We’ve been in Joshua Tree / Yucca Valley for two weeks already, and we’ve been able to get a few good cycling days in. We go for a ride on the days when we’re not climbing; we’ve found that cycling 30 to 35 km is a nice distance to cover that doesn’t tire us out too much on our “rest” days. The weather has been heating up here (it was hovering around 30C over the weekend) so we try to get out early in the morning, to beat the heat and the traffic!
Compared to the other places we’ve been so far, I wouldn’t say that Joshua Tree is the best place for cycling… There are limited designated cycle routes, but they seem seldom used by cyclists. For example, one cycle route leads you onto a main highway, so you have cars whizzing by at 70 mph, with a shoulder of soft sand next to you.
We also found out that not all roads in the area are paved, so a few times we had to do some back-tracking and re-planning when we realized that all these nice scenic back-roads were essentially not usable for our road bikes (newbie error! 🙂 ). With that said, over the two weeks we did find a few nice routes that we stuck to for the most part, modifying them just enough to keep the scenery different.
The desert scenery is quite unique. On first glance, the landscape looks all the same, but as you travel through the different neighbourhoods and areas, you start to see different scenes, different colours.
Finally, no cycle ride would be complete without a treat at the end of it! The Joshua Tree Farmers Market was always good for providing us with post-cycling refueling 🙂