Prepare For Your Ride

It’s never too early or too late or too early to train for El Tour!  

Perimeter Bicycling highly encourages all cyclists to train for their event. Check out ProActive Physical Therapy’s Online Training Lectures 101, 102 and 103 for beginning, intermediate and advanced cyclists. This series will help you prepare in every way: from basic training and gear selection to group riding and river crossings!

Banner -University Medical Center also has training tips for El Tour de Tucson that are helpful with any event.  There are a lot of resources available in our community to help you prepare for your ride.  Training and group rides happen year round and there is certain to be a group that suits your riding ability.  Greater Arizona Bicycling Association offers a variety of rides.  Visit for the current ride schedule, ride rating information, and much more.  If you are preparing for El Tour de Tucson, please check out all the training rides we have listed.

Bicycle Safety

Be the best rider you can by taking a Bike Safety Class. If you live in Pima County, take the Traffic Skills 101 class (it’s free!). Class content is from the League of American Bicyclists and is taught by League Cycling Instructors. Visit for a schedule of free classes.  For those who live outside of Pima County, please visit the Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists for class information in other parts of the state. 

Rules & Safety on the Road:

  • Always stop at the Stop Signs and Red Traffic Lights
  • Always use hand signals and communicate your intentions
  • Drink before you are thirsty and eat before you are hungry
  • Carry identification
  • Do not ride more than 2 abreast
  • Always ride in the rightmost lane that serves your destination
  • Don’t be a distracted rider.  Leave the headphones home.

Training Tips

 Banner – University Medical Center Training Tips

  • Each year thousands of cyclists of all experience levels join together in Tucson for one of the nation’s most popular century rides. Unfortunate injuries occur each year, and some of these injuries may be avoided with proper training and preparation. Here are some tips to help make your training and participation more enjoyable and safe.
  • Proper equipment: As with any cycling activity it’s important to begin with proper personal protective equipment including a well-fitting helmet, cycling gloves, and a good pair of sunglasses. Quality bike shorts and anti-chafing lube such as Body Glide can prevent skin irritation. Visit a local shop and have them perform a bike fit and a tune-up during your training and a few weeks before the ride.
  • Training: Ramp up your training. Gradually increase the mileage and a time spent on your bike as you get closer to the event. Ideally you should be riding 80- 85% of the length of the event about 2 weeks beforehand. Practice riding in a group to get used to pace changes, communication on the bike, and obstacle avoidance. Pointing out obstacles to those behind you can prevent crashes. Stay alert.
  • Nutrition: Replace roughly 300 calories per hour with food, bars, or if unavoidable – gels. It is important to also train with proper nutrition to understand how your body reacts to different calorie sources. Some gels can cause an upset stomach due to the osmotic effect of drawing water into your stomach to dilute the thick gel. Use the same nutrition that you trained with on the day of the event.
  • Hydration: Drink a minimum of one bottle per hour to account for respiration and perspiration loss. Electrolyte replacement is key to avoid cramping caused by calcium and sodium loss in sweat.
  • Clothing: The event starts chilly and ends warm so dress in layers and be prepared to shed clothing as the day warms up. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen before your layers so your skin is protected come noontime.
  • Exercise off the bike: Cross-train with impact loading activity ie. jumping or running to promote healthy, strong bones. Cyclists are known to have relatively weaker bones compared to other athletes because of the lack of impact loading on the bike.

Have a safe 
and enjoyable ride.

For more information on
UAMC orthopaedic and sports medicine:

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