Dedication Recipient & Dinner

El Tour is going through some exciting new changes this year and the traditional Dedication Dinner will not be held in 2019.

Look for an announcement soon regarding a post event appreciation party.

rusing-lopez-logoThe Dedication Dinner is always generously sponsored by Rusing Lopez & Lizardi


The 2018 El Tour was dedicated to:

Nelson Vails  – Olympic Silver Medalist, 1984

Nelson Vails, 1984 Olympic Silver Medalist is the 2018 36th El Tour de Tucson Dedication Recipient

This year’s El Tour de Tucson will honor Nelson Vails, who won a silver medal in sprint cycling at the 1984 Summer Olympics. He was the first African-American cyclist to win an Olympic medal. Now 57 years old, he still rides his bike every day, even after being diagnosed with congestive heart failure and high blood pressure. Vails has been named the honoree for the 36th El Tour de Tucson on Nov. 17, and he will participate in the 100-mile event.

Vails is the first, and only, African American cyclist to win a medal at the Olympic Games. His improbable ascension from New York City bike messenger to the podium at the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Games, catapulted him to the world stage. Nelson Vails was known as “the fastest cat in the concrete jungle” and the cycling world dubbed him the “Cheetah.” Vails has committed his life to inspiring others around the world to overcome the odds and become their own champion.


The 2017 El Tour was dedicated to:

Leila & Totten Warfield  – The First El Tour Ambassadors with 33 Years of Unprecedented Volunteer Service

Totten and Leila Warfield with Frankie

Richard J. DeBernardis, founder and president of Perimeter Bicycling, welcomed Leila and Totten Warfield – the first El Tour Ambassadors with 33 years of unprecedented and loyal volunteer service – at the annual news conference.

Leila & Totten Warfield began lending a hand wherever needed but over time became experts and in charge of rider envelope packets for all of Perimeter’s events.  This amounts to over 13,000 packets a year.  “I wouldn’t know what we’d do without them,” DeBernardis said.  “They are part of our Perimeter Family.”

The Warfields have brought in family members to help when things are in high gear just before each event.  Along with their help and Frankee (their dachshund), the Warfields have been and continue to be a source of joy and calmness making them the most precious ingredient of every event.

According to the Warfields, “There are few things in one’s life that are more meaningful than the words ‘thank you.’ Of those few things are the words ‘I do’ spoken at our marriage over seventy years ago. However when Richard DeBernardis said this year’s El Tour will be dedicated to us, the thought going through our minds was almost commensurate to ‘I do’ spoken long ago.”

The Warfields met in 1939 in Riverside, Illinois. They were married on August 2, 1947. Soon thereafter they moved to Tucson and resided in Polo Village for three years which is now where the University of Arizona Hospital is today.

Totten attended the University of Arizona and graduated in 1952 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Public Administration and began work at Hughes Aircraft Company. Leila raised the four children (T.K. ,Tom , Susan and Pam) until she decided to start teaching in at Tully Elementary School Tucson, Az.

The Warfields retired in 1982, started with the Perimeter Bicycling Association of America in 1985 and have been very actively involved for 33 years. Frankee their Dachshund has been with them every step of the way from the office work to all the PBAA bicycling events for the past 12 years.

Throughout their worldly travels they have acted as the Perimeter Ambassadors always happily sharing their stories about their extended family at Perimeter Bicycling. They have visited 137 counties of the 206 in the world.

The Warfield clan also includes two daughters in law, two sons in law , 8 grand children and 14 great grandchildren.


The 2016 El Tour dedicated to:

Denise MuellerWorld’s Fastest Woman on a Bicycle

Denise Mueller - World Champion & Speed Cyclist

Denise Mueller – World Champion & Speed Cyclist

Richard J. DeBernardis, founder and president of Perimeter Bicycling, has announced that the  Tucson Medical Center 34th El Tour de Tucson presented by Casino del Sol on Nov. 19, 2016 is dedicated to Denise Mueller – World’s fastest woman on a bicycle – as Perimeter Bicycling prepares to celebrate its 116th cycling event.

Mueller’s final and record run at 147.757 mph on Sept. 12, 2016 set the Women’s Paced Bicycle Land Speed record. She and her Project Speed Team set a Guinness World Book Record at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. Fewer than a dozen people have set a bicycle land speed record, and this is the first attempt to ever be made by a woman.Mueller has one amazing goal – to be the world’s fastest human on a bicycle. Ever. The Hoehn Adventures Project Speed powered by Cylance Inc. marks the first women’s attempt at the Paced Bicycle Land Speed Record at Bonneville. Mueller has one amazing goal – to be the world’s fastest human on a bicycle. Ever. In 2017 she will make the attempt to crush the overall record.

She will be honored  at the Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016 Rusing Lopez & Lizardi Dedication Dinner at Casino Del Sol.

Mueller is no stranger to speed. She is a multi National Criterium Champion, 15-time National Champion, holds two podiums Junior Worlds, KHS sponsored racer, CEO Rancho Santa Fe Security Systems, and proud mother of three boys.

“I am beyond humbled and honored to be selected as the 2016 Perimeter Bicycling El Tour dedication recipient,” said Mueller. “I stand with many whom I admire and respect who have held this prestigious honor.  It is my hope that being the first woman to set a paced bicycle land speed record while following more than a dozen men who have done the same since 1899 will help inspire and motivate others to go after their dreams, set goals and get back into the game of life by choosing to be active in whatever sport they enjoy.”

