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Perimeter Bicycling Event News

Determined Duo: Gabby & Mark Named El Tour Dedication Recipients

Giffords and Kelly P.K. Weis Photo

Giffords and Kelly
P.K. Weis Photo

Richard J. DeBernardis, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Perimeter Bicycling Association of America, Inc., proudly announces the 33rd El Tour de Tucson presented by Casino Del Sol Resort is officially dedicated to former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Navy combat veteran and NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly, for their committed service to their country and for electing to use the bicycle as a means to get back to good mental and physical health.

Gabby and Mark are now preparing for El Tour on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015. They are in the midst of training for the big event.

In selecting a dedication recipient, Perimeter Bicycling looks for individuals who serve as an example in achieving accomplishments and overcoming obstacles. Individuals who are not going to let any type of adversity stop them from accomplishing what he or she set out to do. In 2000, Perimeter Bicycling dedicated the 18th El Tour to Greg LeMond not only because he won the Tour de France three times but also because – after his first victory in 1986 in an accidental hunting incident – he was shot in the back and nearly died from the wound. Not only did LeMond survive, but he also came back several years later and won the Tour in 1989 and 1990.


Giffords and Kelly listen to little kids participating in the Fun Ride. Eric Peffer Photo

Each year El Tour’s dedication recipients have demonstrated great accomplishments while overcoming adversity. They’ve had a strong and major impact on society showing that with determination and a strong desire to overcome what many think is improbable. They’ve shown us there are no limits.

Gabby and Mark are a team: well-accomplished, strong and dedicated. Their commitment to each other is unmatched and was clearly seen when Gabby was shot and nearly died on Jan. 8, 2011 from a gunshot to the head in an attempted assassination. Immediately, Mark came to her aid and has stood by her side ever since.

Last year, they accomplished the 11-mile Fun Run through determination and hard work.

We see Gabby and Mark giving that hope to all those who want to achieve something good in their life and feel a sense of accomplishment. That’s what El Tour is all about: achievement and a will to finish. It’s something that will reinforce you to go on with whatever life has in store.

Gabby and Mark symbolize El Tour.


Gabby Giffords waves to the crowd as Mark Kelly sits next to her in the 2013 Tucson Rodeo Parade. Giffords and Kelly were the Parade’s Grand Marshalls. P.K. Weis Photo


Come ride El Tour with Gabby and Mark on Nov. 21, 2015. Registration is  open. You can participate in any one of our main events: 104 miles, 75 miles, 55 miles or 40 miles, or you can join us in the Fun Ride of 11 miles, 5 miles, or 1/4-mile. It’s your pathway to a new beginning.

Tucson Ranks #2 in Top 10 Cities With the Most Bike Lanes

More kudos for bicycling in Tucson!

AllianceWalkingBiking2014BenchmarkingReport175x219pxAccording to the Alliance for Biking & Walking, Tucson ranks #2 on the list of cities with the most on-street bike lanes!   Click here to read the Forbes article which uses the Alliance’s data to chart the top 10 cities with the most on-street bike lanes.  

Click to download the 2014 Alliance Benchmarking Report.

Top 10 Cities With the Most On-Street Bike Lanes *

*As mentioned in AAA Arizona Highroads Magazine March/April 2015, three Arizona cities made the top to list. The top 10 list (below)  is  from the Forbes article.

#1  San Diego, CA  620 miles

#2 Tucson, AZ        610 miles

#3 Los Angeles, CA  463 miles

#4 San Jose, CA  443 miles

#5 Philadelphia, PA  426 miles

#6 Albuquerque, NM   400 miles

#7 Fresno, CA  382 miles

#8 Phoenix, AZ 376 miles

#9 Mesa, AZ 360 miles

#10 New York City, NY  338 miles

Easter Seals Blake Foundation Selected as El Tour’s New Primary Beneficiary

Registration Opens on February 4

TUCSON, Ariz. (February 4, 2015) – Perimeter Bicycling Association of America, Inc. is pleased to announce the selection of Easter Seals Blake Foundation (ESBF) of Tucson to become the primary beneficiary of the 2015 El Tour de Tucson presented by Casino del Sol Resort.

