Barry and I are really enjoying the cycling infrastructure here in Tucson. This city repeatedly wins awards for being bike friendly. The Travel Channel said: “This desert oasis has more bicycle infrastructure than any other city in the US, boasting more than 700 miles of designated bikeways. You can ride year-round without bundling up, and the mountain bike trails outside of town, as in the Santa Catalina Mountains, are top-notch—just don’t crash into a cactus!”
For riding on pavement, there are some fantastic bike paths, like the one along the Pantano Wash that we ride frequently (see my post including photos of this park and path here). Additionally, nearly all major roads (and many minor ones too) have bike lanes. These make getting around -- especially in a city as bustling as Tucson -- much less intimidating. There are so many cyclists here too, from pros to daily commuters, to folks like us riding around for fun and fitness, that drivers seem to expect to see us on the roads. We've been pleasantly surprised with how much respect we've gotten from motorists as we pedal about.
For our Sunday ride, we mapped out a route that would take us north into the Tucson foothills, then quite a ways west, then back. This route promised some nice climbs, gorgeous views, and, our favorite, adventure! It appeared that we were looking at a total of about 40 miles, per google maps.
So, come on along and see what we saw -- it was indeed a beautiful ride!
After some fast and fun descending as we left the foothills behind, we got onto the bike path at Rillito River Park. By now, it was afternoon, and everyone else had the same idea. The bike path was pretty busy! We went from car traffic to bike and pedestrian traffic.
After leaving the bike path, we still had quite a few miles to go on mostly somewhat busy to very busy roads to get back to the condo. I was pretty tired and realized afterwards that I just didn't eat enough. We only took one snack break, and the ride ended up longer than we expected. There were times we had to backtrack a bit, or turn right to go around a block when a left turn was too difficult because of traffic, so I ended up with over 48 miles -- my longest ride in quite awhile. Barry got over 50 as he did a little extra here and there, but he's been riding so many miles lately it wasn't as much of a "stretch" for him as for me.
Although I was exhausted at the end, looking back now, it was a lot of fun, and we got to see some really beautiful scenery. Tucson is a great place to be a cyclist. Anywhere we can wear shorts in February gets my thumbs up, and the excellent infrastructure for bicycling makes it even better!
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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