Monthly Archives: November 2015

Community Ride List November 28- December 4

Happy Thanksgiving weekend.  I hope you had a chance to over indulge in both miles in the saddle and the seasons trappings.  I certainly have.  I am so Thankful  for the Cycling Community in Southern Arizona and each of you who give back.  I’d like to name people, but the list is so long, it would exceed the length of this list.

I know it was hard for me to pull the ride list together this week.  El Tour follow up, photos, work, family, turkey… I was even asked by a national blog to write an El Tour wrap up article.  It will be appearing in GranFondo.com sometime in the near future.  I put a copy of it with links on my blog

http://bikepilgrim.com/?p=632.

This is the most challenging week of the year for many cyclist. They just spent months preparing for El Tour and now that the goal has been achieved they put the bike up in the garage and don’t look at it until next fall.  Hopefully, this ride list will help you find some motivation to keep going.  Personally, I think the Tour de Cure on April 19th is an exceptional ride to train for.  Not only is it great motivation, but it also raises funds for the ADA.  For some types of diabetes, riding and being active can help manage it and may even delay or stop the onset in the first place.

Have a great week and I look forward to seeing you on the road and in the dirt.

Ride on,

 

Damion

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I DID NOT CONFIRM EVERY TIME, but did get in touch with most of the ride leaders and shops.  You should always verify times before you head out and remember these ride times are when the ride leaves.  Please show up as early as needed to make sure you are ready to roll out at the time posted.

REOCCURING WEEKLY RIDES

What Where When Distance/Time Speed Contact
 
Cyclocross Fort Lowell Park Monday

6:30AM

Some pre work riding, jumping obstacles,beer, donuts, coffee, laps on the grass and dirt. https://www.facebook.com/groups/671108262985165/
U of A Cycling Monday Mosey Flagpole  – West Side of  Old Main Monday

7:30AM

1-1.5 hours Max 20 miles How fast can a mosey be? http://uacycling.com/

 

 

Ben’s Bike MTB Meet at shop Monday

6:00 PM

1-2 hours Easy, fun, social Ben’s Bikes
Monday Night Mash Ordinary Bike Shop Monday

7:15pm

15-25 miles Social regroups https://www.facebook.com/groups/1147259775287516/
 
Hills, Hills Hills Bashas Kolb/Sunrise Tuesday

5:30AM

20 miles

About an hour

12-14

HILLS

Damion Alexander

520-977-5664 text or call

Velo Vets

 

VA Blind Rehab Center at the VA Hospital

 

Tuesday 4:45PM Two rides.  One on VA campus. Other on The Loop easy, fun, social and service ride Giuliana Donnelly

Phone:520-465-5186

http://www.azvelovets.org/

Tuesday Fair Wheel Ride University/Euclid Tuesday

7:30AM

2.5 hours

40 miles

Fast www.Fairwheelbike.com
Tuesday Night Fast Fixed Ride Flagpole  – West Side of  Old Main Tuesday

6:30PM

Few Hours Varies Fast brownus_clarence@yahoo.com
Tuesday Night Ride Flagpole  – West Side of  Old Main Tuesday

8:30PM

12-18 miles Slow https://www.facebook.com/groups/5833629539/
 
UA Cycling  Wed.Worlds Flagpole  – West Side of  Old Main Wed

7:30AM

40-60 miles   http://uacycling.com/
Mt. Lemmon University/Euclid Wed

7:30AM

55-60 Miles   www.Fairwheelbike.com
JKG DnA Easy Udall Parking Lot Wed

5:30AM

Udall-Mile post 3 on Lemmon Casual

NoDrop

https://www.facebook.com/groups/579397565447522/?fref=ts
Heavy Pedal Flagpole  – West Side of  Old Main Wed

7:00PM

Different route each week    
Wednesday Shredzday Sierra Vista 31.501495, -110.274078 Wed

7:00PM

10 miles   Sun & Spokes. 520.458.0685
Bike Polo UofA Mall Wed

8:00PM

    https://www.facebook.com/tucson.bikepolo?fref=ts
 
Up Oracle

Thursday Shootout

University and Euclid Thurs

7:00AM

  Fast www.Fairwheelbike.com
Hills, hills, hills Bashas Kolb/Sunrise Thurs

5:30AM

20 miles 12-14(but Hills) Damion Alexander

977-5664

Tim Carolan Ride AJ’s

Sunrise/Campbell

Thursday

7:00AM

45 miles 18 plus timcarolan@mac.com

548-3624

U of A Cycling Thursday Thrill Flagpole  – West Side of  Old Main Thurs

7:30AM

1-1.5 hours Max 20 miles Easy Ride http://uacycling.com/
Ordinary Bike Shop Ride Ordinary Bike Shop Thursday

