About Perimeter Bicycling

“Cycling in pursuit of wellness.”

Perimeter Bicycling Association of America, Inc. is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit, tax exempt organization that currently produces and promotes four major cycling events — El Tour de Tucson, El Tour de Mesa, Loop the Loop and Indoor El Tour — as well as an annual fall and spring Bicycle, Fitness & Health Expos and El Tour Fun Rides. Perimeter Bicycling also supports and promotes El Tour de Mt. Fuji and El Tour de Kusatsu, held annually in Japan. Both events are modeled after El Tour’s concept of cycling in pursuit of wellness.

Fundraising Each Perimeter Bicycling event enables nonprofit, charitable agencies to raise funds for their respective organizations. Since 1983 Perimeter Bicycling events have raised over $95 million for local and international charitable organizations.  Learn more.

Publications – Perimeter Bicycling publishes Perimeter E-News, a biweekly electronic bulletin; Tail Winds, a quarterly newspaper and the annual Perimeter Bicycling Journal.  Each promotes our events but highlights our partners and beneficairies who also share our goal.  

A Membership Organization –  Perimeter Bicycling is also a membership organization that sanctions world records for bicycling geographical perimeters.  Members’ records accomplishments are published online and are updated annually in Perimeter Bicycling Journal and in Tail Winds.


How we began – Richard J. DeBernardis our founder began as an educator in Math and Learning Disabilities. While teaching math to Native Americans in Alaska he became a dedicated touring bicyclist riding from Alaska to Mexico (2,218 mi in 40 days).  Learn More

Moving to Tucson in the early 80’s, the concept of a fundraising bicycling event was born. The first perimeter bicycle event was held in Tucson in 1983.  With the inception of a second event in 1986 Perimeter Bicycling Association of America was formed.    

El Tour de Tucson is Perimeter Bicycling’s flagship event and the largest perimeter bicycling event in America. Held annually the Saturday before Thanksgiving, El Tour attracts over 9,000 cyclists of all ages and abilities from around the United States and beyond. Since 2005, El Tour’s finish line/annual Downtown Fiesta, brings together cyclists and members of the greater Tucson community for a celebration of art, health and fitness. 

Perimeter Bicycling is dedicated to making Tucson/Pima County the nation’s best bicycling region. In 2008, the League of American Bicyclists (LAB) awarded the Tucson/Pima Eastern Region Gold-Level “Bicycle Friendly” designation for its commitment to providing safe facilities for bicyclists and its support of bicycling for recreation, fitness and transportation.  The LAB renewed the region’s Gold level in 2012.  Perimeter Bicycling  is actively working with volunteers and staff from the City of Tucson and Pima County to continue a concerted effort to achieve top honors. 

To date, only Davis, CA; Boulder and Ft Collins, CO; Portland, OR and Madison, WI have achieved Platinum-level. The bar was raised even higher in 2012 with the announcement of the diamond level above platinum — no group has been named to this level.  Learn More




Objectives of Perimeter Bicycling
In addition to helping other nonprofit beneficiaries to raise money for their cause, our goals are:

  • Encourage bicycling as a way to maintain good mental/physical health, as a means of recreation and physical achievement.
  • Aid in the economic development of the State of Arizona, as well as each event’s hosting city and county.
  • Promote bicycling as a means of transportation to reduce air pollution.
  • Produce bicycling events for cyclists of all ages and abilities and encourage them to adopt bicycling as a natural activity in their daily life.

Perimeter Bicycling’s premier nonprofit funds.
Five premier funds were created for businesses and individuals to support the following worthy causes. You may contribute to any one of these funds by sending a check to Perimeter Bicycling Association of America, Inc., specifying your choice of fund. All donations are tax-deductible as allowed by the IRS.

Arizona Bicycle Center (ABC) and Bicycle Fund
supports the construction and operation of a center for cyclists of all ages and abilities. ABC focuses on youth development and the hosting of national and international track cycling events.

El Tour Youth Development Fund
fosters fitness and sports participation for children  through mentoring, training and educational programs. The goal is to create a group of well-trained kids who can go out in the community and share their knowledge and passion for the sport of cycling. Participants receive the best educational and support tools available so that they can use this knowledge to start cycling groups at their schools, volunteer at bicycling events, and come back to help with this training program in the future.  With community support and involvement, this program can be a national model of how to enable children to embrace long-term fitness through participation in sport.

Matthew Preston Memorial Fund
provides free and/or low-cost housing for University of Arizona graduate students studying health or medicine.

Perimeter Bicycling Fund
helps ensure the continuance of Perimeter Bicycling, its cycling events and associated projects, especially El Tour de Tucson. Contributions to the Perimeter Fund go to the promotion of Perimeter Bicycling events, on-going education and advocacy efforts to promote safe cycling and a healthy lifestyle.

Project L.I.F.E.
(Living In Fitness & Excellence) is an interdisciplinary bicycling, arts, education and fitness program for middle and high school youth. The project provides opportunities for youth to embrace an active lifestyle through flexible programming offered during the school day, after school, and in conjunction with summer school.

Perimeter Bicycling motto:
“One learns more by going around than by cutting across.”


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