El Tour de Tucson
Arizona's longest-running bicycle event circles Tucson on Saturday before Thanksgiving, November 23, 2019
A Pre-Thanksgiving Tucson Tradition
El Tour de Tucson, November 23, 2019
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 more than 6,500 riders with events for all abilities and skill levels.
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 - also the site of 3-Day El Tour Expo & Festival and Packet Pickup. Here, the fastest cyclists collect a special finisher’s medallion at the Grand Cycling Awards Ceremony and everyone (participants and spectators) gathers to celebrate cycling.
- Thursday, 11/21, 11 a.m.–9 p.m.: Love Tucson Program with Packet Pickup and Vendor Exhibits
- Friday, 11/22, 11 a.m.–9 p.m.: Be Safe, Ride Safe, Be Healthy Program *
- Friday, 11/22, 12:30–6 p.m.: *CASAz Bike Summit
- Saturday, 11/23, 10 a.m.–7 p.m.: Ride Day and Celebration!
The Expo & Festival is a free community event – join us at Armory Park and also on the lawn at Children's Museum Tucson! Interact with exhibitors, from big brands to local shops, for cyclists and non-cyclists alike at over 100 booths offering merchandise sales, product demos, giveaways, panels, contests. What to expect:
- Large open-air expo area to see what is new and unique, and also what makes this event so special and popular
- Activities for children and the entire family
- Lots of fun with music and food vendors
- A trade show with cycling and health-related vendors and exhibitors
- The place where cyclists attend meetings about important event information
- Pick up your rider packet
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 are the 2019 Dedication Recipients of the Banner-University Medicine El Tour de Tucson. Gates Foundation representative Corey Peak will attend the Rotary’s pre-ride dinner on Friday, Nov. 22 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.
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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