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  • Writer's pictureJeff Pockett

Bike Friendly Tucson

Having a cycling addiction alters your usual vacation plans! In my pre-bike life I use to like to think that I was a pretty active person. Obviously, my weight at that time was not a accurate reflection of who I thought I was. When on vacation I don't usually like to just lay around, don't get me wrong, I love laying in the sun at the pool or a nice beach. But, I also like seeing new places and exploring new areas. I would enjoy hiking, kayaking, snorkeling, beach coming, and even shopping with the wife. The bike has changed all that! Recently, I had to make a trip down to Tucson, Arizona to help my oldest son get things together for his deployment to South Korea from Davis Monthan Air Force Base. I had a couple of days on my own, so I decided to rent a bike and go for a ride. What I discovered, is that Tucson is an amazingly bike friendly community. In fact, Tucson has over 130 miles of beautiful paved bike trails that circle the city and create endless opportunities for exploring by bike. Not having to worry about vehicle traffic and amazing warm February weather made for a great day of riding. I left down town Tucson and headed up the Santa Cruz River Park trail to Catalina State Park. As I only had about five hours to spend exploring I decided on and out and back ride to avoid having to stray from the bike path onto roads with heavy traffic to make it back to the bike shop in time to be picked up. The other thing that impressed me about Tucson was the amount of cyclists using the trail system. I know Tucson is a hot spot for Snowbirds as well as a winter training ground for elite cyclists, but I was surprised to see so many older adults on bikes all along the trail system. The more I get involved in cycling, the more inspired I become by cyclists over the age of 50. Some of these people are seriously fit, and I want to be like them when I grow up!

Even though I only got to sample 40 something miles of the 130 plus miles of bike path and didn't even have a chance to sample any of the amazing Mt. biking trail systems around Tucson, I loved it, and I want to go back for more. I think the lifestyle of a Snowbird fits well with cycling. Nothing beats great weather and awesome trails to explore. All though my son no longer lives in Tucson, I think I'll be back. Maybe not in the dead of summer when its so hot you can fry an egg on the street, but when the rain at home just won't stop and boredom of hours upon hours of riding a bike trainer start to drive me crazy, I will remember bike friendly Tucson is just waiting for my return and the almost endless miles of trails to be explored. I will be back!

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