Bike Sonoran Desert
In 2004 Tucson AZ and the East Pima (County) Region earned the Gold Level Award distinction as a “Bicycle-Friendly Community” by the League of American Bicyclists. Since then, its bike-friendly culture has become more well known and even better acknowledged.
No matter what your biking needs, wants or expectations, Tucson will satisfy or exceed them; it’s a cycling haven! There are literally hundreds of miles of bike-friendly roads and dozens of trails from easy to highly technical. And with the area’s mild climate and mostly sunny skies, almost every day can be ideal for a ride 365 days a year.
Tucson and out-of-area riders enjoy cycling events throughout the year ranging from intense competitions to family-friendly rides. Among Southern Arizona’s top biking events are:
- El Tour de Mesa (April, 2013) is open to all ages and abilities and offers 72 and 26-mile courses routed throughout Mesa, AZ, and beginning at Red Mountain Park in Mesa. Routes extend into the beautiful and rugged backdrop of the Salt River Recreation Area and Tonto National Forest. Kids, parents, families and friends are invited to participate in El Tour’s Fun Ride, a four-mile course routed adjacent to main event start lines at Red Mountain Park.
- Tour of the Tucson Mountains (April, 2013) is open to all ages and abilities. It offers 73 and 27-mile courses, plus Fun Rides of 4 & 1/4 mile events. The 73-mile event is a perimeter ride around (not over) the beautiful Tucson Mountains. All routes begin at Marana Town Hall in Marana, AZ and are generally flat, perfect for beginning riders!
- 26th Cochise County Cycling Classic (October, 2013) Cyclists select from 234, 157, 92, or 45-mile events, all routed through beautiful Southeastern Arizona. There is even a 4-mile Fun Ride, open to all abilities! The Cochise Classic is the perfect Fall event for cyclists. Those registering for either the 234 or the 157-mile event MUST have personal support crew and vehicle in order to participate in the event.
- 31st Annual El Tour de Tucson (November 23, 2013) Held annually the Saturday before Thanksgiving, El Tour is a fun ride attracting over 9,000 cyclists of all ages and abilities from throughout the United States and around the world, consisting of novice, intermediate, advanced and professional riders. Southwest Airlines’ in-flight magazine, Spirit (June 2001) named El Tour de Tucson “one of the premier organized rides in United States” and Bicycling Magazine (October 2002) ranked El Tour as “one of the top three fundraising rides” in the country.
Perhaps you won’t be surprised that there exists a website page established by local bicyclists interested in sharing their criteria for bicycle dining ‘on the road!’ Entitled simply, Tucson Bike & Breakfast, we’re just sayin’ perhaps the site might suggest some suitably appropriate and tasty sustenance along your cycling trail! And as for bicycle rentals, options abound. And really conveniently located to Lodge on the Desert as you will see:
- Arizona Bicycle Experts
- Fair Wheel Bikes
- J&J Bicycle LLC
- Ordinary Bike Shop
- Performance Bicycle
- Supergo Bike Shops
And as for area bicycle maps and tours, a bicyclist’s best resource is the Greater Arizona Bicycling Association.
So perhaps now you’ll understand just how serious Southern Arizona is about its bicycle-friendly reputation. So c’mon. When you next visit Tucson, get off your feet and onto a rental two-wheeler! Celebrate just some of the exhilarating cycling culture established by Tucson’s bike aficionados. Make a weekend (or whatever) of it… with an overnight stay at Lodge on the Desert, and you, too can experience bicyclers’ nirvana. To make your guestroom reservations, click here.
Miss Gulch ain’t got nothin’ on you!