Bike Safety and Fun in Tucson

Whether you’re an urban commuter, a road cyclist, or a mountain biker, there are dozens of ways to have fun on two wheels in the Old Pueblo and its surroundings. Riding a bike is a great way to stay in shape, explore, and get from point A to B.

In a 2016 survey of bike-friendly cities, the real estate firm Redfin ranked Tucson second in the nation. But a 2017 study by the financial planning website 24/7 Wall Street ranked Tucson Number 2 in a list of most dangerous cities for bicyclists.

Tucson’s urban core gets safer bike riding every year thanks to organizations like the Living Streets Alliance that works to make streets safer for our communities (including cyclists and pedestrians!). But it’s important to take care of yourself when you’re on a bike. Here some are things you can do to make sure your ride is safe and smooth:

  • Make sure to wear a helmet and that it fits properly. Not every head is the same, so luckily most standard helmets are adjustable. The Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute offers useful information for how to fit helmets properly, along with other tips.
  • Know basic bicycle safety. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, most bicyclist deaths happen between 6 pm and 9 pm, afflict men more often than women, and occur more often in urban areas than rural.
  • Make sure your bike fits you and works properly.
  • Stay visible to others by wearing bright clothing and reflective gear. Always use a white front light and red rear light at night.
  • Tuck in loose clothing and shoelaces.
  • Plan your route. Take streets where there’s less traffic and use bike lanes and bike paths.
  • Follow the rules of the road. That means stopping at stop signs and stop lights, using proper hand signals, and paying attention to street signs.
  • Keep your eyes open and scan for pedestrians, animals, potholes, cars, and debris on the road.

Once you’ve studied up on bike safety, you can get involved in dozens of bicycling activities. There’s the Chuck Huckelberry Loop, known simply as “The Loop,” which offers 131 miles of paved, shared-used paths connecting several waterways, parks, and greenways around the city.  

Once or twice a year, you can join in the annual Cyclovia Tucson, a day-long celebration in which select streets are closed off to cars so cyclists and pedestrians can travel freely. Bike-themed activities for the whole family happen along the route. 

And if you don’t have your own bike, a bike share program, TuGo, now offers rentable bikes at kiosks located from downtown to University of Arizona.

So, put on that bike bell and your helmet and get out and pedal!