Publications

April 8, 2020

BICAS Has Some Great Bikes for Sale, Check them Out Online

We love those in the bicycling business. It’s what we are all about – seeing cyclists on the roads and on the trails.

It’s a reason we think highly of BICAS, one the great organizations we endorse and promote.

Did you know they have bikes available for sale? Nice ones, too. You can find them on Facebook (@bicastucson) and Instagram (bicastucson) to see if you want to purchase one from them. The bikes have been donated and refurbished by the BICAS staff.

They are closed through April 14, but they are extending their sales to online platforms, even if in some limited capacity. Their new store hours upon their return is noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday.

If you’re interested in one of the bicycles featured send them a message on Facebook or email them at sales@bicas.org with a description of the bicycle you’re interested in. Again, the bikes are on their social media links. If you want to donate a bike send an email to sales@bicas.org as well.

For more info about BICAS, visit our website at bicas.org.

Help out your local non-profit and get a sweet bike at the same time!



April 7, 2020

Tuesday’s Training Tips. El Tour, Enjoy the Ride!

For the next few weeks, El Tour de Tucson will feature a 10-part series on cycling and gearing up for El Tour in November.

This is week No. 5.

It’ll be via an El Tour Blog called: Tuesday’s Training Tips. El Tour, Enjoy the Ride!

We’ll have local cycling experts/enthusiasts blogging tips, ideas, tips from websites and publications about cycling as we prepare for the 38th El Tour de Tucson held on Nov. 21, 2020.

We hope you enjoy the information we provide.

Our bodies need some nutrition before we workout

Nutrition is extremely important for fueling an active lifestyle!

I roughly follow Dr Stacy Sims, PhD in her book, ROAR How to Match Your Food and Fitness to Your Female Physiology for Optimum Performance, Great Health, and a Strong, Lean Body for Life. Men need to pursue nutrition specific for their own physiology. Furthermore, realize I have zero education in nutrition. These are only my personal experiences. Seek out the help of a registered dietician with any issues you have.

Our bodies need some nutrition before we workout. For a short training ride, less than two hours, I just need a little something. Perhaps some small dates and nut butter with a cup of coffee. For something longer, I’ll add an energy bar and another coffee just before I start. For a short race, I will swap the bar with a gel.

For a ride of less than two hours, I usually will not eat during the ride. My glucose (energy) levels should be enough to get me through the entire workout. I do stay hydrated. I aim to drink one bottle of water every hour. Perhaps more when training indoors or on a hot, summer day. Please do not wait until you are thirsty!

Our bodies need additional energy for longer events, over two hours. Starting with the first hour, my goal is around 200 to 250 calories every hour. Usually this is a mix of fruit juice, coconut water, salt, coconut water and ice, sipped throughout the hour. When racing, I add an energy gel at the top of the hour. For longer endurance rides, I will swap out the gels with an energy bar every couple of hours.

Again, please do not wait till you are depleted. It will be too late. Forgetting or misguided omitting leads to “bonking”(meaning “hitting a wall” in a physical and emotional sense). It is then difficult to regain your energy once you have fallen behind. A quick tip: Set your bike computer to alert you every n minutes to drink and/or eat. I have mine set for 10 minutes intervals.

After a ride, I need to recover and replenish my depleted energy. This is best done within a 15-minute window of stepping off my bike. I drink a protein shake. My homemade version is 1 cup fruit juice, 1 cup of frozen fruit, 1.5 scoops of whey protein. If it was a long ride, I will make sure to follow with full meals, a good mix of protein, carbohydrates and fats.

Last, general nutrition outside of workouts:

  1. I do not fast. My chances of getting in a good workout is slim when my energy level is already depleted and weakened.
  2. I do eat animal proteins. I have eaten vegetarian and vegan for a few years. I found I was gaining weight with my advancing age. Further, I was losing muscle. This is an all too common problem among older women.
  3. I do eat good carbs. I eat a lot of large salads, fruits, vegetables, roots, and rice. Yum!
  4. I do eat good fats. I love avocados, sometimes one a day. I eat lots of seeds and certain nuts. Give Nutzo Keto Butter a try. It is delicious!
  5. Outside of a workout, I occasionally indulge my sweet tooth in small portions. I will have a piece of dark chocolate with a coconut cookie, ½ cup of ice cream, or share a mug cake with my husband. These small bites seem to satisfy my cravings. If I totally eliminate sweets then I tend to binge with too much.
  6. Finally, make sure you are eating enough calories. I have found I need anywhere from 2,000 to 3,000 calories in my average day. Do not skimp with the intent to lose weight! Our bodies fight our efforts. It will detect what it thinks is starvation. Thus, it adjusts our metabolism in order to conserve our energy stores. Try using any of the free apps to monitor your calories and workouts for a few weeks. You might be surprised at how many calories your body actually needs!

Carolyn has been riding and racing for over 20 years in everything from road races, triathlons, cyclocross, and mountain biking. She has been a race director for triathlons and a manager of the Salt River Canyon Tour, an epic 2-day tour. You will also find her volunteering at local venues. Her cycling team, Tolero Racing, proudly has the largest women’s team in Arizona, while continuing to grow the men’s team. She wishes to share her passion and success with women (and men) athletes to optimize their training and nutrition for maximum safety, fun, and performance. 



April 6, 2020

Bike Shops are Open, some are getting varying business

Ben Chandler owner of Ben’s Bikes sees some encouraging signs when it comes to bicycling in Tucson. He’s seeing people outside riding and exercising, given it’s still on the list of “essential activities” in Arizona.
Because of it, he’s hiring at his shop. He needs technicians to help tune up the bikes being used.
“Because it’s OK to go out and be outside so everybody is … and they are bringing their bikes in,” said Ben. “The caveat is we have a lot of work to do (especially) labor … but people (going into the shop) are being understanding about having to wait to have their bike worked on.”

Ben said he’s offering paid positions but they must bring in a resume that shows experience with bicycles. His shop is at 7431 S. Houghton and can be reached at 520-574-2453.
“It’s very nice to see people out,” he said. “I’d rather see people enjoy themselves outside and ride bikes like I’ve been doing for 35 years. I try to tell people to go ride your bike. You can be outside.”


