El Tour Honoring Brendan Lyons and Lorena Evans
Wednesday, September 17th, 2014
TUCSON, Ariz. – Richard J. DeBernardis, president and
executive director of Perimeter Bicycling, announced today the 2014 Dedication Recipients as BRENDAN LYONS & LORENA EVANS –firefighter and registered nurse, bicycle accident survivors; pedaling safety awareness through Look! Save a Life / Arizona.
This year’s honorees embody the theme of El Tour … Ride to be Unified. “We are impressed by Brendan’s and Lorena’s willingness to look out for others and work toward better safety solutions for both cyclists and drivers,” said DeBernardis, “as well as their desire to advocate for sharing the road.”
Both avid cyclists, Lyons and Evans feel compelled to share their story, utilizing this “near fatal” experience to awaken all users of our public byways.
Brendan Lyons and Lorena Evans have both responded to and treated fellow cyclists, who’ve been struck by inattentive motorists. Unfortunately, they are also both survivors, having been on the receiving end of their own “near fatal” collision while out for a ride on Lorena’s Birthday, training for the 31st El Tour de Tucson in 2013. While riding in a dedicated bike lane, they were struck from behind by a motorist traveling approximately 45mph. Lorena and Brendan were transported to Southern Arizona’s Level-1 Trauma Facility, both receiving very serious injuries.
Brendan has always looked up to those – who at their best, make a difference helping those at their worst. Even in the first grade, he knew his life-long dream was to become a firefighter. Like so many others, Brendan looked to bicycling as a means for weight loss. He found that cycling would become much more than a workout – yet a gratifying and healthy lifestyle. A career, structure Firefighter/EMT for Rural/Metro Fire Department, Lyons responded all-too-often to motor vehicle collisions resulting from distracted driving. He found himself compelled to speak out in an effort to keep others safe.
Recognized and well established as an ER Nurse, Lorena is employed by Northwest Medical Center. She is currently attending graduate school, studying to further her career as a Family Nurse Practitioner. Always setting goals of pushing herself, Evans took up bicycling and participated in her first El Tour de Tucson in 2012.
Brendan’s desire to keep others safe, has become much more than a passion with an immediate, urgent demand for action. Both feel compelled to share their story, utilizing this “near fatal” incident to awaken all users of our public byways through LOOK! Save a Life.
Special Olympics, in its first year as title sponsor and primary beneficiary, is the world’s largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, and will help usher in a new era for El Tour. Now in its 32nd year, El Tour expects more than 9,000 riders for the 2014 event scheduled for Nov. 22, 2014. Casino Del Sol Resort, is continuing for the third year as El Tour’s presenting sponsor.
Cyclists will raise funds for a large number of charities – thirty-five – in 2014: American Parkinson Disease Association, ARSOBO, Arts-Express, AYUDA – American Youth Understanding Diabetes Abroad, Ben’s Bells Project, Boys & Girls Club, Cakes for Causes, Donate Life Arizona, Impact of Southern Arizona, Easter Seals Blake Foundation, Grey 2K USA Education Fund, Habitat for Humanity, Integrative Touch for Kids, International Rett Syndrome Foundation, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, La Frontera Arizona, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Lions Club International – Cycle for Sight, Look! Save a Life / Arizona, Make Way for Books, myTeam Triumph, Platelet Disorder Foundation, Rotary International – Polio Plus, Shyann Kindness Project, Special Olympics, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, The Haven, Tucson Jewish Community Center, Tu Nidito Children & Family Services, Twilight Wish Foundation, Uphill Into The Wind, Water for People, World Care, Wright Flight, Young Life Tucson
El Tour Super Week, includes a 2-day Sanofi El Tour Bicycle, Fitness & Health EXPO, El Tour Safety and Security Meetings, a Rusing, Lopez & Lizardi El Tour Dedication Dinner at Casino Del Sol Resort and an 8-dayIndoor El Tour program.
Ride day begins with the 104-mile Main Event followed by the 75-Mile El Tour, the Intuit 55-Mile El Tour, the Sanofi 40-Mile El Tour and the El Tour Fun Ride presented by McDonald’s. Kids activities, music, a Michelob ULTRA Garden, food, massages and an on-going Grand Cycling Awards Ceremony round out the day.
The event is also supported by Alvernon Optical, Amain.com, Arizona Daily Star, ASARCO, AZ1DMAT, Bohac Consulting Services , Casino Del Sol Resort, CITI, City of Tucson, City of Tucson Water, CP Graphics, Community Partnership of Southern Arizona (CPSA), Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, Cushman & Wakefield/Picor Commercial Real Estate Services, Dakotapro.biz, Dark Horse Media, Desert Mountain Insurance Services, Diamond Ventures, Doctor Bob Studios, Downtown Tucson Partnership, ESPN Tucson, GABA, GEICO, Genesis OB/GYN, P.C., Golden Eagle / Michelob / Anheuser, Greg Macuilla Family, Harkins Theatres, HSL Properties, Hudbay, Intuit, Journal Broadcast Group – KGUN9, Kola’s LLC, Madden Media, MarathonFoto, McDonalds, McMahon’s Prime Steakhouse, MCT Lean, Old Pueblo Grille, Pactimo , Performance Bicycle , Pima County, Rio West, Rusing Lopez & Lizardi, Sanofi, Special Olympics, Tail Winds, TAZ Entertainment, The University of Arizona Medical Center, Tri Sports, Tucson Subaru, Tucson Amateur Radio Council, Ventana Medical Systems, Visit Tucson, WD-40, WSC Sports.
The Special Olympics 32nd El Tour de Tucson presented by Casino del Sol Resort will be held Saturday, November 22 and brings in more than 18,000 visitors from across the country and around the world and contributes an estimated $50 – $70 million to the Pima County / Tucson area economy year-round including $16 – $20 million on ride weekend alone.