Road Bike Rides
Whether you're looking for intense climbs or wide-open sprints, these rides are sure to please.
Pro cyclists and their teams have been coming to train in Tucson for decades for a lot of reasons, but one thing, in particular, keeps them coming back - Mt. Lemmon. This climb is without a doubt the best in the state and one of the best in the country thanks to its sustained 4-6% grades, smooth asphalt and ample room to avoid cars. But perhaps the best feature is the ability for riders to gain nearly 6,000 feet in under 30 miles as they ride up Catalina Highway from the warm desert floor to the crisp alpine air at the top. This climb is the definition of "Hors Catégorie", as even the scenery along the way defies classification.
See why The Economist put Mt. Lemmon at the top of the list for Seven Best Rides in the World.
The Loop is the perfect way to get around town via bike and is one of the reasons why Tucson is consistently rated as one of the country's top cities for cycling. No matter where you are in town you can get on this interconnected pathway and ride. The two most popular sections follow the conveniently located Rillito and Santa Cruz riverbeds, and a newer section stretches up into Oro Valley along the Cañada del Oro wash, easily connecting cyclists to the entrance to beautiful Catalina State Park. The pavement is like butter, the views are spectacular and best of all... NO CARS!
Click Here for a map of the loop courtesy of Pima County
A ride out to Gates Pass is a great way to get a little bit of everything on your ride. Warm up with some short to medium climbs as you leave the city and head west approaching the pass. Then enjoy a fast windy descent that drops you into the beautiful valley at the heart of Tucson Mountain Park. Ride to your heart's content on mostly flat, smooth asphalt past the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and up to Saguaro National Park West. Then loop back to town via Kinney Rd. heading south to Ajo Rd., or turn back and tackle the rather stout climb back up the pass for a faster return trip.
Saguaro National Park East
The short, 8-mile loop through the highly acclaimed Saguaro National Park East is quite possibly one of the most beautiful places to ride in Arizona. With very little elevation gain, buttery smooth pavement, and spectacular views, this ride is a must for any Tucson-bound cyclists. With the exception of one fairly long but gradual climb, it is easy to ride for just about anyone. Bonus, if you can make it out around sunset, you will not be disappointed.
Note: A $5 entrance fee is required to enter the park.
Kitt Peak National Observatory is not just a popular destination for astronomers, it's also a favorite for cyclists due to its remote location and ideal terrain. Clocking in at over 100 miles round-trip, the ride from Tucson to Kitt Peak combines a long stretch of flat riding through the low desert with a steep grind of a climb to get to the observatory which sits at nearly 7,000 feet. This very well might be one of the best rides in the galaxy.
Ride a TUGO
Tucson's aptly named TUGO bike share program is taking the city by storm. For those who don't have their own bike and don't have time for a bike rental, this is definitely the way to "GO". With this easy and affordable option, riders can connect from downtown to the University of Arizona and beyond. See the sights from a whole new perspective and do it in style on one of these fresh 3-speed cruisers.
Find all the information you need to get going at TUGObikeshare.com
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