More bike lanes than ever
for GV cyclists

Wednesday, October 9, 2011

 

Area cyclists are always looking for new places to ride, and the new Santa Cruz Valley bike map should help.

"I think it is most impressive, showing 120 miles of bike lanes without any gaps," said long-time cycling advocate Bill Adamson.

Adamson said the unveiling of the simplified map coincides with the "Launch the Loop" celebration in Tucson on Saturday that finally connects the Santa Cruz and Rillito River paths. Those are two of the most popular auto-free routes in the city that have had extensive use over the years.

Riders can register for that event, which includes a dedication ceremony, by visiting http://www.pima.gov/TheLoop/, or try to get in on free shirts, water bottles, backpacks and other gear by registering at Flowing Wells District Park on Shannon near River from 7:30 to 11 a.m. on Saturday.

The Loop will not only bring the two river paths together, but will connect with the University Boulevard Bikeway and Mountain Avenue Bikeway to create a 23-mile car-free route around the mid-town area.

Adamson also noted that Pima County plans to complete the Anza Trail next year that many locals use, finalizing the extension from Green Valley through Sahuarita. He said he hopes they will connect with The Loop one day, which would give riders a "major long-distance trail that will rival other trails in the U.S., such as the Katy Trail and C&O Canal Trail."

 

 

The September, 2011 revised
area bike map contains
many new features

The new map is pocket sized and folds out into an easy-to-read guide that highlights roads, streets, and trails, paved and unpaved, appropriate for safe cycling from Elephant Head Road to Pima Mine Road. Arizona bike laws and some safety tips are also included.

A long sought after addition is the insert that outlines the mountain bike trails of West Desert Preserve, constructed over the years just west of Green Valley through the efforts of a variety of local cycling enthusiasts. The preserve has several gated entrances to keep cattle inside and can be accessed most easily from Duval Mine Road or Continental just west of the Community Performance and Art Center.

"Roadies" will appreciate the color-coded directions for long- and middle-distance trips, and there's a Tubac insert on the back page that includes paved routes just off the freeway.

The map came out in September through the Santa Cruz Valley Bicycle Advocate Committee and is available at local bike shops, the Chamber of Commerce, and other places around town. It also will be inserted in Discover Southern Arizona magazine, which will be distributed in December.