Other shops are open, but have either shortened their hours or have seen fewer people come in. Some shops have encouraged it given social distancing. MetroGnome is open for pickups and drop-offs, but not for browsing. It’s operating on a skeleton crew, the manager said. But they are still open. They are open 10-6 everyday except Tuesday and Sunday.

Fair Wheel Bike’s Ralph said it’s business as usual, although at a slower pace. “People are coming by,” said Phillips. “People are getting out, wanting to do things outdoors because they can’t go to a bar, restaurant of a movie.”

He has reduced hours, now going from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.
How does the industry look right now? “It’s good some places, bad some places,” he said. “It’s just like everything else.”
The manager of 5-Points Bikes agreed, saying the shop is open for partial hours but “not full force.”
“People are coming by but not in crowds, no groups,” he said, adding he doesn’t want big crowds because of the social-spacing requirements.
His shop is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 

 

April 3, 2020

Bob Beane: El Tour “was my Tour de France”

This all started with a simple note on Facebook when Bob Beane posted a short but cool note to say how El Tour de Tucson was essential to him getting healthy, happy and on a bike consistently.

The note came this week. Yet, his love for cycling started back in the 1980s in year No. 3 of El Tour.

It’s been a 34-year-love affair.

“That was my Tour de France,” Beane, 65, said in a telephone interview. “I always looked forward to it.”

Bob Beane

Here’s how it all started.

Back in the 1980s, he had become ill and “flat-lined” but made it through surgery. He had become so ill his weight fell to 117 pounds, down from 150. He had severe ulcerative colitis. He was released from the hospital at 135 pounds.

He looked for a way to get back into sports, hoping to become more fit and build muscle. He tried soccer but was put at goalie so that didn’t work. He tried softball but he pulled muscles the first day or so.

But he had a neighbor who was a bicyclist and saw the benefits. And, well, from there the magic started. He took up the sport, riding four miles a night on a mountain bike. A year later, he was riding a road bike and things took off … literally.

“Eventually, it got the point where I could ride with the local club,” said Beane, who lives in Phoenix.

Then the club members started talking about a ride down in Tucson called El Tour de Tucson. He registered for the 75-mile while in his mid-30s.

“It took me six and a half hours the first time and two years later it took me four hours and 59 minutes,” he said. “I kept using El Tour as my goal. In how I measured my progress … by the time I was in my mid-40s I was able to do the 100-plus miles in six hours.”

He was convinced that through bicycling it “was the best sport/activity I could have pursued to rebuild my body after that disease.”

El Tour was a big part of it. He’ll be back again this year either as a cyclist or as a volunteer. He’s ridden in El Tour 17 times through the years.

“El Tour is a great thing for health and a great thing to have as a goal,” said Beane. “It helps you measure your progress from year to year. The spirit of the event overall is great.”



April 1, 2020

Bicycling considered “essential activity” during these tough times

Arizona governor Doug Ducey has declared the state’s residents to “stay home” but included a list of “essential activities” people can do under this his order to “limit their time” away from home.

Cycling has made the list of “essential activities” but with a precaution.

“Only if appropriate physical distancing practices are used.”

Steve Wetmore agreed with the precaution.

“I see lots of folks out riding, but it concerns me when I see a group of six to eight riding two abreast and not keeping six feet apart,” said Wetmore, who owns Sabino Cycles and is a cycling advocate. “Practice physical distancing at all times.”

He’s doing so at his shop, one of many bicycling shops that have remained open throughout Tucson. He said his shop is “honoring social distancing and the rules are enforced at the shop.”

“We have closed off the service area and are not allowing customers into the store past the front couple feet,” Wetmore said. “Staff will find out what the customer needs and will get it for them. There’s no trying on of clothes, no test rides at this time.”

He added, “We are focused on protecting our employees as well as the customer during these times.”

Some shops have changed their hours of operation as has Bicycle Ranch (Check with your local bike shop for hours, days and if it is open)

Steve Morganstern said he’s noticed people still wanting to be outside and cycling being one of benefactors.

“People are looking to stay active and healthy and this is a way to be outside and keep social distancing,” said Morganstern, owner of Bicycle Ranch Tucson. “Lots of people are getting out bikes that have been in storage and people are buying new bikes.

“They might realize how fun it is since they can’t get in a gym. Luckily the weather is going to be perfect this month, not too hot so it’s something everyone can take advantage of. We are seeing parents getting kids out from in front of (TV and video) screens and having fun!”



March 31, 2020

Tuesday’s Training Tips. El Tour, Enjoy the Ride!

For the next few weeks, El Tour de Tucson will feature a 10-part series on cycling and gearing up for El Tour in November.

This is week No. 4.

It’ll be via an El Tour Blog called: Tuesday’s Training Tips. El Tour, Enjoy the Ride!

We’ll have local cycling experts/enthusiasts blogging tips, ideas, tips from websites and publications about cycling as we prepare for the 38th El Tour de Tucson held on Nov. 21, 2020.

We hope you enjoy the information we provide.

How do you stay in shape as you prepare for a cycling event?

This is a tough question. The solution is long and different for everyone. I am struggling through the past few weeks of this pandemic, too. But, this is how I train. The list of variables: your chosen sport, age, fitness, gear, season, … can get quite lengthy.

Of course, use your better judgement and abide by rules given this pandemic.

Let us assume we are all training for El Tour this coming November. Furthermore, you have the necessary time (at least two short rides and one long ride plus two days of strength training most every week), good health (your doctor approves), and a safe bicycle (have a mechanic look it over, if unsure). Last, I assume you are consuming enough quality calories to fuel your training while not overeating. Those are all topics of other discussions though. We are talking about training here. Also, realize I have no certification nor education as a coach. Rather, I am sharing my own personal experiences.

Carolyn Audilet

These are the steps I use. Each is an extensive chapter on its own:

  1. Define definitive, specific, and attainable goals. Without these, your training is sidetracked or lost.
  2. Determine your fitness. Before building a map to your goals you must know your current location.
  3. Prepare with a firm base. A strong, aerobic foundation will allow for a full season of playing, training, and racing. You may already have this, in which case you can skip.
  4. Build your threshold effort. This is the amount of power you can maintain for at least an hour. Think of a time trial, a triathlon, or when you are dropped. You need a lot of power to reach the end.
  5. Increase your aerobic (and even anaerobic) capacity, the amount of oxygen your body is able to process when under high effort. This is the short effort to catch onto a group or a final sprint into the finish line.
  6. Recover with lots of self care (I usually use 3-5 days, but varies) every few weeks (I add recovery blocks every 4-6 weeks). Recovery allows your body to rebuild and refuel. Go for an embarrassingly easy ride. Get a massage. Take extra care to sleep more and eat properly.

