Tucson

01Mar12

We just spent the last week enjoying Tucson.  We’ve been utilizing some of the best urban bicycle infrastructure that we’ve ever experienced.  We expect there will be much more down the road as the west seems to have high priorities for cycling.

Mosaic art in many places around Tucson

Tile artwork everywhere! These photo tiles lined and underpass pedestrian path

We stayed at the Roadrunner Hostel.  We spent many meals chatting with people from all over the world.  It was fun to connect with other travelers who are also living the nomadic life.

Roadrunner Hostel

Bike rack outside the hostel

Debi and Amy-one of the fine folks who live and work at the hostel

 

Fun train outside of hostel-note great mosaic below

The city of Tucson just passed an initiative to ban texting while driving which will take effect on April 1.  There are nnumerous bike paths throughout the city and even bicycle boulevards-where cars aren’t allowed to park parallel, they must back in at an angle so when they leave they are facing traffic and thus safer for cyclists.  There are traffic calming measures-bumpouts on streets, small circles in intersections, speed bumps, and low speed limits.  We ventured out one afternoon during rush hour in the vicinity of the University of Arizona campus. It felt magical as we used the city of Tucson’s cycling map to travel down streets with little to no traffic.  One can most certainly live and navigate in this city without a vehicle. This is our dream-to live where all of our daily errands  are accessible by bicycle year round.  The city of Tucson bicycle map is free and available everywhere in town.

Riding through the Rattlesnake overpass

Bikepath along the Santa Cruz River

Stormy clouds and sunset colors, view from bike path on Santa Cruz River

The Bike Church-a memorial to cyclists who have died on the roads

Bike church details

we agree

We checked out the University of Arizona campus plus we went to a hockey game.  The campus had hundreds of bikes parked everywhere with students whizzing by. The Center for Creative Photography on campus had a free Ansel Adams exhibition that was lovely.

Hummingbird taking a rest in town

The mountains are always nearby

We arrived in town just in time to catch the famous Tucson Rodeo Parade.  It’s the largest non-motorized parade in the country apparently. It was a a quiet parade-with no vehicles idling.  The streets lined with families and children-kids have the day off to see it.  The clip clop of the horses and horse drawn floats were the main characters plus local high school marching bands.

Start of the parade

Parade marshall

Spectators line the street

We met a local woman at the grocery store-Hanna.  She invited us to her home in north Tucson for dinner.  We had a nice time talking with Hanna and her boyfriend Lenny about the area and cycling in Southern Arizona. Hanna lent us some cycling resources that we can send back to her down the road.  We had an adventure getting to her home and returning in the darkness to the hostel.  With our bike lights shining bright we utilized bicycle routes and felt safe.  A refreshing experience as biking at night can be terrifying!

We ordered new handlebars while in town to help our bikes handle more unpaved riding.  We’ll review them in a later post.

That’s all for now-we’re headed out into the desert to see more cacti and wildflowers. We’re looking forward to sleeping in the cool desert nights and hiking around.  We will be planning our route around Southeastern AZ and our next destination in the coming days will be Bisbee, AZ.

Thanks for following along,

Debi and Bryan

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4 Responses to “Tucson”

  1. Wow! You take such awesome pictures. Will make a great book in the future. I love reading your post. It’s almost like I am right there with you.

  2. 3 Kate Cross

    Hey Bryan and Debi, great trip! Don’t forget Michael and Tia Cross live in Mesa AZ. Didn’t know if you’d be that far north. Let me know if you want his phone number. Stay safe!

    • 4 thrubike

      Hi Aunt Kate!

      Thanks. We did remember that. Unfortunately, We are headed in a more NE direction and will be avoiding some of the more populated areas. There is just too much traffic and that doesn’t feel safe anymore. Thanks again for following us and we will be in touch!


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