7AM

10-20 Miles Conversational Pace Nate Woiwode nate@ordinarybikeshop.com
The JKG Flagship ride Le Buzz Thurs

5:30AM

Le Buzz to Molina Basin Hammer fest JKG Strava on Facebook
Tasty Chipolte Night Ride Sierra Vista

Chipotle  6 or circle K at 6:30

Thursday

6:00PM-  Chipotle 6:30 PM

Circle K on BST

20-25 miles No drop Sun & Spokes. 520.458.0685
 
U OF A Cycling  Friday Freewheelin Flagpole  – West Side of  Old Main Friday

7:30AM

2 hours

30-40 miles

Team Time Trial Practice http://uacycling.com/
 
Bicycle Ranch Tucson Group Bicycle Ranch at Oracle and Ina

 

Saturday 7:00AM 48 (shorter option of 35 as well) miles 17-20

MPH

Free Breakfast after ride

Steve 520-219-4311

The

Old  Man Shootout

University and

Euclid

Saturday 7:15AM 60 Mile (can be extended to 100) Fast

20 MPH+

www.fairwheelbikes.com
The Big Boy Shootout University and

Euclid

Saturday 7:30AM AM 60 Miles(can be extended to 100) Faster www.fairwheelbikes.com
Performance Speedway Shop Ride 3302 E. Speedway Blvd Saturday 7:00AM 15-20 miles 12-15

No drop

Pbs074@performaneinc.com

(520) 327-3232‎

Performance Broadway Shop Ride 7204 e Broadway Saturday 7:00AM 10-15 miles beginner 12-15

No drop

pbs054@performanceinc.com

520-296-4715

Broadway Bicycles Shop Ride Various Routes

Call Scott

Saturday 7:00AM     Scott 296-7819
Miles Ahead Shop Ride I’m sad to say that Miles Ahead has closed and one of the best shop rides in Tucson is no more.  If you are interested in starting a Pistol Hill Ride Every week, please let me know so I can put it here.  I know there is an interest, we just need someone to step up.  Thanks Geoff for having such a great ride.  You and Miles Ahead will be missed.
Ben’s Bike Ride At Ben’s bike

7431 Houghton

Saturday

8:00AM

6-10 miles Easy www.bensbikestucson.com

520-574-2453

Sabino Cycle Shop Ride Varies- email Steve  to be on the list Saturday 6:30AM   No Drop steve@sabinocycles.com

 

Tucson Endurance Performance Center Ride Mountain Bike Ride Contact shop for details.  Different route weekly. Saturday 7:30AM     www.graskyendurance.com/weekly-workouts.html

 

 
Performance Speedway Shop Ride 3302 E. Speedway Blvd Sunday

6:30AM

30-35 miles 12-15 Pbs074@performaneinc.com

(520) 327-3232‎

 
Tucson Endurance Performance Center Ride 6448 N Oracle

 

Sunday

7:30AM

    www.graskyendurance.com/weekly-workouts.html
Ben’s Bikes At Ben’s bike

7431 Houghton

Sunday 8AM 35-40 17-20 www.bensbikestucson.com

520-574-2453

 

THIS WEEKS ROAD RIDES

PLEASE NOTE- Category below just for Mountain Bikes

What Location Date/Time Distance Speed Contact- More Info
Zona Cycling

First of the Month Mt Lemmon Ride

Starbucks at El Con Coffee Shop Saturday

11.28.15

8:30AM

40 miles 16-18 MPH https://www.facebook.com/Zona-Cycling-186457201423794/?fref=ts
Tucson Recumbent Cyclists Hi Corbett field, in the NE area of the parking lot Saturday

11.28.15

11:00AM

17.5

miles

You can keep up- friendly group https://www.facebook.com/groups/TucsonRC/

 

