Tucson in 100 Objects — El Tour bicycle

2014-07-06T00:00:00Z 2014-08-06T14:20:43Z Tucson in 100 Objects — El Tour bicycleBy Tom Beal Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

We’re defining Tucson in 100 objects. The daily series began April 20. Follow along at: azstarnet.com/100objects

Bicycling is big in Tucson and the biggest annual event, El Tour de Tucson, features 9,000 cyclists circumnavigating the city.

photo

El Tour, first held in 1983, is a chance for pro riders and novices to compete or simply ride on roads closed to vehicle traffic for distances ranging from 40 miles to 104.

But the November El Tour is not the only time Tucson’s bicyclists take to the roads on nearly 1,000 miles of bike lanes.

According to the U.S. Census, 3 percent of Tucsonans commute daily to work or school by bike.

That may not sound like much, but it places the city sixth in that category nationwide.

The number gets a big boost from students at the University of Arizona, where campus planners encourage bike riding with valet parking and repair stations.

Underpasses beneath Speedway and the designated bike path on North Mountain Avenue also add to the appeal.

Pima County, meanwhile, is nearing completion of a 52-mile off-road Urban Loop that uses the banks of washes and rivers to keep bikes out of traffic.

All that has earned Tucson a designation as a gold level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists.

Transportation planners say they are not satisfied and are shooting for “platinum.”

Contact reporter Tom Beal at tbeal@azstarnet.com or 573-4158.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Activate

Follow the Arizona Daily Star

Featured businesses

View more...
Get weekly ads via e-mail