Mark Stine KOLD News 13 Reporter
"It's a great ride, I mean it attracts a lot of people that come from out of town to ride here during the winter."
The Tucson Shootout Bike Ride happens every Saturday morning and is considered by some cyclists as one of the best rides in the country.
But now the ride has hit a speed bump.
"It's unfortunate things like this are happening," Emiliano Jordan said.
A shootout rider for six years, Jordan is referring to a recent run-in shootout cyclists had with a Pima County Sheriff's Deputy.
The 62 mile ride route starts at the U of A, the problem began near Green Valley.
"We were getting up to speed. We were about two miles outside Green Valley."
We're told the group of about 60 cyclists were riding downhill on Duval Mine Road at speeds of about 40 miles per hour. That's when they say a Sheriff's Deputy crossed over the double yellow line and faced them head on. They say it was unsafe and caused a dangerous chain reaction.
Jordan said, "The entire group passed him, pinched between his car and the shoulder. He was at least drivers side wheels over the yellow line. You could here people going down, tires screeching, frames breaking."
We're told no one was seriously injured, but a few people suffered scrapes and broken bikes.
The Sheriff's Department sees the incident a little differently.
"At about 8:30 in the morning a report was made by at least one citizen that there was a large group of cyclists traveling on Mission Road," Deputy Dawn Hanke said.
Deputy Hanke says the deputy responded and found the cyclists riding in both lanes on Duval Mine Road and activated his lights about a half of mile from the cyclists.
"He basically straddled the middle of the roadway seeing that it was unsafe situation, he didn't want anyone to get hit," Hanke told KOLD.
Jordan said, "Even if he did begin that maneuver 1/2 a mile away which is doubtful, he still didn't give us ample time to slow down."
Dawn Hanke responded, "I can't imagine that if they saw a deputy from half a mile away they couldn't respond, what else they couldn't respond to."
The Sheriff's Department says this is the 2nd time in as many weeks the cyclists have been pulled over by deputies for unsafe riding.
"Coming oncoming to a group of riders like that is totally unecessary, him on the other side of the road flashying lights at us is enough to know we need to be pulled over," Jordan said.
7831 N. Business Park Drive