Bike race

Have some fun close to home and be part of El Tour de Tucson this year.

It took 37 years, but Green Valley is finally getting some attention from El Tour de Tucson bicycle race.

This year, Banner — University Medicine El Tour de Tucson is inviting riders, fans and anybody else on several rides in the Green Valley/Sahuarita area and beyond. They aren’t part of the big race, but organizers hope it’s a step in that direction. There is also a week of events planned leading up to the big race.

The spotlight was turned south through the work of Joe Erceg, former executive director of the Green Valley Sahuarita Chamber of Commerce. Erceg worked with Bill Adamson, Chuck Hill and others on the Santa Cruz Valley Bicycle Advocacy Committee to come up with several rides and events in the area in advance of El Tour de Tucson on Nov. 23. The events and rides south of Tucson run Monday through Friday.

Adamson said the committee has been working on designing the rides since spring, about the time a major reorganization of El Tour was taking place.

“It was during that time that we saw an opportunity,” he said. “Just us doing this for the first time is going to be tremendous publicity for the region and we can hopefully build on that.” 

The area looks to one day be part of one of the main rides, which this year are 100, 50 and 25 miles. 
“That is the ultimate goal,” Adamson said. “If we can convince the business community down here that bicycling is important to them and convince El Tour that we have something to offer, we’re hoping next year to get a start down here for El Tour.”

Taste of El Tour

As part of what’s called “Taste of El Tour,” five days of events and rides will be held in the area. A full list and details of all events can be found on the Santa Cruz Valley Bicycle Advocacy Committee website, Rides will be held every day starting at 9 a.m., starting from various spots.

Special events:

•Monday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Farmers Market at The Shoppes at La Posada. Starts at 9 a.m. at Green Valley Sahuarita Chamber of Commerce.

•Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.: Enjoy a ride led by Bob Smith with the Santa Cruz Bicycle Advocacy Committee. Meet at Quail Creek-Veterans Municipal Park at 9 a.m. for the ride through the pecan groves and neighborhoods to arrive at the Green Valley Pecan Store.

•Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Green Valley Village Farmers & Artisans Market. Free Bicycle Valet by the Sears store on the east side of the Green Valley Village. Ride starts at 9 a.m. at Green Valley Sahuarita Chamber of Commerce and goes by the farmers market.

•Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to noon: Santa Cruz Valley Regional Hospital will have a canopy near the flag pole. There will be water and pickle juice and use of restrooms. They also have a coffee bar and restaurant (open at 11 a.m.) About one mile south is the Historic Canoa Ranch featuring the Canoa Country Market with artisans, vendors, food trucks and local produce. Ride starts at 9 a.m. at Green Valley Sahuarita Chamber of Commerce.

•Friday, 9 a.m. to early afternoon: Continental Plaza Shopping Center; Taste of El Tour ride starts at 9 a.m. from the northwestern corner of the Center near True Value Hardware. The ride will be led by Bob Smith. Continental Plaza is planning many festivities starting at 11 a.m., including a display of classic and collector cars, music and dance performances. True Value will host a barbecue.

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