We wanted to be sure to see the famous Rattlesnake Bridge, a pedestrian-bicycle bridge, while here in Tucson, and what better way than to ride over to it? Naturally we took the long way round, so getting there took nearly two hours on roads and bike paths, while the much-more-direct route back to our condo took less than an hour.
This bridge is seriously cool! You ride through the belly of the beast from mouth, complete with fangs, to tail -- or vice versa! Supposedly the tail used to "rattle", but that function may be out of order, as it didn't make a sound for us. But still, this is a fun as well as practical way to help walkers, runners, and cyclists get around near downtown Tucson.
Here's another great-looking bridge the bike route crosses en route to the Snake Bridge.
And a view of the heart of downtown Tucson towards the west...
After leaving the Rattlesnake Bridge heading north, we rode up vibrant, eclectic 4th Avenue, which is chock-a-block with colorful little shops, restaurants, a food co-op, and drinking holes. It looked like a fun place to hang out, grab a bite to eat or a beer, or stroll along and take in the local color. Very artsy!
There are streetcar rails running up and down the street, though we didn't actually see one when we went through. The cycling infrastructure in this area is well-planned, with bike lanes and plenty of signage just for cyclists. So unusual and much appreciated by folks like us who would rather ride than drive any day!
Next we turned east and rode through the University of Arizona campus. It was definitely hopping as this was a school day, and there were college students everywhere. Lots of bikes as well! I never saw this many at UNC-Chapel Hill back in the day.
I loved the sunny campus and palm trees and can see how this would be a great place to go to school, especially for someone weary of cold weather.
Leaving campus, there were several blocks that only cyclists were allowed to ride both east and west on -- motor vehicles could only drive west. Since we were heading east, that was perfect! Note the "Do Not enter -- Bicycles Exempt" sign in the photo below. These cyclist-specific traffic lights were also fun. Look closely!
All in all, another fantastic ride about town, aside from a majority of the roads being bumpy and cracked and thus painful on the cyclist's butt! If only Tucson did as good a job with their street paving as they do with the other aspects of cycling infrastructure, they'd really have something to crow about.
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
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