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Cyclist visiting Tucson this week. What should I check out?
December 23, 2013 5:45 PM   Subscribe

I'm visiting family in Tucson the 24th - 30th and I'm flying my road bike in from San Francisco. I'm intending to get a lot of riding done while I'm there since I've signed up to participate in the Rapha Festive 500. I'm looking forward to doing some great riding including Mt. Lemon (I'll be staying up in the Oro Valley area). While I'm there I'd love to also tap into any cool cycle-culture type stuff the city of Tucson may have to offer. Are there any great cycle coffee shops? Brew pubs? LBS's with some actual community to them? Any group rides or cycle clubs that really embody the Tucson community. While I'll only have my roadie with me I'm also into fixed gear riding in SF. I don't know if that's a thing in Tucson, but would love to know of stuff in regards to that too. I know there is a strong senior cycle community out there, but for what it's worth I'm a 31 year old male. Thanks!
posted by matt_od to Health & Fitness (5 answers total)
 
Get thee a mountain bike (rent?) and get ready for technical, desert riding! Check out Scott's Blog:

http://www.topofusion.com/diary/
posted by alex_skazat at 8:24 PM on December 23, 2013


Oh that looks great and I've love to do it some day, but this is definitely going to be a road bike trip.
posted by matt_od at 10:47 PM on December 23, 2013


I did a training week in Tucson last year.

There's good road riding on the Gates Pass on the west side and on the west side.

The streets can be busy, so you'll need to find good ways to get across town. Elm/Pima worked pretty well for us. If you're near the north side of town, you can take the bike paths, which are right near the foothills (another foothills ride).

We missed out on Sabino Canyon. It's open to bikes a couple days per week and looked like a fun ride - maybe in combination with a foothills ride.

Make sure to check out the Saguaro Park Loop. Very cool. We were there right around sunset and it was spectacular.

Mt Lemmon is a must-ride. Different clubs ride Lemmon different days of the week. We met up with a group at "Le Buzz" cafe. The locals were only riding halfway up in the middle of winter, but we felt the need to achieve. If you go all the way over the top and a couple miles down the other side, there's the "Cookie Cabin" with yum food and water.

There's a nice cycling community. If you're game for a hard ride, check out the Saturday Shootout ride. When I was there, the Saturday ride had two groups - the slower/masters group which leaves 15min before the faster/pro group. There's also a Tuesday Shootout if you need your legs ripped of multiple times in the week. The start location is near the University Starbucks. Start time varies through the year (i think it's posted online somewhere). We got invited on a couple other rides while talking with people on the shootout rides.

Anyway, that's what we found in a week of riding. I'm sure we only scratched the surface!
posted by sarah_pdx at 11:17 PM on December 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


BICAS (Bicycle Intercommunity Art and Salvage) is a really fun place, especially if you need to do any tuning up using their community tools (pay by the hour for room in the shop, use of all their tools and their guidance if needed, fixing tubes and pumping up your tires is free, parts for sale). Or you could at least chat up one of the volunteers to find out about local happenings. They might be a place to learn about fixie culture if it exists here.

Beware that the road up Mt. Lemmon can be snowy or closed this time of year (it was last week I believe).
posted by dahliachewswell at 11:42 PM on December 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Are there any great cycle coffee shops? Brew pubs?

I don't know what a cycle coffee shop is, but my current favorite corner in Tucson is 6th Avenue and 7th Street where you can find Exo Coffee and one shop down, the amazing Tap and Bottle. Tap and Bottle doesn't have food, but often has food trucks scheduled, and also don't mind if you bring in coffee from next door or meals from local restaurants.

6th Ave and 7th Street is a brief walk away from the 4th Avenue shopping area, and downtown Tucson, which is full of delicious food and drink.

Tucson Velo web site might be a good resource.
posted by Squeak Attack at 10:21 AM on December 24, 2013


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