And ride we did. Coming from the heart of ski season in Colorado, we suddenly found ourselves cranking out five to six hours a day on rough and rocky track in saguaro and cholla desert. It was a perfect locale to put the latest crop of cross-country and trail (26ers and 29ers) through their paces. We even had the luck to get shown around by World Cup XC racer Krista Park (Cannondale). She's fast. So fast, in fact, that one of the minions ate dirt trying to keep up and had to have a two-inch long cactus spine retracted from his trembling triceps.
As for the bikes, look for the full reviews in our Spring 2012 issue, as well as page after page of photography by Jen Judge. For the moment, check out the attached shots by Mountain tester Johnny Greenham.
And imagine that, as soon as we got back it started dumping snow around the country again. —Marc Peruzzi