El Tour Man and Woman of the Year

Posted on by PBAA Admin

Woman of the Year: Becca Brown

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Becca Brown

Our woman of the year is a creative and talented individual who continues to achieve her goals on and off the road.

Becca Brown first came to Tucson after the 2010 El Tour.

I was doing triathlons and got into cycling from there,” she said. Her long-time friend, Frank Negri used to train in Tucson in the winters when he was pro racing in France. “So he introduced me to Tucson and the amazing El Tour family!”

Brown rode her first of three consecutive, full-distance El Tours in 2011. In 2014 she was the second place female in the 101-mile Viva Bike Vegas. Switching to the 76-mile El Tour, she was third place female in 2014 and 2015.

In 2016, Brown claimed the top spot on the podium of the 76-mile El Tour, finishing as the first-place female in three hrs, 51 minutes.

Last year was also a milestone year for Brown, the entrepreneur and co-founder of Solemates — a brand of women’s shoe solutions. Their marquee product is the Solemate, a high-heel protector that helps prevent the heels from sinking into the grass and dirt at outdoor events such as weddings and parties.

Brown and her business partner came up with the idea while attending Columbia Business School. After school they returned to Goldman Sachs and continued to develop their Solemates business on the side. In 2009, they resigned from Goldman Sachs to focus on Solemates, full time.

In October 2016, Brown was featured on ABC’s reality TV program, Shark Tank, where Brown and her business partner pitched Solemates with the hope of finding a wealthy investor. They got an offer, which they decided not to accept but the national and exposure has given Solemates a huge bump in sales and interest.

We wish Becca continued success in sport and business.

Man of the Year: Chuck Huckelberry

Portrait of Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry taken on January 6, 2012.

Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry

We honor Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry for his vision of bicycling in the region and creation of The Loop, one of the premier outdoor resources that features bicycling and links the communities of Pima County.

Mr. Huckelberry has supported El Tour in so many ways since 1984,” said Richard J. DeBernardis, founder and president of Perimeter Bicycling and El Tour de Tucson. “He sees the value of bicycling as an economic driver for the region, and also as a means to creating a healthier environment.”

The Loop is said to be the crown jewel of Pima County bicycling bringing nearly 130-miles of shared-use path that stretches from Marana to Vail.

Once the few short segments are completed in the next couple of years, it will be possible to ride almost the entire Loop without having to cross a road. The Loop has become one of the most popular amenities in the county

New in 2016 was Pima County/El Tour Loop The Loop — the kickoff event for El Tour season. It was a celebration encouraging everyone to take up cycling as a means to good health and to use The Loop as a fun and convenient way to get from one end of Pima County to another. The event was well-attended and a great way to meet many of the nonprofit organizations benefiting from El Tour. The collaboration was such a success that it will be an annual event.

Pima County’s support for bicycling also includes increases in the number of miles of bike lanes, increased safety of bike and pedestrian routes to metropolitan school, and bike safety classes for children and adults and provides free helmets, bike locks and lights to class participants.

Best of all, Mr. Huckelberry is a bicyclist. If you’re out on The Loop on any given weekend, you will often see him bicycling with friends, kitted out in cool Loop attire.

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