Winter Escapes

Winter weekends are short and dark—which means you need to be fast and smart. Beat the blues with one of these surprisingly affordable escapes.

Jan 5, 2010
Outside Magazine
Downtown Bisbee

Downtown Bisbee    Photo: Photograph by John Annesley

In 1902, this Sonoran Desert town was the copper-mining king of the West. Today, Bisbee (pop. 6,300) is more like a sun-baked Telluride on acid, where cycling is the sport of choice. Sitting eight miles north of Mexico and just east of the Mule Mountains, Bisbee attracts writers, artists, and world-class chefs who live in renovated mining shacks and ride their fixed-gears to the St. Elmo bar on Brewery Avenue. (According to local legend, the dive was once a hangout for the Monkey Wrench Gang.) From January through April, temps hover in the fifties, meaning you can cycle on quiet, mesquite-lined roads in comfort. Rent a bike on the way down from Tucson in Sierra Vista, at Sun 'N' Spokes ($40 per day for expert-level bikes;, and crash in Bisbee at the 126-year-old Letson Loft Hotel (doubles from $115; Then set out for daylong forays like the 23-mile Lavender Pit ride. Ask for directions at the Bisbee Bicycle Brothel, a mini-museum of vintage and modern rides ( NEAREST AIRPORT: Tucson, two hours.

Filed To: Biking, Arizona, Snow Sports