“We are excited that Easter Seals Blake Foundation, after two years participation as a supporting beneficiary, has taken on the position of primary beneficiary. At the same time, our association with Special Olympics has come to an end; we thank them for their support and their positive impact in the community,” said Richard J. DeBernardis, founder and president of Perimeter Bicycling. “We share the viewpoint of Easter Seals Blake Foundation. El Tour is an event that all individuals can use to address physical and mental challenges and as a means of coping with all life’s challenges in a healthy way.”

“Easter Seals Blake Foundation is fully committed to the health and well-being of our community. To be selected as the primary beneficiary for El Tour offers us a wonderful opportunity to highlight our shared values,” said Ema Kammeyer, C.E.O. of Easter Seals Blake Foundation. “El Tour demonstrates the essence of what Easter Seals is about: working in partnership, providing support and inspiring action so that everyone can reach for and realize their full potential.”

 El Tour’s primary beneficiary and title sponsor in 2014 was Special Olympics, but in light of other major organizational priorities this year – such as the Special Olympics World Games and the first-ever Unified Relay Across America – Special Olympics will not be returning in its role. “We were honored to be a part of the 2014 El Tour. We hope Arizonans and cyclists everywhere are inspired to continue to Ride Unified and support their local Special Olympics athletes in their hometowns,” said Kymberly Jordan, Director, Special Events, Special Olympics.

 Registration will open online Feb 4. The 33rd El Tour de Tucson presented by Casino Del Sol Resort will be held Saturday, November 21.  El Tour, America’s largest perimeter bicycling event, brings in more than 18,000 visitors from across the country and around the world, contributing an estimated $18 – $30 million in direct spending on ride weekend alone as well as $50 – $70 million year-round.

 One of Perimeter Bicycling’s major goals is to raise money for local non-profit organizations.  Since its inception, more than 151,000 cyclists have participated in El Tour de Tucson and raised in excess of $51 million dollars for such charitable agencies as Easter Seals Blake Foundation, Special Olympics, Tu Nidito Children and Family Services, Rotary International, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Juvenal Diabetes Research Foundation and other Perimeter charities. In 2014, 43 El Tour beneficiaries raised $8.7M.

About Easter Seals Blake Foundation

The Blake Foundation, founded in 1950, started with one program in Tucson, AZ, serving young children with Cerebral Palsy. Sharing a close philosophical affinity with Easter Seals, in 2007 the Blake Foundation became an affiliate. This opportunity offered access to national brand recognition and program resources. Currently with a budget of $34M Easter Seals Blake Foundation offers 155 programs, serving more 18,000 children, families and individuals in Pima, La Paz, Cochise, Santa Cruz, Gila, Pinal, Graham, Greenlee, Yuma, Maricopa and the five northern counties. In addition, ESBF has partnerships, collaborations and strategic affiliations across Southern Arizona.

 Easter Seals Blake Foundation is dedicated to the idea that all people deserve the chance to live healthy, productive and independent lives. Our educational, therapeutic, behavioral health, family support and community living programs are designed in accordance with our mission: to enable each individual served to discover and meet his or her maximum potential for independent, productive living and developmental growth.

 About Perimeter Bicycling

Perimeter Bicycling Association of America, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, tax exempt organization responsible for the production and promotion of five major bicycling events – El Tour de Tucson, El Tour de Mesa, Cochise County Cycling Classic, El Tour de Vegas and Indoor El Tour – as well as an annual fall and spring Bicycle, Fitness & Health Expo, El Tour Adventure Walk/Run, and El Tour Fun Rides. Perimeter Bicycling also supports and promotes El Tour de Mt. Fuji and El Tour de Kusatsu, held annually in Japan. All events are modeled after Perimeter’s concept of cycling in pursuit of wellness.

 For more information on Perimeter Bicycling please call 520-745-2033, visit www.perimeterbicycling.com,

follow on Twitter @tourdetucson  and @PerimeterBike  find us on Facebook ElTourdeTucson and  PerimeterBicycling

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