River Path, CDO, Hohokam Park, Ina, Campbell loop Rillito river park trail

1450 w river

Saturday

11.28.15

8:30AM

46 miles 12-14mph http://www.meetup.com/bikegaba/events/226820883/
Broadway Bicycle Pistol Hill Broadway Bicycles Saturday

11.28.15

8:30AM

43 miles ? http://ridewithgps.com/trips/1553897   scott@broadwaybicycles.com
Ride On Cycling –

HIKE

El Grupo Club house Aguas Calientes Trailhead Sunday

11.29.15

9:00AM

As far as u like Your pace

 

Dean Drawbaugh dwdrawbaugh@aol.com
Oro Valley Sunday North Side Starbucks 1st and Oracle Sunday

11.29.15

9:00AM

32 18+ http://www.cactuscycling.org/event-2098403
The Bicycle Loop Ride Udall Park

7290 E. Tanque Verde

Monday

11.30.15

8:00AM

58 miles 14-15 MPH http://www.meetup.com/bikegaba/events/226801064/
Ken’s Monday Ride Beyond Bread – corner Oracle /Ina Monday

11.30.15

9:00AM

25-35 16-18mph http://www.cactuscycling.org/event-2082502
Tuesday Ride: SE Loop thru Fantasy Island Starbucks

9525 E. Old Spanish Trai

Tuesday

11.28.15

8:00AM

38 miles 12-14 mph http://www.meetup.com/bikegaba/events/227055042/
Pistol Hill – Kino Stadium Udall Park

7290 E. Tanque Verde

Wednesday

10.28.15

6:30AM

55 miles 15-16 http://www.meetup.com/bikegaba/events/226851176/
Oro Valley Loop Ride Park

7290 E. Tanque Verde

Friday

11.30.15

5:45AM

55 MILES 14-15mph http://www.meetup.com/bikegaba/events/226413517/
Thursday Easy Peasy Ride Morris K. Udall

7290 E. Tanque Verde

Friday

12.03.15

5:45AM

25 miles 12 – 14 mph http://www.meetup.com/bikegaba/events/226894845/

 

THIS WEEKS MOUNTAIN BIKE RIDES  ^^^^Road rides are above^^^^

What Location Date

Time

Time  Distance Speed Contact- More Info
Honeybee Canyon 1171 E Rancho Vistoso Blvd Saturday, 11.28.15

8:30 AM

20 miles of rolling trails with options for shorter loops if you know your way around. http://www.meetup.com/Southern-Arizona-Mountain-Bike-Association/events/226838034/
MTB Addicts – Lakes Rd to Hope Camp Shuttle  

Loma Alta Trailhead

Sunday 11.29.15

7:30AM

Meet at the Hope Camp We’ll shuttle,  head out to lakes rd. The ride is about 33 miles long with some good climbing, and plenty of sweet single track descents. https://www.facebook.com/events/132611910436447/
SDMB November Social Ride on the AZT Le Buzz Caffe

9121 E Tanque Verde Rd

Sunday 11.29.15

8:00AM

Come ride Redington Pass on Thanksgiving weekend! For November’s Social Ride, we are going to ride the AZT/ATV Route. This is a solidly intermediate ride, with about 1500 ft. of climbing over 12 miles https://www.facebook.com/events/1650149275261005/
Old Pueblo MTB: 24 Hours in The Old Pueblo 24 hour course at the Arch at Willow Springs Sunday 11.29.15

3:00PM

Total distance is 17 miles with just under 1000 feet of climbing. https://www.facebook.com/events/1059566037396509/
Monday Night Gabe Z on the AZ Trail Gabe Zimmerman Trailhead Monday, 11.30.15

6:30PM

Plan on 2 hours http://www.meetup.com/Southern-Arizona-Mountain-Bike-Association/events/226663106/
Wednesday Night Ride at 50 Year Trail 50 Year/Golder Ranch TH Wednes, 12.02.15 6:15pm By popular demand, we are adding this fun trail to the Wednesday night rides ,original plan will be to do The Chutes and back http://www.meetup.com/Southern-Arizona-Mountain-Bike-Association/events/226682399/

 

EVENTS AND VOLUNTEERING OPPORTUNITIES

What Location Date Contact
BICAS 20th Annual Art Auction Early bidding takes place Saturday from 11am-4pm; and you won’t want to miss the silent auction to be held Saturday December 5th, from 6-9pm. Plenty of bike parking so ride your bike! The Art Gallery 1122 N Stone Ave. Saturday from 11am-4pm;

