Endless miles to explore, from rolling desert hills to steep alpine climbs, Tucson is a roadie's paradise.
Hitting the Road
Tucson and cycling go together like spokes and hubs, like press-fit bearings and bottom brackets, like LeMond and the color yellow - that is to say, they're a pretty darn good fit.
Ever since cycling in America started to really gain popularity Tucson has been at the forefront, and it's easy to see why. It's an amazing place to ride. With unheard-of amounts of sunshine, warm dry weather, endless back-roads, wide-open desert vistas, and steep mountain passes, Tucson has clearly cemented itself as one of the top cycling destinations not only in the U.S. but in the world.
From the legendary climb up Mt. Lemmon to the smooth rolling hills of Saguaro National Park, right down to the 100 plus miles of paved multi-use path known as The Loop, this is a destination that can't be beat when it comes to road riding. And for those who don't have their own bike but still want to see the city from the saddle, there's the TUGO bike share program, which connects downtown to the UA and beyond.
Video: Get a taste of riding in Tucson from our friends at Garmin
Tips For Road Biking in Tucson
Hydration is important for cyclists no matter where they ride, but due to Tucson's warm and dry climate it becomes especially important. Hydrate well before you go out and consider taking an extra bottle on longer rides. At the very least, research your route and locate places to stop for a refill.
Along with the H2O factor comes the discussion about UV rays. The ample sunshine of the Sonoran Desert is a big part of what makes riding here so appealing, but it is also powerful. Be liberal with the sunscreen and, if possible, add some UV protective gear to your kit.
Temperatures tend to fluctuate greatly in the winter months, when Tucson's cycling season is at it's peak, sometimes jumping more than 20 degrees from early morning into the afternoon. Bring along your arm and leg warmers if you venture out early, then strip down when the temperature starts to rise, as it most certainly will.
Other than that, all the universal rules of the road apply. Always wear a well-fitted helmet. Know where you're going or bring the GPS to avoid a longer ride than you hoped for. Kindly share the road with cars and other cyclists. And last but not least, enjoy the ride!
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