Repeat steps 1-6 through your event. Step 3, a base, may be omitted once done. I usually add it back after an extended break (after an injury) or in my off season. As we get closer to the event, perhaps two weeks out from El Tour, start to taper. Decrease your volume gradually, but not the intensity.

Carolyn has been riding and racing for over 20 years in everything from road races, triathlons, cyclocross, and mountain biking. She has been a race director for triathlons and a manager of the Salt River Canyon Tour, an epic 2-day tour. You will also find her volunteering at local venues. Her cycling team, Tolero Racing, proudly has the largest women’s team in Arizona, while continuing to grow the men’s team. She wishes to share her passion and success with women (and men) athletes to optimize their training and nutrition for maximum safety, fun, and performance

 



March 24, 2020

Tuesday’s Training Tips. El Tour, Enjoy the Ride!

For the next few weeks, El Tour de Tucson will feature a 10-part series on cycling and gearing up for El Tour in November.

This is week No. 3.

It’ll be via an El Tour Blog called: Tuesday’s Training Tips. El Tour, Enjoy the Ride!

We’ll have local cycling experts/enthusiasts blogging tips, ideas and their personal stories about cycling as we prepare for the 38th El Tour de Tucson held on Nov. 21, 2020.

We hope you enjoy the information we provide.

 

By Steve Morganstern

Getting Your Bike Ready for a Ride

Right now, a lot of people are trying to figure out what to do while being out of work or home with children. One of the things some people are turning to is riding a bicycle. It is good exercise, gets you out in the sun and fresh air and is an activity that can be done by everyone.

But what if you haven’t ridden your bike in a while or aren’t sure it is safe and ready to go?

Here are few things you should look for and check.

  • Make sure your tires and tubes will hold air. If they are holding, look for any cracking or dry rotting in the tire that would make it unsafe to ride. Be sure the tire is properly inflated to the recommended pressure.
  • It might seem silly, but make sure the wheels are securely fastened to the bike with either the quick-release lever or bolts. If the wheel is loose, it can cause unstable handling or lead to a crash.
  • Check to make sure all the cables are still securely connected and in good condition. If they are rusty or frayed, they might not operate smoothly or correctly causing poor shifting or braking.
  • Be sure the brakes work properly on the bike. While still at home try a couple of short hard stops to make sure the brakes function properly in all conditions.
  • Lastly ensure there is proper lubrication on the chain. If it is rusty or dry, do not use WD40 or other traditional lubricants unless it is specifically for BIKE.

If you are unsure of any condition or safety situation you should take it to your local bike shop to ensure it is safe to ride. At Bicycle Ranch Tucson we offer a variety of tune ups and safety checks starting at $35.

Enjoy your ride!

About the author

Steve  opened Bicycle Ranch Tucson in 2013 as a family owned and operated shop. The idea behind the shop is to help riders of all levels and abilities Pedal On. Meaning just get out and ride. With a long background in sales, marketing and customer service, Steve combined his work experience with his life long love of cycling. Bicycle Ranch Tucson services all makes and models of bikes and carries all the accessories needed for cycling. “We don’t want to be the place you buy stuff, we want to be the place you come for information and all your local needs.” 



March 20, 2020

More Training Tips for You Cyclists

We here at Perimeter Bicycling and El Tour de Tucson want you to be safe while outdoors and while cycling. Get/stay fit. Be safe. Know your role in all this.

We also know many of our cyclists have been mandated to stay indoors. At some point, you will return to cycling in the great outdoors.

But, as Steve Wetmore of Sabino Cycles pointed out so appropriately, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ride.

“Riding is good for our state of mind, and in times like these, we all need Positive States of Minds!”

Here are some suggestions for riding from bicycling.com:

– If in a group, keep it under 10 people;

– Maintain your social distancing;

– Don’t ride with others if you are feeling sick;

– Likewise, if someone seems to have symptoms, ask them to ride elsewhere; and,

– Keep any coughing and snot-rockets at the back of the group.

Additionally, these are tough times for our healthcare system (emergency rooms, hospitals) will become even more overloaded.  During these times you do not want to find yourself needing to use them!  While you may not be the cause of a crash, you certainly do not want to be the victim of a crash.

Again, stay safe!

So that means ride even more safely than you ever have:

– Maintain your focus of what’s happening around you;

– Carefully select who you ride behind in a group;

– Don’t ride those riskier routes;

– Slow down on the descents;

– Truly obey the rules of the road, stop signs, and traffic lights;

– Don’t assume anything about what the vehicles or other riders are going to do; 

Ride smart!



Tuesday’s Training Tips. El Tour, Enjoy the Ride!

For the next 10 weeks, El Tour de Tucson will feature a 10-part series on cycling and gearing up for El Tour in November.

We’ll have local cycling experts/enthusiasts with blogging tips, cycling tips from various sources, and personal stories about cycling from riders as we prepare for the 38th El Tour de Tucson held on Nov. 21, 2020.

We hope you enjoy the information we provide.


WEEK 2.  March 17, 2020

How to Ride Safely Amid Coronavirus Concerns

We’re early in the cycling season in preparing for the 38th El Tour de Tucson set for Nov 21, 2020. But, hey, it’s always El Tour season here.

We also know given today’s climate with COVID19 there will be some concerns about training and being outside in groups while staying fit and healthy. Most importantly, we want you to be safe as you prepare for our great ride.

To help you get started or motivated, we’ve revisiting some cycling tips via Bicycling.com to help the novice-to-immediate cyclist to get prepared for our ride in eight months.

* Identify Your Goal

Make it realistic given your lifestyle and life situation. Start slow and ramp things up as you begin to feel more comfortable in your ability to ride.

* Make a Plan

Every book has a beginning or an outline. Why shouldn’t your cycling strategy to be better at it.

Don’t be shy about seeking guidance from a coach or trusted advisor.

