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Biking Sedona's red rock country.

Visitors alighting in the red rock country near Sedona, Arizona, can now rent mountain bikes to take them deeper into this world of water-carved, rose-colored sandstone. An open-air tour of the dramatic pinnacles and spires 2 hours north of Phoenix can quicken the pulse and refresh the spirit-a great antidote to too much indoor holidaying. You can ride up through winter-thinned cottonwoods in several local canyons; the Forest Service office in town, at 225 Brewer Road, can offer some suggestions. But avoid cycling the narrow, twisting, and heavily used highway up Oak Creek Canyon unless you can do it early on a weekday morning, when the traffic is lightest. For a moderate but highly scenic ride, bike west of Sedona on U.S. Highway 89A, then head north on Dry Creek Road (pavement gives way in a couple of miles to an uncrowded jeep trail), exploring ranch roads and fire roads as you like. West of Dry Creek, you can head toward Cock's Comb or Greasy Spoon Tank (rock formations), cycling into lonesome plateau country with sweeping overviews of the red rock cliffs. Touch wilderness, then head back the way you came. Die-hard bikers will enjoy tackling the tough climb east of Sedona up Schnebly Hill Road (pick it up from State 179 about 1/2 mile south of U.S. 89A). This route gives an impressive taste of the Mogollon Rim. Three Sedona companies rent mountain bikes. All offer maps and can suggest appropriate routes. Rentals include helmets, water bottles, locks, and any necessary tools. Area code is 602. Canyon Country Mountain Bikes (2826985), 245 N. Highway 89A, charges $5 an hour, $18 for 24 hours. It'll deliver a bike to any local address. Mountain Bike Heaven (282-1312), 1449 W. Highway 89A, rents bikes by the day for $12.50; for $7.50, you can keep a bike from late afternoon until 10 the next morning. Sedona Mountain Bike Rental (2822164), 376 Apple Avenue, charges $5 an hour, $15 a half-day, $20 a day, $60 a week. It delivers bikes also.
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Title Annotation:Sedona, Arizona
Date:Jan 1, 1991
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