Held annually the Saturday before Thanksgiving, El Tour is a fun adventure ride attracting over 9,000 cyclists of all ages and abilities from throughout the United States and worldwide, consisting of novice, intermediate, advanced, and professional riders.*
*Tucson #1 – Outside’s “Top 10 Best Bike Towns” – May 2012
*Tucson #1 – Atlantic, overall city with the “Most Bikeable Neighborhoods” – May 2013
*Tucson #6 – Travel Channel “Top 10 Best Bike Cities” – May 2013
*Tucson #8 – Bikescore “Most Bikeable Large U.S. Cities” – May 2013.
Cyclists enjoy El Tour and its festivities out of a passion for cycling, while others choose the event to benchmark their fitness as part of a healthy lifestyle change or as a wellness program goal as a survivor of cancer or other life-threatening illness. Many are attracted to El Tour’s fundraising programs and its many charitable agencies for which the event raised more than $2,000,000 in 2012. All El Tour riders share a desire to ride, meet great people, raise contributions and have a fun time doing it!
Participants cycle main event distances of 111, 85, 60 or 42 miles, or choose the Fun Ride 10 or 5 miles or a fun 1/4 mile activity course too! Main event routes show off Tucson’s beautiful vistas of its local mountain ranges – three rising over 9,000 feet- complete with the backdrop of the majestic Saguaro cactus, icon of the Sonoran Desert. Course profiles range from flat to rolling or moderately hilly. The 42-mile route is basically flat and has become a great family affair or a perfect first event for beginners! Two often dry but sandy river crossings will greet 111-mile riders, while 85-milers experience just one. No crossings for 60 or 42-mile participants. All routes offer aid stations with water and snacks spaced about 7-10 miles apart, full police support at intersections and plenty of morale-boosting volunteers and spectators. The Fun Ride offers easy and scenic routes along the Santa Cruz River mulit-use path.
The 111-mile startline (and finish line for all events) is located at Armory Park across the street from Children’s Museum Tucson on South 6th Avenue at 13th Street. Crossing the finish line ushers the riders into the next event- HSL Properties El Tour Downtown Fiesta! First order of business for cyclists after meeting friends & family is to collect a special finisher’s medallion based on their finish time. Next, celebrate at the Fiesta complete with non-stop music, the Michelob Ultra Garden, food vendors, El Tour Perimeter Store merchandise booth, kids activities, the Grand Cycling Awards Ceremony, and more!