You can expect close to 2,000 cyclists to participate in the tenth annual Tour de Scottsdale cycling event that is scheduled to take place on Sunday, October 12, 2014. The annual event, organized by the DC Ranch Community Council, is always held on the second Sunday in October. While the name may be a play on the highly competitive annual Tour de France bicycle race the Scottsdale version is a non-competitive citizen race.
The Tour de Scottsdale is an event that creates awareness and raises funds to help promote the preservation of the environment. Specifically, proceeds from the event are used by the event’s beneficiary, the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy to maintain, enhance and complete the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. When completed, the McDowell Sonoran Preserve will be the largest urban land preserve in the United States.
Cyclists will start either the 30 or 70 mile course from Market Street in DC Ranch. Residents of the 4,400 acre community, located adjacent to the McDowell Sonoran Preserve in north Scottsdale, are actively involved in environmental causes. As a charitable athletic event, everyone is a winner.
Participants will be treated to spectacular views of the city of Scottsdale as they pass by Cave Creek, Carefree and the Fountain Hills. The thriving ecosystem includes a wide variety of birds and animals that have adapted well to the desert environment. Bicyclists will pass by the mighty saguaro cactus, fields of wild desert flowers, and some very unusual rock formations. When the Tour de Scottsdale is not going on, the McDowell Sonoran Preserve is a wonderful place for a family outing. In addition to biking opportunities, there are many easy-to-traverse trails that will put you up-close with nature.
Entering the Event
Cyclists of all skill levels are welcome to register for either the 70-mile or 30-mile circuit. You do not need any special type of bike to participate. Mountain bikes, recumbent bikes, and hand-bikes are all allowed. The organizers only ask that you are able to maintain full control of your bike as you will be riding in large groups.
While there is a registration fee to participate, you can feel good in that you are contributing to a very worthy charitable cause. In addition, every rider receives a medal commemorating their participation, and a virtual “goody bag” with a variety of information, coupons and exclusive offers from the event’s sponsors.
Safety is a Top Priority
Safety is stressed over the time it takes you to complete the course you have chosen to ride. Along the route are aid stations that serve water, drinks containing electrolytes, and an assortment of fresh fruit. Medical staff is on hand in case you need some care and attention.
You should do your part to stay safe. For some, it might be a physically taxing athletic event. Every rider must wear a bicycle helmet and it is strongly suggested that you wear appropriate clothing. Appropriate clothing might include lycra cycling shorts, a jersey with rear pockets for storing snacks, gloves, and a good pair of rubber-soled shoes. Don’t forget to also carry a bottle or two of water.
Elevation and Course Difficulty
If you are not a strong cyclist, you should opt for the shorter 30-mile course. It still offers beautiful scenary and you will be challenged by elevation changes of almost 1,200 feet. The 70-mile ride includes a steady 25 mile ascent over the first 25 miles and elevation changes of about 1,400 feet.
Guests at the Scottsdale Thunderbird Suites can take the short drive to the venue and cheer on the riders. Whether you are actually planning to take the bike ride, or you just want to support a worthy environmental cause, a day out in scenic Arizona is always fun.
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