The supermoon Monday night cast a silver spotlight for a one-of-a-kind New Year’s Day party in the Arizona desert.
Mountain bicyclists gathered at the Gabe Zimmerman Davidson trailhead, east of Vail, to celebrate the new year with a night ride along the Arizona trail, with only the moon to light their way.
“It’s New Year’s Day what better way to start the whole year than being crazy and riding your bike without lights,” rider Jennifer Campbell said with a chuckle.
Campbell was one roughly two dozen riders who rode six miles along the sandy trail toward Sahuarita Road and back.
“During the day we like to go fast so maybe at night it gives me at least an excuse to slow down a little bit and enjoy it,” Campbell said.
Mountain bike rider Evan Pilling said the landscape is relatively open and flat, making it an ideal place to ride in the dark.
“It’s so open you can see almost like you are riding in daylight,” said Pilling who is the Executive Director of Sonoran Desert Mountain Bicyclists.
The non-profit group works to promote the sport in southern Arizona and has collaborated with similar groups to host eight days of mountain bike rides in the area to celebrate Christmas and the new year.
While the moon was their beacon, something unseen brought riders here. The trails are a place where kindred spirits can find each other.
“I came here just met up with a meetup group, and within about a month, you feel like you are part of the family,” said Mike McCluskey, who moved to Tucson from Wisconsin.