* Tell the World
Make your goal public:­ Write it, tweet it, share it with your family and friends. Hey, be proud of your accomplishments. We know it’s exciting.

* Track Your Progress
Keep a training journal. Gauge your progress. See what you need to do to improve. Only you know how fast or slow you should or want to go.

* Put in the Effort
Get out there and do the work, or take a rest when your plan calls for a recovery day. Stick to the plan and success will follow. You started this with a goal, now stick to it.

Trust the process and you’ll love yourself for it. Good luck and ride on! And, of course, be safe.


March 10, 2020

Tuesday’s Training Tips. El Tour, Enjoy the Ride!

For the next 10 weeks, El Tour de Tucson will feature a 10-part series on cycling and gearing up for El Tour in November.

It’ll be via an El Tour Blog called: Tuesday’s Training Tips. El Tour, Enjoy the Ride!

We’ll have local cycling experts/enthusiasts blogging tips, ideas and their personal stories about cycling as we prepare for the 38th El Tour de Tucson held on Nov. 21, 2020.

We hope you enjoy the information we provide.

By Bill Sarnack

Everyone starts as a beginner.

When I started cycling, I had an affordable bike with multiple gears. It was comfortable for a short ride and I wore tennis shoes, shorts, t-shirt and a helmet. My rides were short enough that I didn’t carry a water bottle, food or anything to help if I had a flat tire. I usually rode with a friend on streets with minimal traffic.

Bill Sarnack

I wasn’t knowledgeable regarding maintenance on the bike other than to put air in the tires.  Sound familiar?

As my enthusiasm for cycling grew, I began to ride more and for longer distances. And the lessons were many.

Here in Pima County there are a number of resources available to help beginners advance their knowledge of riding and basic bike mechanics.

BICAS offers affordable classes on basic mechanics and has tools and parts as well. Several local bike shops offer classes on basics. Another event for cyclists is the GABA swap meet on April 19, where you can buy anything from clothing, parts or even a bike.  It’s a great resource for the beginner.

When I ride now, I carry the following items in my seat bag, on my bike or on myself: water bottle (usually two), cell phone, snack bar, spare tube, tire levers, multi-tool, tire inflator and ID.  I always wear a helmet and sunscreen.

Have fun and be safe!

About the Author Bill Sarnack

Bill is a recently retired engineer and is the current co-director of El Tour Bike Patrol. He has lived in Tucson for 32 years and rode the El Tour VII 113-mile event. He has been riding Bike Patrol since 2002 and has ridden in 30 Perimeter Bicycling events.  He enjoys road biking, touring & mountain biking as well as woodworking, camping, hiking, whitewater rafting and travel. Bill supports GABA, El Grupo, BICAS & Homestretch Foundation.

By Jessica Cox

My 3-year-old niece in Colorado was telling me the other day about how she is now good at riding a bike. She is talking about a balance bike, which is a bike with no pedals and the rider moves along by striding. Her mom told me this is the new way young children learn how to ride bikes. Most kids move on to riding bicycles without training wheels because they learn to balance on a balance bike. It’s always amazing to hear of innovation and how it brings improvement to our ways of life.

Jessica Cox

This brings back childhood memories of when I first wanted to ride a bike. When you are a child, riding a bike is a rite of passage. At that time, both my siblings were riding bikes, but I wasn’t. My parents gave each of us a bike for Christmas, but we were still unsure of how it would work out for me. I remember seeing my pretty pink bike sitting there in front of the Christmas tree. My parents started to try and teach me with prosthetic arms on. As other kids did, I started with training wheels. I struggled significantly. The prosthetic arms were just too rigid and didn’t have the versatility to make minor adjustments which is necessary for riding a bike especially in the learning stage. It was so frustrating! I wanted to cry because the bike was so pretty, but I couldn’t ride it. I even threw a tantrum at the local park because I was so mad everyone around me was riding a bike and I couldn’t. It was just another one of the things that didn’t come easily for me, and I was angry at how unfair that was.

Eventually, I learned how to a ride an adult tricycle that my dad fixed up for me. Sometimes, you just need to be open to the possibilities available – instead of focusing on the barriers. It was so liberating to be able to ride with my peers.

As an adult, I researched a better and more stable method of riding—a recumbent bicycle! The design has the rider in a reclined position, the seat is much lower to the ground and the pedals are in front. It allows me to go faster with eight speeds instead of one. It is also much more aerodynamic. I’ve been riding alongside regular riders ever since.

Limitations will always come up on our journey to achieve our dreams, but sometimes you have to power through the obstacles. And, sometimes you must work your way around them. The most important thing is to never lose sight of the goal.

Keep moving!

About the author Jessica Cox

Born without arms, Jessica Cox is “fascinated by the way assumptions and perceived barriers prevent people from achieving their dreams. She has utilized dormant physical traits to adapt and use her feet the way people use their hands. In addition to being a cyclist, Jessica is best known for becoming the first armless pilot in aviation history. Her achievement earned her a Guinness World Record medal. She’s been featured on numerous television programs, including Ellen, Oprah Winfrey Network, CNN and CBS Evening News.



March 6, 2020

Father & Son, Cycling for the last time – Together 

Growing up, Ryan Molony rode more than 200 bicycle rides with his dad, Reginald, through the years.

Ryan will take one final ride with his father in April, when he delivers Reginald’s ashes to his home state, California.

“I thought this would be a nice ride, a sentimental journey that he and I can take,” Ryan said. “Others will be on it, too, and that will help them get a little closure.”

Ryan Molony, left, with his father, Reginald, enjoying one another’s company. (Photo courtesy the Molony family)

Ryan, 36, will cycle from Phoenix to the San Bernardino/Redlands, California area in late April to honor his father. The two have been longtime cyclists, including riding in El Tour de Tucson where Reginald rode about a decade ago.

“He rode as much as he could until his health got the better of him,” Ryan said. “He was as avid a cyclist as he could be.”

He passed away in December at the age of 83.

“He was always supportive of me riding,” Ryan said.

So, this is a tribute to his father, as he returns him back home.

“He’d probably think I’m crazy for doing this,” Ryan said.

But it’s a fitting tribute for the man he loved.

