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El Tour de Tucson

Arizona's longest-running bicycle event circles Tucson on Saturday before Thanksgiving.

El Tour de Tucson: Running Circles Around Town Since 1983

November 21, 2020

One of the largest rides in the United States and Arizona's longest-running bicycle event, the Banner-University Medicine El Tour de Tucson ("El Tour") has been presented on the Saturday before Thanksgiving every year since 1983. The event covers ground in several communities of Pima County, typically attracting over 6,500 riders with rides for all abilities and skill levels. 

    The Routes

    Ride for 100, 50, or 25 miles or choose a Fun Ride of 10, 4, 1 or 1/4 miles.

    El Tour's main rides offer views of Tucson’s surrounding mountain ranges with course profiles ranging from flat to rolling or moderately hilly. The 25-mile route is mostly flat and is great for families and perfect for a first-time cyclist. An often dry but sandy creek crossing will greet 100-milers in the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains. The Fun Rides offer easy and scenic routes along the Santa Cruz River-part of The Loop, Pima County’s car-free multiuse path. All rides feature aid stations with water and snacks, police support at intersections and plenty of morale-boosting volunteers and spectators.

    The Finish Line - Expo & Festival

    All rides begin and end at Armory Park, 220 S. 5th Ave., in downtown Tucson. Armory Park is also the site of the El Tour Expo & Festival, at which riders can pick up their packets and interact with exhibitors and merchandise vendors on Thursday-Friday, Nov. 19-20, 2020.

    Indoor El Tour

    Can’t be in Tucson on Ride Day, or simply prefer to stay off the streets? The Indoor El Tour is the answer! It is a stationary cycling event – no traffic, no safety hazards, no headwinds, but still loads of fun. Ride for minutes instead of miles while supporting Perimeter Bicycling charities and receive a special medallion. Indoor El Tour begins one week prior to the main event and may be ridden anywhere on any stationary bike or on ride day at the finish line


    2019 Dedication Recipients

    Bill and Melinda Gates were the 2019 Dedication Recipients of the Banner-University Medicine El Tour de Tucson. Gates Foundation representative Corey Peak attended the Rotary’s pre-ride dinner on Friday, Nov. 22, 2019 to accept the award on behalf of Bill and Melinda Gates and their wonderful work they do in helping end polio.

    Pre-Ride Before the Big Ride

    The "El Tour season" kicks off in September at Loop the Loop, a free bicycle event routed along The Loop, Tucson's car-free, multi-use urban path. Other El Tour season activities include training classes and practice rides led by experts, bike patrol certification classes, the El Tour Expo and Festival, Indoor El Tour and a pre-ride dedication dinner. The next El Tour Loop the Loop happens Saturday, Sept. 29, 2020.

    Downtown Tucson Parking

    If you drive to the event, you'll find plenty of parking garages near the start/finish line and accessible to the Tucson Sun Link Streetcar, which connects four downtown dining-and-entertainment districts. Staying for the weekend? Check out the variety of accommodations and official event host hotels in the metro Tucson and Southern Arizona area.

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