the hold. What better initiation to the wide, wild world of Bike Friday than total immersion? He displayed some new toys, including a new folding stem and some hip new paint colors codenamed Wasabi, Unsalted Butter, Trendy Corn Chip Blue ... 

Bob Kenner Super Pro DC 2010

Fast new toys for fast ole boys. Each year there's a new Friday to ooh and aah over at Desert Camp. Last year it was the now discontinued DoubleDay recumbent tandem and Speeding tikit; the year before, the launch of the hyperfold tikit. This year, Super Senior Bob Kenner wowed the crowd with his 16lb, Pocket Rocket "Super" Pro.

Designed and built by Rob English and painted by Peter Kaspar with a "gold fade" custom paint job, this little bicycle was always last to leave but often first to arrive, sans sag, and Bob probably had something to do with it.

"He bought it instead of the red Lamborghini!" I sing-songed.

"And paid almost as much!" quipped Bob.

Later, after a week of challenging weather and conditions, I asked Bob if he was going to get a lift in the van. The reply was almost an expletive.


TTXL John and Marilyn Reindl Desert Camp 2010

Not your typical Arizona Camp Day 1.

Did I mention weather? Day 1 turned out to  be the hardest day of this moderate tour. 50-something miles, in a frigid headwind with the road bent the wrong way for most of the way. As the sky turned ominous, the sag vehicle swept by mopping up riders like a Dyson vacuum cleaner. A handful of stoic riders did Every Fabulous Mile, including hardcore tandemaniacs from Canada, John and Marilyn Reindl. 

"We came here to ride our bikes," was their simple answer on pulling into Sonoita looking barely puffed. 

Read about Bike Friday Tandems

YOGA for Cyclists Desert Camp 2010

Bend it or mend it!  This year I stepped up to the plate and offered a daily 7am yoga class to game participants, having gotten my Teacher Certification in NYC in early 2009. Well now, what an eye (hip and shoulder) opener!  Some of the fittest and fastest Friday riders were surprised at their level of inflexibility = a legacy of pedaling far more than we stretch. Sorry, a few quick hamstring and quad flexes just won't do it.

"Bend it or mend it or - as BF owner John Chiarella put it - "Yes we can - no we can't".

Read Galfromdownunder on Yoga for Cyclists

Desert Camp 2010 - Sonoita
The evocative Sonoita Inn - the classiest barn you ever hung your shorts out to dry in

Sonoita Inn, a kingdom for a horse. The Sonoita Inn really is a magical place - an evocative barn built as a stable for the ill-fated racehorse Secretariat, aka "Big Red". Check the Day 2 videos for a verbal history by the caretaker. We usually stage a Bike Friday presentation in the cavernous main space, but everyone was so wiped out from battling the elements - despite being swept up by the van - that we all stumbled off to bed. 

Desert Camp 2010 - Shenley Co with rack of ribs

Day 2: To Tombstone to smell the huckleberries. At Desert Camp 2009 I had the pleasure of trailing around after the "world's biggest Tombstone Fan in the Universe", Steve Conley, as he inhaled the 'I'm your huckleberry" movie memorabilia and Gunfight at the OK Corral re-enactment. See the 2009 report

This year, no such rabid Tombstone fan made themselves known. So what to film? Of course ... food! Steve, ex-New Yorker and owner of the Longhorn Restaurant insisted I tour his immaculate kitchen and view a full rack of seasoned ribs in sound-surround. 

Sitting opposite an anaestheoligist (John) and neurologist (Shenley) I posed the delicate question of whether BBQ'd meat is carcinogenic.

"Of course," said both men as they tucked into sides of cow. "But you gotta go someday. Meanwhile ... can you pass the BBQ sauce, please?"

Desert Camp 2010 - Phil Cowles

Desert Camp 2010 - Tombstone
Tombstone: like a ghost town between shows and busloads
What's this? Someone with a lot of time on their hands. You'll have to click to the next page to find out ...


Desert Camp Multimedia Reports Everything to make you want to sign up for next year!

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