Connect 2 Tucson is an all-ages, all-speeds, fun and family-friendly bike ride scheduled for Saturday, September 24, at 7:00 a.m. Riders are encouraged to register for the ride at 6:30 a.m. The ride begins at the plaza south of Drachman Hall on the UMC Campus at the corner of Helen Street and Martin Avenue. Cyclists will ride along the multi-use paths of the Santa Cruz River and the Rillito River on the west and north sides of Tucson.
In some places, the multi-use path is not very far from the river bed, which caused concern for ride organizers as both rivers were flowing with storm water last week.
Pima County staff worked hard to clean up dirt, sand, and debris left by recent monsoons, and the ride will go on as scheduled. The 22-mile loop ride takes cyclists through the University of Arizona, West University and Dunbar Spring neighborhoods, and Barrio Anita, then along the newly connected portions of Pima County’s “Urban Loop” and the Mountain Avenue Bikeway. Click here for a map of the route.
The Connect 2 Tucson ride is part of a worldwide day of action (Mobility Planet Sept. 24) on global climate change and what people can do about it, sponsored by 350.org. What’s special about the number 350? Event organizers say that this is the number that leading scientists say is the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. Scientists measure carbon dioxide in “parts per million” (ppm), so 350ppm is the number humanity needs to get below as soon as possible to avoid runaway climate change.
To get there, organizers believe there should be a different kind of PPM: a People Powered Movement that is made of people from every corner of the planet. Thus, bike power and the Connect 2 Tucson ride is a great way to celebrate the “move beyond fossil fuels.”
The alternate short route is a 5.4-mile Mountain Avenue Bikeway ride that begins at Casa de los Niños Thrift Store welcome station, corner of Prince Road and Mountain Avenue. This ride starts at 7:45 a.m. and ends at Drachman Hall plaza. There will be some large bikes on this ride because it is also a Tucson Cargo Bikes group ride.
All riders can enjoy the festivities at the plaza after the ride including tours of the BIO5 Institute. Riders can also learn from local “green” businesses, policy makers, and community organizations how we can move beyond fossil fuels. In addition, there will be music and puppets to help celebrate the People Powered Movement.