“My father and I were extremely close,” Ryan said. “I loved being around my dad. When we were on a bike together … as I look back on it, I wish I would have had more rides. When we were riding together it was a blast. I’m thankful he got put the bug in me to ride, and to ride competitively when I was younger.”

So, he’ll venture off on his more than 300-mile ride on April 22-24 for one last ride with his dad.

“I just love the bike,” Ryan said. “There are very few places in the world that I find as peaceful and as much fun than being behind the handlebars of a bike.”

And, who better to be with than his dad.

“Exactly,” he said. “My dad and I had that shared passion for cycling. It’s going to be fun for sure.”

As it should be between a father and a son.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feb. 26, 2020

Rob Dollar & Tucson Parks & Recreation making ‘A’ Mountain safer

‘A’ Mountain will be getting safer for cyclists and pedestrians on Monday, March 2. At 3:33 p.m., Tucson Parks & Recreation and the Rob Dollar Foundation will be unveiling a new 3-foot sign in the area right before the climb up the mountain.

The two have been working on it since 2018, said John Dollar, a rider in El Tour and founder of the foundation. The foundation is in honor of his son, Rob, who was killed while cycling in 2017. It is based in Phoenix and is reaching out nationwide to make road safety a priority.

John credited Tucson Parks director, Brent Dennis, for making this happen.

“We’re super excited to be part of the A Mountain project,” Dollar said. “When we were down there for the El Tour de Tucson, we spoke to a lot of people down there and they mentioned (safety) on A Mountain. “People want to make A Mountain safer for cyclists.”

Dollar said having an impact on road safety has been tremendous.

“Not just foundation-wise but personally it means a lot, (but) it’s hard to explain how much it means to me,” he said.

Bravo John Dollar and Tucson Parks & Rec, bravo. And thanks!



Cyclist Solot been riding El Tour since 1996 – still has T-Shirt

Feb. 24, 2020

One of Alan Solot’s biggest goals this year was getting an El Tour de Tucson Conquistador.

Well, he accomplished it, being named one of ride’s most distinguished cyclists as he was the first finisher in the 50-mile over 65 years old category.

“I never thought I’d get one,” he said.

And, of course, it “feels great.”

“It’s very satisfying that I was able to accomplish this,” said Solot, 66. “I averaged 25 miles per hour for the event. I attribute that very fast speed to my fitness and my ability to draft faster riders. Since I trained a lot for the event, it’s very satisfying to put in preparation and get results. I’m very grateful to be able to compete like I can.”

Alan Solot displaying his Conquistador trophy.

Consider that he’s been participating in El Tour since 1996 (he still has the t-shirt) and he did it while wearing in-line skates. He’s ridden in El Tour six times.

“The 2019 event was the only one of those when I did less than the full 100-plus mile rides,” he said. “I’ve finished under Platinum three times.”

That’s quite the accomplishment for the longtime cyclist. This past year, he decided to stay with the lead riders for as long as he could.

“But I got dropped from that group about three miles from the start,” he said. “Still, I had a personal best from Udall to Sunrise, so I know I did well in that segment of the event despite getting dropped. And, amazingly, the group I was with caught the front group around mile 36! I was so happy to stay with that front group until about mile 49 when I got dropped again.”

Getting back to the front group was his most memorable moment of the ride, he said.

On Ride Day, the cyclists encountered a great day with weather and accommodations. Solot said it wouldn’t have mattered given he always has fun when he’s on his bike.

“Short rides, long rides, hot days, colds days, windy conditions… it’s always fun,” he said.

He said he spent his 50 miles contemplating a variety of things – like finishing well.

“In a ride like El Tour, I focus on being aware of what other riders are doing, my position in the pack (I want to be able to move up if possible), whether my heart rate/breathing rate is sustainable,” he said. “I focus on my cycling form, especially proper breathing and relaxing my body. I focus on not crashing. I’m so focused on these sorts of things that looking back, I can’t remember parts of the ride. For instance, I can hardly remember being on parts of Silverbell.”

He does remember the most important part: that the “ride was a total blast! So much fun.”



Feb. 19. 2020

El Tour Non-Profit Partner Meeting, Fun, Informative & Gabby Giffords

It was a great first-of-the-year meeting for Perimeter Bicycling and El Tour de Tucson with some of our non-profit partners and soon-to-be non-profit partners on Tuesday.
We did a look back at what we considered a very good and fun 2019 Banner – University Medicine El Tour de Tucson where we had nearly 6,000 riders in the overall event.

El Tour CEO Char Grabowski addresses more than 30 people in the monthly El Tour Non-Profit Partner meeting.

And, yes, we’ve already started looking at this year’s event which will be Nov. 21. After all, it’s Always El Tour Season!

More than 30 people attended with more than 15 non-profit partners in the meeting to gather information on making their experience better and more profitable while it raises funds for their respective causes. In attendance was Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, who rides for Friends of Aphasia.

Congresswoman Gabby Giffords (left), El Tour CEO Char Grabowski (center) and Fabi Kruse of Friends of Aphasia.

There were lots of great ideas for the future of El Tour and all that it involves came out of the meeting – with more great news to come.

Feb. 17, 2020

The 20th 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo … another great year 

We at El Tour always love seeing other events thrive and do a great job in the cycling community. We want to congratulate Todd Sadow for having yet another great event over the weekend. The 20th 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo was yet another reason why cyclists love Tucson and Southern Arizona. Approximately 500 teams – individuals or groups – took to the 24-Hour course and rode like their lives – and fun – depended on it.

Once again it was about the weather, people and the party, and oh yes, cycling in 24-Hour Town.

“I look forward to riding in the 24 HOP every year,” said local cyclist/attorney Tim Medcoff, who has ridden in the event nine of the last 10 years. “The course is always in great shape and the passion of the thousands of riders is palpable. This year the weather was perfect. Epic Rides puts on a great event.”

Team Deceptively Slow – Medcoff’s team – rode 17 laps in 24-Hour and finished 111th. (Photo courtesy Tim Medcoff)

“This year’s 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo presented by Tucson Medical Center was amazing,” said Jennifer Quijada, of Epic Rides. “The weather held up … sunshine and blue skies the entire time to make for the most beautiful weather at the event in years. The rain earlier this week kept the trail fast and kept the riders going. We had 2,000 cyclists total on a range of different team sizes from solo riders to 10-person corporate teams. Everyone on the crew had a great time and loved seeing the riders and rockstar volunteers smiling faces throughout the 24 hours of pedaling.” 

