Saturday, November 19, 2011

"El Tour de Tucson"

What a beautiful Saturday we had today for the 29th annual El Tour de Tucson which is one of the largest road bicycling events in the United States. The El Tour de Tucson was started way back in 1983 and now takes place every November in Tucson, Arizona.

The first El Tour attracted nearly 185 riders while in recent years between 7,000 and 10,000 cyclists have attended. This year, approximately 8600 cyclists participated. In many ways, the El Tour is a family event with novice, intermediate, advanced and professional riders competing each year.

There are 109, 79, 66, and 40 mile courses as well as children's races of 6, 3 and 1/4mile races. The El Tour offers fun and cycling tests for all levels of riders. The route weaves through and around the city of Tucson, which is surrounded by 5 mountain ranges, three of which rise over 9,000 feet. The courses range from rolling to moderately hilly, with the 40 mile route being fairly flat and the perfect course for beginners.

The funds raised by the El Tour de Tucson cyclists support many charities including Tu Nidito Children & Family Services, the American Parkinson Disease Association, Water For People, Ben's Bells Project, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Diamond Children's Medical Center, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

The El Tour of Tucson is really one of those great events that really helps to showcase Southern Arizona, and particularly beautiful Tucson.

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