El Tour de Tucson

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El Tour de Tucson is one of the largest road bicycling events in the United States. The El Tour de Tucson was started in 1983 by cyclist Richard DeBernardis, current president of the Perimeter Bicycling Association of America. The ride takes place every November in Tucson, Arizona. The first El Tour attracted nearly 185 riders while in recent years between 7,000 and 10,000 cyclists will attend.[citation needed] Bicycling Magazine gives three reasons for ranking Tucson as the second-best place among cities its size for riding a bicycle: "Sunshine, sunshine, sunshine."[1]

There are several routes of differing lengths ranging from 109 miles (175 km) to 0.25 miles (0.40 km). The event offers cycling tests for all levels of riders. The route weaves around the city of Tucson, which is surrounded by five mountain ranges. The courses range from rolling to moderately hilly, with the 35 mile route being fairly flat and the perfect course for beginners.[2]

El Tour de Tucson cyclists raise funds for Tu Nidito Children & Family Services, the American Parkinson Disease Association, Water For People, Ben's Bells Project, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Diamond Children's Medical Center, other Perimeter Bicycling charities, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.[3] For the children and families at Tu Nidito, El Tour is much more than a ride. “El Tour is our livelihood,” said Executive Director Liz McCusker.[4] More than 8,000 cyclists participated in the 2008 El Tour de Tucson, raising more than $200,000 for Tu Nidito Children and Family Services.

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