Congrats Todd and Epic Rides – we’re proud of you!



Feb. 12, 2020

Jim Rigney: What a difference a year makes in El Tour

Thirteen wasn’t an unlucky number for Jim Rigney, who named one of the most distinguished cyclists. In fact, No. 13 was a good thing.

He was given his Most Distinguished Award for the 13th time in El Tour as the oldest rider in the event. He is 89 years old.

He rode the 100-mile event in seven hours, 21 minutes, 59.5 seconds.

Jim Rigney in the 2019 El Tour.

“I always enjoy getting the Most Distinguished Rider (MDR) award,” Rigney said. “It isn’t exactly a great achievement in terms of competition since it is based on being the oldest, but it is fun.”

This year’s ride was more fun than last year’s given his situation. While closing in on the finish of the ride in 2018, Rigney suffered a heart attack about ½ mile from the finish line.

“I fell in front of a policeman who immediately administered CPR,” Rigney said. “He said it took about a minute to revive me. I tried to get up and finish the ride, but they wouldn’t let me and took me to the hospital instead. This year as the ride went along, I felt better. I did stop more often and made sure I had enough water and food.

Jim receiving his 13th Most Distinguished Award from El Tour.

“I felt good physically when I finished. Mentally, it wasn’t different than any other finish because I had expected to finish.”

He said he didn’t do anything differently this year compared to last, given he rides about 150 to 200 miles a week. He doesn’t ride for time but for the enjoyment of the event. Next year, he said, he plans on going for a better time, although he might have a conflict with Senior Olympics competition in Florida.

Jim is also proof you don’t have be a cyclist all your life. He started cycling at the age of, drum roll please, 73.

“I’m in good health,” he said. “I thought I was last year as well, but I hit the perfect storm. I didn’t drink or eat enough. I depleted my body of the necessary nutrients. After the heart attack, I also found out my two main arteries to the heart were 75 and 85 percent blocked. The surgeon placed a stent in each artery, and they are totally clear now. I can tell it helped me riding the bicycle because of my riding buddies complaining about my improved capability. There was apparently no heart damage and I feel completely normal today.”

Great to hear and we hopefully will see you next year!



Feb. 10, 2020

Thank you Bike Patrol for doing what you do – making El Tour safe

It was a way of saying, “Thank you, thank you, thank you” to a group of cyclists who make El Tour safe.

Grant Anderson listens to EL Tour CEO Char Grabowski talk about the 2019 El Tour de Tucson.

The team at Bike Patrol was given a nice party at Ft. Lowell Park on Sunday in appreciation of its efforts in making the 2019 Banner – University Medicine 37th El Tour de Tucson one of the safest ever and for making it one of the safest rides in the country.

 

More than 20 Bike Patrol members were there for the party but more than 100 take part in the event to help with El Tour’s safety.

“Bike Patrol is there to encourage people, help them with flats, mechanical problems if they can’t deal with them on their own,” said Greg Yares, who has been part of Bike Patrol for more than 25 years and is Bike Patrol’s co-director. “Bike Patrol helps if they are feeling awful or cramping up. We’re there to help them figure out why they are having problems. We’re there to help encourage them to finish the ride.”

El Tour’s CEO Char Grabowski takes questions about the 2019 El Tour and the 2020 El Tour.

Being part of Bike Patrol means different things to different people. Again, more than 120 participate in helping others get through their rides because they know how important it is to them.

Grant Anderson, who was a first-time Bike Patrol member in 2019, had a great time.

“It’s fun helping people,” said Anderson, who has ridden in El Tour more than 15 times. “The biggest problem is when someone has a problem you can’t fix.”

One of those incidents came when a young rider’s bike chain broke and there was no other solution but to get out of the ride.

Bike Patrol team members enjoy good food and good company at their party.

Anderson said at the end of the day “it’s really rewarding. You’re stopping and helping people in part because you’re working at the back and you’re helping people who are struggling (to finish). They are doing this as a goal, so you run into a lot of people who have interesting motivations.”

Thank you to all the Bike Patrol members and we hope you enjoyed your party to celebrate what you do!



Feb. 7, 2020

Another Record Year for Indoor El Tour

All participants come from schools, youth groups and community organizations working with the Pima County Health Department Bicycle & Pedestrian Safety Program.

Apollo Middle School claimed top honors with 1, 023 rides for a total 21,570 minutes.

Top honors overall went to Apollo Middle School with 1,023 riders pedaling 21,570 minutes.

“Indoor El Tour was a great experience for our students,” said Thad Dugan, Apollo’s principal. “The students demonstrated engagement, goal setting, and commitment helping lead a sense of community and accomplishment. I cannot say enough about our students and the staff that made this event a success for our students, school and community. SOAR Eagles!”

Math teacher, Lucy LiBosha (left) with students from the Tucson Unified School District DEAP (District Education Alterative Program) @ Project MORE.

Sunnyside High School claimed the high school award with 880 riders pedaling 19,970 minutes.

For the first time, the new individual Indoor El Tour record is shared by five members of the Pueblo High School Road Warriors Bike Club: Joel Bustamante, Aaron Kutzdal, Leo Parra, Reannah Rodriguez and Janice Salazar pedaled 1,020 minutes (17 hours) to “surprise their coach.” All five also rode the 50-mile or 100-mile El Tour de Tucson.

The participating middle schools (including Ajo) are all part of the Pima County Public Health Bike Safety Program. Each school has a fleet of hybrid bikes and Pima County bike ambassadors lead bike safety classes and group riding activities during PE, and/or after school. Bike ambassadors also assist Jr. El Tour with bike safety drills. Indoor El Tour is a way to get the whole school involved and to help promote the on-going bike safety program at the schools.

Special thanks to: the teachers and staff at each school for enthusiastically promoting and actively participating in Indoor El Tour; the Pima County Health Department bike ambassadors who did a great job running the Indoor events at the schools; and the University of Arizona Public Health undergraduates who volunteered at the middle and high schools.



Feb. 5, 2020

Lyons – El Tour Dedication Recipient runs for Office

Perimeter Bicycling and El Tour de Tucson is proud see one of its former Dedication Recipients announce he’ll be running for office. Brendan Lyons announced today he’ll be running for the Arizona State House for Arizona’s 9th Legislative District.