And

Saturday December 5th, from 6-9pm.

www.bicas.org/art-auction
Criterium Training Series

UA Tech Park –

 

The Bridges 1550 E. 36th St All races are Wednesday

Series 1

December 2,9,16,23,30

Series 2

January 6,13,20,27

February 3

Series 3

February 10,17,24

March 2,9

 

https://www.facebook.com/events/1500546370245192/
Bicycle Advocacy Committee Public meeting Himmel Park Library 1035 N Treat Ave, Wednesday

12.9.15 6:00pm

Open meeting to the public all about bikes.
December Trailwork Day Milagrosa Sponsored By SONORAN CYCLES Meet at Suzenu parking at 8am Saturday, December 12at 8:00am https://www.facebook.com/events/1472186376416160/
Liv Ladies Holiday Mingle, Basic Maintenance tips, tire changing and holiday gift ideas, Bicycle Ranch Tucson

7090 N Oracle Rd

Saturday, December 12at 1:00pm https://www.facebook.com/events/521434504678839/

 

TIMED RIDES aka MOTIVATION aka RACES and Big Rides

Name Description Date Location Contact Info
Horse Lovers p/b Bicycles of Phoenix- Cranky Cross It has beer handoffs.  It has mud and jumping on and off bikes over obstacles Saturday

11.28.15

Phoenix http://azcross.com/
AZ endurance series 31 miles ride around the McDowell range. 61 miles will utilize the new Gooseneck trail to add in the Brown’s Ranch area. Saturday

12.05.15 7:30am

Scottsdale, Arizona. https://rockyroad5050.wordpress.com/mc6/
Race around the Farm – Cranky Cross You guessed.  It’s not a road race.  It’s not a mtn bike race.  It’s nobby tires with drop bars.  Hopefully it will be muddy. Sat/Sunday

12. 5-6.15

Gilbert http://azcross.com/
Dawn to Dusk From sun-up until the big light in the sky goes out.

15.5 mile laps.

12.12.15

7:23AM

McDowell Mountain Regional Park, Pemberton Trail http://www.dcbadventures.com/
1st Annual World Vegan/Bison Day Clunker Criterion 1) best/worst clunker,

2) best/worst costume,

3) slowest lap. Details to follow.

Sunday 12.13.15

1:00 PM

Fantasy Island Mountain Bike Trails

 

https://www.facebook.com/events/1588435644710464/
AZ CROSS Series Finals /TREK CX State Championships C                    OSSSSSSSSSS

Y                R

C           C

L   O

 

December 19 Gilbert http://azcross.com

 

 

ADVOCACY OPPORTUNITIES – WANT BETTER BIKE INFRASTRUCTURE? GET INVOLVED.  Feel free to e-mail damion@damionalexander.com if you want to get involved in the Velodrome Committee, CASA- Cycling Advocates of Southern Arizona, GABA – Greater Arizona Bicycle Association, Sonoran Desert Mountain Bike SDMB, Tucson Off Road Cyclist & Activists TORCA, El Grupo Youth Cycling, Tu Nidito Ride For A Child.  Added bonus, I’ll be there and the pictures are free;-)

RIDE AND EVENT DISCLAIMER

These rides are not mine.  I am only sharing the data.  The Damion Alexander Team  cannot guarantee anybody’s safety.  There are unknown and unforeseen potential hazards in every ride so you should  pay attention and take reasonable precautions.  I always use a helmet.  I think that Helmets are required when riding.  If you choose to listen to music during rides you should only use the headset in the right ear and keep the headset out of the left ear. Better yet, buy a FarEnd Gear earbud.  Communication is essential during all rides and having the ability to hear is a part of your responsibility to others.  Please also ride within your limitations. You are  not racing the Tour de France.  If you see someone  that is  not riding within their limitations or are becoming a hazard to others we should politely bring this to their your attention  Dothis for your and everybody’s safety.

Also, it is everybody’s responsibility to follow all traffic laws.  We are not lemmings.  Just because somebody does something foolish does not mean you need to follow.  Use your head and enjoy your ride.

