- Written by Deryle & Wanda Mehrten
If there’s a way to keep off the freeway or keep out of large, congested metropolitan areas, I’m all for it. Not too long ago someone asked me if I knew how to ride through Phoenix…I don’t. Although I know several ways around Phoenix, I haven’t ridden through downtown Phoenix (Scottsdale/Mesa/etc.) in a long time, and unless I have business there, I probably won’t for a long time to come.
After being told about Old Highway 80 between Gila Bend and I-10 by the late Rob Lentini, Wanda and I have looked for similar back roads and side roads that I like to call Shortcuts, Long Cuts or Ways around. Most of the time these less traveled and sometimes less than smooth side roads aren’t really a short cut, might even be a few miles longer. Most are really just another way to get to a destination that takes the rider off the beaten path and onto the less traveled path.
Listed below are a few of those Shortcuts, Long Cuts or Ways Around that Wanda and I regularly take on our travels around Arizona. All the routes are paved, or were the last time we traveled down them. An embedded link to Google maps takes you to the route and if you want you can switch to Satellite view to get an even closer view of the road.
Over the next year of two we plan to take some digital video of each of the routes using a helmet or bike mounted camera. You’ll get a rider’s eye view of the road and some of the surrounding area.
Take a ride for free…
Big Lake - Sunrise Park Loop, AZ 261 to AZ 273