He was El Tour’s 2014 Dedication Recipient (along with fiancé Lorena Evans). He founded the Arizona chapter of Look! Save a Life and was instrumental in getting legislation passed for no-texting-while-driving laws in Arizona.

Brendan, thank you for all you do to try to fight to ensure cyclists go home to their families. We wish you good luck!



Feb. 3, 2020

DiMambro, the youngest rider in the El Tour 50-mile event

Ricky DiMambro, 14, was the youngest finisher in the 50-mile event of the Banner – University Medicine 37th El Tour de Tucson. He came in 23rd overall in what turned out to be a great ride on a great day. He was given the El Tour Junior Award for riders 14 and under.

“Winning the Junior Award for the El Tour makes me feel excited,” DiMambro said. “I think it’s fantastic how my extensive training has paid off.”

Ricky DiMambro after the 2019 Banner – University Medicine El Tour de Tucson.

It was his first attempt at the ride.

“Riding in El Tour de Tucson was really awesome,” he said. “It is certainly one of the best rides ever. The sheer number of people cheering me on, and racing was breathtaking.”

There was no more breathtaking place than the final stretch going to the finish line. His heart pumped and adrenaline rushed.

DiMambro received his El Tour Conquistador for being the youngest cyclist in the 50-mile event.

 

“I had many memorable moments during the ride, but my favorite was the sprint finish,” he said. “I loved this moment because despite the pain, sprinting against others at over 30 miles per hour and putting out 900 watts with a massive crowd was just amazing.”

Before that, all he thought about was the ride, the strategy he’d put in and the pacing that went along with it.

He did so well that he’ll be back next year.

“I had a lot of fun riding in the El Tour,” he said. “Riding with an average speed of 25 miles per hour for 50 miles through Tucson is an unforgettable experience.”



Jan. 31, 2020

Pueblo Cycling Team Sets New Indoor Record!

Team was the theme for the Pueblo High School Cycling Team.

It did the school proud at the annual Indoor El Tour, where they set a new indoor record for cycling 1,020 minutes on an indoor bike. That’s right, the equivalent of 17 hours on a bike.

The team of Leonard Parra, Aaron Kutzdal, Reannah Rodriguez, Joel Bustamante and Janice Salazar each pedaled their way into the El Tour record books, breaking the old record of 975 minutes set in 2017.

Coach Ernesto Somoza (left), Aaron Kutzdal, Reannah Rodriguez, Janice Salazar, Joel Bustamante & Leonard Parra (far right)

“I’m proud of what we all did because we accomplished it as a team,” said Rodriguez, who was a rookie cyclist.

Bustamante said he was “scared at first” to do the event “but I’m glad we finished as a team.”

Kutzdal said it was “very challenging but glad we all did it as a group. I learned that we are all dedicated. We were all in pain, but we pushed for each other.”

All are members of the 12-rider bike club that trained for El Tour de Tucson 50- & 100-mile events. The Warriors surprised their coach, Ernesto Somoza, a graphic arts teacher, when they decided to go for the record as a team. They rode from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Nov. 13.

The five were given their El Tour Conquistadores trophies at a school pep rally on Friday, Jan. 31, 2020.

Salazar said she was proud to have Somoza as the coach because he pulled them through it.

Parra has ridden in El Tour four times and considers his Indoor finish with his teammates “a huge accomplishment.”

“I could not be prouder of my teammates,” he said. “I’ve never had a friend group this strong … we said that if one of us going to do it we all can do it.”

Next year, he’ll be riding to achieve gold status in the street ride in the 100-mile event.

“The indoor event helped my gain endurance, but it also helped me believe in myself,” Parra said.

They were part of record indoor El Tour where more than 4,100 cyclists took part totaling 95,284 minutes of cycling.

Congrats to everyone. See you in 2020.



Jan. 29, 2020

El Tour Training Rides get started

El Tour de Tucson training rides have started and the first one was an overwhelming success!

This is great to hear given we hope to see the program become a success. Some local cycling establishments will be holding training rides throughout the year as cyclists prepare for El Tour de Tucson on Nov. 21, 2020.

Over the weekend, Cyclefit held the first of what we hope are many more. 

Cyclefit owner Tom Carolan said, “it was a great ride” as a few notables joined in on the fun.

We hosted a few new friends from Colorado showing them some of our great routes,” Carolan said. “Former road professional Amy Charity and race director of SBT GRVL also joined us to help kick off the series. Look for more ride in partnership with area shops and clubs.”

 

 

Yes, if you have a cycling event or ride we at El Tour would like to know about it. Send the details to info@perimeterbicycling.com and we’ll publicize it.

Remember: It’s always El Tour season!



Jan. 27, 2020

Team Yaqui – big part of 2019 El Tour success 

Go Team Yaqui!

Over the weekend Team Yaqui celebrated its accomplishments in yet another successful year in El Tour.

More than 150 cyclists participated making it the largest team in the event.

We at Perimeter Bicycling are honored to have so many dedicated cyclists in our event. Many have ridden in El Tour for years. They ride to fight diabetes and for better health.

Francis Garcia said after undergoing duel knee surgery last year he transitioned from being a runner to a cyclist.

“Now I have to keep that love for riding,” he said. “I loved (El Tour), the encouragement at the end and the resources. It was good to have that food, pizza ready for us.”

Ray Baltazar, the treasurer for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, said he appreciated the community effort because without it the success that the program shows wouldn’t be there.

“The only thing I don’t like about El Tour is getting up at 5:30 in the morning – it’s cold,” said Baltazar.

But doable. And appreciated.

Melissa Garcia has ridden in El Tour for years, but it was the second time while she was pregnant.

“I want more parents out there riding with their kids,” she said. “It’s a way to get close to them.”

Garcia said she started after being invited to ride and when she was invited to ride. “The first mile nearly killed me,” she said. “I said, ‘I don’t know if I can do this.”

Neither did Marcillina Lucero, who rode El Tour on a one-speed bike, something that’s very difficult for riding long distances.

Marcillina Lucero talks about her experience in the 2019 El Tour.

 

But after starting – and struggling a bit – she rode on.

