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This is the City of Tucson's Bicycle & Pedestrian Newsletter. It is designed to inform Tucson's bicyclists and pedestrians about current bike/ped happenings, how you can get involved, and how you can have fun on bike or on foot!
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BikeLife Tucson is a free magazine designed to encourage Tucsonans to bike more often. The magazine highlights stories from individuals and families who have made biking a regular part of their lives and gives tips for fun local bike activities. You'll also find info regarding how to interact with the new streetcar, bike-locking do's and don'ts, a large fold-out bike map, and more.
You can pick up a free copy of the magazine at any local bike shop, library, or ward office. You can also read the online version here. Follow Bike Life on Facebook and Twitter too!

BikeLife Tucson is a public-private partnership between the City of Tucson/Pima County and Catalyst Communication, a marketing company that promotes cycling and outdoor activities. We plan to produce and distribute a Spring and Fall issue each year.

Email to tell us what you think about the magazine and what you want to see in the next issue.
Bike Life magazine


The Bike Life Tucson magazine.

City of Tucson Supports Youth Bike Camp

Summer is here, and we are already in the second session of El Grupo’s youth Bike Camp.The City of Tucson is a proud sponsor of the camp because we want to help more kids learn safe riding skills, gain experience on a bike and have fun on two wheels. The camp is run by the non-profit El Grupo, who lives their mission of "empowering youth through bicycles" through a variety of programs. They are well-known for their youth cycling development team, "Team El Grupo." Team members practice together regularly, give back to the community by leading bike rides, and some members race competitively.

There are three one-week sessions of camp during the summer for kids ages 7-13 years old. The popularity of this program is evident since all the sessions are full. In order to learn more about the camp and to help write this article, on Friday, June 6, I joined two groups at El Grupo's first week-long session of summer bike camp.

Campers are divided into different groups based on their skill level. I first joined the intermediate group on their bike ride from the El Grupo club house to Himmel Park, where they practiced bike-handling skills, such as handing off a water bottle to a partner and riding onto a small curb.


Campers line up to practice bike-handling skills at Himmel Park. 

I then joined the smaller beginner group. Counselors told me that at the start of the week, none of the campers knew how to ride a bike. By Friday, however, all of the kids were confident on bikes without training wheels as we rode from Himmel Park to Catalina Park. The counselors emphasized the rules of the road, particularly being aware of traffic around you and stopping at all stop signs. After each day's ride, all of the campers return to the clubhouse for a lesson and activity on a relevant topic, such as clean air or recycling bike components.


Campers practice the rules of road. 

Each group is led by both adult and teen counselors. The adult counselors are all trained Bike Safety Instructors. The teen counselors are mostly El Grupo bike team members.

Program Director Ignacio Rivera de Rosales explained that this not only allows the campers to learn from bicyclists closer to their own age, it is excellent leadership training for the teens. "For most of them, this is their first job," he said, and he holds them to a high standards. One of the teen counselors, Anna, told me that she was very nervous for this first week of camp, and she was worried the campers wouldn't listen to her. After this first week, however, she says she learned a lot and going into the next week of camp, "I'll be more confident."

Click here for more information on El Grupo, summer camp, and their youth cycling team.

New Bike Lockers at City Hall

City Hall is home to six new bike lockers. The new lockers demonstrate a newer design for bike lockers; they take up less space, have a see-through door, and come in Tucson city colors tan and blue.

These lockers are one of the first things you see as you approach City Hall, demonstrating the City’s commitment to bicycle-friendliness.

Bike lockers are a great option for securely and easily storing your bike if you commute by bike regularly.
There are additional bike lockers in the downtown public parking garages.

Call (520-791-5071) or email Parkwise to rent a locker for only $2/month.

New bike lockers at City Hall

June's Bicyclist/Pedestrian of the Month

This month's honoree is both a bicyclist and a pedestrian. Matthew Cordes bikes or walks (depends on the day) from his home in Barrio Santa Rosa to work at the University of Arizona. Here's what Matthew has to say about biking and walking in Tucson:

Where do you like to bike and walk? Any favorite routes?

I bike and walk between my home and work, along with shopping, food, and drink stops in between at some of my favorite shops and restaurants. I've
got lots of coffee stains on the frame of my Linus 3-speed. I love to make a happy hour stop on the way home from work. When I walk, I like the quiet of the very early morning Downtown.

Lately I've been doing some road biking too, and I love the paths along the Santa Cruz and Rillito. Good wildlife watching in the very early summer mornings.

How long have you been biking/walking regularly?

I've been biking and walking pretty regularly since I moved to downtown Tucson 13 years ago. This town has a great year-round climate for it, and ever since I moved to Tucson I've intentionally lived within easy biking distance from work. I've just always wanted to set my life up so that I spend less time in my car. I find that I'm happier that way.

How does biking and walking make you happier?

Matthew: Biking and walking clear my head and set a pace to my day that feels right. I do my best thinking while walking.

What advice would you give to people who want to bike and walk more often?

I think I just had to decide to organize my life around it [biking and walking] and make it something I refused to sacrifice. If you take any tangible step toward doing it, you'll find that it feels good.


Matthew Cordes on his bike.

Ahora, puede tomar la encuesta en Español!

The survey will continue to be available in Spanish until the end of the month. If you know any Spanish-speakers who would like to take the survey, please pass along this link as soon as possible: http://1.usa.gov/RsvoXA

Thanks again to the nearly 600 people who took our Bicycle and Pedestrian Program survey! You have provided us with valuable information regarding how to move the Bicycle and Pedestrian Program forward.


Coming Soon:

  • Want to nominate someone for bicyclist or pedestrian of the month? Email Jessica.

  • Thank you again to those of you who took our survey! Stay tuned for highlights from the results!
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