 

THE DAMION ALEXANDER TEAM, DAMION ALEXANDER, AND ANYONE ELSE WHO CONTRIBUTES TO THIS LIST SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIM RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY ACCIDENT OR INJURY THAT OCCURS ON THSES RIDES.  EVERY PERSON IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR OWN SAFETY AND THE SAFETY OF OTHERS AROUND THEM

 

WHERE DO ALL THE RIDES COME FROM?  These links and shops and clubs and teams and facebook and YOU.  See a ride that is missing.  Please let me know  Damion@DamionAlexadner.com.  Thanks

Road

*Vistoso Cyclist http://vistosocyclists.weebly.com/road-biking.html

Cactus Cycling http://www.cactuscycling.org/schedule.php

Greater Arizona Bicycle Association GABA-  http://www.meetup.com/bikegaba/events/203149392/

*Tucson Tri Girls https://www.facebook.com/groups/ttgandfriends/   http://www.tucsontrigirls.org/index.php/calendar

Zona Cyclist https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zona-Cycling/186457201423794

JKG Strava – https://www.facebook.com/groups/579397565447522/?fref=ts

U of A Cycling http://uacycling.com/

Velo Vets  Phonehttp://www.azvelovets.org/: 520-465-5186

Tuesday Night Ride https://www.facebook.com/groups/5833629539/

Bicycle Commuters of Tucson https://www.facebook.com/groups/160142187481277/

Mountain Bike

Tucson Offroad Cyclists and Activists TORCA http://torca.org/   www.facebook.com/events/

Southern Arizona Mountain Bike Association (SAMBA) www.meetup.com/Southern-Arizona-Mountain-Bike-Association

Sonoran Desert Mountain Bicyclists  https://www.facebook.com/SDMB.org   http://www.sdmb.org

Tucson Mountain Bike Addicts https://www.facebook.com/TucsonMTBAddicts \

Our MTB Rides – Dave Slagle Slaglesphone@live.com

https://www.facebook.com/groups/ourmtbrides/385655391621830/?notif_t=group_activity

Old Pueblo Mountain Bike – Todd Rasmussen 520-256-1340   https://www.facebook.com/groups/203787656312279/?fref=ts

RBAR – Jesus Friaa 520-271-3776

 

Shop Rides

Performance Bicycles Speedway Tucson – Pbs074@performaneinc.com

(520) 327-3232‎ http://www.meetup.com/Performance-Speedway-MeetNRide/events/

Performance Bicycles Broadway –  pbs054@performanceinc.com 520-296-4715

Fairwheel Bikes https://fairwheelbikes.com/tucson-arizona-location-ezp-1.html#rides  (520) 884-9018

Grasky Endurance Coaching  www.graskyendurance.com/weekly-workouts.html

Broadway Bicycles

Bicycle Ranch Tucson – http://bicycleranch.com/tucson-rides/ (  520-219-4311

Ben’s Bikes http://www.bensbikestucson.com/  520-574-2453

Recumbent

Tucson Recumbent Cyclists  https://www.facebook.com/groups/TucsonRC/?fref=ts

 

This list is a major time commitment and it is my pleasure to put it together.  All I ask in return for the list is that you remember I’m A REALTOR.  If you have a relationship with another REALTOR, I love loyalty and respect those relationships.  However, if not, or if you need a second opinion, Please keep me in mind.  Many agents spend money advertising for new business, others sit open houses or cold call.  My business is based on referrals from past clients and friends.  The less time I have to do traditional prospecting the more I can do for the cycling community.  For example: this list.

THIS LIST IS PROVIDED AT A COURTESY OF THE DAMION ALEXANDER TEAM.  THIS LIST IS DEEMED RELIABLE, BUT NOT GUARANTEED.  WHEN POSSIBLE, CONTACT INFORMATION FOR THE GROUP RIDERS ARE PROVIDED.  TAKE RESPONSIBILITY AND DOUBLE CHECK OR GO TO THE RIDE AND IF NO ONE IS THERE, GO RIDE BY YOURSELD.

El Tour De Tucson

At the end of this blog are links to over 100 images from El Tour.