“People I didn’t even know were cheering me on,” she said. “They were saying, ‘one speed bike, one speed bike. Go, go, go. I was the last one, but I kept going. Those people who didn’t even know me motivated me.”

As she said, bicycling has become fun because “it changes lives.”

We’d like to think that Team Yaqui … thanks for being part of El Tour.

 

 

Jan. 22, 2020

A Meeting of the Cycling Minds

It was a collaborative effort here at the Perimeter Bicycling office on Wednesday afternoon. After all, it’s always El Tour season!

In an unprecedented move at El Tour, some of the biggest and brightest names in Tucson cycling came together to bring up ideas on how to make El Tour de Tucson better in 2020.

It’s part of our new vision, new version we’re looking forward to for our Nov. 21, 2020 event.

We’re talking new route, training rides for advanced and novice cyclists, encouraging more children and newcomers to ride and so much more.

“We’re looking at what’s best for El Tour,” said Charlene Grabowski, El Tour’s CEO. “We’ve got great momentum going (from the 2019 ride).”

In the room, there was an Olympian (Gord Frasier), bicycle shop owners (Steve Morganstern, Steve Wetmore and Tim Carolan), a city official (Edmund Marquez) , cycling event organizers (Todd Sadow), past El Tour first-place finishers Jimmy Riccitello, high profile women cyclists (Niccola Cranmer, Pam Alexander, Jo Roberts) and more. All came with great ideas to help make the 2020 El Tour one of the best experiences for cyclists young and old.

“We are so fortunate to have so much cycling talent in Tucson,” said Grabowski. “We wanted to tap into their wealth of knowledge to get ideas and collaborate with them. This is about moving El Tour forward with forward thinking cycling experts; we are going to leverage the results of the meeting to make El Tour even better in 2020.”


 Jan. 17, 2020

Bersano, 67, one of the Most Distinguished cyclists in El Tour

In the world where everyone wins a trophy, Martha Bersano is an exception. She comes from an era where you earn them.

Such was the case when Martha was named one of the most distinguished cyclists in the Banner – University Medicine 37th El Tour de Tucson. She was one of the top women finishers in her age group. She is 67 years old.

Martha Bersano coming into the finish of the 2019 El Tour.

“I was very surprised to find out I earned the first place for my age division,” she said. “I have never in my entire life earned a trophy.”

Key word – earned. And she did – coming in at one hour, 44 minutes nine seconds.

“I was very elated about the award as it was an unexpected surprise,” she said.

The November ride was her second El Tour. She rides for Rotary, cycling three times a week to get ready for El Tour. She said the best part of the ride is the start, where she, along with others, are excited to begin the ride.

“The ride was wonderful, the roads are well marked and safe with the great assistance that is provided by the local law enforcement,” she said. “When I ride, I have a sense of freedom and just enjoy the challenge of completing the ride. I also enjoy what I pass as I am riding. I feel exhilarated when I am on my bike.”

So, of course, she will be back in the 2020 El Tour for her third ride.

“I look forward to it,” she said.

 


Jan 15, 2020

Aguirre-Lazaren named El Tour’s Top Hand Cyclist

When Eduardo Aguirre-Lazaren was notified he had been named the top Hand Cyclist for the 2019 El Tour de Tucson, he was overwhelmed.

“What a nice surprise,” he said. “It’s an honor.”

Cyclist Eduardo Aguirre-Lazaren showing off his award from the 2019 El Tour de Tucson.

He said even more when he picked up his award at the monthly El Tour non-profit partner meeting, saying it was not only for him but the other hand cyclists participants in the event. He represented the Southern Arizona Adaptive Sports non-profit partner.

For him and everyone else, it was a ride to remember given the conditions. He rode in the Town of Marana 25-mile event.

“It went really well from start to finish,” he said. “I enjoyed it very much, riding the 25-mile course all the way from Marana to Armory Park on a great Saturday where the weather cooperated!”

He said his favorite moment was “the final sprint to the finish line on the 6th Avenue stretch hearing the cheers of my friends seeing me arrive.”

It was worth his preparation getting ready for the event. He said he rode more than 2,500 miles, with more than half coming from riding the Huckelberry Loop. It’s there he has time to think about his day-to-day life all the while enjoying the Tucson mountains.

It all culminated with his ride in El Tour.

“I love handcycling,” he said. “I enjoy seeing so many people out and about riding in the bike trails, I enjoy the opportunity and freedom to exercise in the outdoors.”

The joy of riding will, of course, bring him back for the 2020 El Tour, which will be his fourth.

“Certainly, and I plan to recruit more hand-cyclists through SAAS,” he said.

Bring them, the more the merrier.


After first go around on a bike, Varela’s goal is to become a better cyclist

Jan 13, 2020

Patty Varela is going into 2020 with a new resolution: become a better cyclist. It’s her main goal and a big one after just learning how to ride for the first time about four months ago … at the age of 44.

 

She gained so much courage in those few months that she rode a mile in El Tour’s Fun Ride – and loved it.

“It was amazing,” said Varela, who rode for Beyond-Tucson, a non-profit partner for El Tour.

After starting to learn in August, she stopped after having anxiety about it. She learned by walking (not riding) on a mountain bike but it was difficult.

The folks at Beyond then found a Pedego bike and she felt more comfortable on it. Twenty minutes later, she was pedaling on her own, if only for a few feet.

“I had a panic attack. told them, ‘I don’t think I can do it,’” she said. Still, everyone was supportive. She wasn’t discouraged so she continued to try to learn.

A couple more practice sessions and the night before El Tour, she was given a bike to get ready on. She fell down but said, “good, I got that out of the way. I know how it feels to fall down now. And it was OK.”

Good thing, in part, because she almost fell again in El Tour. But she completed it.

“I felt accomplished,” she said, of finishing the mile. “I felt like I opened a new portal in my life that is filled with a sense of being alive in a different and better way.”

What she learned is you can never be too old or be too afraid to start something new.

“I have always wanted to learn how to ride a bike; I’ve had dreams of me learning how to ride a bike,” she said. “I had friends help me when I was little, but I was never successful. I think I found the right person (to help her) and the right moment.”

We applaud her at El Tour! Does anyone one else have a great resolution to ride? Or to stay fit in 2020? Let us know what it is!


 

 

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