From near and far, cyclists are ready for El Tour de Tucson

Preparing for El Tour de Tucson

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Thousands of cyclists are getting ready for one of Tucson’s biggest events of the year.

The 36th Annual El Tour Day Tucson is Saturday, Nov. 17, “America’s Largest Perimeter Bicycling Event for Cyclists of all Ages and Abilities.”

More than 9,000 cyclists are expected to ride some part of the route, including local kids part of the non-profit organization, El Grupo. The miles will mean more for Coach Lucas Murray, as 18 of his riders take on the 50-mile route.

“I know as a coach that when I’m teaching someone how to ride a bike, I’m not just teaching them to go up a hill, it’s kinda how to overcome all the sorts of challenges that they encounter in life," said Murray. “It’s a lot of fun to see these guys go as far as they have gone before, I’m excited to see them have a good time.”

“I overcome a lot of challenges and it’s an exciting experience for me," said Ariel, a fourth grader in El Grupo

Before taking on the 100-mile route Saturday, one group exploring the El Tour Bicycle, Health & Fitness Expo had already trekked more than 5,000 miles to get to Tucson. The group of seven flew in from Japan.

“I’m nervous," said Yuma, taking on the ride for the second time. He said for some in his group, Saturday will be their first time biking around Tucson. For others, like him, it will be their second or third.

No stranger to a tough ride, this Saturday will be special for Nelson Vails. This year’s ride is dedicated to the Olympian, the first and only African-American to win a cycling medal.

“It’s a true honor, something I did not expect," said Vails. “Happy to be here, happy to see old faces and new faces. Different demographic and people that are outdoor cycling now and taking advantage of this event in this great town.”

The expo will be open Friday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Cyclists can still register in person at the Tucson Convention Center.

Road closure information can be found HERE and parking information is HERE.

If you are driving on Saturday, please remember to keep your eyes open for cyclists to ensure a fun and safe event!

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