In the weekend before Thanksgiving,  the best place to be is Tucson Arizona for El Tour De Tucson.  I recommend staying through the Thanksgiving weekend as southern Arizona has so many “Must Do” Rides and it takes a full week just to see even a fraction of them.  Tucson is surrounded on all sides by mountains and the valley floor is fairly flat.  This gives riders of all levels an opportunity to get out and spin.  Personally, my favorite is called “The Loop”.  It has over 100 miles of paths circling the city with off shoots going in many directions.  It is flat and no mechanized vehicles are allowed. Other must do rides include Mt. Lemmon with  29 miles and 6000 feet of climbing, Saguaro East with 8 miles of one way traffic through the most scenic Sonoran Desert imaginable.  If you like to get off roads, Southern Arizona offers thousands of miles of single track and fire roads.

El Tour De Tucson  is a bicycling event for cyclists of all ages and abilities who ride 104, 75, 55 or 40 miles in the main event or 11, 5 or 1/4 miles in the fun ride or for minutes not miles in indoor El Tour. 

Is anything better then a day in the saddle with your sweetie?

Is anything better then a day in the saddle with your sweetie?

Officially, I registered for the 55 mile ride, but as a photographer I like to get out and see all the action.  I had a plan that gives me the chance to catch each race and still finish the day with over 115 miles.   My game day strategy was to ride the course in reverse until the lead packs came through from the 104 and 80 mile routes.  I would then  follow the course until I would diverge to the start of the 55.  I’d stick with that group until I needed to veer off to the start of the 40. I help coach a youth cycling team and our kids were riding in the 40 mile El Tour.  This year the event is dedicated to former congresswoman Gabby Giffords and her husband Astronaut Mark Kelly.  Gabby was part of one of Tucson’s darkest days, when a gunman showed up a “congresswoman on your corner” meetings and killed 8 people.  Gabby survived a shot to the head and her return to El Tour is truly an inspiring story.  In this blog, I’ll share links to the photo albums I have posted from the event.  On the day I snapped about 3000 images and shared over 1000.

If you do the 104 mile event, and are interested in the best time, I would recommend showing up at the start line well before sunrise.  Many riders camp out to be at the front of the line.  For returning riders who had a qualifying time in previous Perimeter Cycling Events, there is a “platinum pass” that allows you to the front of the line. The roll out is fairly slow for most riders and the streets swell from sidewalk to sidewalk as every inch of pavement is claimed.  This casual pace continues for the first 15 minutes until the race crosses the Santa Cruz River.  For most EL Tours the Santa Cruz is actually a dry, sandy wash.  After the wash crossing the field spreads out and it’s fairly easy to find a pack that is your pace. The ride heads South and East as you start to circle the city.  For the most part, it feels flat, but there is a gradual climb.  Nothing more than a few degrees and if you can ride a century you won’t notice it.

Chris DeMarchi and Phil Tinstman off the front with a gap about 30 miles in..

Chris DeMarchi and Phil Tinstman off the front with a gap about 30 miles in..

I picked up the lead riders near the Eastern most part of the ride.  I was surprised to see a tandem was way off the front with only two riders about 30 seconds back.  The chase pack was a few minutes behind and it was only about 30 miles into the race.  As the race passes Saguaro Nation Park it has a few miles of descent as it drops into the Tanque Verde Valley.  If I were visiting Tucson and only had one day, I’d add an extra 8 miles onto my ride and go for a loop through the park.  It does have a climb that is far longer and harder than anything you will see during El Tour, but it’s just so incredible I’d be remiss not to mention it.

Heading North with the Catalina Mountains towering in the distance

Heading North with the Catalina Mountains towering in the distance

What goes down must come up.  The climb out of the Tangue Verde Valley in steady with only one hill just after Catalina Highway.  The Highway (it’s only two lanes and is more of a scenic byway) leads to Mt. Lemmon.  Just after the small hill  the ride turns West.  I’ve had El Tours where this is a huge relief as the wind at this time of the morning usually gives you a push.  However, in Tucson, you can never be sure.  We seem to get wind that is in direct proportion to how tired you are at the moment.  This year, it felt like there were tailwinds all day and with the first sub 4 hour El Tour ever recorded, it shows the wionds were definitely favorable.  As you head West you are only a mile from the base of the Catalina Mountains and for the next 30 miles the scenery is glorious.

