Determined Duo: Gabby & Mark Named El Tour Dedication Recipients

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

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.

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