Rally: Special Rides for the League
Additional Rides for Rally Participants ...
In addition to riding in El Tour de Tucson on Saturday, Rally participants may choose among the six scenic and cultural tours offered on Thursday and Friday.
Tour Options 1-5 are available both Thursday and Friday. The Mt. Lemmon Challenge (which will be ridden by League Executive Director Andy Clarke) is available only on Thursday.
All rides include: route map, ride leaders, light SAG support and optional box lunch to go. All rides start and end at El Tour’s Starting Line in downtown Tucson located on the west side of the Tucson Convention Center.
- San Xavier del Bac Mission: This is a 30-mile tour to one of the finest examples of 18th century mission architecture in the Southwest. San Xavier, located on the Tohono O’odham Reservation, is an active parish. Visitors are welcome, and are asked to be respectful. A self-guided tour is available, and there is a gift shop, arts and crafts shop, and nearby cafes.
- Pima Air & Space Museum: This 40-mile ride includes a tour of the largest aviation and space museum west of the Rockies. See more than 250 aircraft, and exhibits from the Wright Brothers to space travel. Admission of $13.50 is included in the Rally fee. Allow one-and-a-half hours for walking tour, and enjoy your box lunch picnic outside the museum.
- Saguaro National Park East: This 60-mile ride includes the eight-mile Cactus Forest Loop around the park. The giant saguaro cactus is one of the iconic symbols of the American Southwest. And yet, these majestic plants are found in a small region of the United States. Saguaro National Park protects some of the most impressive forests of these sub-tropical giants, on the edge of modern Tucson. Rally box lunch available or lunch on your own at nearby cafes.
- Sabino Canyon Bike & Hike: This 50-mile ride to a Tucson scenic gem includes an optional hike up the canyon along Sabino Creek. The maximum hike distance is seven miles round-trip; hike as much or as little as you like. Support staff will transport Rally box lunches and watch bikes while you hike and picnic along Sabino Creek. Bring comfortable shoes or have recessed cleats for walking.
- Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum: This hilly 55-mile bike ride and tour of a world-renowned zoo, natural history museum and botanical garden, all in one. The museum offers interpretive displays of living animals and plants native to the Sonoran Desert. Admission of $12 is included in Rally fee. Allow two-to-three hours for the walking tour. Support staff will bring Rally box lunches or you may purchase lunch on your own at the museum.
- Mt. Lemmon Challenge (Thursday Only): The distance for this impressive ride is 30 to 70 miles, depending on how far you climb! This 7,000-ft ascent from the desert floor to pine and aspen forest is a popular ride among recreational and racing cyclists alike, and was one of Lance Armstrong’s favorite Tour de France training grounds. We’ll shuttle riders and their bikes from the El Tour Expo at 10:30 a.m. sharp, to the start/finish of our ride, approximately five miles from the beginning of the 27-mile climb to the top. Bring low gears and warm clothes as it can get cold at the top (9,157 feet). Enjoy your rally box lunch, or purchase lunch at either the shuttle start/finish or on Mt. Lemmon at one of the several cafes and restaurants at the top. A tip: There is excellent homemade pie at the Mt. Lemmon Café!