The ride passes through a few hundred yards of dirt road that leads through the founder of El Tours property and into Canyon Ranch. The lead riders are able to navigate the road, but by the time I arrived most everyone was walking. This year Sabino Creek was flowing, but El Tour provided a bridge for dry crossing, but many people still rode.  By this time I was getting a little warm and I wanted to soak my knees so I went into the stream.  I was rewarded with some of the best photos of the day and I was dry in under an hour.  The ride continues through one of Tucson’s gems, The world renowned Canyon Ranch Spa.  If you can afford it, it’s worth every penny of it.  Voted best Spa in the Universe more than once.  Just after leaving Canyon Ranch is the steepest section of the day.  Some walk it as it is steep, but most people are able to ride.  It is not that long and I cleared it in only a few minutes.

Marty and Robin Giles with Riders for the Cure leading out the 55 mile ride.

Marty and Robin Giles with Riders for the Cure leading out the 55 mile ride.

As I continued heading West on Sunrise through the Catalina Foothills the road has long rolling hills.  They are not steep, but there is no flat road for about 10 miles.  I veered off at Swan and headed to the start of the 55 mile ride.  I was having so much fun in the water that I was way behind schedule and missed the start by a few minutes.  The 55 mile starts with 3 mile climb up Swan.  Again, not exceptionally steep, but very steady.  It joins in with the longer rides at Sunrise and heads West to Oracle road.

On Oracle road I ran into a long delay.  Apparently, the ride was a little congested and the officers were attempting to bring balance to the force.  I really would not have minded, but it was clear I was going to miss the start of the 40.  On the plus side, this was one of the few times all day that the light is really bad for photos so I was able to put my head down and put in a solid effort once we were waved through the intersection.  I used the Loop to avoid some traffic, but still missed the start of the 40 by only a few minutes.

Sharmin Pool and Jorgiana Jake wave as they pass on Rancho Vistoso Blvd.

Sharmin Pool and Jorgiana Jake wave as they pass on Rancho Vistoso Blvd.

I was able to catch Gabby Giffords and her entourage in no time at all, but there was no sight of El Grupito.  The 40 mile course starts with perhaps the nicest stretch of blacktop in southern Az for cyclist.  It is in Oro Valley and the roads are smooth, the bike lanes are wide, and the desert is thick with Saguaros, ocotillo, and other desert flora and fauna.  Rancho Vistoso  Blvd has a climb at the start but after you turn onto Moore road all of the climbing for the day is done.  The 55 mile ride bypasses this stretch on Rancho Vistoso and meets up with the 40 on Moore.

I have not mentioned the condition of Tucson roads that much as it is sometimes embarrassing.  It is a mixed bag.  On the South side there are some patches that need serious attention.  Parts of Moore Rd  could use a fresh coating of blacktop, but this stretch is flat and seems to always just fly by.

The old west.  If you prefer old school horses over the iron horse, Tucson has great equestrian trails.

The old west. If you prefer old school horses over the iron horse, Tucson has great equestrian trails.

One of the great parts about El Tour is the lack of traffic if you are riding at a pace that keeps you positioned towards the front.  This is true for every distance. I did not notice any cars at all until just passed Moore Rd.  Even on Oracle road where there are three lanes for cars, the bike lane is so wide that you don’t notice the vehicles.  However, on Tangerine road, you are in with cars and have a small bike lane.  On the positive side, it is a whipping fast descent and the tailwind made it even faster.  Some cyclist had taken the entire road some distance ahead of me and I was able to pass all the cars and take advantage of the full road.

At the bottom of Tangerine just before the freeway is the aide station that I like to stop at.  It is stationed by the Marana Rotary and they always provide Eegee’s frozen drinks.   Eegee’s is a local restaurant that makes a frozen fruit concoction that is worth the visit.  Every month they have a special flavor and then there are the old standbys, Strawberry, Lemon and Pina Colada.  They have been known to cause brain freeze, but I had 3.  They also have the ability to slow down kids in their tracks to devour the local fare. Finally, I caught   El Grupito .

El tour is a family friendly.  Many do the 40, but you see kids of all ages in every distance.

El tour is a family friendly. Many do the 40, but you see kids of all ages in every distance.

