El Tour de Tucson
Arizona's longest-running bicycle event circles Tucson on Saturday before Thanksgiving, November 23, 2019
A Pre-Thanksgiving Tradition
November 23, 2019
El Tour de Tucson is one of the largest rides in the United States and Arizona's longest-running bicycle event. "El Tour," as it's known locally, has been presented on the Saturday before Thanksgiving every year since it was established in 1983 by Richard DeBernardis. El Tour takes place within communities of Pima County and typically attracts more than 6,500 participants with rides for every ability, age and skill level. The main ride, a scenic 100-mile perimeter route.
In 2019, the Banner - University Medicine El Tour de Tucson includes rides of 100-mile, 50-mile and 25-mile distances in addition to a fun ride, especially popular with kids, and the Indoor El Tour, open to stationary bike riders who tally minutes, not miles. All routes conclude in downtown Tucson. Go to PerimeterBicycling.com to register and/or to learn how you can raise contributions for Diamond Children's Medical Center.
Whether you want to tour the town or pedal in place, you're bound to have fun when you join the next El Tour on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019.
Pre-Ride Before the Big Ride
The "El Tour season" kicks off in September at Loop the Loop, a free ride 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 a pre-ride dedication dinner.
Celebrate in Downtown Tucson
On ride day, participants and spectators are invited to the El Tour Downtown Fiesta, a party for participants and spectators staged near the main finish line in Downtown Tucson. If you drive here, there are plenty of parking garages nearby and close to the Tucson Sun Link Streetcar line, which connects four downtown dining-and-entertainment districts. Staying for the weekend? Check out the variety of accommodations and official event host hotels in this area.
Indoor El Tour
Can’t be in Tucson on Ride Day, or simply prefer to stay off the streets? 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.
Tucson Cycling Accolades
The popularity of El Tour has contributed to Tucson's consistently high rankings as a bicycle-friendly community. Here are a few recent accolades:
- Tucson Is Winter Cycling Heaven - Outside online, "With mild temps, blue skies, and exceptionally good road cycling and mountain biking, it’s the best place to ride all winter long." – February 2019
- Tucson named one of America’s Best Places for Bikes - People for Bikes, Tucson ranked fifth overall and second highest score of all large U.S. cities as America’s Best Places for Bikes. – May 2, 2018
- Tucson #7 – Best Weekend Getaways, U.S. News & World Report, April 1, 2017
- Metro Tucson boasts more than 700 miles of paved bikeways, including dedicated streetside lanes and residential bike routes as well as The Loop, a 131-mile network of car-free, shared-use paths connecting communities within Pima County.
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