Each year, El Tour is dedicated to a special person(s) who has made significant contributions to the bicycling community.

“We are excited to honor Denise for the 34th El Tour,” said DeBernardis. “Denise inspires action so that everyone can reach for and realize their full potential. We want men, women and children of all skill sets and fitness levels to come out and ride. There’s something for everyone. The theme of this year’s El Tour is ‘Come Together, Ride Now.’ El Tour reaches across all the boundaries that separate us from each other. We come together, ride together, and succeed together.”

About Project Speed Support Mueller in her quest to be the fastest human on a bicycle. Support will help to pay for the expenses associated with Project Speed, as well as the corresponding goals of inspiring children and adults to improve healthy attitudes toward physical exercise that is fun, social and healthy.
Contribute to Project Speed here.


The 2015 El Tour is dedicated to:

Giffords and Kelly P.K. Weis Photo

Giffords and Kelly
P.K. Weis Photo

Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Navy combat veteran and NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly.

In selecting a dedication recipient, Perimeter Bicycling looks for individuals who serve as examples of achievement and who overcome life’s obstacles. “We have enormous respect for Congresswoman Giffords and Captain Kelly and for what they’ve had to overcome,” said DeBernardis. “We are honoring Gabby and Mark for dedicated service to their country and for electing to use bicycling as a means to get back to good mental and physical health.”

This year’s honorees exemplify the theme of the 33rd El Tour … Your Path. Your Story. “As dedication recipients of this year’s event, Gabby and Mark show us what it means for many people to ride El Tour – they are tough people who have been affected by a tragedy and have challenged themselves to reach a new physical accomplishment,” said DeBernardis. “Every person riding El Tour has a story. Everyone’s path is different. For Gabby, her training is an accomplishment and getting to the start line is an achievement. They are a team who demonstrate positive change and determination. Gabby and Mark epitomize the meaning of El Tour.”

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

The youngest woman ever elected to the Arizona State Senate, Gabrielle Giffords represented her community in the Arizona Legislature from 2000-2005, and then in Congress from 2006 to 2012. In 2007, Congresswoman Giffords married Captain Mark Kelly, a Naval aviator and test pilot who flew 39 combat missions in Operation Desert Storm and who was selected to be a NASA astronaut, along with his identical twin brother Scott, in 1996.


 The 2014 El Tour is dedicated to:

Lorena Evans and Brendan Lyons in a triumphant finish of El Tour 2012

Lorena Evans and Brendan Lyons in their triumphant finish at El Tour 2012

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.


Here's information about the 2011,2012, and 2013 Dedication Recipients

 The 2013 Dedication Recipient:

31st El Tour de Tucson presented by Casino del Sol Resort John Hewko ded recipdedicated to John Hewko, General Secretary, Rotary International

The 31st El Tour is proud to announce the 2013 Dedication Recipient as JOHN HEWKO, General Secretary of Rotary International and the individual who has raised more funds than any other in a single El Tour event – over $243,000 in 2012 for Rotary-PolioPlus.
This year’s honoree embodies the theme of El Tour … “Better Together Through Bicycling”. Rotary’s most notable current global project, PolioPlus, is contributing to the global eradication of polio. The main objective of Rotary is service – in the community, in the workplace, and throughout the world.

John Hewko is the General Secretary of Rotary International.  Before joining Rotary, he was vice president of operations at the Millennium Challenge Corporation, a US government international development agency.  An attorney, John was a partner with the law firm Baker & McKenzie, working in Moscow, Kyiv and Prague and specializing in international corporate transactions in emerging markets. In 1991-92, he assisted the Ukrainian Parliament in drafting the initial laws on foreign investment, anti-competition and corporations. John is a trustee of the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv, Ukraine.

Rotary International is a worldwide organization of more than 1.2 million business, professional and community leaders who provide humanitarian service and build goodwill and peace. There are 34,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographic areas. Rotary’s primary corporate goal is the global eradication of polio. Rotary clubs also develop projects worldwide, that focus on basic education and literacy, disease prevention and treatment, water and sanitation, maternal and child health, economic and community development and peace and conflict resolution.


 The 2012 Dedication Recipient:

The 30th El Tour is proud to annouce the 2012 Dedication Recipient is ANDY CLARKE, America’s leading bicycling advocate and President of the League of American Bicyclists!

Click here for the press release



2011 El Tour Honors Rahsaan Bahati
World-Class Cyclist and Champion of the Kids

Rahsaan Bahati – 2008 US Pro Criterium Champion, seven-time national cycling champion and founder of the Bahati Foundation.

The University of Arizona Medical Center 29th El Tour de Tucson presented by CenturyLink was dedicated to Rahsaan Bahati – 2008 US Pro Criterium Champion, seven-time national cycling champion and founder of the Bahati Foundation.

Rahsaan, a pro cyclist since 2001, does work through his non-profit foundation ( to inspire and empower underprivileged inner-city youth to rise above their circumstance through the sport of cycling. The world-class cyclist and champion of youth is the epitome of this year’s event theme, “El Tour…all about giving.” Rahsaan was honored at the Dedication Dinner the Thursday before the event.