After the aide station we crossed under i-10 and headed South for 15 miles on the frontage road. Some years, this section is brutal.  I’ve made the turn into 20mph winds, but this year it was blowing the other direction.  It was just blissful riding all the way to Congress street.  At this point they changed the course from previous years.  It headed a little farther East through the old barrio and past the Mercado.  I liked seeing this addition to give a little Tucson flavor that was missing.  As we turned East again on 22nd street I felt the excitement of the finish line approaching.  I was swelling with pride and admiration for the kids I was riding with.  They had just done 40 miles, in formation, taking turns pulling.  As we made the final turn North towards the finish line the kids started to jockey for position, but the coaches recommended they finish 10 across, together.  It was only said once and they fell into formation.  I went out in front to get a photo and found my eyes watering up a bit.  My son, who is a part of El Grupo, and who I’ve seen cross this finish line many time, is away for the semester in Land O’ Lakes, Wi. at Conserve School.  The past 7 years, I’ve ridden with him.  As excited as I was for El Grupito I was missing my boy more than at any time since he left.

We were swarmed at the finish by all of the El Grupo Youth Cycling family.  Hugs and high 5’s all around.  I said goodbye to the kids and started to mill through the crowd and grab my finishing medallion.  In true Gran Fondo style, it was not about the time I finished in, but the journey that got me to the start and the people I met along the way.  It was about 3:22 when I finished.  Gabby Giffords and her entourage crossed the line at 4:34. I doubled back on the course and finished the ride with them before   riding home.

I had left home at dawn around 6:45 in the AM.  The sun was set and I was riding on The Loop towards home. As I was climbing the last hill on the way home I was thinking how content I would be to do this every day.  Yes, my legs were heavy, I felt the effort of the day, but the feelings were in all the right places.

If you are heading to Tucson, please feel free to contact me.  I put out a weekly ride list of every ride I know of as well as races and events.  The biggest challenge I face is that we have so many rides every day it is impossible to do them all.   Also, I am a Realtor and have had many clients look for homes on bikes.  Nothing makes me happier then putting on Lycra and telling my wife I’m going to work.

 

Below are links to the photo albums from the 2015 El Tour De Tucson.  These images are also on The Damion Alexander Team on Facebook.  If you like cycling photos, you will love this page.

If you want  a feel for the day and only have time to look at one album, this is the one  https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10156280924140154.1073742429.228735085153&type=3

104 leaders and chase packs https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10156282741965154.1073742430.228735085153&type=3

The 104 and 85 mile riders on Escalante , Old Spanish Trail and Freeman road https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10156284316110154.1073742431.228735085153&type=3

Sabino to Snyder with the 85 and 104 mile rides  https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10156285807950154.1073742432.228735085153&type=3

Sabino to swan with the 85 and 104 mile rides including the Sabino Creek water crossing https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10156287301820154.1073742433.228735085153&type=3

El Tour – Start of the 55 going up Swan https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10156288413030154.1073742434.228735085153&type=3

El Tour de Tucson Sunrise and Ina with the 55, 80, and 104 mile riders https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10156288738570154.1073742435.228735085153&type=3

Oracle with the 55, 80, and 104 mile riders https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10156288972375154.1073742436.228735085153&type=3

40 mile start including Gabby Giffords https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10156289353280154.1073742438.228735085153&type=3

El Tour De Tucson Moore Road and Tangerine https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10156289980010154.1073742439.228735085153&type=3

The home stretch  https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10156290231625154.1073742440.228735085153&type=3

Post ride https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10156291449800154.1073742441.228735085153&type=3

Fall Cyclovia 2015

All of the Cyclovia Tucson Fall Photos from The Damion Alexander Team in one place.

If you are unfamiliar with Cyclovia it is an Open Streets events.  Open street events are exactly what they sound like – they open streets to people by closing them to cars for one day, and allow people to explore different parts of their city by jogging, walking, bicycling, skating and just playing. They are non-competitive and there is no start or finish line. The event is as much about creating space for social integration as it is about providing participants with an opportunity to try try out active transportation in a safe, social atmosphere.

These photos are a major time commitment and it is my pleasure to take the photos and share them with you. All I ask in return for the photos is that you remember I’m A REALTOR. If you have a relationship with another REALTOR, I love loyalty and respect those relationships. However, if you do not have a reltationship with a real estate agent, or if you need a second opinion, please keep me in mind. Many agents spend money advertising for new business, others sit open houses or cold call. My business is based on referrals from past clients and friends. The less time I have to do traditional prospecting the more I can do for the Tucson community. For example: these photo albums. THANKS!

 

Album 1

Album 2

Album 3

Album 4

Album 5

Album 5B

Album 6

Album 7

Album 8

Album 9